Jessie Sheehan

Jessie’s new cookbook, Snackable Bakes (May 2022, Countryman Press) – Snackable Bakes: 100 Easy-Peasy Recipes for Exceptionally Scrumptious Sweets & Treats.

Snackable Bakes is available wherever books are sold nationwide.


Nonnie’s Best-​Ever Carrot Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

My mother-​in-​law’s carrot cake is the stuff of legends. It is a moist, sweet, slightly spiced layer cake, with some sweetened shredded coconut folded in for good measure, and a thick, finger-​licking-​good, tangy cream cheese frosting. Her recipe is so legendary, in fact, that it is an internet darling (not sure who originally shared it with Nonnie, all those many decades ago, but they clearly shared it with a few others, as well). I’ve tweaked it a little here, ​but if it looks familiar, neither Nonnie, nor I, is surprised. We also won’t be surprised if you’d rather glaze these little numbers with the Cream Cheese Glaze (page 80) rather than pull out your stand mixer for the frosting.

Makes 12 cupcakes

Active time: 20 minutes

Bake time: 18 to 20 minutes

For the Cupcakes

1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar

½ cup (118 g) vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup (130 g) all-​purpose flour

1⅓ cups lightly packed (127 g) finely grated carrots (about 2 medium carrots)

½ cup (40 g) sweetened shredded coconut

For the Frosting

6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

6 ounces (170 g) cream cheese, at room temperature

2 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 ½ cups (180 g) confectioners’ sugar

Ground cinnamon for dusting

Heat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-​well muffin tin with paper liners.

To make the cupcakes, whisk together the granulated sugar, oil, and vanilla in a large bowl for 30 seconds. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time. Sprinkle the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into the bowl, one at a time, vigorously whisking after each. Gently fold in the flour with a flexible spatula just until a few streaks of flour remain. Fold in the carrots and coconut. Fill each prepared muffin well about three-​quarters full, using a ¼-cup portion scoop or measuring cup, and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, rotating at the halfway point, until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of one of the cups comes out with a moist crumb or two. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes, or until you can safely remove the cupcakes from the tin without burning yourself. Let cool to room temperature before frosting.

To make the frosting, beat together the butter and cream cheese on medium-​low speed in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, just until combined. Beat in the vanilla, salt, and cinnamon and then, gradually, the confectioners’ sugar. Beat for an additional 30 seconds on medium speed. Decoratively spread each cupcake with about 2 tablespoons of frosting. Dust cinnamon over each and place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm up before serving. Keep the cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Excerpted from Snackable Bakes: 100 Easy-Peasy Recipes for Exceptionally Scrumptious Sweets and Treats Copyright (c) 2022 by Jesse Sheehan. Used with permission of the publisher, Countryman Press, an imprint of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. Photography by Nico Schinco. All rights reserved.