Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Makes 18 cupcakes
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1½ cups grated carrots
¾ cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
½ cup shredded coconut, toasted
Jelly beans or speckled malted milk chocolate eggs
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 325°F. Line 18 cups of two standard muffin pans with paper or foil liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a medium bowl, combine the carrots, oil, eggs, and vanilla and stir until blended. Add the carrot mixture to the flour mixture and stir gently just until blended.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling them only three-quarters full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 16 to 18 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and set them on a wire rack. Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then transfer them to the rack. Let cool completely.
To make the frosting, in a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. Sift the powdered sugar into the bowl, then beat on low speed until blended.
Using a small icing spatula, frost the cupcakes. Sprinkle the icing with the toasted coconut to create “nests,” then top each cupcake with three candies so that they look like “eggs.” Serve.