Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Carrot and cream cheese cupcakes


Tonight is Samhain – or to use it’s more common name nowadays – Halloween.  The night marks a time when the "door" to the Otherworld opens enough for the souls of the dead, and other beings, to come into our world.  Spooky, eh?

With all these souls of the dead turning up unannounced, the chances are you’ll need some cake to placate them.  What better than some spicy carrot cupcakes with lusciously thick cream cheese frosting?

Unlike many carrot cakes this one doesn’t contain nuts or dried fruit, resulting in a lighter than air sponge.  It was difficult to cut for a photo because the sponge just crumbled into fat juicy crumbs.  I rather like the witch who has decided to embed herself in the frosting – she looks ever so comfortable!

I’m not really one for Halloween and the commercialisation thereof, but when I saw the most beautifully round, unblemished little pumpkin in my local supermarket – for just £1 – I knew I had to have it.  I would rather eat my own feet than pumpkin so the only option was to turn my perfect pumpkin into a little personality.  So here we are – my first ever attempt at pumpkin carving.  Try as I might, I just couldn’t get him to look evil – there are happy pumpkins, surely? 


For the cupcakes:
175g muscovado sugar
100g wholemeal self raising flour
100g self raising flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons mixed spice
1 orange – zest
150ml sunflower or any flavourless cooking oil – I used light olive oil (for baking and roasting)
2 eggs
200g carrots – grated (about 2 normal sized carrots)
1 tablespoon orange juice

For the frosting:
100g unsalted butter – at room temperature
300g cream cheese – at room temperature (I used Philly)
100g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To decorate: Sprinkles of your choice


Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

Line a 12 hole cupcake pan with paper cases.

Mix together the sugar, flours, bicarbonate of soda, mixed spice and orange zest.

In a jug, measure out the oil and then add the eggs; whisk lightly so they are combined.

Stir the oil into the dry mixture.

Stir in the grated carrot and orange juice.

Spoon into the paper cases – take care to be neat; it’s tricky to spoon because of the carrot – the mix will want to slide off the spoon!

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cakes comes out clean.

Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Now make the frosting: beat the butter until it is soft and whippy.

Beat in the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla.

Spoon onto the cupcakes in generous dollops.  This isn’t a frosting to do fancy piping with!

Decorate as desired – I used witch, spider and bat sprinkles.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.



Recipe Junkie said...

mmm they look great. Presumably the mix would cook Ok as a loaf?

Cakelaw said...

I like your Halloween sprinkles. The stores had nothing like that here.

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Recipe Junkie

Yes, I'm sure it would - not sure as to the cooking time though. Maybe start with 30 minutes and check every 5 mins after that?

Happy baking!

Cakeyboi said...

They look lovely and the witches are a nice festive finish!

Kezia said...

Happy Halloween! I love your happy little pumpkin, and of course the cupcakes look mouth-watering!

Janine said...

I tried to make my pumpkin look evil but he just looks miserable. Maybe if we worked together we might be successful! I love cany kind of carrot cake, and these look great!

Debs Dust Bunny said...

I love your carrot cakes. I much prefer carrot cake without all the nuts and dried fruit. The witch sprinkles are wonderful, too. As for your Jack 'o Lantern, where I come from Halloween is a wonderful children's holiday. Happy pumpkins are mandatory! I hope you have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Greedy Traveller said...

Looks very tasty - I love carrot cake. No Halloween baking here - but I've got a bonfire party next week so I'm looking for inspiration! Thanks.

Em said...

cupcakes look SO moist, nothing can actually beat the combination of carrot and cream cheese.
may have to recreate this weekend!

Baking Addict said...

I love carrot cake and this looks delicious! Love the witches too - where did you get those from? Great job with the pumpkin carving - I had a go last year but didn't manage it this year!

sensibilia said...

Carrot cake is my all-time favourite cake, so any variation is welcomed. Cream cheese icing, yummy, yummy.

Rather eat your own feet? Oh dear. I have very happy memories of fabulous pumpkin pie made years ago, which hasn't worked out the last few times I made it. Not sure why. I am sure your magic touch could sort out a good recipe for pumpkin pie.

Nicola said...

I love carrot cake! Those little witches are brilliant :-)

Jo said...

Awwww, I think that's the happiest pumpkin I've ever seen. He's great! Your cupcakes look absolutely delicious too. I think I need to bookmark this recipe.

Caroline said...

They look great - sometimes you want a lighter carrot cake recipe don't you, and it looks like this one went well with the frosting. Yum. I can understand the witch wanting to bury herself in it!

Laura loves cakes said...

These are lovely little cakes...and the sprinkles are fab too! Fab pumpkin too :-)

Lucy said...

These look so delicious - I love the generous helping of icing! I think these would disappear very quickly...

Maggie said...

Great Halloween bake - loving the pumpkin and those dark black sprinkles too.

Jacqueline said...

I bet they went down well and I do so love you happy pumpkin. I made little truffles into monsters by adding eyes.