I may have mentioned that I have a "high spirited child". Or more like a too highly spirited child. He is stubborn, moody, loud, and crazy... oh just like his parents. However all that has changed since I did a little research on the food dyes that have been all over the news as of late. Turns out they are petroleum based. Last I checked petroleum is not actually food, but hey I'm also against high fructose corn syrup so you know that makes me a tree hugging hippy around these parts. I'll admit it, I've hugged a tree, I don't care, I'll do it again. I'm not scared.
So the first thing to go was Red #40. Absolutely NO red 40 under any circumstances, and no Blue, and preferably no yellow either. Which means no processed foods, no cake mixes, and no bakery cakes. This is fine day to day but posed a problem when I remember that ummmm I don't really bake and I had a child with a birthday last week. Okay... what can we make that will pass for cake on short noticed that is not a cake that I could screw up.... dudududaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Carrot Cake to the rescue.
I was worried they weren't cooked all the way through but they were and they were moist so don't cook them until they are firm to the touch or they will dry out. I was sad to miss out on that heaping mound of cream cheese frosting but everyone else loved them. His teachers said that even the fussy kids ate them with no complaints. And the teachers have had no complaints about his new enhanced calm, and sweet disposition. Bye bye Red 40 go make someone elses children crazy. PS. The UK found that after banning food dyes that about a third of all ADHD cases disappeared. Mainly because they were most likely caused by food interactions not actual ADHD. If you have a child making you nuts, try cutting out their red food for a week (takes about a week to get out of their systems). We say a difference instantly. Now he's not a saint as he is still a 3 year old boy, but what a difference. Making a cake from scratch is a small price to pay for such amazing results.... I meant in the child, but the cake is pretty amazing too... give it a try.
The Best Ever Carrot Cake Cupcakes
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup apple sauce
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 8-oz. can of crushed pineapple, well drained
3 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Small pinch of ground cloves
3 cups grated carrots, grate on larger side of cheese grater
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fresh coconut, shaved and toasted for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, apple sauce, sugars, pineapple and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and small pinch of ground cloves. Stir in carrots. Fold in pecans. Pour into muffin tin lined with beautiful paper or foil liners. Fill each liner 3/4 full. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 min. Let cupcakes cool completely. While cooling, prepare frosting.
In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Pile the frosting high on the cooled cupcakes and garnish with the toasted coconut if desired.
Yes those are blue decorations but how much could be in those really?