Springtime Carrot Cupcakes with Orange Maple Glaze

I've always been a fan of good carrot cake. Sweet, spicy and filled with orange flecks of carrot. This recipe is not as oily as some carrot cakes tend to be. It might be leaning towards being a muffin but anything with with a maple orange glaze is dessert in my book. The glaze is amazing and I've caught myself pouring massive amounts of it over these cupcakes and everything else for that matter.

The Recipe

Ingredients

Cupcake Batter

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt (optional)

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp flaxseed meal

3/4 cup unsweetened soymilk

1 cup grade B maple syrup

1/3 cup canola oil

4 medium sized carrots shredded

Seeds of 1 vanilla bean or 1 Tbs vanilla extract

1 cup chopped walnuts

Glaze

1/3 cup unsweetened soymilk

1/3 cup maple syrup

Zest and juice of 1 medium sized orange

1 1/2 tsp arrowroot powder

Vanilla bean pod that you scraped seeds out of (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 12 cup cupcake pan with paper liners. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Whisk flaxseed meal and milk together until frothy. Add maple syrup, oil and vanilla to milk mixture and whisk until incorporated. Stir in carrot to wet ingredients. Fold in wet mixture to dry mixture using a rubber spatula. If batter seems to dry add a Tbs of milk at a time until it loosens. Fold in walnuts. Using a large spoon or ice cream scoop fill cupcake liners with batter about 3/4 way full. Bake until golden brown and a tester inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in pan on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Carefully remove cupcakes from pan and continue to let cool.  

In a small sauce pan whisk together glaze ingredients and place over medium heat continuing to whisk until thickened. If seems to thick add a bit more maple syrup or milk. If not thickening enough add more arrowroot but mix it in cold milk first so it won't lump up on you. Arrowroot is a powerful thickener so only add a 1/2 tsp more at a time until you reach the right consistency. Pour glaze into small bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. 

Dip cupcakes into glaze and let it set, then dip again if you like. These should keep for a few days but didn't last longer than 1 day at our house!

Enjoy!