It’s truly fall now. Tartlet 1 says it’s Autumn when the leaves are changing color, but once they fall off and have to be raked up — it’s Fall. Autumn is prettier, a little warmer, a nice relief from the humidity of summer, but Fall wags her bony twiggy fingers at us, emptied of leaves, and reminds us of the harsh reality of Winter coming. Now is the time to retreat to the kitchen and make the foods of fall and winter, warming the house from the heart and the oven.
Leslie picked a perfect theme for the latest Sugar High Friday — Beta Carotene Harvest. It’s the perfect time for praline sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, butternut squash, and carrot cake. Tartlet 2 particularly likes carrots and loves the opportunity to peel one and eat it fresh in all its crunchy goodness. I decided I’d make a carrot cake recipe for this SHF, but I wanted something a little different.
I modified a few recipes and came up with this one. Some of the modifications were necessary because I ran out of white sugar — while baking for a SHF event? I probably get demerits for that, or something. I would have used half whole wheat flour, if I would have had more than a scraping of that around too. It must be time to go to The Grocery again! I also added a little orange zest, just because I wanted to, and I thought it would taste great with the pineapple and carrot. I baked these as cupcakes rather than a large cake, to make it easier to share.
2 c. finely shredded carrots (4 carrots)
3/4 of a 20 oz can of crushed pineapple, well drained
1 t. orange zest
1/2 c. applesauce
1/4 c. canola oil
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1 1/2 c. flour
2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray muffin tin and set aside.
Combine flour, soda, and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine carrots, pineapple, orange zest, applesauce, oil, and sugars. Add eggs, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add flour mixture and mix well. If desired, stir in 1/2 c. chopped pecans or raisins.
Pour into muffin tins. Bake 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool then frost with cream cheese frosting.
** These would make great breakfast muffins without the frosting.