Monday, May 11, 2009

Carrot cupcakes with orange frosting


Makes 12 large cupcakes

This is simply a perfect carrot cake recipe which makes enough batter for 12 muffin sized cupcakes. You can, of course, make smaller cakes using cupcake tins, but these will require less time to cook, so do check after 15-20 minutes of baking. A great kids' recipe to get them involved in the kitchen.

75g sultanas
200g plain wholemeal flour
1 tblsp ground mixed spice
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
200g soft dark brown sugar
150ml sunflower oil
Finely grated zest of 1 large orange
2 tblsp orange juice
2 large free range eggs
200g peeled and grated carrots
45g ground almonds
45g roughly chopped walnuts or pecans

For the orange frosting
400g cream cheese
Finely grated zest of 2 oranges
1 tsp orange juice
60g sifted icing sugar

Place 12 paper muffin cases in a muffin tin. Put the sultanas in a small bowl, cover with hot water and leave to soak for 10-20 minutes until they have plumped up, then drain well and set aside. Preheat the oven to 180c/Gas 4.

Put the flour, mixed spice, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder into a large bowl and stir well to incorporate.

In another mixing bowl, combine the sugar, oil, orange zest, orange juice and eggs and beat with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Fold in the flour mixture in two batches, followed by the sultanas, carrots, ground almonds and chopped walnuts or pecans.

Divide the batter among the muffin cases, level the tops and bake for 20-25 minutes, until well risen and golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack.

To make the orange frosting, beat together the cream cheese, orange zest and juice and icing sugar until smooth. Chill until ready to use, then spread liberally over the cooled cupcakes. Once frosted, the cakes should be eaten within a few hours, or will keep chilled for a couple of days