This is the time of summer that I seem to begin nesting and stocking up the freezer and cupboards for fall and winter. Each week, I’ll make a list of canning or freezing that needs to be done before we head back to school. A lot of families that I’ve been talking to like to make meals ahead, and preserve and freeze local produce, but are surprised when I say I also like to bake ahead. I don’t bake a lot ahead, but my freezer ALWAYS has some sweet goodness in it. For example, when cherries and peaches come out, I roll Cherry Almond Scones and Fresh Peach Scones, and freeze them before baking. If I want scones for breakfast or treats for work, I just bake them off as I need them. A few weeks ago, I also posted about how I freeze Peach Pie Filling ahead, because guys, Peach Pie in winter is sometimes the only thing that keeps us from going crazy when snowmaggedon rolls in. And, lastly, when zucchini and pie pumpkins come out, I freeze a batch of fully iced cupcakes. Yup, you heard me. These Spicy Zucchini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are sitting in my freezer as we speak.
And I’ll tell you a secret. There is not one person I know who would guess that I froze these moist and clove spiced gems. Because when they come to room temperature, they taste just as if I baked them that day. Honestly.
Now I know that you’re thinking I’ve completely lost my mind, because why on earth would you freeze fully iced cupcakes? But here’s the thing. As a working mom, I don’t always have time to bake a sweet treat when it’s needed. Because especially when school is back in, our life goes from summer relaxation to hectic real fast. Thankfully, cream cheese frosting and zucchini cake freezes beautifully, with no compromise to taste. None. And when your kids tell you the morning of, that they need 25 snacks for a class party that’s happening in just a few hours time, it’s all good. Or when you need a sweet treat to share with company over coffee, it’s already done.
Perhaps you just want to wish your super smart boy good luck on an upcoming biology test, so you sneak one in his lunch that day.
Whatever the reason, I don’t think I have to convince you that it’s a good idea to have a delicious cupcake at your fingertips at any given time. And if I do need to convince you, perhaps we need to look a little closer at this friendship? In the craziness of back to school, baking ahead just makes perfectly good sense. With a mixture of comforting clove and cinnamon spices, along with shredded zucchini and apple, and incredible taste, it’s win-win all around.
I just want you to note too, that these cupcakes also taste exceptional without the icing as well. So in the same container as my iced cupcakes, I’ve left some naked ones that the kids or hubs can grab quickly for a snack on their way out the door. Notice I said the kids and hubs will eat the naked ones? Cause this gal will choose cream cheese frosting. Every. Single. Time.
Listen, iced, un-iced, frozen, thawed. I’ve got all the cupcake bases covered.
One bite of a Spicy Zucchini Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting…
with a steaming cup of tea,
on a blustery fall day,
after a long days work,
will convince you that freezing these decadent treats is a good idea.
Happy baking friends,
Spicy Zucchini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the cupcake:
*yield is approx. 24-30 cupcakes
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1/8 tsp cardamom
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup oil, such as canola
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups shredded zucchini, unpeeled
- 1 cup shredded apple, I use granny smith, unpeeled
Preheat oven to 350° Line two muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
- In a medium bowl mix together the flour, soda, powder, and spices; set aside.
- Using a mixer, beat the brown and white sugars with the oil until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well. Add the vanilla extract. Add the flour at once, only mixing until combined (there may still be some flour streaks in there). Add the zucchini and apple. Mix just until combined.
- Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for 18-20 minutes or until cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Remove cupcakes from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 1 250 gr pkg of cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup Crisco
- pinch of salt
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Beat the cream cheese, butter and Crisco until smooth. Add the salt and vanilla and mix well. With the mixer on low, add the powdered sugar, a cup at a time. Once it is all mixed in, turn the mixer to medium speed to beat the frosting and make it smooth.
- Fill a piping bag (with a round tip), and ice the cooled cupcakes. Add toppings as desired.
- To freeze: Place cupcakes in a large freezer safe container, in a single layer. Cover and freeze for up to a month. Cupcakes take about 30 minutes to thaw completely. Any unused frosting will freeze beautifully as well.
- Any leftover frosting will freeze beautifully.
- Freeze this Classic Carrot Cake, as a cake or cupcakes, fully iced too!