Carrot, Pineapple, and Coconut Cupcakes

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It’s my mother’s birthday today (Happy Birthday, Mom!) and I made these cupcakes for a class she’s teaching, wonder woman that she is. This made 36 cupcakes and two tiny loaves, though I could have filled the cupcakes fuller. Little loaves are darling though. This would also be about the right amount of batter for two big loaves if that seems more appealing.

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I have been off grain and sugar since the first of the year and it was torturous to make these, though I did make them as healthy as would still appeal to a crowd of 30. Many people loved them and were surprised they were (comparatively) low sugar and all whole grain. They are soft, yet full, not fluffy. Rich, but still fruity and nutty. I had a bite and it was really, really wonderful. It’s kicked up my sugar dragon again though and all I can think about are those cute little loaves still wrapped up in the kitchen. Gah. If you are going to have a treat worth breaking a challenge for, this is definitely it.

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Carrot, Pineapple, and Coconut Cupcakes
Adapted from Chowhound

Ingredients:
6 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs vanilla extract
1 (20-ounce) can juice-packed crushed pineapple
4 cups whole-wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
4 tsp baking soda
1 Tbs ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
6 cups (2-pound package) carrots, grated
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut

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Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9″x5″ loaf pans or use paper liners in 36 muffin tins. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the coconut oil and brown sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Add the pineapple and mix until everything is well incorporated. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix on low. Add the last of the flour mixture and mix on low again until everything is just combined. Add in the carrots, coconut, and nuts and mix until the batter looks even. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again just to make sure you don’t have clumps of coconut oil or flour at the bottom. This is a lot of batter! Divide among the loaf pans and/or muffin tins. Bake for 45-60 minutes (loaves) or 16-20 (muffins) until a toothpick inserted into the dough comes out clean. Set on cooling racks for 15 minutes before removing from pan to cool completely. Serve as is or top with cream cheese frosting. (Recipe below)

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Very Cream Cheesy Frosting (see recipe below)

Ingredients:
1 cup cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 cups confectioners sugar
1-2 Tbs milk
1/2 tsp coconut or vanilla extract (optional)

Instructions:
In an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Add in the confectioners sugar, extract, and a tablespoon of milk and beat on low until combined and then high until smooth. Add in another tablespoon of milk if it seems too thick. This isn’t meant to be a fluffy icing. It should be glossy and not stiff on a knife, but pour-able. Use a small amount to frost the top of the cupcakes, enough to cover, but not enough to run down the sides. Let set for an hour or two before serving.

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