Resurrecting the classic carrot cake. Super moist. Super delicious. There are so many variations of this old fashioned treat. With or without nuts, raisins and even pineapple. The one constant being plenty of sweet, grated carrot. It’s the type of recipe that your mother or grandmother would have carefully penned into a recipe book. Time-honoured. Perhaps closely guarded.
I like my carrot cake studded with toasted walnuts and topped with a lemon cream cheese frosting. Here it is recreated in cupcake form. As luck would have it I still had a small stash of hazelnut praline leftover from my husband’s birthday cake. Sprinkled liberally over the cream cheese frosting, this batch of carrot cupcakes was just a little more decadent than usual.
Carrot Cupcakes With Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
More often than not I finish my cupcakes with a liberal sprinkling of finely chopped toasted walnuts over the frosting. If you prefer to use a praline as I did the recipe I used is here.
Makes 12 Large Cupcakes
3 medium carrots
125g packet of walnuts
1 cup (150g) self-raising flour
1/2 cup (75g) plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 cup (80g) brown sugar
3/4 cup (185ml) olive oil
1/2 cup (125ml) golden syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
PREHEAT oven to 170C. Line a 12 hole muffin pan with paper cases.
PEEL the carrots and grate them coarsely using a box grater. Set aside.
LIGHTLY toast the walnuts in a dry pan. Cool.
COARSELY chop 100g of the walnuts for the batter. Finely chop the remaining 25g of the walnuts for sprinkling over the frosted cupcakes when baked. Set aside.
SIFT the flours, bicarbonate of soda and mixed spice into a large bowl.
LIGHTLY whisk the brown sugar, oil, golden syrup, eggs and vanilla together in a separate bowl.
ADD to the sifted dry ingredients, stirring lightly until just combined.
LASTLY fold through the grated carrot and coarsely chopped walnuts.
SPOON the batter evenly into the paper lined muffin tin. Bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean.
SET aside to cool before frosting and garnishing with a sprinkling of finely chopped nuts.
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
60 g butter, softened
160 g Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
3 cups (480 g) icing sugar mixture
BEAT butter, cream cheese and lemon zest in a small bowl until light and fluffy. At least 5 minutes.
GRADUALLY beat in icing sugar, ensuring it is well incorporated.