Tuesday 26 January 2016

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Hey everyone :)

I always had a thing for carrot cake ... I remember I used to frequent a cafe in my hometown and they had the most amazing carrot cake and it had this amazing cream cheese icing - truth be told I scrapped the icing of the cake and ate it and left the cake. I'll never forget my mum moaning at me constantly about wasting it but anyway ... I've been meaning to make something with carrot - like a cake, or a loaf, or cupcakes!

I opted for cupcakes as it means I can take them to work and share them out with my work colleagues. The 'Raspberry & White Chocolate Cupcakes' went down a treat and disappeared within seconds. I found a recipe on Martha Stewart's website - you can check the original recipe HERE - as always I'm altered it and added some of my own little comments.

1 1/2 cups of plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (aka bicarbonate of soda)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 ground cinnamon
1/4 ground nutmeg
1/4 ground ginger
3/4 cup melted butter (unsalted) - you're better melting then measuring
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons plain low-fat yoghurt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup grated carrot

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C-190°C (depending on oven) and line a muffin tray (these are better than cupcake trays) with 12 cases.
2. You will need two bowls - so get one of them and add all the dry ingredients (apart from the sugar) - so the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Give it a stir with a spoon or whisk.
3. I used a food mixer (but you don't have to) in the mixer bowl add the wet ingredients - melted butter (but let it cool or you could scramble the egg), the egg, the yoghurt, sugar and vanilla essence. Turn the mixer on and mix for a minute or so. Add the grated carrot and mix again until incorporated.
4. You should have two bowls - one with dry ingredients and one with wet ingredients - gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients bit by bit until all mixed together ... I did it in 3 goes.
5. Divide the batter into the 12 cupcake cases - I only managed to get 11 because I put a bit too much batter in each cupcake but that didn't cause any issues.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes (mine took 20 minutes exactly at 180°C) but I know all ovens are different so just watch them and then check with a skewer that it comes out clean when tested.
7. Once ready remove from the oven and leave in the tray for 5-10 minutes and then take out and leave on a wire cooling rack until completely cool - then you can frost.

226g of cream cheese
133g of butter (soft, room temperature)
1 cup of icing sugar (sifted)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon orange zest (i used half an orange worth of zest)

1. Using my food mixer again (with the whisk attachment) add the cream cheese, butter and icing sugar to the bowl and whisk until smooth and creamy.
2. Add the vanilla essence and the orange zest and whisk again for 10 seconds or until incorporated.
3. Spread over the top of the cupcakes. You could try piping but you would need to add more icing sugar to stiffen the mixture as it's quite soft.

Note: I don't put the cream cheese frosting on all the cupcakes - I keep the cupcakes in a separate container and the frosting in another and keep it refrigerated (as it's cheese after all) - I leave the cupcakes in an airtight container in the kitchen - I then before serving - frost the cupcakes. I only do this because if you frost and then refrigerate the cupcakes - the cupcakes themselves go tough and chewy which I think is horrible.

Have you baked anything this weekend? Let me know in the comments below.

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