Easy Mini Carrot Cake Bites with Orange Lime Frosting

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carrot cake orange lime frosting

What’s Up, Hungry People

I don’t know about you all, but I am definitely ready for spring after what seems to have been an eternal winter here in Northeast Ohio. While I wait for warmer days, I can at least trick my brain into thinking it’s spring with some fresh flavors and tropical flair.

Enter: these easy carrot cake bites.

Not only are they incredibly simple to make from scratch, but they also boast a secret ingredient that transforms these mini morsels into tiny bursts of flavor. The secret ingredient? Crushed pineapple! Pineapple renders these carrot cakes exceptionally moist and sweet – and when paired with the rich and tangy flavor of the orange lime frosting that graces the top of each, I think I’ve stumbled upon my new favorite dessert.

mini carrot cake with tangy white frosting

Here’s What You Need

  • Flour: Provides structure to cupcakes through gluten formation.
  • Eggs: Bind ingredients together and add moisture for a tender texture.
  • Shredded Carrots: Add natural sweetness, moisture, and a vibrant color.
  • Vanilla: Imparts a sweet, aromatic depth to flavors.
  • Crushed Pineapple: Contributes moisture and imparts a tangy sweetness.
  • Lemon Juice: Adds brightness and balances the batter’s sweetness.
  • Minced Ginger: Offers a warm, spicy note complementing the carrots.
  • Cloves: Provides a strong, warm spice flavor, boosting overall taste.
  • Allspice: Mimics a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove flavors.
  • Nutmeg: Offers a warm, nutty flavor, complementing the spice blend.
  • Cinnamon: Gives a sweet, woody flavor, pairing well with carrot.
  • Baking Powder & Baking Soda: Leavening agents that help the cupcakes rise.
mini carrot cake bites with frosting

Let’s Cook!

First up, preheat your oven to 350°F. This ensures it’s at the perfect temperature by the time your batter is ready. Next, grab your mini cupcake tin and give it a light grease. This helps your bites slide out effortlessly once they’re baked.

Now, take those carrots and get them into your food processor. Pulse them until they’re finely shredded. You’re looking for a texture that’s going to blend smoothly into your batter. Then, toss in your crushed pineapple, a bit of lemon juice for that tangy kick, vanilla for depth of flavor, and minced ginger for a subtle spicy note. Don’t forget the cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon for that classic carrot cake spice mix. Pulse everything again until it’s just combined.

Mixing Dry Ingredients

In a separate large bowl, whisk together your dry essentials: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and a pinch of salt. This mix is going to give your cake bites their structure and ensure they rise properly.

Combining Wet and Dry

Pour your spiced carrot mix into the bowl with the dry ingredients. As you stir these together, crack in the eggs. Keep stirring until everything is just combined. Overmixing might make your bites tough, and we definitely don’t want that.

Baking Time

Scoop about 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter for each mini cupcake into the tin. Pop them into the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when a toothpick comes out clean from the center. If you’re going for full-size cupcakes, you’ll want to double that baking time.

Once baked, let them cool off in the tin for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. This chilling stage is crucial for a perfect frosting application later on.

Frosting Prep

While your cupcakes are cooling, let’s whip up that orange lime frosting. Start with your room temperature cream cheese, getting it nice and smooth. Then, mix in the lime juice and orange extract along with a pinch of salt. Gradually add in your powdered sugar, cup by cup, until your frosting is thick and holds stiff peaks.

The Finishing Touch

Once your cupcakes are completely cooled, it’s time to frost. Transfer your frosting into a piping bag and swirl a generous amount onto each cupcake. If you prefer your frosting a bit firmer, pop the frosted cupcakes into the fridge for an hour. Otherwise, they’re ready to enjoy right away.

orange lime frosting on carrot cake bite

Cupcake Crafting Tips

  • Correct Flour Measurement: Spoon flour into a measuring cup and level it off. Packing flour can lead to dense cupcakes.
  • Freshness of Spices: Ensure your spices are fresh for the best flavor. Spices lose potency over time, which can affect the taste of your cupcakes.
  • Moisture Balance: The moisture from carrots and pineapple is crucial. If your batter seems too dry, a bit more pineapple juice can help.
  • Oven Temperature Accuracy: Use an oven thermometer to check your oven’s temperature. Even a slight deviation can impact baking times and results.
  • Frosting Consistency: For a firmer frosting, chill it before piping. If it’s too stiff, a little milk or cream can soften it.
  • Testing for Doneness: Insert a toothpick into the center of a cupcake. It should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
bite sized carrot cakes

So, there we have it, Hungry People – a straight shot to making your kitchen feel a smidge more like spring with these carrot cake bites and their tangy orange lime frosting. It’s as if we’ve taken a bit of the warmer weather and bottled it up into these little treats. Simple steps, a dash of creativity with the pineapple twist, and that zestful frosting are all it takes to whip up something that feels new yet familiar.

Gather up those ingredients and let’s get baking – these bites are waiting to make your springtime snacking a whole lot brighter. Happy baking, and as always, enjoy every little bite!

orange lime carrot cake

Mini Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Orange Lime Cheese Frosting

The Starving Chef
Whip up these straightforward carrot cake bites, complete with a tangy orange lime frosting, for a fresh twist on a classic dessert.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Cooling Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Cupcakes, Spring
Servings 24 mini cupcakes

Equipment

Ingredients
  

FOR MINI CARROT CUPCAKES

FOR ORANGE LIME FROSTING

  • 4 oz cream cheese room temperature
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a mini cupcake tin.
  • In a food processor, pulse the carrots until finely shredded. Add the crushed pineapple, lemon juice, vanilla, ginger, and spices. Pulse to combine.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Pour in the carrot mixture and stir, adding the eggs one at a time. Stir until just combined.
  • Measure out about 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons of the batter and scoop into the greased mini cupcake tin.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cupcake comes out clean. For full-size cupcakes, double the cooking time to 25-30 minutes. Cool completely by chilling for at least 2 hours.
  • While the cupcakes cool, make the frosting by beating together the room temperature cream cheese, lime juice, orange extract, and salt. Once combined, gradually add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, mixing until completely incorporated and the frosting reaches a thick, stiff consistency.
  • Transfer the frosting to a piping bag or a gallon baggie with the corner snipped off. Leave at room temperature.
  • When the cupcakes are cooled, pipe a swirl of frosting onto each cupcake. Chill for 1 hour to firm up the frosting or serve right away with softer frosting. Enjoy!
Keyword cake, carrots, cupcakes, frosting, lime, orange
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