November 23, 2012

Zucchini Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting

My hubby always encourages me, make that, begs me, not to plant zucchini each year.  They are quite prolific and you can end up with more than you bargained for.  I'm not so sure though that eliminating them from my garden was the best idea.  I end up stopping by every roadside stand and my when my dear friends find out I'm zucchini-less, we get blessed with more than we would have if we had simply planted them!  I will never turn down a free zucchini!  I try to have a good supply of it shredded and in the freezer just for recipes like this.  These cupcakes are really good.  The one thing to keep in mind with the hardens pretty quickly, which makes it great for wrapping and traveling, but you'll want to frost them right away while it's still smooth.
3 eggs
1-1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1-1/2 cups shredded zucchini

Caramel Frosting:

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, cubed
1/4 cup 2% milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 to 2 cups confectioners' sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Beat the eggs, sugar, oil, orange juice and vanilla in a large bowl.  Whisk together the dry ingredients (flour through cloves) in another bowl.  Gradually add the dry ingredients to the sugar mixture and mix well.  Stir in the zucchini.  Fill paper-lined muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.  For the frosting:  combine the brown sugar, butter, and milk in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes until it thickens.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Cool to lukewarm.  Gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar until it's of spreading consistency.  Frost immediately.  18 cupcakes

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