We’ll be hosting our family Easter dinner this year and I wanted to come up with a new dessert. I like to serve carrot cake for Easter because by the time we have dinner, everyone has usually hit the Easter basket goodies pretty hard, so I like to have something a little less sugary than a Peep and something that is not in the same family as a chocolate egg. Plus there’s the whole bunny carrot connection, which is just cute! I wanted to change it up a bit and not do my typical carrot cake, so I got to thinking… A while back I had made peach spice whoopie pies with ginger cream cheese filling and I wondered if I could create one with carrot cake. After a couple tries and numerous tastings I think I got them just right. These are mini-sized whoopie pies (about 3-inch diameter) perfect for a couple yummy bites! I love smaller desserts as you can try a few without needing a belt extender. Have you seen the size of some of those whoopie pies in stores?? They are the size of your head!! The seams of my jeans shudder at the sight of those mammoth pies!!
Plain ‘ol carrot cake whoopie pies?…no way! I had a couple mangoes on hand and I also had some unsweetened flaked coconut leftover from my lentil breakfast bars. I decided to experiment with both. I love, love, love mangoes! I had never baked with them before, so I wasn’t sure how they would work out. After trying to grate them unsuccessfully, I found chopping them into fine pieces worked better. Coconut was not always a favorite ingredient of mine. Was always a bummer to me when a perfectly good dessert would get buried under mounds of overpowering and overly sweet coconut! Then I started reading about the health benefits of coconut products, and I thought I’d give them another look. In this recipe, I replace the butter with unrefined coconut oil. It is solid at room temperature, so you can use it just like you would butter. The unrefined type has a subtle sweet coconut taste and aroma. The unsweetened flaked coconut has a nice true coconut taste and chew. It’s lovely toasted as well; that is what I used for garnishing the whoopie pies. Turns out you can use coconut in a dessert and it doesn’t have to taste like Hawaiian Tropic Tanning Oil!
After the whoopie pie making was complete; dishes done, pantry back in order… I started to wonder if I could use the same exact batter and filling to make cupcakes. So, out came all the mixing bowls, measuring spoons, flour bin, grater and carrots! Luckily, my youngest offered to jump in and help. She grated all the carrots and handled the mixing. They turned out yummy! Pretty cool, with this one recipe, you can make two different desserts – you pick!! Make Carrot, Mango & Coconut Whoopie Pies, Cupcakes or some of each!
Carrot, Mango & Coconut Whoopie Pies and Cupcakes
Gather all your ingredients. Cream the sugars and coconut oil. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients. Stir in carrots, mango and coconut.
Decisions, decisions…whoopie pies or cupcakes? Scoop onto baking sheet for whoopie pies or into cupcake pans.
Ginger Cream Cheese Filling/Frosting