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Quick Carrot Cupcakes + Giveaway

Living in the middle of nowhere, (which to me translates to: no Thai restaurants, no Trader Joe’s, no Whole Foods, no Asian market, and no natural food store) I remain grateful that my local grocery store at least carries almond milk, two kinds of tofu, decent (if not fancy) produce, and carrot juice — which is where this story begins….
When I went shopping last week, I had this sudden craving for carrot juice. Sure, I could juice my own from whole carrots, but I was in “instant gratification mode” and that large bottle of bright orange elixir looked mighty good.  My carrot juice craving then morphed into a carrot cake craving, and that’s when inspiration struck.  You know those recipes that combine a box of cake mix with a can of soda and — presto — you have a cake with no oil or other things the box instructions call for, like eggs?  Of course, the down side is, you’re still using soda.  So I thought, why not see if I can make a carrot cake using the same method, but with carrot juice instead of soda.

As you can see by the photos, it worked!  I combined about 1 1/2 cups of carrot juice with a box of carrot cake mix and made these adorable cupcakes.  The flavor was extremely delicious and carrot-y, the texture was tender and moist, and the color, as you can see, was vibrant orange. And best of all, they’re vegan with no oil added.  I made a quick cream cheese frosting using vegan cream cheese, sugar, and a little vanilla extract.

Now I’m not one to shy away from scratch cake recipes — I’ve even grown my own carrots to use in my carrot cakes!  But I must admit that this shortcut method turned out a cake that tasted every bit as good as the best scratch cake I’ve had. I garnished the cupcakes with little carrot coins that I made by simmering some carrot slices in a little simple syrup until the carrots were softened and glazed.
As for the mix, as you may know many boxed cake mixes are vegan (as long as you don’t add the eggs, etc.) but read the label to make sure.  If you have access to healthier boxed mixes from a natural food store, even better.  In addition to making the cupcakes, I had enough batter left to make this adorable little cake in a 5-inch springform pan.  I cooled the cake and froze it to use later on.

When you don’t have time to bake a cake or cupcakes from scratch, you might want to keep this 2-ingredient carrot cake trick in mind!
In case you missed it…

and now… A Giveaway:

 As I mentioned above, my local supermarket isn’t exactly “super.”  One of the items it doesn’t carry is Tribe brand hummus, which is a shame because the nice people at Tribe Hummus sent me two coupons for free containers of their product.  But my loss can be your gain: 
I’ll give both of these coupons for Tribe Hummus to one lucky winner chosen at random.  All you need to do is leave a comment at the end of this blog post. How easy is that?  Enter now to win!