Dairy-Free Carrot Cupcakes

Makes 12

For the cake:
1 1/2 cups (200 grams) whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon (2 grams) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) fine sea salt
1/2 cup (125 ml) lite coconut milk
1/2 cup (125 ml) pure maple syrup
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 tablespoons orange juice, preferably fresh squeezed
1 1/2 cups (130 grams) shredded carrots
1 cup (110 grams) pecans, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (62 grams) sweetened dried cranberries

For the frosting:
1 cup (154 grams) non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening, such as Spectrum
1/2 cup (59 grams) confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners; set aside.

In a deep bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.

In a separate bowl or deep measuring cup, use a fork to beat together the coconut milk, syrup, oil, egg and juice. Pour over the flour mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir until just combined and there are no visible traces of flour. Gently stir in the carrots, pecans and cranberries. Evenly spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until a metal skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven when done and set the tray on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, add the shortening, sugar and vanilla extract to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Start on low speed until the sugar is mixed in, then increase mixer to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Spoon an even amount of frosting onto each cupcake, then use an off-set spatula or butter knife to spread frosting to the edges.