You guys rock my socks off. Seriously.
Thank you so much for helping me make Momma Spoons’ birthday that much more special. She read all of your guys’ comments and told me that she had never gotten so many birthday wishes before – she was seriously gushing.
And to make things even better, the cupcakes I made for her were a huge hit as well…
Or should I be calling them muffins… ?
The reason I ask is because, while sweet and frosting-topped, naked they feel rather muffin-y…
And it doesn’t help that they’re made with ingredients like this…
To be honest, I’ve never really known what the difference between a muffin and a cupcake is. I’ve always thought of cupcakes as a frosting-covered dessert, with muffins being slightly healthier, frosting-less versions that you could eat for breakfast. I know there are probably more concrete differences that have to do with ingredients and preparation, but I think I’ll stick to my frosting vs. no frosting classification for now.
Cupcake on the left, muffin on the right.
Either way, whatever you choose to call them doesn’t change the fact that these little things are delicious. They’re healthy enough to enjoy for breakfast [as muffins], but throw some frosting on them and you have yourself a delightful [cupcake] dessert that’s worthy of a birthday celebration. Actually, I very much recommend throwing some frosting on them even if you want them for breakfast – you don’t want to miss out on a flavor combination like this…
That being said, I think it’s time I shared the recipe, no?
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. carrot cake banana cupcakes .
Ingredients (makes 12)
For the Cupcakes
- 1½ cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 egg
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
- ½ cup mashed banana
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 heaping cup shredded carrots
For the Frosting
- 1 8 oz. block of cream cheese
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 tsp. orange zest
- 1 tsp almond or vanilla extract
For the Cupcakes
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and lightly oil a muffin tray, or line it with 12 paper/silicone liners.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the egg and sugar until fully combined. Add the coconut oil, mashed banana, yogurt, and vanilla. Mix well.
4. Combine wet and dry ingredients slowly by adding the flour mixture in 2 or 3 increments, stirring gently each time until just incorporated. Finally, stir in carrots. Do not overmix.
5. Use a spoon to divide batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups. Bake muffins for 20 minutes. When finished, remove them from the muffin tray and allow to cool on a wire rack.
For the Frosting
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and honey on medium-high speed until smooth.
2. Add orange zest and almond (or vanilla) extract.
I have to admit that I’m not the biggest fan of carrot cake, and it’s not even because it doesn’t taste good (although I don’t necessarily see anything special about it), but because the idea of putting vegetables into sweet baked goods is something that just doesn’t sit well with my mind. But… Mom requested it, and since it was her birthday I couldn’t exactly say no. I did cheat a little by adding the banana though, which was actually a great idea because not only did it add a wonderful flavor and sweetness, but it helped make these cupcakes (muffins?) even more moist. The best part was definitely the frosting, though…
The combination of honey and orange zest is to die for, and when paired with the tang of cream cheese? Well… let’s just say that all forms of self-restraint went out the window while frosting these bad boys. Although I have to admit that the cake part isn’t half bad either… even if it does have a veggie in it.
Happy Sunday, friends!
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Do you like veggies in your baked goods?
What’s the difference between muffins and cupcakes?
Do you prefer the cake or frosting?
Just found your blog/site the other day. I made the pumpkin oat muffins. So good!! Can’t wait to make the banana version. I like the idea of using oatmeal as a substitute for flour, do you think that oatmeal would work instead of the flour in this recipe?
Thanks so much.
I just found this recipe via pinterest and it tastes great! I was wondering if anyone has tried freezing them (without the frosting)?
Hi – if I am trying to avoid sugar as an ingredient…is there another alternative for granulated sugar listed for this recipe? Thanks!
Yesterday, I baked thesecupcakes but the inside is wetand not cooked enough. I exactly did all the steps you wrote. I think 20 minutes is not enough.
Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli
Oh MyLANTA!!! I swear girl, you cease to amaze me with the wonderful things that burst out of your oven! And that cream cheese icing? I’m not usually a fan of frosting, but it’s hard to say no to a combo of cream cheese, honey, and orange! Yum! I LOVE veggies in my baked goods…especially when they’re secret sneeeeeeeeeky veggies and I pull one over one some unsuspecting person! Muahaha!
Oh and in my opinion…a cupcake is more “cakey” than a muffin. To me a muffin is sort of a cross between cake and cornbread…heartier texture and more crumbly whereas a cupcake is soft, airy, and light! 😀
kaity @ kaityscooking
i do not no how I missed this post. I have to make these asap banana and carrot cake, genius combination!
Allison @ Life's a Bowl
I MUST make [er, bake] these cupcakes [er, muffins] ASAP – I’ve had the biggest hankering for carrot cake lately 😀
Brittany @ Read, Run, Repeat
I am totally not a carrot cake fan either – I’m with you on veggies in baked goods – no thanks!! But these sound delicious, and I think they would make a great mid-morning snack 🙂 I’ve already pinned the recipe to make ASAP
Emma @ a mom runs this town
Just found your website… definitely salivating over those cupcakes!
Anything with frosting smothered on it is amazing in my book. To me, the difference between a cupcake and a muffin is the texture and lightness. If it is fluffy and light then it’s a cupcake in my book!! When I think muffin, I want something dense and think, that I need to wash down with a mug of coffee 🙂
These look wonderful! I never knew the difference between muffins and cupcakes either, but the tops of each of them are the best 🙂 frosting and muffin tops!!!
Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin
These look amazing! I love carrot cake and I love banana bread, so this is the perfect fusion. 😀 Normally I prefer the cake, but when it’s cream cheese frosting, I definitely prefer the frosting.
You’re right – the difference between a cupcake and muffin has to do with the preparation! Muffins are made by mixing the wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately, then mixing them together. And cupcakes are made using one of the methods of cake making (usually involving creaming butter and sugar together). <– #foodsciencenerd At least, that's the difference traditionally. I feel like these days I've seen a lot of cupcakes being made with the muffin method, so I think the lines are being blurred a bit.
Amanda @ .running with spoons.
I think I read somewhere that it had something to do with creaming butter and sugar, but I do that with a lot of my muffin recipes too so yeah… definitely blurred. I’m sticking with the frosting 😉