I was supposed to put this recipe online MONTHS ago! But in between settling back into life in Australia, which includes but isn't limited to, adopting a gorgeous greyhound, getting a feisty house cow and planting a garden that fed us through the summer months and is still currently feeding us, I just didn’t get around to it! And I should have because I honestly do love sharing recipes, and drooling whilst posting photos of food that I have already eaten!
I made these fluffy-licious ‘Carrot Cupcakes’ for an engagement party back in November. This was my first time baking as a ‘job’, if you will, and I was freaking nervous! I know I can cook and bake and I love doing so but I am one of those people who will make a cake 50,000 times and it will come out lipsmackingly perfect every time, until the 50,001st time when I have to bake it for a special event or I’m feeling a bit of pressure and then BANG! It sinks in the middle or I accidentally switch the quantities of almond meal and polenta in my lemon polenta cake and it turns out more like corn bread! Yep, that’s me!
Over the years I have gotten more confident when baking for others and I think, like anything in life, that’s what separates the men from the boys…confidence in yourself!
Although I was confident in my abilities on the day of the engagement bake off I was still sickenly nervous at the thought that I could potentially ruin someone’s engagement party because their cupcakes had more of a ‘lawn bowl’ consistency, rather than the ‘light and fluffy’ that one generally hopes for in a cupcake.
But lo and behold! They came out a delight and I handed over boxes full of the fluffiest cupcakes on the face of the Earth! They were perfectly spiced and had a lovely orange tinge from the carrots. The icing was a perfect match, the lime adding a great amount of ‘zing!’
Now that the weather is cooling down, I see no better time to whip out the cinnamon, nutmeg and ground ginger and churn out a batch of these sweet delights for a bit of fireside, Autumnal happiness!
Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Lime Cream Cheese Icing
Makes 24 cupcakes and a lot of icing!
For the cupcakes:
2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups canola oil
4 large eggs
3 cups finely grated, peeled carrots
For the Lime Cream Cheese Icing:
3 cups icing sugar
150g unsalted butter at room temperature
200g cream cheese at room temperature
Zest of 1 lime + a squeeze of lime juice
Preheat oven to 180˚C.
Line two 12-hole capacity cupcake tins with patty pans.
In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger until well combined. In a separate bowl, whisk the sugar and canola oil until well blended. Whisk the eggs one at a time into the oil/sugar. Add the flour mixture and gently stir until fully incorporated. Stir in the carrots.
Divide batter evenly between the patty pans so each one is about ¾ full.
Bake cupcakes 15-18 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow them to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Ensure cakes are fully cooled before icing.
Meanwhile to make the icing, sift the icing sugar into the bowl of a free-standing mixer. Add the butter and beat until pale and creamy. Add the cream cheese, lime juice and zest and blend until just combined.
To decorate, place icing in a piping bag with a large star tip. Gently create the swirl by starting from the outside and slowly piping inwards until reaching the centre. Don’t be shy with icing quantity because when it comes to cream cheese icing, more is definitely more!