Just when we thought carrot cake cupcakes couldn’t get any better, we tried topping a batch with a browned butter cream cheese frosting. Whoa. Take the dessert to the next level with this frosting recipe, which is more than worth the effort it requires: You’ll carefully brown six tablespoons of butter in a skillet, let it cool to room temperature, then beat the butter with cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and salt until it’s smooth. The resulting frosting is wonderfully rich and intense, and just about perfect for these carrot cake cupcakes, especially when topped with flakes of toasted coconut.
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 large egg plus 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
Heat the oven to 350°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
Combine the buttermilk, vegetable oil, sugar, egg, egg yolks, vanilla, and carrot in a large bowl. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
Divide the batter evenly between the liners. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes come out with just a few moist crumbs, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to a rack to cool completely.
Prepare the frosting: Add the butter to a skillet over medium-high heat and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.
Add the cream cheese to the butter and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar and salt and beat again until smooth. Top the cupcakes with the frosting and toasted coconut, if desired.
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