Angela Li’s Carrot Cake Cupcakes

I chose carrot cake cupcakes because the idea that eating carrots improves your eyesight is something my family—all of us bespectacled, even my 10-year-old brother—strongly subscribes to. I was always told by my parents to eat a lot of carrots because I got glasses at the age of five and have been wearing them since.

 It’s scientifically unclear if the massive amounts of carrots I’ve consumed in my lifetime actually helps with my eyesight, but regardless, I have developed a taste for them and this preference is evident in my choice of desserts too.

Now, in a time where my every waking moment consists of staring at various screens, my eyes have taken the brunt of the burden. Taking a break from screens and baking these cupcakes is a form of self-care, both for my mental health and physical health. This recipe is also a callback to the carrot-loving habit that my family instilled in me. Even if the science on carrots improving eyesight remains inconclusive, my love for my family and all our idiosyncrasies is unquestionable.

I’m currently participating in the Cornell in Washington program in DC, and another student in the program is organizing weekly Friday night Shabbat dinners, potluck style. I brought these cupcakes to our dinner this week and received rave reviews from my fellow students. I also told them about The Sophie Fund and the cupcake baking contest—they’re rooting for me!

—By Angela Li