As Easter approaches, I usually can’t resist covering everything I bake in chocolate and mini eggs. But even for the most ardent chocoholics, there’s only so much of the stuff you can take at this time of year. So I decided to share my carrot cake recipe with you – this one’s for the Easter Bunny.
I love making these because they’re so easy and they come out plump, golden and delicious every time. There’s no laborious creaming of butter and sugar, which means it’s a great recipe to try with the little ones. You could even get them working their own production line of placing the tiny carrots on top.
If you’re not into piping, there’s no need to worry about that. To be honest, I think cream cheese icing should generally be smeared with a spatula – I was just showing off for the camera.
Tip: they keep well in an airtight tin – but I promise they won’t hang around for that long.
Happy Easter everyone!
Mini Carrot Cupcakes
200g golden caster sugar
150ml sunflower oil
3 large eggs
220g grated carrot (about 2 or 3 large carrots) – use the finer side of the grater
60g chopped nuts (walnuts are traditional but I like brazils)
220g wholemeal flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp mixed spice
1 pinch of salt
For the icing
100g butter, softened
100g full-fat cream cheese
200g icing sugar (add a touch more if you want to pipe it)
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and line 12 muffin tray holes with muffin cases – the sturdy brown paper ones are best
- Mix together the sugar, oil and eggs until smooth, then stir in the grated carrot, chopped nuts and sultanas
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, spices and salt, then tip this into the wet carrot mixture and stir well
- The mix will now be quite runny – split it between the muffin papers and bake for 25 minutes until well risen and evenly brown. Allow to cool completely
- For the icing, mix your butter and cream cheese together in a bowl until smooth and light
- Stir in the icing sugar, mix well and add the orange zest. Then you can pipe or spoon the icing onto the cold cupcakes (if the cupcakes are still warm, the icing will melt and slip right off)
- Top with a pinch of orange zest or – if you’re feeling arty – some fondant carrots.
You’ll need orange and green fondant, a skewer and a cocktail stick. First, make your carrot/cone shape out of orange fondant and some tiny green sausages for the leaves. Leave them to stiffen up for an hour or so. Stab a little hole in the top of each carrot with a skewer and press a cocktail stick against the sides to make carroty creases. Fold the leave in half, wet them slightly and stick them into the hole at the top of your carrot. Leave them to dry for a little while and then place them on your iced cupcakes.
Print our bunting template, cut out the diamonds and fold them in half along the dotted line. Glue them onto string and tie onto barbecue skewers to make a stand.