"I'm on a diet. I only eat cupcakes on days that ends in a Y."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Zucchini Cupcakes - Week 4

In honor of the abundant zucchini that is being harvested from my garden, I decided to use it in cupcakes. I think these qualify more as a muffin than a cupcake.  I'm  going to count them as my cupcake of the week, because my intention was to make cupcakes! I think this recipe is good, but it almost seems to be missing something.  I might add a touch of crystallized ginger to the batter next time. The frosting makes this treat much sweeter than I initially anticipated.  I think this cupcake would be nicely complimented by a good cup of coffee.   If you take some time to make this recipe let me know what you think in the comment section!

I used a recipe from the Taste of Home webpage, but I made several changes to it.  I have noted my changes with the recipe.


  • 3 eggs

  • 1-1/3 cups sugar (I used just under 1cup)

  • 1/2 cup canola oil (I used 1/2 cup applesauce)

  • 1/2 cup orange juice (I squeezed my own)

  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (I used 1/2tsp almond and 1/2 tsp vanilla)

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour ( I used 1 cup whole wheat and 1 1/2 c white flour)

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (I used a 1/4 because I know my children shy away from the ground clove taste)

  • Directions

    • In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, oil, orange juice and extract. Combine dry ingredients; gradually add to egg mixture and mix well. Stir in zucchini.
    • Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. 
    I intentionally cut back on the sugar because I thought I would add a caramel filling.  (My husband thinks this sounds disgusting, but I thought i was genius.)  The caramel icing filling I planned on using is deliciously sweet.  I would not make this icing everyday, because it takes a bit of tender love and care.  However it does compliment these cupcakes extremely well!  If you make this icing remember you really need to stir stir stir.  It burns very easily.  This recipe is from My Yellow Bluff

    Caramel Icing
    4 ½ c. sugar (save 1/2 c. to brown)
    3 sticks margarine
    1 large can Pet Milk
    1 t. Vanilla
    Mix margarine,milk and 4 cups sugar.  Heat and stir until sugar dissolves.  Melt the ½ c. sugar in a small iron skillet,stirring constantly until brown.  Add to the other mixture,stirring and cooking to soft “ball”stage.  (Soft “ball”stage –Drop a drop of caramel into water to see if it forms a ball).  Let cool.  Add vanilla.  

    This afternoon I had a calm house because all the children were napping at the same time.  I thought, "This is the perfect time to make this time consuming frosting"   As a Mommy, I should have known that the children would instinctively know to wake up just as the sugar was almost but not quite melted. I burnt the sugar when I went to attend to the needs of the kids.  I used it anyways, but the icing had a difficult texture as well as a slightly toasty aftertaste.  I couldn't bare to let the half hour of stirring go to waste, so I put a thin layer of the frosting on top of the cupcakes.  This looked anything but appetizing, so this evening  I added yet another layer of caramel frosting that looks and pipes more like butter cream. The recipe I used was a part of the original Taste of Home recipe.   

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar 

  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed

  • 1/4 cup 2% milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups confectioners' sugar

  • Directions:

  •  Combine the brown sugar, butter and milk in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Cool to lukewarm.

  • Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until frosting reaches spreading consistency. Frost cupcakes

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