1 pound carrots, finely grated
3 large eggs (room temperature)
2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. canola oil
1/3 c. buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1-2 c. chopped walnuts
2 sticks of unsalted butter (room temperature)
16 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
dash of sea salt
3-4 c. powdered sugar
Cake. Preheat oven to 350°. Line cupcake pans with parchment paper. Whisk together carrots, eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. (To grate carrots, use grater or food processor.)
In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. Stir flour mixture into carrot mixture until well combined.
Distribute batter evenly between the cups. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool completely before icing.
Frosting. Place one stick of butter in a small saucepan. Cook on medium-high heat until butter is browned, about 5 minutes. Pour into small bowl and refrigerate for 15 minutes to cool.
Once cooled, cream together browned butter, regular butter, and cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla extract and salt. Mix. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time. Mix well between each addition. After 3 cups, taste to see if additional sugar is necessary.
Assembly. Make sure cakes are completely cooled before frosting. For the perfect Sprinkles 'dome' place a large scoop of frosting on the center of the cupcake, run an offset spatula under warm water to heat it up then twist the cupcake in your hand using a little pressure to push the frosting to the sides. Continue to rewet the spatula until you get a nice, smooth layer. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts if desired.
Refrigerate. Serve cake at room temperature.
photography and styling by kristin kerr luber for simply smitten / recipe modified from faux martha