Week 17 – Carrot cupcakes

When I was looking at my calendar last week I realised that I was jam-packed with work, exercise and socialising for the upcoming week and it probably wasn’t going to allow for any chance something-new’s to happen in my life… so I put a plan in place and voila! I bring you my something new for this 17th week of 2016 (more than 1/4 of the way through the year!)

Healthy(er) carrot cupcakes!

I planned this so that after my last run of the season I’d head to the grocery store and buy the ingredients that I needed – which was just about everything on the list! (Unfortunately because I clearly don’t bake often enough, when I got home I realised that we already 2 tins of baking soda… which means we now have THREE!)

The ingredients - with THREE tins of baking soda :)

The ingredients – with THREE tins of baking soda 🙂

However, I digress.

I started at one end of the store and made my way along each and every aisle because I wasn’t sure where to find most of the ingredients… and many times I stood in the aisle googling exactly what the ingredient was as some of them have different names depending on if it’s an American recipe or from elsewhere! This was fairly mind boggling and hilarious at the same time XD

I managed to collect all ingredients and headed home for a nap and then awoke fresh and ready to tackle the kitchen 🙂

I had a friend visiting during the time I was making them and she had great fun watching me amble about the kitchen, deliberating on whether I should use the twisty attachments, the square attachments, or what I thought could be a paddle attachment, which is what the recipe called for (it turned out that the ‘paddle’ attachment I was looking at was actually a SCREWDRIVER!!! 😛    )

The various attachments - including a screwdriver!

The various attachments – including a screwdriver!

Anyway, all jokes aside, I got about my business following the recipe exactly as it asked, sieving here, beating there, whisking away by hand because I didn’t have the necessary electric beater available!

I eventually had the batter looking great, poured it into the cupcake molds which were placed in the muffin tray, popped that baby into the oven and chilled for approximately 20 minutes while we waited for them to bake (the delicious smells that came out of that kitchen during this period… man oh man!)

20 minutes or so later I stuck a toothpick into one of the cakes and it was perfect! Now time to let them cool and then add the frosting (had to hurry otherwise my friend would have eaten it all!) and then sprinkle some almonds on top for that extra special look.

And then – eat them!

And my goodness but were they delicious! It was very difficult to not eat the whole tray in one go! The biggest compliment was the next morning when my house mates fought over who was going to get the last one left 🙂

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar (I used muscovado sugar)
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 & 1/2 cups finely shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup natural applesauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts (plus an additional 2 tablespoons for the topping)
  • 4 ounces low fat cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 180 º Celsius
  • Line 12 muffin cups with standard paper cupcake liners
  • Sift together the flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon & nutmeg
  • In a large stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, combine brown sugar, oil and eggs until well combined, then add carrots, applesauce and vanilla
  • Add the dry ingredients and mix until well combined then add in 1/4 cup of the walnuts
  • Divide the batter among the muffin cups and bake until a toothpick comes out cleanly (approximately 20 minutes) and then transfer to a wire rack to cool
  •  Beat together the cream cheese, confectioner’s sugar and lemon zest until smooth and creamy
  • Frost the cooled cupcakes and sprinkle the remaining walnuts on top
  • ENJOY!
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