I have a brilliant carrot cake recipe that I always crack out at this time of year, when all the leaves turn orange and the air becomes frosty and hard. It’s the perfect antidote to Autumn weather because it involves a lot of vitamin C in the carrots and oranges, and I always add generous amounts of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg to give it some extra zing.
The other day I thought I’d experiment with making the cake into cupcakes, so that they could be a fun, bite-size snack or party food. The resulting recipe is below – my apologies for the American measurements, but I’m a big fan of the ‘cup’. Much more easily portable than a set of weighing scales, if you’re not cooking in your own kitchen.
- 1 and a half cups of self-raising flour
- half a cup of light muscovado sugar
- half a teaspoon of salt
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 egg
- half a cup of milk
- quarter of a cup of vegetable oil
- 2 carrots, peeled and finely grated
- 2 oranges, the peel finely grated and the juice squeezed out of them, pips strained out
- half a teaspoon of nutmeg, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 generous tablespoon of ground ginger
Preheat the oven to 220 C. Sift the dry ingredients together, then add the egg, milk and vegetable oil and stir well. Grate the carrots and orange peel together, then add the orange juice to the peel mixture. Add all the peel/juice mixture to the cupcake mixture, and stir together thoroughly. If it doesn’t smell spicey enough at this point I tend to add more ginger and/or cinnamon at this point. I like my cupcakes to be flavoursome! Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases and bake for around 15 minutes, until they are going slightly golden on top.
For the icing:
- 6 oz/175 g soft cheese
- 2 oz/50 g soft margarine or butter
- 4 oz/100 g icing sugar
Blend these ingredients together and stir really well, until entirely smooth and lump free. (Using an electric whisk helps!) Let the cupcakes cool when they come out of the oven, then spread the icing on and grate a little bit of carrot or orange peel on to each one for decoration.