Banana Carrot Cupcakes + Maple Mascarpone Frosting

These cupcakes were inspired by a carrot, old banana, and mascarpone surplus. When ingredients are sitting around for a while, they scream to be used for something.

I remembered this carrot cupcake recipe from Pro Bono Baker and another carrot cupcake recipe from Pictures & Pancakes. I printed out both recipes and started looked for the similarities and differences. Then I started marking them up with my pen, figuring out what I had available and had a taste for, then created a new recipe based on the two.

I loved these cupcakes! So did my parents and my brother. These may be the best cupcakes I've ever made. They're fairly quick to make except for the carrot peeling. But with all the time you spend on the carrots, you can feel good about eating these cupcakes. You're getting your veggies! And with the bananas, some fruit too. What's not to love? I hope you give them a try.

Banana Carrot Cupcakes
(Inspired by Pro Bono Baker and Pictures & Pancakes)
Makes a dozen cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil (I used grapeseed)
2 ripe bananas (mashed)
3 medium carrots (about 1 cup peeled and finely shredded)

Place baking cups or liners in a muffin pan. Set oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl combine ingredients as you like. Part of my baking philosopy is that most recipes are very forgiving. Many cookbooks insist that you mix things in a particular order, but I'm not too keen on that. If I had to follow all the directions to the letter, I would hate baking.

So if you're a new baker, relax. If you prefer some direction, I combined the bananas, eggs, sugar, and oil, then mixed well. I added the carrots and mixed again. Then I measured and added the nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Stir well again. Then I added the flour and stirred until combined well.

Pour the mixture into the lined pan and bake for about 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Maple Mascarpone Frosting

1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
1/8 cup maple syrup
pinch of salt

Combine these ingredients in a small bowl until creamy. Frost cupcakes after they have cooled. Enjoy!

*Updated 11/13/09* I just learned about Bon Appétit's Blog Envy Bake-Off and decided to submit these cupcakes. They are pretty festive after all. Wish me luck! : )

*Updated 2/8/10* Here is a gluten-free version of these cupcakes called ABC Muffins by Shirley of Gluten Free Easily.

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El said…
Bananas and carrots what a great combination. I love the topping too - delicious!
Looks delicious! If only I could convince BabyMama to actually bake for me. Sigh...she is no foodie.

Poor poor baby.


P.S. Thanks for stopping by for my SITS day I truly appreciate it!
Tracy said…
HI, Anali! These look sooo good! And love the decoration of the single walnut on the rich, creamy frosting...mmm...I just LOVE cupcakes! Thank you for sharing this recipe with us. And hope it does you well in the bake-off contest--fingers & toes crossed you'll win! :o) Happy Weekend ((HUGS))
I was drawn here today like a magnet ... well, of course, now I know why--you have another scrumptious banana recipe posted! Okay, I've still got baking bananas (right, I always have baking bananas LOL), so I can make this recipe. Need to pick up some carrots though! Will let you know how these cupcakes turn out gluten free. :-) Last, oooh on the frosting ...

Oh, good luck with your entry! I've never thought to make carrot cupcakes, just carrot cake. This sounds delicious!

(you commented on SITS just before me today!)
What's not to love here with carrots and bananas rolled into the bonus of mascarpone frosting!!!!!
Josephine said…
mmmm, cupcakes! love how you adapted the recipe :)
Nance said…
Good luck! Bon Appetit is one of the few food magazines that is still in business. Glad to see that.
christina said…
seriously moistness, with these two combinations.
Lisa Johnson said…
el - I was on fire baking these!

blogbaby - Welcome! Thanks for dropping by. Tell your BabyMama that baking is really pretty easy and fun too!

tracy - Thanks for the good wishes! I entered the contest so randomly, but it would be cool to win one of these!

shirley - Looking forward to seeing the gluten free version!
Lisa Johnson said…
ngip - Thanks! So many people are in SITS. I'm still pretty new to it, but it's a cool way to find new blogs.

bellini valli - Thanks for stopping by! I do like the combination. These cupcakes are long gone, but looking at the picture makes me want to bake them again soon!

josephine - Thanks! Good to see you around here again. : )

nance - Thanks! I was looking at food magazines today at CVS and saw so many random publications. At least at first glance, most weren't very good. I'm not sure if the best ones sold out already or if they just mostly carry a lot of junk.

christina - Yes! I was able to cut down on some of the oil because of that.
Oh wow these look wonderful!
Lisa Johnson said…
quasi serndipita - Welcome and thank you! ; )

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