Carrot Cupcakes with Yogurt Glaze

Today we had plans to go visit some friends who just bought a beautiful house out in the ‘burbs, and I volunteered to bring dessert.  Obviously I decided this was the perfect opportunity to try baking something new, and I immediately started scouring some classic sources – Smitten Kitchen (this recipe in particular) and my Baked cookbook (fabulous birthday present with my favorite brownies!), both of which are full of truly decadent choices.  I figured this visit was a special occasion, worthy of indulgence.

And then hubby had to go and remind me of my commitment to finding healthier choices.  He asked if there wasn’t something I could make that would be both delicious AND worthy of calling wholesome?  I had to take on the challenge, and I am so glad I did…because after some internet searching I came across a food blog that I am so excited about – Sweet + Natural.  This blog contains tons of recipes for the most delicious sounding baked goods which contain all wholesome ingredients – no refined flour or sweeteners, and substitutions for healthier fat sources and levels.  I was so overwhelmed by the choices that I e-mailed my friend to help narrow things down for today, but I have a list of new recipes to try!

The winner for today’s dessert was carrot cake with yogurt glaze.  The only modifications I made were to convert to cupcakes (shorter cooking time and half the glaze because I only needed to coat 1 layer) and to use 3 whole eggs instead of 2 whole + 2 whites because I hate throwing away an extra egg.  Plus, the recipe was already low-fat so I didn’t mind a little extra in the 3rd yoke.  Overall these were a huge success!  The cake was incredibly moist and flavorful, and the yogurt glaze added just enough tang and sweetness without being overpowering.  Plus, the cupcakes have the same low amount of added sugar (1/2 cup for 12 muffin equivalent) as most of my healthy muffin recipes and are packed with vegetables and whole grains, so I felt totally comfortable giving them to the munchkin without the glaze and was excited when she gobbled one up!

The only issue I had was that the cupcakes stuck to their papers more than I would have expected, but my friend in Brooklyn just sent me an article that suggests it may just be due to the agave in the recipe.  And the good news was that they stuck less the next day after fully cooling than right after I made them.

Overall, I cannot wait to try more of the recipes on Sweet + Natural – I’ll keep you posted on how they turn out!

 

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Carrot Cupcakes with Yogurt Glaze
adapted from Sweet + Natural
Cake:
3 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cup agave nectar
3 eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
Yogurt Glaze:
3/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350.  Line 1 1/2 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners (recipe makes 18 standard cupcakes).
In a large bowl, mix together carrots, coconut, agave, eggs, applesauce and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until well blended. Pour batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes until brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pans.
While the cupcakes are cooling, make yogurt glaze by whisking together all ingredients except the walnuts.
Once the cupcakes are cool, poke holes in them using a fork (this allows the glaze to seep in) and remove from pans.  Place on a piece of parchment or wax paper and pour a thin coating of yogurt glaze on each cupcake.  Sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
Makes 18 cupcakes.

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6 thoughts on “Carrot Cupcakes with Yogurt Glaze

  1. Oh, I’m impressed that you resisted using the “special occasion” excuse to make a decadent dessert : ) But these look great – I’m excited to try them, and the website you found looks like a fantastic resource!

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  2. Alissa, I was going to your blog to find your banana wheat germ muffin recipe but I saw this one first and there was no turning back! I had most of the ingredients on hand (I used normal whole wheat flour, sugar instead of agave, and instead of greek yogurt I used our normal homemade yogurt plus, uh, 2 T of butter, because you know… well…) Anyway, they are delicious! I think I might do it without the glaze next time because if I’m carrying a baby in one hand, I can’t afford the other to be sticky, but I think these are going to become a regular snack at our house!

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  3. Is there anything special I should do if I were to eliminate the coconut??? I’m just wondering if this will change the consistency at all of the cupcakes.

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