Easter snuck up on me again this year. I hadn’t even realized how quickly the end of March had flown by. Things are winding down in Vail and at the restaurant as we prepare to head into our ‘off season’. The temperatures are warming up, snow is melting, and less tourists are in town.

This weekend was the Taste of Vail and I participated in the Mountaintop Picnic. We dragged all of our prepped food and gear up the gondola to the top of Vail mountain, along with numerous other chefs, restaurants, and liquor venders.

Needless to say, everyone has a pretty good time, as we all trade with each other. I made a lemon curd ice cream that I served in little dishes with glazed huckleberries and tiny butter shortbread coins. Classic flavors that went so nicely together.

So back to Easter. It’s practically here and I haven’t done any holiday baking. On my days off this week, I wasn’t inspired enough to make hot cross buns or an Easter bread, so I decided to do something with carrots.

Carrot cake cupcakes it was.

Come to think, I haven’t made any carrot cake variation in a long time. I always kick myself because I forget how delicious it is.

So easy. And you all should really make it more often, myself included.

How to make this high altitude recipe:

Carrot Cupcakes (adapted from Everyday Food)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
3 tablespoons thick yogurt or sour cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups grated carrots (from about 4 medium carrots)

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line a muffin pan with baking cups. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.

In another bowl, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, egg, yogurt, and vanilla. Stir in the carrots. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, until just mixed.

Portion out into the 12 muffin cups and bake for about 20 minutes until puffed, and the centers spring back when lightly touched.

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