Carrot Cupcakes

When my daughter was two we spent the year in Maine. Her Grammy grew a garden and took the wee one out to pick carrots throughout the summer. Grammy has now been dead for two years, but my daughter, now 8, still thinks fondly of her and those freshly picked carrots. So in honor of the coming of spring and of Grammy’s recent birthday, we made Carrot Cupcakes. Happy birthday, Grammy!

2 cups all-purpose flour, unbleached
2 cups organic sugar
3 cups shredded organic carrots
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda, aluminum-free
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup organic canola oil
4 large eggs, free-range and organic

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl until smooth. Pour into cupcake pan cups only about halfway to 3/4 of the way. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Test with a fork and when it comes out clean, the cupcakes are done. Cool completely before frosting.

10 oz organic cream cheese
10 tablespoons organic butter, softened
3 1/3 teaspoon orange extract
5 cups organic powdered sugar

Beat the cream cheese and butter together until creamy. Stir in orange extract and powdered sugar gradually.