Carrot Sugar: It's a Thing. Or at Least it Should Be.

I have done something creative and unusual with carrots. No, it doesn't involve starting my own adult YouTube channel. What I did is this: I made carrot sugar. 


Let me explain how this magical orange dust came into existence. You see, a few weeks ago I was working on developing a recipe for carrot cupcakes. They came out beautifully, and part of their appeal was the homemade candied carrot peel garnish. 

Candied carrot peel is made by boiling carrot shavings in a simple syrup, then baking them low and slow until they become firm. It's a fantastic carrot cake garnish.

But once the recipe was done, I had a lot of candied carrot peel. As appetizing as it is as a garnish, it's not quite as appealing as a stand-alone snack. So, I found myself with a good 3/4 cup of candied carrot peel. 

I don't know if I'm the only one who thinks like this, but.

When it came to using up this candied carrot peel, I pretty immediately thought "I wonder what would happen if I ground this candied carrot peel back into sugar?"

After it had been around for a few days, it had gotten pretty dry, which I figured would work to my advantage. 

So, I put the carrot peel in the blender...

...and blended. At first it was somewhat coarse, so I blended a bit more, until it had a consistency with the smallest granules like confectioners' sugar, and the largest about the consistency of granulated sugar. 

All of those candied carrot bits yielded a rather small amount of sugar (about 3 tablespoons' worth), but look at how pretty. 

So how would I use this carrot sugar? 

The way that I decided to do it was like so: to use it in a very small-batch buttercream. 

I combined about 2 tablespoons of softened unsalted butter with the carrot sugar and a pinch of salt, and mixed with a little spreading knife, acting like it was a palette knife and I was mixing acrylic paint. It made me feel like a particularly artistic bunny. 

Then, I piped it on to a cupcake. 

I loved how this came out! I have to say that I have the benefit of having gone through the process of creation, so I think that I was tasting with extra curiosity and anticipation. I don't know if you'd be able to tell that this was a carrot buttercream, because interestingly, it didn't SCREAM carrot.

So, the carrot-sugar buttercream was subtle--not super carrot-y, but definitely a little different. The carrot bits gave it a little bit of texture, and a definitely earthy flavor. The sweetness wasn't as tooth-numbing as a typical confectioners' sugar. 

To review: how I made this carrot sugar

  1. I made a batch of candied carrot peel
  2. Part of it, I used to garnish carrot cupcakes. But I had about 3/4 cup of candied carrot peel leftover, and no particular use for it.
  3. I blended the leftover candied carrot peel into a sugar consistency.
  4. I used it in a small-batch buttercream, but I bet it would be a great way to sweeten a club soda or a cocktail, or to use as a sprinkled garnish on a carrot cake. 

Oh, and PS, I also reserved the sugar-water from boiling the candied carrot peel, let it dry, and then ground that, too. It's in the background here. What should I do with that, do you think? 

If you give it a try, enjoy!