Holy long title, right? Sorry ’bout it. I just couldn’t ignore the multi-faceted AWESOME of these cupcakes! They seriously are amazing. And… dairy free! If you should care about such things.
I had a birthday yesterday. I’m not a huge birthday-celebrator, but I have taken this particular birthday as a kind of “new year” marker. I’m the kind of person that has to start a new habit on a Monday (or new year), so I’m deeming today my “Monday” of this year. New goals! I actually can’t think of a time I’ve set goals for myself in a yearly context like this, but… here’s to new things!
The first goal for the year is a tough one for me: journaling. I have NEVER been successful at journaling, and this blog is the first time I’ve ever written consistently on my own accord. But this blog isn’t my “diary” — and it shouldn’t be. I’ve decided it might be helpful, for my sanity, to write about the things actually on my mind — whether they be happy, sad, dark, inquisitive, etc. I’m really hoping to document my thoughts in a way that may help clarify, or at least explore more fully, my beliefs and (I hesitate to use this word) identity. So, I’m journaling every day (at least for the first month, then I’m allowing an every-other-day approach). I figure this is a great year to do it, as I’ll want to keep track of where we were and what we did while we travel!
The second goal might seem silly to some of you, but it’s to spend 3+ minutes upside down every day. Ha! I told you all about my deepening yoga practice on Monday, and while inverting isn’t all yoga is, it certainly is fun! I already spend WAY too much time playing with my handstands and other inversions, but this goal is my way of ensuring I actually get upside down every day for a few minutes. While we’re traveling in Asia, having this daily goal will at least remind me to do SOME yoga every day, even on the busiest/most hectic days (when I probably need it the most!).
For my birthday, apart from a fun night out with friends, I took the day as an excuse to make myself something I normally wouldn’t: these cupcakes! I’ve been wanting to make chocolate carrot cake for a while now, and recently saw a recipe for chocolate cake using coconut milk in place of some of the butter. I figured: why not combine the two!? I ended up replacing ALL of the butter with coconut milk, as a means to use the entire can of coconut milk instead of just half, and these cupcakes ended up PERFECTLY. They were ridiculously moist, and perfectly flavored. I couldn’t taste any coconut flavor, which was fine with me, but I loved the chocolate addition to a traditional carrot cake. As I do with most desserts, I deemed these a health food. I’ve definitely had them for breakfast for the last two days!
- 2 1/3 cups flour
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1 pinch ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 can coconut milk (aka coconut cream, a scant 2 cups)
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups shredded carrots
- 4 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
- 3 Tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter a muffin tin.
- Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugars, pecans, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the coconut milk and eggs together until smooth. Add the vanilla and carrots, whisking to combine.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients, mixing to fully combine (but being careful to not mix too much!).
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, filling each cup 1/2 full.
- Bake until a cake tester comes out clean — this will vary depending on your tin size. For my big tins, I baked them about 32 minutes, for a more “normal” size tin I baked them about 24 minutes.
- Let the cupcakes cool for 10 minutes in the tins before removing them and allowing to fully cool on a wire rack.
- To make the glaze, combine the cream cheese and milk in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, then whisk to combine the cream cheese and milk into a smooth mixture. Add the vanilla, whisk to combine, then sift in the powdered sugar. Whisk again until smooth, adding more milk as needed to thin out.
- Pour the glaze over the cupcakes.
Clearly the frosting is not dairy-free! If you are making this a dairy-free recipe, replace the cream cheese with a dairy-free version, and the milk with your favorite non-dairy milk.