Army Wife shares her passion for baking cupcakes!

As many of you may know... my husband recently returned from a years deployment in Iraq.  During that deployment, I got to know a lot of the wives in his unit, one of which shares a passion for baking with me!

Katrina recently made a batch of carrot cake cupcakes for her soldier and family that turned out so delicious looking that I just had to get the recipe from her!  And of course, I had to share it with you!

Katrina's Perfect Carrot Cake Cupcakes
This recipe, carrot cake cupcakes, came from a very old cookbook that I had. When I first tried it, it really wasn't that good. The cake came out too dry and something was missing. About a week ago Richard, the hubby, got a craving for some carrot cake, so I pulled out that old recipe and used it as a "rough draft" for the perfect carrot cake. I added 1 more egg and 1/2 cup more of sugar, and my secret ingredient...crushed pineapple. It adds the right amount of sweetness and make the cake so moist. When I was getting ready to put the cake in it's pan and in the oven my daughter Lily asked if we could have "pupcakes" so I lined my cupcake pan with liners and baked this little treats. I topped them with a simple vanilla cream cheese frosting and filled the insides with the frosting and shoved a piece of pineapple in the middle!! These are definitely going in my cookbook!! ENJOY!!!!

Perfect Carrot Cake Cupcakes
2 Cups Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 cups grated raw carrots
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple in juice, drained (reserve some pineapple for garnish and 1/2 teaspoon juice for frosting)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup butter
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound of confectioners' sugar (sifted)
1/2 teaspoon pineapple juice

*Preheat over to 350*
*Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, salt and cinnamon
*in mixing bowl, beat eggs and add sugar. let stand until sugar dissolves (about 10 minutes)
*stir oil, carrots, drained pineapple and nuts into the egg and sugar mixture
* stir in dry ingredients and beat until well blended. about 3 minutes with blender set on medium speed
*line cupcake pan with paper liner and fill 3/4 the way full with batter.
*bake for 20 minutes and check with toothpick to make sure they are done in the middle
*cool in pan for 15 minutes then put them on a wire rack and allow to cook all the way before frosting.

* combine butter, cream cheese, vanilla and pineapple juice in a large bowl until well blended.
*add sugar gradually, beating vigorously.
*frost cupcakes only after they have cooled all the way, since the frosting is made of mostly butter and cream cheese it will melt off.