Finally! The pretty yellow daffodils are up and the trees are dusted with delicate pink cherry blossoms. Spring is here! It’s hard to believe Easter is just around the corner.
All sorts of goodies are traditionally associated with Easter. There are the chocolate bunnies of course, that’s the big one, but also jelly beans and Peeps and malted eggs. And how about the sumptuous Easter dinner? A nice big ham with a rum and brown sugar rub, decorated with golden pineapple rings; fluffy mashed potatoes; and buttery ginger glazed carrots. Easter wouldn’t be complete without any of them.
It was while I was pondering this year’s Easter dinner menu that the thought occurred, why not combine some of the best elements of the Easter feast in a delicious cupcake? Maybe start with a basic carrot cake and stir in some of those Easter goodies – raisins, coconut, pineapple, and of course, it wouldn’t be a b.u.i. cupcake without a little something special….in this case, Malibu coconut rum.
I was fully prepared to use a from-scratch recipe, but then I came across this recipe from the Duncan Hines website that starts with their own box mix that includes a pouch of carrots and raisins. Anything that saves me from grating all those carrots is ok by me. Plus, there are so many add-ins, no one will ever suspect you started with a mix. I’ve topped them off with a phenomenal coconut rum-spiked cream cheese frosting. Delicious! Trust me, anyone would be delighted to find one of these gems in their Easter basket!
Coconut Rum Carrot Cupcakes
Makes approximately 20 cupcakes
1 box Duncan Hines Classic Carrot Cake mix (with carrots and raisins included)
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup Malibu coconut rum
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup drained crushed pineapple
1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spread 1 cup of the coconut on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 5 – 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until light brown. Keep an eye on the coconut to make sure it doesn’t burn. Set aside to cool.
Turn oven up to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with paper liners.
Put the carrot/raisins in a small bowl. Heat the rum in the microwave for 30-60 seconds until warm. Pour over the carrots/raisins, stir to combine and set aside for at least 5 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, flour, baking powder, eggs, oil, pineapple, 1/2 cup (un-toasted) coconut and the carrot/raisin/rum mixture. Stir by hand until completely combined.
Fill cupcake tins about 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 – 22 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then remove and cool completely before frosting.
Coconut Rum Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
5 – 6 cups confectioners sugar
1-2 tablespoons Malibu coconut rum
Cream together until smooth cream cheese and butter. Add 4-5 cups of sugar, salt and 1 tablespoon of rum. Mix until combined, adding additional sugar and/or rum until desired consistency is reached. Frost as desired and sprinkle with the toasted coconut.