Can you feel it? That crisp, cool certainty that Fall is in the air? We went for a drive up Big Cottonwood Canyon a couple weeks ago and it was breathtaking. The leaves were just starting to change and their vibrant colors— the oranges, yellows, and reds—were just beautiful.
It’s crazy how quickly the seasons change here. It’s like you blink and you miss it. So we’ve been going on some canyon drives as often as we can. Plus, it gives us some time to chat and enjoy the peace and quiet that comes when our two girls are zonked out in the backseat.
My husband’s favorite thing about Fall, of course, is football. A new season = a new chance for his Broncos to advance into the playoffs. My favorite thing about Fall, though, has to be the baking. With the cooler weather, we welcome the chance to crank up those ovens and delight in the sweet smell of warm cookies, cakes, and cupcakes infused with a kiss of cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves. But the best part of Fall baking has to be pumpkin. Peter Peter knows what’s up. Ahhh pumpkin. No other fruit can boast it’s so versatile (great in sweets, sauces, and soups) AND has a nifty outer shell you can carve and put on your doorstep. I mean, seriously.
That’s why I’m so excited about these Pumpkin Carrot Cake Cupcakes. Just think about it: creamy pumpkin + spiced carrot cake + orange-zest cream cheese frosting = your tongue’s all, “party at my place!” I won’t admit to how many of these babies I’ve eaten, but suffice it to say that I’m going to wait a good couple weeks before setting foot in a Weight Watchers.
One of the great things about this recipe is it makes like 30 cupcakes, so you can have your cupcake and eat it, too. And a few more. And you’ll STILL have some to share. Or you can put em all in a big tupperware and hide out in your closet to see how many you can stuff in your face before your significant other or kids find you. Yep, you know what I’m talkin’ bout.
By the way, those orange thingies in the background of my picture are NOT fingers (despite what my husband might tell you). They’re carrots.
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ cup milk
- 1½ tsp lemon juice
- 3 large eggs
- 1¼ cups canned pumpkin
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 8-oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 cup grated carrots (about 3 medium)
- 1 cup flaked coconut
- CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 11 oz. cream cheese, softened
- ⅓ cup butter, softened
- 3½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp orange juice
- 1 tsp grated orange peel
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in small bowl.
- Combine milk and lemon juice in liquid measuring cup (liquid may appear curdled)
- Beat eggs, pumpkin, sugars, oil, pineapple, carrots, and milk mixture in large bowl; mix well. Gradually add flour mixture and beat until combined. Stir in coconut.
- Scoop into lined muffin tins (I used a ⅓ cup measuring cup and it worked perfectly). Bake for 15-20 minutes. (NOTE: My oven takes longer than others and 20 minutes was perfect for me)
- Cool in pans for 10 minutes and remove to wire racks to cool completely.
- FOR CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- Combine cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar in mixing bowl until fluffy.
- Add vanilla, orange juice, and orange peel and beat until combined.