Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Veggie-ful Spice Cupcakes

I can tell that the weather is getting colder by what's showing up in my CSA box.  We've gotten a lot of squash and root vegetables lately.  This has meant getting pretty creative, since Boyfriend HATES squash.  And I mean HATES squash.  I've successfully hidden it in chili and mac and cheese so far.  The risotto was not successful.  We've also been getting beets.  And I HATE beets.  I had two bunches of beets, again from the CSA box, sitting in my fridge, staring at me.  The only thing that I have made in the past where I could tolerate beets were cupcakes.  So, I decided to run with that again.  When I made them last time, it was basically like a spice cake or carrot cake, but with beets instead of carrots.  So, since my mom makes the best carrot cake EVER, I decided to adapt her recipe, and just sub beets for carrots.  But, I was making them for my dance instructor's birthday, and he's constantly complaining that he's on a diet.  So, I decided that I needed to lighten up the recipe a bit.  My mom usually substitutes applesauce for some of the oil in her recipe, but I didn't have any applesauce lying around.  I pondered a bit more and remembered that I've heard of people using baby food or other fruit/vegetable purees instead of oil, too.  And then the seed of an idea formed.  I could roast and puree that acorn squash that I'd been trying to figure out how to surreptitiously feed to Boyfriend and use THAT instead of some of the oil!  I'd hide not one, but TWO hated vegetables in these cupcakes!
I made sure to make them when he wasn't around and not to tell him what the secret ingredients were until AFTER they were all gone.

Mission accomplished.  We both liked the cupcakes, AND I got rid of two bunches of beets and an acorn squash.  So, next time you're dreading a vegetable, try to figure out how to turn it into a dessert.  Butter and sugar make everything taste better, right?

P.S., Mom, I'm sorry for bastardizing your cupcakes.  But not really.  Because they were tasty.

Veggie-ful Spice Cupcakes (adapted from my mom's carrot cake recipe)

  • 1 c. applesauce or pumpkin, sweet potato, or acorn or butternut squash puree
  • 1/3 c. canola oil
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 c. spiced rum (optional)
  • 2 c. flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbl. cinnamon
  • 3 c. shredded beets or carrots

Combine the oil, sugar, and puree, and mix until thoroughly combined.  Beat in the eggs, two at a time.  Mix in the spiced rum, if desired.  Sift together the dry ingredients, add them to the wet ingredients, and stir until mostly combined.  Stir in the shredded beets or carrots until everything is mixed.

Evenly divide the batter into greased muffin tins (an ice cream scoop works well for this!), and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350* F.  You'll get ~two dozen cupcakes out of this recipe.  Alternatively, pour into a 9x13-in cake pan and bake for 40-50 minutes for a single-layer, rectangular cake, or divide between two 8- or 9-in round cake pans and bake for 30-40 minutes for a two-layer round cake.

Top with your favorite cream cheese frosting, caramel frosting, brown butter frosting, or whatever floats your boat.  Just don't do Greek yogurt frosting in an effort to get the tangy effect of cream cheese without running to the store to buy it.  It will never set up.  Ever.

1 comment:

  1. Pretty sure I don't remember there being rum in Mom's recipe... :-p