Carrot cakes always remind me of being a little girl, and being rewarded by my mother for behaving after a shop to the supermarket. Remembering sitting at the kitchen table with orange squash and carrot cake all over my face, I can’t think of a better recipe to to kick off Baking Week here on handpickedhouse. Here’s Sarah‘s amazing carrot cake recipe:
I’m not sure if cupcakes are passé now, but I’m still a sucker for them. Cakes that look as fab as they taste – what’s not to love? These carrot cakes make a nice change from chocolatey versions. And you can tell yourself they’re healthy-ish too –so you can have two.
For the cakes you’ll need:
- 225g carrots peeled, trimmed and grated
- 130 raisins / chopped dates (optional)
- 2 large eggs
- 130g caster sugar
- 120 ml corn oil (although I used bog standard vegetable oil)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 120g self raising flour
- A pinch of salt
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon or mixed spice
- Grated zest of one orange
For the buttercream topping:
- 100g softened butter (traditionalists would say unsalted, but I’m not too fussy)
- 300g icing sugar
- 25ml milk
- ½ tsp vanilla extract or 1 tsp finely grated orange zest
How to make the carrot cake cupcakes:
1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F / gas mark 4 and line a 12-muffin tin with cases.
2. Whisk together the eggs, vanilla essence and oil and put aside.
3. In a large bowl sieve together the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon.
4. Stir the sugar into the flour mixture.
5. Add the grated carrots, raisins or dates if used and grated orange zest and stir well.
6. Stir in oil / egg mixture and stir until everything is incorporated. The mixture will be quite sloppy but don’t worry about it – it will be fine!
7. Divide the mixture between the bun cases and put in the oven for around 25 minutes. The buns won’t rise as much as traditional cupcakes so don’t panic if you think they look a bit flat.
8. Leave to cool and in the meantime make the buttercream icing.
9. For the icing, whisk together the ingredients (choose orange or vanilla) with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. You can use a wooden spoon but be prepared for an achy arm if you want to get it quite as light.
10. Top the buns with the buttercream. You can either swirl with a knife / palette knife or use a piping bag and star-shaped nozzle.
11. Decorate as you wish – a sprinkling of cinnamon is nice or you can make / buy teeny carrots out of coloured sugar paste.
12. Eat (and tell yourself you are enjoying one of your ‘five a day’…)