Cardamon Spiced Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Mother’s Day is here, and every vase I own is filled with freshly picked flowers from my sweet boys. Being I don’t have a flower garden, I’m guessing our neighbors are quite annoyed with us. They’re just jealous they don’t have mini boyfriends as cute as mine.
I love that my boys feel the need to pick me every flower they see, sometimes with the roots still attached, creepy garden beetles included, free of charge. There is so much pride in their eyes, hoping each flower will make me happier than the next. They tell I’m “beautiful like a unicorn” and wait eagerly for me to put them in water and showcase them on the table. Or, in my hair, they love putting flowers in my hair. I have to wear them all day, like a 70’s flower child, and ignore the silly looks I get from strangers while I grocery shop.
My three boys are my mini boyfriends. And they’re the best boyfriends ever. All they want to do is make me happy. I know I’m not the only mom who feels this way. Little boys love their moms. And we love them. It’s the perfect relationship. Unlimited hugs, kisses, holding hands, telling you you’re beautiful, snuggling, they’ll even cry in front of you and share their feelings. It’s essentially all we ask for in a man.
I remind myself daily to always nourish this love from them. This pure, unconditional love. Because they’ll grow up, and while they’ll always love you, it’s never quite the same as when they’re little boys.
I have my moments, as all moms do, when I want some alone time, or I’m too tired to fake enthusiasm for the 20th flower pulled from the ground. I get busy, stressed, and frustrated with the complications life brings. I can make the mistake of rushing through their love, frantically trying to tackle the next challenge of the day. I’m only human.
That’s when I remember, the day’s errands and worries don’t matter, not in the long run. What matters is they know I heard and appreciated every “you’re beautiful”, I loved every single flower, and I would be the last one to let go during every hug. If they have love to give, I will be there to take it, hold on to it, be so grateful, and give it back. That’s what being a mother is. And it’s a mother’s love that turns a sweet little boy into a great man.
With all the extra flowers lying around, and it being Mother’s Day weekend, I decided to celebrate my relationship with my mini boyfriends, who make my life worthwhile, by baking some sweetly scrumptious Cardamon Spiced Carrot Cake Cupcakes.
Cardamon Spiced Carrot Cake Cupcakes
*Makes 2 dozen cupcakes
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cardamon
1 /2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 cup grapeseed oil
2 cups brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup chopped pecans, lightly toasted
1 cup golden raisins
2/3 cup applesauce
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrots
1 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest
Make the cupcakes:
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line cupcake tins with paper liners.
In a large bowl, with a whisk, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cardamon, and ginger together in a large bowl. Set aside.
In another bowl, with a wooden spoon, mix the oil, brown sugar, eggs, pecans, raisins, vanilla, applesauce, carrots, and orange zest until combined.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and using a wooden spoon, mix until completely combined. The batter will be thick and chunky.
Using an ice cream scooper, fill each liner 2/3 full. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack while you make the frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes enough for 24 cupcakes
8 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature
12 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
8 cups sifted powdered sugar
In a large bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese till combined.
Add the vanilla.
On low speed, add the powdered sugar.
Beat on high speed for 3 minutes till light and fluffy.