I did 12 of these carrot cupcakes, along with 12 vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting, fully expecting the latter to be the most popular and secretly hoping I would be able to buy back the carrot cupcakes.
That didn't happen.
What did happen, was somewhat of a frenzy for the carrot cupcakes - it seems I'm not the only one who appreciates a good cream cheese icing... I mean let's face it, the cake is purely a vessel but adults (unlike children) know better than to just eat the icing .
Having said that, the vessel plays an important role in this recipe. It's light and airy, with a nice touch of crunch courtesy of the pepitas, which make them nut-allergy friendly, but walnuts would also work very nicely.
Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
175g brown sugar
200g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon bicarb
2 teaspoons mixed spice
The zest of one orange
150ml sunflower oil
200g carrots, grated (about 2 medium carrots)
100g softened butter
250g cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
100g icing sugar
Pre-heat oven to 180C and line a 12-hole muffin tin with muffin cases.
Whisk together the sugar, flour, bicarb, mixed spice, pepitas and orange zest in a large bowl.
In another bowl, mix the eggs and oil together, before adding to the dry ingredients along with the grated carrot.
Mix together until it just comes together, being mindful not to over-mix, before spooning into the prepared cases.
Bake for around 20 minutes and allow to cool before icing.
To make the icing, whack the cream cheese and butter in a mixer and beat really well, before adding the vanilla and icing sugar. Beat again until nice and smooth.
Spread over the cooled cupcakes.