The other day I went to visit my friend Jo and her brand new black labradoodle puppy, Reggie. He is a fluffy bundle of enthusiasm and unbelievably gorgeous. Apparently he is slightly less gorgeous at 3am but I only saw him lolloping around the garden, chasing leaves and his tail before collapsing in his bed for a quick snooze.
Despite being sleep-deprived, Jo had managed to whip up a batch of carrot cupcakes so we had those (still warm!) with a cup of coffee and sat in the sun in the garden to watch Reggie play. Time well spent.
The cupcakes were delicious so I appropriated the recipe, gave it a couple of tweaks and made them for (this week’s!) school fair’s cake stand.
175g SR flour
half a teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
150g soft brown sugar
zest of an orange
half a teaspoon mixed spice
100ml sunflower oil
150g pot natural yogurt
300g icing sugar
125g cream cheese
Set the oven to 180ºC. Line a 12 hole cupcake or muffin tin with cases. If your cases are small you may make a few more than 12.
Coarsely grate the carrots and put into a large bowl. Add the raisins, flour, bicarbonate of soda, sugar, orange zest and mixed spice.
Combine the eggs, oil and natural yogurt and add to the carrot mixture. Mix until combined.
Spoon the mixutre into the cake cases and bake for around 20 minutes, or until golden and well risen. Allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Make the icing: beat the butter and add the sieved icing sugar and mix again. Add the cream cheese and beat until well combined. I haven’t fully mastered the art of cream cheese icing yet and often have to sieve the mixture to get rid of icing sugar lumps.
You can pipe the icing or just spread it over the cupcakes. Some coloured sugar sprinkles (I used orange and yellow ones) look great on the top.
And just as an aside, it turns out that if you pipe the icing and then accidentally tip the box over when taking them to school, as long as the cakes were covered in clingfilm you can rescue the icing by spreading it over the cupcakes as if you had intended to do that in the first place! And nobody will ever know…