As the evening star began to glow among the black pines’ branches, I concluded that in this situation reason was of little use. I would have to rely on something else; just what, I wasn’t sure. I turned toward the split rock and took a step, then another, and another, and before I even knew that I had decided, I was halfway down the slope, scrabbling wildly at grass clumps, slipping and falling through the patches of granite scree.
When I reached the cottage, breathless with fear lest he had left already, I was reassured to see Donas hobbled and grazing nearby. The horse raised his head and eyed me unpleasantly. Walking softly, I pushed the door open.
Diana Gabaldon, Outlander (Chapter 25 – Thou Shalt Not Suffer a Witch to Live)
Claire has had a tough week — not to mention a killer past few months.
In just the last seven days, she’s been tricked into a thieves’ hole, put on trial for witchcraft, stripped to the waist in front of a jeering crowd, whisked away from certain death at the very last minute by her hero on his steed, and then dragged across the Highlands, exhausted and in shock, to a destination unknown. And somewhere in all of that, she had a birthday!
But now that the decision has been made, and she is where she’s going to stay (for now), it’s time to give the woman a hug (JAMMF, I’ll let you take care of that), and a cupcake.
Cupcakes can cure a surprising number of life’s ills, especially these carrot cupcakes with cheese cream frosting. The shredded coconut helps to keep them moist, and contributes a rich, natural sweetness.
(Click on the title below for a printable version of the recipe.)
Moist, tender cupcakes with luscious cream cheese icing that bring comfort after the worst of days – trials for sorcery, a birthday spent on the run, and maybe even a beloved first husband lost forever.
Yield: 12 Cupcakes
- Sugar – 1 Cup
- Vegetable Oil – ¾ Cup
- Vanilla Extract – ½ tsp
- Large Eggs – 2
- All-Purpose Flour – 1½ Cups
- Cinnamon – 1 tsp
- Baking Powder – 1 tsp
- Kosher Salt – ½ tsp
- Carrots, peeled and finely grated – 1½ Cups (2-3 medium)
- Shredded Coconut – ½ Cup
- Raisins – ½ Cup
- Walnuts – ½ Cup
- Cream Cheese, at room temperature – ½ lb
- Butter, at room temperature – 5 oz
- Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp
- Powdered Icing Sugar – 2 cups
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
With a whisk, beat the sugar, oil, and vanilla together in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs.
In another bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt, then stir in the carrots, coconut, raisins, and walnuts. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined.
Line muffin pans with paper liners. Scoop the batter by rounded spoonfuls into the cups until each is about ¾ full. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a rack.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla with a hand mixer on medium speed. Gradually add in the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
When completely cooled, frost generously, using your choice of a pastry bag or knife.
To Serve: Wonderful with a glass of cold milk or a cup of hot coffee.
To Store: Once frosted, store covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.