I feel like time has just been slipping away from me again, and it’s been a while since my last post, so sorry about that! I have still been baking a little bit but I’ve also been away most weekends lately so it’s taken me a while to get back into the swing of things. I thought I hadn’t taken anything in to work in a while and with Easter approaching, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to do some themed baking. I looked on the internet for a while for some inspiration for the cupcakes and a lot of what I found was very heavy on using either paper decorations or a lot of fondant/gum paste to model characters etc. Now I don’t mind paper decorations but I knew that I probably wouldn’t be bothered in the end to actually make/print anything and anyone who knows me knows that I really dislike fondant because of it’s sickly sweet and unpleasant taste (it always seems like a lot of work when most people don’t even eat the decorations!), so I needed an edible decoration. After seeing a couple of examples I decided on using mini chocolate eggs and piping the frosting more like a basket than a peak. I think it worked pretty well!
About the actual cupcake… The recipe is based off the recipe from my Bluebell Cakery book, but she used crystallized ginger and coconut which I don’t really like and also think that makes it more like a hummingbird cake than a carrot cake, so I took that out and added some dates in and I must say even though I’m usually not a fan of carrot cake, these were perfect. They were light and fluffy and moist and had some amazing spiced flavours… Trust me, even if you, like me, are not a carrot cake fan I think these will definitely change your mind! They are also awesome-ly Easter appropriate, so happy baking this Easter!
NB: This recipe makes around 14 regular sized cupcakes.
Carrot Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
2 cups grated carrot (around 3-4 regular-sized carrots)
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup dates
3/4 cup canola oil (or similar)
Zest and juice of 1 orange
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 tspn baking soda
2 tspn cinnamon
1 1/2 tspn ginger
1 tspn nutmeg
Cream Cheese Frosting
200g butter, softened
150g cream cheese, softened
2-3 cups icing sugar (as needed)
3 Tbspn good quality maple syrup (or 1-2 tspn maple flavouring)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and line 2 muffin tins with cupcake liners.
- Chop the raisins and dates together roughly and mix together in a small bowl with the grated carrot. Set aside.
- Measure out the oil into a small measuring jug and zest and juice the orange into the oil. Set aside.
- Using a hand mixer (or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment), beat the eggs and the sugar together in a large bowl until pale in colour and creamy. Add the oil and orange mixture and beat into the egg mixture.
- Sift the dry ingredients over the egg and oil mixture and mix together until completely incorporated. Fold through the carrot, raisin and date mixture until all combined.
- Spoon the mixture evenly over 14 cupcake cases (the case should be full to just under the brim) and put into the oven to cook. Bake the cupcakes for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached.
- Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting otherwise the frosting might fall off!
- If you are wanting to make the little baskets with eggs like mine, once you have made the frosting, put it into a piping bag with a large star tip.
- Pipe the frosting starting from the centre and moving circular outwards to build up the sides more than the centre. Decorate with the chocolate candy eggs and serve!
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Put the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl and use a hand mixer) and whip, using the beater attachment. When the butter is pale and fluffy, add the cream cheese, small pieces at a time. Beat until light, fluffy and creamy.
- Now add the icing sugar, cup at a time. Once one cup is incorporated, add the next. Before adding the last half cup, add the maple syrup or flavouring, beat to incorporate and then add the last of the icing sugar. The frosting is ready when it is light, fluffy and it stays on the beater when you pull it away from the bowl.