My mother and I would make these when I was growing up, and I had just as much fun sharing the same experience with my own children when they were young. —Kathy Kittell, Lenexa, Kansas
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup canola oil
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 pound carrots, grated
- 2 cups chopped walnuts, toasted
- 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 cup flaked coconut
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon water
- 6 drops green food coloring
- 3 cups flaked coconut
- Optional candies: jelly beans, bunny Peeps candy and Sour Punch straws
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line 30 muffin cups with paper liners. In a large bowl, beat eggs, sugars, oil and vanilla until well blended. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, ginger and nutmeg; add to egg mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Stir in carrots, walnuts, pineapple and coconut.
- Fill prepared cups three-fourths full. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until blended. Beat in orange peel and vanilla. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth. Frost cupcakes.
- In a large resealable plastic bag, mix water and food coloring; add coconut. Seal bag and shake until coconut is evenly tinted. Sprinkle over cupcakes. Decorate with candies, as desired. Refrigerate until serving. Yield: 2-1/2 dozen.
Originally published as Easter Basket Cupcakes in Taste of Home April/May 2014
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