Easter Lamb Carrot Cupcakes
- 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour*
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups finely shredded carrots
- 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very soft
- 4 cups Dixie Crystals Confectioners Powdered Sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 bag miniature marshmallows
- 1 bag regular size marshmallow
- 1 cup sweetened coconut
- Handful pink and black jelly beans
- 12 hard candy caramels
- Green food color
- Black food color
- Royal Icing
*Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place 12 cupcake liners in a cupcake or muffin tin and set aside.
- Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger and set aside.
- In a large bowl whisk together eggs and vegetable oil until well blended. Add sugar, salt, and vanilla and mix well.
- Add carrots, pineapple, and nuts and combine well. Stir in flour mixture.
- Scoop into paper cups about 2/3 full. (Depending on the size of cups you may be able to make more.)
- Place in oven and bake until center of the cupcakes bounce back when lightly pressed with a finger or an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 23 minutes. Allow to cool before frosting.
- Prepare cream cheese frosting: Mix cream cheese and soft butter on low speed until blended. Add 1 cup powdered sugar and mix on low speed. Gradually add remaining powdered sugar and mix on low to medium speed until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and mix well. Cover and set aside in refrigerator.
- Place coconut in a bowl and add 1 drop of green food color, mix by (gloved) hand until color is well distributed. (Add a touch of yellow if green color is too harsh.)
- Fill a piping bag or food storage bag fitted with a medium round decorating tip with cream cheese frosting.
- Prepare 2 small paper piping bags, set aside and prepare royal icing. (Royal icing recipe will result in more than needed for recipe, so divide ingredients in half.) Place 3 – 4 tablespoons of royal icing in a small bowl and tint with black food coloring. Fill 2 small piping bags; 1 with white and the other with black royal icing. Set aside.
- Using cream cheese frosting pipe a generous circle of frosting onto a cupcake.
- Cut a large marshmallow crosswise in half. Lay 1 1/2 large marshmallows horizontally onto the cupcake. Pipe a thin layer of cream cheese frosting onto the marshmallows.
- Starting at the bottom surround the large marshmallows with miniature marshmallows. Pipe a little cream cheese frosting onto the first layer of mini marshmallow and stack another layer of mini marshmallows. Continue until completely covered.
- Press green coconut onto the edges of cupcake.
- Position cupcake so that circle side of large marshmallow faces you.
- For head: Place a hard caramel onto the top edge of large marshmallow and ensure that it is resting onto miniature marshmallows. (You may have to remove some small marshmallows to make it fit.)
- For ears: Cut a pink jelly bean lengthwise in half. Pinch beans to make them pointy. Place next to the head and use a little cream cheese frosting to make them stick.
- Cut black jelly beans in fours to create feet. Cut a black jelly bean lengthwise to create a tail.
- Using white royal icing pipe eyes, followed by black. Pipe with black royal icing for the nostrils.
NOTE: Cream cheese frosting which is mixed on high speed will become runny and too soft.