The idea to make this recipe stems from a bottle of sprinkles. I found fall-themed sprinkles at my local discount store and couldn’t resist the chance to make something beautiful to share with you. But what uses sprinkles? Cupcakes, of course. And with white frosting, obviously. Which would clearly be cream cheese frosting. Which undoubtedly belongs on carrot cakes. Which is where I was inspired to make these muffins. It feels a bit like the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon.
These should be called “go through the cupboards and add everything you have to the batter” muffins, but that’s so tedious. Can you imagine writing that every time you shared the recipe? Neither could I.
Originally this recipe came from King Arthur’s online food blog and then my mother got a hold of it. If you know my mother, you know know she can’t just leave well enough alone. When i was in school, my mom always looked over my papers before submitting them to my teachers and they never looked anything like the original by the time she was done with them. In fact, they looked a lot like this recipe does now:
You see what I mean? Can you even call this the same recipe at this point? I doubt it.
I’m my mother’s daughter, so I also could not just stick with her changes. I had to “improve” the recipe to suit my own tastes and, truth be told, to fit with what I had in my cupboard at the time. The end result of all our tinkering is fabulous-ness all around. These muffins are incredibly moist with toasted pecans to provide crunch and a bit of coconut to provide some additional texture. They can (should!) be topped with your favorite cream cheese frosting. And fall-themed sprinkles, of course.
carrot cake muffins
(loosely adopted from KingArthurFlour.com)
Note: this makes a lot of muffins – halve the recipe if you aren’t feeding a small army
4 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
3 1/2 cups finely grated carrots
1 cup chopped, toasted pecans
1 cup sweetened, flaked coconut (optional for you coconut haters)
1 11-oz can mandarin orange slices, drained OR 1 8-oz can crushed pineapple, drained and squeezed dry
Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly grease muffin pans or place muffin liners in a muffin pan.
Beat the eggs, sugars, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl until smooth, about 2 minutes at medium-high speed (set a timer for this – 2 minutes is longer than you think!).
Mix the melted butter with the buttermilk. With the beater running, add the mixture in a stream, beating until smooth.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Add these dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring to combine.
Using a rubber spatula, fold in the carrots, pecans, coconut, and fruit.
Ladle into muffin cups and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in center of a muffin comes out with only a few crumbs attached.
Let cool and top with your favorite cream cheese frosting. Decorate with sprinkles.