This Christmas I received Joy the Baker's Homemade Decadence. It's filled with tons of ooey gooey and yummy delectables that I just wanted to try. There's pies. There's tarts. There's cookies. I then found the cupcake section and stumbled upon a carrot cupcake recipe. Instantly, I thought about Supernatural Cupcake Wars.
Why carrot cake, you ask? When Dean was on his health food kick---eating egg white omelettes and such---this thought popped into my head: if Sam were to ever bake for his brother, it'd be something like this. Something he'd think is sweet and fun and tasty---yet healthy, too. He'd figure he'd sneak it by his brother, get him to see that health food doesn't all have to be bad, and that he could show his brother some love. That's if he could find time to sneak into the Men of Letter's kitchen without getting caught by Dean, of course.
So, let's get our ingredients and supplies list together and bake up some of Sam Winchester's Anti Mark of Cain Cupcakes, shall we?
Joy the Baker's Carrot Cake Cupcakes
3 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup packed granulated sugar
1 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
4 cups finely grated carrots
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- Put racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cupcake pans with paper or foil liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugars, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Fold in the carrots, cranberries, and walnuts. Add the carrot mixture to the flour mixture and fold together until throughly incorporated. Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake pans.
- Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in the pans for 20 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to wire racks and let cool completely. The cupcakes will keep unfrosted and well wrapped, at room temperature for up to three days. Once frosted, they should be stored in the refrigerator.
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
½ cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons vanilla
5 ½ to 6 cups powdered sugar
1. In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar to reach spreading consistency.
Now that we're all assembled with our ingredients and such, let's bake!
First, I always start with my dry ingredients. Let's imagine Sam putting on his apron, tying that lustrous hair back, and rolling up his plaid sleeves to get into the nitty gritty of baking. You can even add the flour dusting his nose if you like.
I always sift my dry ingredients together just so I know it'll get rid of all the lumps and bumps later on, and I always find that it combines them all the better. Measure each one carefully, get them well blended and set aside.
This is the tricky and messy part of this recipe for sure. Yes. There are real actual carrots in this carrot cake. No, we won't be shredding them to the point we can't see them anymore once baked. We're not going to simply show these cupcakes a picture of carrots and call it good. We're going to shred them on our grater so they'll retain that beautiful orange color in small strips. I chose not to peel mine to keep all the nutrients found in the skin. I think we can agree Sam would do the same. I gave them a good wash, and then I cut the tip and the top off so I could shred them. It calls for four cups. I measured them into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup twice and then poured them into a bowl to set aside.
This cupcake recipe is one of the few ones that doesn't require the mixer. This is all done by hand---and with love.
You'll then want to take your wet ingredients---the egg, sugars, oil, and vanilla---and mix that together into another bowl. Whisk them together well and then follow the directions to fold in the carrots, walnuts, and cranberries. It'll start to get goopy here, but it's worth it, trust me. Imagine, if you will, Sam getting a bit messy as he starts to combine all the ingredients into an even larger bowl. We're talking more flour on his nose, in his hair maybe---and all the sticky batter forming as he stirs and perhaps digs in with his bare hands to make sure it all combines well. You're going to want to mix it until you can't see any of your dry ingredients anymore. You want everything to look rather goopy and sticky.
Now it's time to bake! Divide your batter into your lined cupcake pans and set into the oven for the 20-25 minutes.
While they're baking, start making your cream cheese frosting. This part of the bake will require the mixer, so dig out the stand mixer or get your hand one ready for action. Put your softened cream cheese and butter into the bowl and whip until creamy. Don't forget to taste along the way!
Cream cheese sounds extremely decadent for Sam's cupcake, I know, but the pairing with carrot cake is to die for and works really well here. It's also another way for him to entice Dean into trying them---and perhaps hiding the fact that there's a vegetable in his cake. Add that powdered sugary sweetness at the appropriate time and finish up that tasty frosting to top them baked cupcakes when they're ready.
Once your cupcakes are out of the oven, let them cool for the full twenty minutes in the pan. It's imperative that you follow Joy's directions here. Get impatient and dump them out too soon and you'll find yourself stuck with cupcakes that could deflate or not finish their proper baking. Your baking isn't done until they're out on the wire racks and away from the hot pans! You also want them as cool as possible before frosting or your cream cheese will melt. No one wants that.
After you've patiently waited for them to cool, start frosting. I'm not fancy at this step---and something tells me Sam's probably not adept at a piping bag either---but if you are, go for it and make glorious peaks or swirls of frosting. I simply spread my frosting onto each cake with a butter knife and made sure to cover the tops as well as possible so that each bite will get the carrot goodness paired with the slightly naughty cream cheese.
Now you're ready to eat. So what's the verdict?
They're tasty. There's a sweet spice to this cake that shows off well. The cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and brown sugar all compliment the carrots, bringing out their sweetness. The cranberries are nice little sweet surprises. The cake is also very light. It has a nice airy texture that only seems to bring out those flavors, too. Unlike so many other carrot cakes, I can actually taste and SEE the carrots, which is a bonus. Why go through all the trouble of making carrot cake only to practically eliminate their presence?
For Sam, however, this will be a problem the moment his brother bites in and sees what's inside. There's beautiful flecks of orange dispersed through out---and there's no mistaking them. Somehow, I think Dean would give Sam the same look he gave him the time he came back with cake and not pie. And then I can hear him saying, “Sam, there's vegetables in my cake. Why are there vegetables in my cake?”
If Sam were to get flustered and try to take the cake away, something tells me that Dean wouldn't let him---they're that good. Sure, he'd complain, tease Sam for making a cake that features vegetables, and accuse of him of truly becoming a rabbit, but he'd still eat them. Hell, I can see Dean getting a bit of the cream cheese frosting on his nose---to go with Sam's flour---and perhaps squirreling away some of the cupcakes when he thinks Sam isn't looking.
Perhaps they'd be just enough sweet and naughty to blend with the healthy to help Dean with that Mark. They'd really be Sam Winchester's Anti Mark of Cain cupcakes, then.
Go ahead. Give these tasty cakes a try. You won't be disappointed.
What other cupcakes do you think Sam might make? What other cupcakes do you see connecting to the show?