Monday, September 2, 2013

Carrot Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

 These cupcakes are fairly new to my life, but since the first batch have rapidly become a staple and a popular choice by many.
First let’s be clear, they definitely aren’t healthy carrot cakes, but really you could pretend that they are with the amount of time you spend grating carrots. That’s what I like about these cakes; you burn some calories grating carrots, strengthen your right (or left) arm muscles, and subsequently replenish those calories with one (or four) of these babies.

I made these for a friend last year for her birthday – she wrote me a post-it thank you note saying something along the lines of – “so nutty, so carroty, so delicious” – I feel that sums up these new favourites of mine. I may add a few more though – “gingery, sweet-but-not-too-sweet, more-ish, moist” I know…those last two were a bit schmaltzy.

These are adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s original recipe – another faaaaaabulous blog that you all must check out! You can get her recipe here:

Carrot Cupcakes


  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsps ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 1 ¼ cup rice bran oil (sunflower/canola oil would also work but preferably not)
  • 4 eggs – you know what kind of eggs by now…
  • 3 cups grated carrots (about 3-4 medium sized carrots, I also don’t bother to peel mine – more nutrition/roughage) J
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup sultanas

1.     Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
2.     Line 24 cupcake molds with patty tins.
3.     Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in medium bowl to blend and set aside.
4.     Whisk sugar and oil in large bowl until well blended – you can do this either with a hand held electric mixer, or an electric stand-mixer.
5.     Whisk in eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition.
6.     Add flour mixture and stir with spatula to combine.
7.     Stir in grated carrots, walnuts and raisins and mix until well blended.
8.     Divide batter among cupcake molds, filling 3/4 of each (you may find you can make more than 24 cupcakes but generally this makes enough for 24).
9.     Bake cupcakes for 15 minutes, turn pans around to ensure cakes are evenly baked within the oven, and bake for another 5 minutes (approximately – as this depends on your oven) or until a cake skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
10.  Let cool in pans for five minutes or so, then transfer cupcakes to a cooling rack.
11.  Let cool completely before icing them – a good trick is to place cupcake on the back of your wrist, when they feel cool on your wrist, they are ready to be iced.

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
*Makes enough for about 20 cupcakes (comfortably) and enough for 24 cupcakes at a stretch – if you want a lot of icing on each cupcake, then I suggest you times this recipe by 1.5


  • Two 250g packets of Philadelphia cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup


  1. Beat butter and Philadelphia together until well combined –  beat for a few minutes.
  2. When combined, add icing sugar one cup at a time and mix on a low speed.
  3. Finally add maple syrup and beat all ingredients for a few minutes on medium speed until well combined and of smooth consistency.
  4. Pipe, spread, slap – whatever – the frosting on to the cupcake. I like to pipe the icing on to mine with a star nozzle tip, and then top the cupcakes with a whole walnut or just a piece of a walnut.


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