This recipe was a little bit of a risk for me because the last time I attempted to make a carrot cake, it went disastrously wrong! I don’t think I dried the carrots enough and they were too wet when they went into the mixture. That’s another story though. I used a recipe from this book that Alex got me a while back. The only change I made was to double the amount of walnuts. Fingers crossed!
First you need to grate an orange. It looks very much like lemon zest in the picture below, but it is an orange I promise!
Put the butter, sugar and orange zest in a bowl and beat together until light and fluffy. Then add the eggs and keep beating.
You can buy ready chopped walnuts but I only had whole ones in the cupboard so I chopped them up!
Add the carrots (making sure you drain the excess liquid well!) and walnuts to the mixture and fold in.
Then fold in the flour and spices. The recipe said mixed spice which I didn’t have so I used a little cinnamon and a little ginger, similar to the banana nut muffins I made HERE.
Spoon into the prepared cases and bake. I filled the cases to about 2/3 full.
The cakes are done when a skewer or toothpick inserted comes out clean. Set aside to cool.
While the cakes are cooling, make up the cream cheese frosting by beating together the cream cheese, butter and icing sugar. Add the juice of the orange you grated earlier to taste.
I got a bit lazy with photos at this point because I was actually baking 3 different types of cakes in one go but use your imagination 🙂 Spread over the top of the cupcakes (when they are cool!) and top with a fondant or sugarcraft carrot to finish, if you like. I got these fondant carrots from Sainsbury’s when they were half price and was delighted with an excuse to use them.
And there you have it! Carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.
Here’s a list of ingredients and method for those that prefer 🙂
Ingredients for the cupcakes
- 200g unsalted butter (I used dairy free spread which worked just as well)
- 115g light brown soft sugar
- Zest of one orange
- 2 eggs
- 175g grated carrots
- 50g chopped walnuts
- 125g self raising flour
- 1tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp baking powder
Ingredients for the cream cheese frosting
- 150g icing sugar
- 25g unsalted butter
- 75g cream cheese
- Juice of an orange
- fondant or sugar carrots, to decorate
- Preheat the oven to 180º and line a muffin tin with 12 paper cases.
- Place the butter, sugar and orange zest in a bowl and beat together until light and fluffy then gradually add the eggs.
- Remove any excess liquid from the carrots and add to the cake mixture,along with the chopped walnuts. Stir into the mixture until well combined through.
- Sift in the flour and spices and carefully fold into the mixture with a metal spoon or spatula.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared cases until approx. 2/3 full and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Set aside to cool.
- Make the frosting by beating together the icing sugar, cream cheese and butter then add the juice of an orange to taste.
- Spread over the cooled cupcakes and top with the carrots to finish.
UPDATE – I’m entering these cupcakes into October’s AlphaBakeschallenge. AlphaBakes is hosted by Ros of More Than The Occasional Baker and Caroline from Caroline Makes. Each month, a random letter is generated and you have to make something with that letter, whether it’s an ingredient or flavour, or the name of the bake. This month Ros is hosting and the random letter is “C” so obviously the carrot makes this recipe qualify!
I’m also entering them into a challenge I haven’t done before which is the One Ingredient challenge. Hosted by Laura of How To Cook Good Food and Nazima of Franglais Kitchen and each month, they choose a random ingredient and you can cook/bake whatever recipe, sweet or savoury, you want, as long as it includes the ingredient they have chosen. This month Laura is hosting and she has chosen walnuts so these little cakes qualify.