(Warning: this post is a long one BUT there is a reward at the end for those who persevere through it)
Nik’s Protein Carrot Cupcakes (with Protein cream cheese icing)
3 c. shredded carrots
4 egg whites
1 c. no-sugar added (NSA) applesauce
1 stick light cooking butter stick (I used Blue Bonnet Light), melted
1 c. Splenda (or sweetener of your choice)
1/2 c. Brown Sugar Twin (or brown sugar replacement of your choice)
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (in the absence of that use 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg and 1/8 tsp ground ginger)
1.5 c. low-carb baking mix (Quest makes a nice one with mega-protein. Or if you want to get it locally look for low-carb baking mix from Bob’s Red Mill)
1.5 c Vanilla protein powder
1/2 c. unsweetened raisins
1/2 c. finely chopped walnuts
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Protein cream cheese frosting ingredients
(this is to frost all 24 cupcakes)
16 oz. low-fat cream cheese
1/3 c. no-calorie sweetener (I used Splenda)
2 scoops of protein powder (I used one scoop vanilla, one scoop Any Whey unflavored. You can also use both scoops vanilla)
1/2 tsp lemon juice
Pre-heat your oven to 350.
Combine all wet ingredients well in a bowl and set aside.
Combine all dry ingredients in a larger bowl and make a well (hole) in the middle. Tip wet ingredients into dry and mix well.
I have this handy little scoop that came with, of all things, a slider grill that measures out perfect cupcake batter portions. In the absence of that if you’re into uniform sized cupcakes, use a scoop (cool tip; spray your scoop with non-stick every few cupcakes to keep the batter moving smoothly).
Tap your cupcake batter down into the cups (just take the whole cupcake pan and tap it against the counter a few times). Why? Gets rid of air pockets at the bottom of the cupcake cup. (“ohhhhh….”)
Bake for about 13 minutes or until a toothpick or fork inserted in center comes out clean. Do NOT overcook. Protein baked goods burn very quickly.
Cool completely on a rack before attempting to ice them. For those of you in doubt, yes they DO come out very cakey and lovely. See:
To make the icing:
Let cream cheese soften in a mixing bowl. Add sweetener, vanilla, protein powder and lemon juice and beat it with a hand mixer on the highest setting (which is usually “whip” or “beat”) until completely smooth. If it is too thick use milk to thin it out, one teaspoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Refrigerate about 15 minutes before icing cupcakes.
For the bunny cupcakes you’ll need to tint the icing once it has cooled and firmed a bit. To put the Peep in there, you simply…shove a toothpick up his butt!!! (Somehow this is very cathartic for me, a sugar dumper…).
You can ice the bunny cupcake one of two ways. You can either use a “grass” decorator tip (available at most craft shops) or a star tip (the kind for making rosettes). I went with the latter because the cream cheese softens very fast once you begin working with the decorator bag and it just wasn’t working out well. If any of you have better luck with it, let me know!
So…I’ve decided to start “rewarding” those who read the posts all the way through by giving some helpful tips, so here goes:
- Yes, these things freeze beautifully. Wrap them in plastic wrap then put in a freezer bag. When you want one, just set it out on the counter and let it thaw.
- Since this recipe is more of a quick-bread than a cake, I also tried doing a cream cheese filling with no topping on the actual cupcake – NOM! You would need a cupcake filling icing tip (I think its #20) to do this. They sell them at Wal-Mart.
- You can, if you wish, make this into a whole cake, but I’d go with a smaller round cake or a smaller sheet cake size if you’re using the above recipe.