March 1, 2011

Ad Hoc Carrot Cupcakes

Since I had success with his rendition of white cupcakes I decided to try another one of Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc At Home cupcake recipes.  This time it was carrot cake and once again I wasn't disappointed.  

These cupcakes are really moist and absolutely delicious.   Just between the time I finished writing this post I had eaten four unfrosted ones!

Instead of frosting them with the recipe included in the cookbook I opted for a cream cheese version of miracle frosting.  The milk-based frosting is so light and fluffy and the addition of cream cheese really sets it apart from the rest.  It tastes just like cream cheese flavored whipped cream...yum!

This batch of cupcakes is in honor of Silja, a fellow avid baker who's been looking for a great carrot cake recipe.   Happy baking my friend!

Ad Hoc Carrot Cupcakes
makes 24 cupcakes

2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 large eggs
1/4 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup canola oil
3 cups finely shredded carrots
1 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two standard muffin tins (12 cupcakes each) with paper liners.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinammon into a bowl.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment,  beat the eggs, milk, vanilla and both sugars until smooth.  Beat in the oil.  Slowly add the dry ingredients.  Mix in the carrots and 1 cup of the chopped walnuts. 

Use a large ice cream scoop to portion out the batter in to the 24 paper lined cups.

Bake for 10 minutes.  Rotate the pans and bake for another 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.   Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let cool to room temperature on a cooling rack.

Decorate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Miracle Frosting
makes about 4 cups (enough for two 9-inch cake layers or 24 regular cupcakes)

1 ½ cups granulated sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
3 tbl cornstarch
¼  tsp salt
1 ½ cups whole milk
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
16 tbl unsalted butter, softened (8 oz or 2 sticks), cut into 16 pieces
8 oz cream cheese, softened, cut into 1-inch pieces

Combine sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt in medium bowl. Slowly whisk in milk until smooth. Pour mixture through fine-mesh strainer into medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture boils and is very thick, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer milk mixture to clean bowl and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.

With stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat cooled milk mixture and vanilla on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add butter and cream cheese, 1 piece at a time, and beat until incorporated, about 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until frosting is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.


  1. I love carrot cake and this cupcake looks amazing. Gotta try this miracle frosting, sounds really good!

  2. I've said it before and I'll say it again, you really can't go wrong with anything Thomas Keller related, these look amazing!

  3. Awesome, they look great! Have you try the Ad Hoc Brownies recipe? They are the best!

  4. I love that cookbook and have made many recipes from it. Have not tried the cupcakes yet, though. I think these have just zoomed to the top of my must-bake list. ;)

  5. This looks so so good! I especially can't wait to try the frosting! Do you think it would ruin the recipe to double the amount of cream cheese or would that work? Thanks!

  6. I am so glad I found your blog ! The plump and fluffy frosting of these cupcakes just lured me here from FG. I didn't know that Ad Hoc feature cupcake recipes! I will have to check out the book again! Love your photos!

  7. I do not have that cookbook, but I think I need to get a hold of it. These cupcakes sound awesome!

  8. Anonymous3/02/2011

    You are my inspiration Truc and I will for sure try out these lovely little things..... Klem S

  9. Anonymous3/02/2011

    I just finished making the frosting and it is pretty incredible!! Regular cream cheese frosting is so thick & rich and sometimes just too heavy. But this frosting gives you the same flavor but its so light and fluffy.
    Thanks for sharing!!

  10. I made these myself last year and fell in love! Looks like I know have an excuse to make them again to try them with this new frosting. Yours look simply irresistable.

  11. Just made the Cream Cheese miracle frosting (but used my own carrot cake recipe) and what can I say... It's the BEST ever cream cheese frosting!!! Thanks for posting the recipe :)

  12. 350 degrees Fahrenheit, right?

  13. Anonymous9/24/2011

    I've made these 3 times and they are amazing!!

  14. Anonymous11/29/2011

    nice post

  15. Anonymous12/17/2011

    Can't stop looking at this cupcake. The photo is amazing. The cupcake looks perfect. Making them tomorrow as one of the flavors going into my cupcake boxes to give out for the holidays.

  16. Anonymous2/05/2012

    Wow, this frosting is truly amazing! So fluffy and light but also cream cheesy! And with less sugar than most frostings.

  17. Chernise5/14/2012

    Wow the frosting looks amazing.

  18. Anonymous7/01/2015

    Will the miracle frosting work on Keller's vanilla cupcakes?

  19. Hello,
    I was looking for a good recipe and I think I found THE ONE ! Thank you for sharing
    Just wondering for the cupcake batter, how much do you add salt ? A pinch or more like a teaspoon ?


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