This is my version of carrot cake with an Italian twist. The batter is studded with pistachios and golden raisins, and the frosting is made with a combination of cream cheese and rich mascarpone.
- 1 ¼ cups flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp kosher salt, heaping
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- 1 pinch ground cloves
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup buttermilk or substitute*
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¾ cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1 ½ cup grated carrot (about 3–4 carrots)
- ½ cup golden raisins
- 1/3 cup roasted pistachios, roughly chopped, plus 2T, finely chopped
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 4 oz mascarpone cheese, softened
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- Preheat oven & prep pan: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line or grease a standard cupcake pan.
- Mix dry ingredients: In a large bowl, shift together dry ingredients (flour through cloves).
- Mix wet ingredients: In another bowl, beat together eggs and sugars until well-combined and slightly fluffy. Whisk in buttermilk and vanilla. Whisk in oil. I like to pour in the oil slowly while constantly whisking, so it’s well-emulsified. Fold in carrots, raisins and pistachios.
- Mix wet & dry: Incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in 3 additions. Do not overmix. Fold in carrots, raisins and pistachios.
- Bake: Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling about ¾ of the way up. Bake on the center rack of the oven for about 16-20 minutes, rotating half-way through, or until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
- Make frosting: As the cupcakes cool, use a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment to beat together the cheeses and butter over medium speed until light and fluffy. Incorporate sugar in 3 additions, starting on low and increasing speed as the sugar becomes incorporated. Stir in salt and vanilla.
- Decorate & eat: If desired, transfer frosting to a piping bag fitted with a wide, round tip. Chill in the fridge for 20-30 minutes, so the frosting holds its shape better when decorating. Pipe frosting onto cakes in a circular pattern, working from the outside in. Lightly sprinkle frosted cupcakes with the finely chopped pistachios. Enjoy.
- For a buttermilk substitute, mix together ¼ cup of regular milk with ¾ tsp of white vinegar and allow to sit while preparing the other ingredients.
- Prep Time: 35 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American, Italian
- Serving Size: 1 cupcake
- Calories: 456
- Sugar: 37g
- Sodium: 243mg
- Fat: 27g
- Saturated Fat: 8g
- Carbohydrates: 51g
- Protein: 5g
Keywords: carrot cake, cupcakes, carrot, mascarpone, cream cheese