Zucchini Spice Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting

I’m convinced that teenagers will eat anything that has frosting on it. Sprinkles help but frosting is key.

Knowing I would need to bake for the band concert in early October, these cupcakes were the perfect way to use up the final straggles of zucchini from this year’s bumper crop.  Sans frosting they make pair wonderfully with a cup of coffee, having only a hint of sweetness. But slather on some caramel frosting and  voilà – cupcakes that teenagers will dive into and never realize they are scarfing down a bit of veggie with every bite.

zucchini spice cupcake with caramel frosting

These cupcakes (or muffins) combine the tastes of summer and fall and freeze well. Just thaw overnight and frost the next day.

Ingredients:

3 cups shredded zucchini
1 C sugar
2/3 cup canola oil (or vegetable)
2 teasp. vanilla
4 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teasp. baking soda
1/2 teasp. baking powder
1 1/2 teasp. ground cinnamon
1/2 teasp. ground nutmeg
dash of mace

Heat oven to 350F and place 20 liners in standard size muffin pans.
Stir first five ingredients in a large bowl until well blended. Stir in remaining ingredients just until wet. Fill each muffin liner 2/3 full and bake for 20 min. or until tested done.

Cool completely before frosting. If freezing, place in ziplock freezer bags and thaw at least 4 hours before frosting.

Caramel Frosting: In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 C milk, 3/4 C packed brown sugar and a dash of vanilla. Stirring constantly, bring to a complete boil. Cool for 10 minutes and then add to a large mixer bowl with 1 3/4 C confectioners sugar. This makes a very thick caramel frosting. If you prefer a creamy texture, add another 1/4 C butter with 2 tbsp milk and beat well.

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