All of this snow has kept me locked in doors this weekend and ignited my inner domestic goddess (oh how very E.L James!). I took it upon myself to create one of my favourite tea-time treats of all time, with a twist. Here is a fantastically easy recipe for carrot cake cupcakes.
My old office used to be directly opposite the famed Hummingbird Bakery on Wardour Street near Oxford St. I remember peering into the windows at their perfectly formed, almost symmetrical cupcakes. With this in mind, I decided to give my own carrot cake cupcakes a shot, using Hummingbird’s as inspiration. If only anything that I could make would be as so light and moist then I will have done a damn good job.
Ingredients (makes 12 cakes):
• 250g of carrots (2 large carrots)
• 150g light muscovado sugar
• 150ml of vegetable oil
• 3 large free-range eggs, beaten
• 150g of self-raising flour
• 1 rounded teaspoon of ground cinnamon
• 1 level teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
• The grated zest of half an orange
• 100g of raisins
Ingredients for the frosting:
• 300g of cream cheese
• The grated zest of half a lime (I used lemon and it was perfectly fine)
• 100g of icing sugar, sifted
1. For the cakes, first peel and finely grate the carrots. (It is important they are not coarsely grated)
2. Using a balloon whisk, whisk together the sugar and oil, then gradually whisk in the eggs
3. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda and orange zest and fold these into the mixture, using a wooden spoon
4. Stir in the carrots and raisins and combine thoroughly
5. Spoon the mixture into 12 prepared cupcake paper cases in a muffin tin. Bake in a preheated oven 180C/350F/Gas 4) for about 20 minutes or until well-risen; a wooden skewer inserted to the middle should come out clean. Remove the cakes and put on a wire rack
6. For the frosting, beat everything together then use to top the cakes
And the result? The sponge was a rich brown colour and was deliciously light and moist – exactly what I was hoping. Despite the whole mound of carrot shavings I added, they didn’t make the sponge seem stringy at all. If anything, I wish I had added some more spices to the uncooked mixture, as it either needed a pinch of salt or more cinnamon to bring out the flavours. I’m not a huge fan of cream cheese in or on sweet things, so I was pleased I added a little extra lemon juice to take the ‘tang’ away from the topping.
If you’re like me and are utterly hopeless in the kitchen, then STV have even uploaded a very handy cook-a-long video here.