I love baking up a storm for Easter but usually choose a carrot cake because it's seems fitting to serve carrots on a day filled with bunny love. This year I wanted to do something different and decided to make something cute for Easter that resembles a carrot cake, but tastes more like what the bunny might hide instead of what he want to nibble on after hiding all of the Easter eggs.
I headed off to my local candy store, came back with a few bags full of fun, and got really excited about my idea. These Chocolate Carrot Cupcakes are inspired by a photo I saw on Pinterest, but I made them my own by using decorations that were easier to find and a tried and true chocolate cake recipe from my recipe box!
Chocolate Carrot Cupcakes - makes 12-14
1 recipe of my Chocolate and Banana Brownies, mixed up but not baked
3 tablespoons almond meal
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon cocoa
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 pinch of salt
Or Oreo cookies, pulsed in a food processor
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup cocoa
2 - 3 cups of icing sugar
2 -3 tablespoons dulce de leche
2 tablespoons milk
40 orange jelly beans
2 green salt water taffy candies
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add mixed batter to a muffin tin that's either greased or lined with paper cupcake holders. Once the oven is preheated, lower the temperature to 325 degrees and immediately place the muffin tin in the oven. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of a cake clean. Let cool.
Note: I recently found out that by preheating your oven to 350 degrees and then lowering it to 325 degrees right before baking makes for more rounded and puffy cupcakes instead of flat ones. Both are delicious, but I prefer the puffy ones to look at!
2. While the cupcakes are baking, mix together all the edible dirt ingredients (if not using Oreo cookie crumbs), lay the mix in an even layer on a cookie sheet, and bake until dry. Let cool.
3. Next make your frosting. Cream together the cocoa and butter. Stir in powdered sugar, using just enough as needed. Then pour in the dulce de leche and milk, scrape the sides of the bowl, and beat another two minutes to get a fluffy and smooth frosting. Refrigerate until needed.
4. Finally make your carrot decorations. Cut a piece of salt water taffy into a few small pieces and roll them into a thin rope. Cut the rope into one inch sections, fold each piece into a "w" or "v" shape and press onto a jelly bean. Lay the jelly bean carrots on a parchment lined plate and refrigerate until needed.
5. Finally decorate your cupcakes. Frost each cupcake, sprinkle with edible dirt, and place three carrot jelly beans in the centre of each. Enjoy!
If you'd like to make Carrot Carrot Cupcakes instead, try my recipe for Carrot Cake instead. You should get about 10-12 cupcakes from that recipe and then just decorate them as shown above!