Chic Eats: Carrot Cupcakes with Brown Buttercream

Chic Eats: Carrot Cupcakes with Brown Buttercream
With fall around the corner, it's time to start thinking about cool weather cooking. Our Chic Chef gives you a preview of the flavors of fall with Spiced Carrot Cupcakes with Brown Buttercream.

In the midst of a particularly sweltering Cincinnati summer, it's hard to imagine that the chilly days of autumn are right around the corner. But after a few months of hot summer days, I start to reminisce about the aromas of heartier fare filling my kitchen — slow-simmering stews, spiced baked goods and woodsy herbs. When the temperatures start to fall, I love to cook with one of my favorite cool weather ingredients: brown butter. Butter is welcome in my kitchen year round, but the nutty, caramel notes in brown butter complement the flavors of fall.


Brown butter, or beurre noisette, is made by cooking butter until it obtains a hazelnut color. The color comes from the caramelization of the sugars in the butter's milk solids. Caramelizing these sugars transforms already near perfect butter into a magical ingredient with an even greater depth of flavor.


For our Spiced Carrot Cupcakes, cinnamon and nutmeg add a subtle spicy note to fluffy carrot cake-inspired cupcakes. The warm toasty notes of the brown butter complement the flavors in the cupcake and provide a unique alternative to the traditional cream cheese icing. Traditional buttercream is made with raw eggs, but our version omits the eggs along with any apprehension associated with consuming uncooked eggs.After the brown butter is made, it is cooled to room temperature, which gives it the perfect consistency for making the buttercream. The buttercream can be made up to one week ahead and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Bring the buttercream to room temperature before icing your cupcakes.


Spiced Carrot Cupcakes with Brown Buttercream

Yield: 12 cupcakes


For the Cupcakes



  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt




  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a bowl mix sugar, oil, vanilla, zest, eggs and carrots.
  • Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt.
  • Stir flour mixture into wet ingredients.
  • Line a muffin pan with baking cups. Divide batter among muffin cups.
  • Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool completely and frost with the buttercream.


For the Buttercream




  • 1 cup room temperature butter
  • 3 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Whipping cream, room temperature, as needed



  • In a small saucepan, cook the butter over medium-low heat until butter foams and then takes on a light brown color (about two to four minutes).
  • Remove from heat and let butter cool to room temperature and solidify.
  • Combine sugar, salt and softened brown butter in a standing mixer with a whisk attachment.
  • Beat on low speed until sugar is incorporated.
  • Add lemon juice and 1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream.
  • Increase to medium-high speed and whip until light and fluffy (three to four minutes).

Photo courtesy of VendiRei Jones


VendiRei Jones -

VendiRei Jones is the chef/owner of Torta, a licensed home bakery specializing in sweet and savory tarts. E-mail her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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