Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and Nut Free Marzipan Carrots
I use Mock Marzipan (Nut Free Marzipan) to make these adorable marzipan carrots to decorate the most delicious Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting!
I have wanted to work with marzipan for a long time. I used to love playing with play dough and modeling clay, and I heard that marzipan is similar, only edible. The one problem: marzipan is made from almond paste and, due to my nut allergy, that won’t work for me unless I wear gloves.
I started searching for mock marzipan recipes and found a recipe by Imperial Sugar. I was so excited to try it out, then when I saw the Recipe Girl make marzipan carrots for Easter, I knew I had to make them!
I’ve been wanting to make the carrot cake with cream cheese frosting from the Silver Palate Cookbook for a while now, so I decided to make it into cupcakes and decorate with the marzipan carrots. I came up with this idea the day I saw the marzipan carrots, and then two days later the Recipe Girl posted these mini carrot cheesecakes with cream cheese frosting. I guess great minds think alike 😉
These cupcakes are really good. They taste very similar to my mom’s recipe for Pineapple Carrot Bread that we make at Christmas, except this recipe has coconut. After Bob tried the Tres Leches Coconut Cupcakes and these, he said that in one day I had made two of the best cupcakes he’s ever had! That’s quite an endorsement for these recipes! 🙂 Please don’t mind all the pictures – these were so fun to photograph!!!
Nut free marzipan is made with vegetable shortening, corn syrup, and powdered sugar. You can color it any color and basically use it to mold into anything you’d like! I chose orange for the carrots of course.
To make the carrots, you break off a piece of marzipan and shape it into a small carrot shape, then you dip a damp knife into cocoa powder to make the little ridges of the carrots with “dirt” as if the carrots were just pulled from the ground. To add the green tops, you simply stick a toothpick in the top of each carrot to create a small tunnel then slide in a piece of carrot frond.
Looking for More Spring Cupcakes?
Check out these other cupcake recipes perfect for spring:
Tres Leches Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche Buttercream
Baby Bluebird Cupcakes
Mexican Chocolate Black Bottom Cupcakes
Samoa Cupcakes with Easy Dulce de Leche Buttercream
Blackberry Vanilla Cupcakes
Blueberry Vanilla Cupcakes with Blueberry Ganache
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp vegetable shortening
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp light corn syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon imitation almond extract
- food coloring liquid or gel
- Beat shortening until light and fluffy. Add corn syrup and salt. Beat well. Gradually add powdered sugar. Add extract.
- Gather mixture together into a ball and knead until smooth. If mixture is too dry to knead, add water, a few drops at a time to reach a good kneading consistency. If mixture becomes sticky, coat hands and kneading surface lightly with additional powdered sugar.
- Divide and color as desired with liquid or paste food coloring. Keep marzipan covered while working with it to avoid drying out. Store in a tightly covered plastic container at room temperature if not using immediately. Mock Marzipan will remain soft and pliable about one week. It can be frozen up to 3 months.
- Marzipan or Mock Marzipan
- Food coloring (liquid or paste)
- Cocoa powder
- Green tops of carrots
- Color the marzipan orange either using orange food coloring paste or a mixture of yellow and red liquid food coloring (this is what I did).
- Break off pieces of marzipan and roll into carrot-shapes.
- Dampen a small knife and dip edge in cocoa powder. Carefully make indentations with the cocoa-dipped knife on the carrots to represent the soil. (You can also brush on the cocoa powder with a small brush).
- Store carrots in a ziplock bag until ready to use.
- Just before placing on desired dessert, use a round toothpick to insert a small hole in the top of the carrots. Slide in a piece of carrot frond.
For the cupcakes:
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups corn oil (or Canola)
- 4 large eggs (lightly beaten)
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups shelled walnuts (chopped (omitted))
- 1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
- 1 1/3 cups pureed cooked carrots
- 3/4 cup drained crushed pineapple
For the frosting:
- 8 ounces cream cheese (at room temperature)
- 6 tbsp 3/4 stick unsalted butter
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Juice of 1/2 lemon (optional)
For the cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Place muffin liners in two 12-cup muffin tins.
- Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add the oil, eggs, and vanilla. Beat well. Fold in the walnuts (if using), coconut, carrots, and pineapple.
- Pour the batter into the muffin cups. Set on the center rack of the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.
- Cool the cupcakes on a rack for 3 hours or covered with foil overnight before frosting.
For the frosting:
- Cream together the cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl.
- Slowly sift in the confectioners’ sugar and continue beating until fully incorporated. The mixture should be free of lumps.
- Stir in the vanilla, and lemon juice if desired. Frost cupcakes.