Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sweet Pea Cupcakes with Carrot Cream Cheese Frosting

It's hard to believe that today was the first day of Spring....we actually had a below zero windchill going on in my neck of the woods. Luckily, it doesn't have to be dreary in the kitchen. How about some brightly colored cupcakes to lighten things up?

The third Thursday of each month happens to be an Improv reveal day. Improv is a blogger challenge hosted by Kristen of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker. This month the flavors to work with are Peas and Carrots. Very Springlike, no?

I have to admit to being a little preoccupied with things other than cooking or baking this month, so when Kristen offered up the idea to use baby food--jars of pureed peas and carrots--I latched on to the idea. This has to be one of the quickest ideas I've come up with yet for our Improv challenge...and I feel a bit lazy with my ingredients. Honestly, though, once in a while there comes a need to use convenience long as they are doctored up a little.

Oh my's been way too long since I bought these little jars...

Sweet Pea Cupcakes with Carrot-Cream Cheese Frosting


1 box lemon flavored cake mix
1 jar (1/2 cup) pureed peas (baby food)
3 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon grated orange or lemon peel


4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
3 tablespoons pureed carrots (baby food)
1 tablespoon grated orange or lemon peel
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.; line a 24 cup muffin tin with liners.

In a large bowl, blend the cake mix, peas, eggs, buttermilk, and orange peel together until smooth, about 2 minutes. Divide the batter among the 24 cupcake liners and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly touched.

For the frosting, beat the cream cheese, butter, carrots, vanilla, and orange peel together until smooth. Add enough of the powdered sugar to reach the consistency you like. Frost the cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with cute stuff, if desired.

Don't do what I did and dump the entire jar of carrots in the bowl...duh! I ended up with way too much frosting, and it was so thin I ended up dipping the cupcakes in the bowl to frost them!

My thoughts? This was a lemon indication of peas, which is probably a good thing. I like to think that I made a box mix a little healthier by replacing the peas for the oil. The frosting was good, but there wasn't a huge amount of carrot flavor. I don't think 3 tablespoons of pureed carrot negated the fat and calories in the cream cheese, butter, and sugar, however. The consistency of the cupcake was that of a sponge cake and, all in all, I feel it was a success. Of course, I had to test it all out by eating 3 cupcakes in rapid succession.

Please do yourself a favor and check out what everyone else is making with Peas and Carrots!


  1. Another pea cupcake person! I had wondered if it was possible to make carrot frosting but had no idea how to even begin to think about it -- I like your method a lot.

  2. I never thought to use baby food in baking, love the mix of savory in dessert form.

  3. Well you have to check, then double check, then if it's good then you eat another to enjoy, so three cupcakes are perfectly acceptable. Would have never had thought to use baby food in a cupcake. What a creative recipe.

  4. What a wonderful idea! Can't wait to try these :)

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  5. wow! I haven't bought baby food in 13 years! Do they still put it in glass jars?

    Your cuppycakes look quite yummy!

  6. How utterly clever, Cathy! I think the use of baby food peas and carrots is brilliant--and they look very tasty, too!
    I'm happily anticipating spring peas, but we just planted the other day so I've got a while to wait.


  7. Cathy, only you could make peas and carrots into delectable cupcakes! Oh, my. I would never be able to stop at three of them. You should have your own cooking show. I'm always inspired by your culinary arts.

    The weather here is cold, too. Now you've got me thinking I could warm the kitchen up considerably by baking something....

  8. I used the baby food peas in a cake, too. It was a really moist cake, I like the idea of sneaking odd veggies into sweets.

    1. Funny, Kristen--I got the idea from you! I hope your site gets back up and running soon! :)