Carrot cake isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. I must admit, when cake is on the agenda I don’t usually think of choosing the one with vegetables stuffed inside. However, I have made my way through many-a-carrot-cake (for research purposes obviously) and have perfected my own carrot and walnut cupcake that is all kinds of satisfying. Inspired by Paul Hollywood’s ultimate carrot cake recipe, I have tweaked a few of the ingredients and measures to suit my own tastes, and hopefully yours too.
Although the actual baking process is fairly simple, the prep work does take a lot of time and patience. But trust me, when you pull those cupcakes out of the oven and get a whiff of all those spices working in perfect harmony, all the pain, shredding and tears will be well and truly worth it.
The main changes I have made to Hollywood’s recipe is switching pecans for walnuts, (initially it was because they’re a bloody nightmare to find in the supermarket) but now I just think the taste works better. I have also added lots more spices because you can never have too many and mixed spice is pretty much the greatest thing ever.
For the carrot cake cupcake –
- 155ml sunflower oil
- 230g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1½ tbsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp mixed spice
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 230g light brown muscovado sugar
- 100g walnuts, chopped into quarters
- 260g carrots, finely grated
- 3 medium eggs, beaten
For the icing –
- 50g margarine, softened (I use Stork)
- 200g cream cheese (I use Philadelphia)
- 150g icing sugar, plus extra to dust
1. Preheat your oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas Mark 4. Line your 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake cases. Using a sifter, put the flour, baking powder and spices into a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar, chopped walnuts and finely grated carrots. Stir until the mixture is combined. Add in the beaten eggs and sunflower oil and then continue to mix well.
2. Spoon the mixture evenly into each cupcake case and bake for around 35 mins (it will differ with every oven and how much mixture you have placed in each case so check to see if a knife comes out clean, if it doesn’t, they may need an extra 5 mins). Transfer to a cooling rack and leave to cool completely before icing.
3. For the cream cheese icing, beat the butter in a large bowl with a hand mixer until it has softened up. Add the cream cheese and beat again until it is well mixed. Sift over the icing sugar gradually and then beat until smooth.
4. Place the cream cheese icing into a piping bag and once your cupcakes have totally cooled, ice them any way you like. (I always opt for a large star nozzle for piping), sprinkle a few leftover chopped walnuts and voila!
I hope you love them as much as I do!