Bird’s Nest Coconut Carrot Cupcakes
¾ cup walnuts pieces
1½ cups unsweetened coconut flakes
1 lb. of carrots, peeled
3 large eggs
½ cup buttermilk
1 tsp. The Spice Hunter Pure Vanilla Extract
1 cup vegetable oil
1½ cups sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. The Spice Hunter Granulated Orange Peel
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1½ tsp. The Spice Hunter Highland Harvested Saigon Cinnamon
¼ tsp. The Spice Hunter East/West Indies Nutmeg
¼ tsp. The Spice Hunter Jamaican Allspice
¼ tsp. The Spice Hunter Madagascar Cloves
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 bag chocolate candy eggs or jelly beans, for decorating
For the cupcakes:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread walnuts on one and the coconut on the other. Toast for 5-7 minutes, or until coconut is lightly browned, and then remove from the oven to cool.
2. Line two 12-well cupcake pans with cupcake liners.
3. In a food processor fitted with the grater attachment, process the carrots until very finely chopped; or grate the carrots by hand.
4. Place the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, oil and sugars in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer at medium-low speed. Stir in the carrots.
5. In a separate mixing bowl, mix the flour, orange peel, baking soda, baking powder, salt and remaining spices.
6. Fold the flour mixture into the carrot mixture, being sure to not over-mix. Fold in the toasted walnuts until everything is incorporated.
7. Scoop the batter into cupcake wells filling about ½ to ¾ full. Bake for 20-23 minutes, rotating the pan after the first 15 minutes of baking.
8. Once cooked through, or a when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
For the frosting:
1. Beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until well combined. Sift in the powdered sugar, gradually, and mix.
2. Once cupcakes have cooled, spread frosting evenly onto cupcakes. Top with toasted coconut and gently press a few egg candies or jelly beans into the coconut to resemble a bird’s nest.