These cupcakes are decadent with just the right amount of spice!
(…and pretty damn cute, too!)
For the cupcakes:
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeat
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup white sugar/1 cup packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups grated carrot
- 1 8 ounce can crushed pineapple
- 3 1/2 oz. flaked coconut
- 1 cup chopped pecans
For the cream cheese frosting:
- 1 8 ounce package of cream cheese
- 16 ounces of powdered sugar (more or less to find the right consistency)
- 4 ounces (or one stick) unsalted butter, softened
- approximately 3 shots of Grand Marnier orange cognac
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of orange zest
Stir together flour, baking soda, salt and spices.
Beat eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk and vanilla. If you don’t like to buy buttermilk by the carton, but find you use it for a lot of recipes, look for the powdered buttermilk in your grocery store’s baking aisle. I love keeping this around our house. I can break it out anytime a recipe calls for buttermilk, and I don’t have to worry about buying buttermilk to use a little and have the rest go bad.
Add flour mixture to wet mixture, then fold in carrot, pineapple, coconut and pecans.
Bake at 350 for about 20 to 25 minutes.
Allow the cupcakes to cool before icing – this may seem simple to some, but a mistake I have made, I assure you.
For the cream cheese frosting – beat 1 8 ounce package of cream cheese in a stand mixer. Next, add softened butter. Once combined, slowly add the powdered sugar. Add in the Grand Marnier to taste. I also added about two tablespoons of orange zest to bring out the orange flavor in the cognac.
I loved the green coconut look on top with the robins egg right in the middle. The green coconut was easy enough to make. 1 tbsp of water with a drop of green food coloring in a pint mason jar. Pour in enough coconut to fill it half way and shake. Keep adding one tbsp of water mixed with a drop of food coloring until you have the shade of green you like. Spread the mixture onto a paper towel to dry a bit. It doesn’t necessarily have to be completely dry, but this should keep it from drying into a big clump.
Sprinkle your green coconut, garnish with a robins egg and enjoy!