Carrot and pumpkin cakes are staple autumn recipes. They are filled with spices and beautifully scented, easy to whip up and will impress friends and family alike. Cupcakes are also easy to transport and very decorative.

Food recipe: Carrot cupcakes

There are many theories on the origin of this cake, some say it descended from the English’s baked carrot puddings or European steamed carrot puddings. Others say it may have come from German carrot breads. Alan Davidson in ‘The Oxford Companion to Food’ tells us that carrots were used in European sweet cakes since the Middle Ages when other sweeteners were hard to find or just too expensive. In fact, carrots, along with beets, contain more sugar than most other vegetables which might explain their use in desserts.

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You don’t need a mixer for this recipe, just two bowls. The only time consuming part is the grating of the fresh carrots, but keep in mind that the flavour is very rewarding. Healthy recipe is basic, but if you like, you can use some applesauce or grated apple or crushed pineapple in the batter, it will make it even more moist. You can also add 1/2 cup (120 ml) of currants or raisins to the batter. Soft and tangy cream cheese frosting is the perfect accompaniment to these. Make sure that the butter and cream cheese are at room temperature to prevent lumps in your frosting and beat the ingredients together until creamy smooth. Adding a bit of orange zest to the frosting really goes a long way. It will lift the flavour of the entire cake.

Carrot Cupcakes:

  • 200 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp cinammon
  • ¼ tsp ginger
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 170 g butter, melted
  • 200 g brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tsp milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 medium carrots, grated

Cream cheese frosting

  • 200 g cream cheese
  • 55 g butter
  • 100 g powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  1. Preheat oven to 190 C.
  2. In one bowl, combine all dry ingredients and sift them. In the second bowl, whisk all wet ingredients. Finally add the dry mixture to the wet one and whisk to combine. Pour the mixture into cupcake tins lined with cupcake paper cups. Don’t pour it all the way to the top of the cups as it will rise during baking. Bake for 25 minutes, let cool completely.
  3. For the frosting, take all ingredients out of the fridge, they need to be at room temperature. Beat cream cheese with electric mixer and add vanilla extract. Gradually add powdered sugar. In a separate bowl, mix softened butter, then add it to the cream cheese mixture. Mix until even and completely combined. In the end, add orange zest. Put the frosting into piping bag with round or swirl top and pipe it on top of each cupcake.

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