Car­rot cup­cakes with cream­cheese ic­ing

SERVES 18 // PREP TIME 25 MINS // COOK 40 MINS (PLUS COOL­ING)

Gourmet Traveller (Australia) - - Food -

The com­bi­na­tion of cin­na­mon, orange zest and the creamy ic­ing that typ­i­fies car­rot cake warms many hearts. These bite-sized cup­cakes stay true to the orig­i­nal, with a crisp car­rot top­ping thrown in for crunch. Make a big batch for a birth­day party or tuck them into lunch­boxes. Pic­tured p125.

Finely grated zest of 1 orange

Scraped seeds of

½ vanilla bean

300 gm caster sugar

280 gm plain flour

1½ tbsp ground cin­na­mon 1½ tsp bak­ing pow­der

1 tsp bi­car­bon­ate of soda 4 eggs

240 ml olive oil

240 gm coarsely grated car­rot

(about 3 large car­rots)

100 gm coarsely grated zuc­chini

(about 1 small zuc­chini) 60 gm wal­nuts, coarsely chopped, plus ex­tra finely grated, to serve

50 gm cur­rants CAN­DIED CAR­ROT 200 gm caster sugar 2 car­rots, peeled into strips CREAM-CHEESE IC­ING 250 gm cream cheese, soft­ened 90 gm but­ter, soft­ened 230 gm pure ic­ing sugar, sifted Finely grated zest of 1 le­mon Scraped seeds of

½ vanilla bean

1 For can­died car­rot, pre­heat oven to 120°C. Bring sugar and 200ml wa­ter to the boil in a saucepan, stir­ring to dis­solve, then cool. Add car­rot to syrup and stand for 1 minute, then drain well and spread evenly over a large oven tray lined with bak­ing pa­per. Bake un­til crisp (15-20 min­utes), then cool. 2 In­crease oven to 175°C. Line a 3⁄4-cup 12-hole muf­fin tin with pa­per cases. Rub orange zest and vanilla into sugar in a bowl. Sift flour, cin­na­mon, bak­ing pow­der and bi­car­bon­ate of soda into a sep­a­rate bowl. Place eggs in an elec­tric mixer, whisk to com­bine, then with the mo­tor run­ning, slowly add the sugar mix­ture un­til pale, creamy and dou­bled in size. Add oil, whisk­ing just to com­bine, then im­me­di­ately turn off the mixer. Fold in flour mix­ture, fol­lowed by car­rot, zuc­chini, wal­nuts and cur­rants. Di­vide bat­ter among pa­per cases and bake un­til golden and cen­tre springs back when lightly pressed

(12-15 min­utes). Cool.

3 For cream-cheese ic­ing, beat cream cheese and but­ter in an elec­tric mixer fit­ted with the pad­dle at­tach­ment un­til pale and fluffy. Add sugar, zest and vanilla and beat un­til com­bined. 4 Spread ic­ing over cup­cakes and top with grated wal­nut and can­died car­rot. Cup­cakes will keep re­frig­er­ated in an air­tight con­tainer for a week.

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