Carrot cake is an odd thing, if it wasn’t a common type of cake I would screw up my face at the thought, much like I do when zucchini brownies are mentioned. Pumpkin based sweet foods are an odd American tradition too – one I have been meaning to try out. But today was carrot cake day– and these little cakes are tasty.
The icing seems to be the most important part – ill admit to stealing some from the bowl, it is just that good. I don’t remember ever buying so many different types of dairy before (maybe to go with the apple crumble at a family dinner!) and piling all that cream into the bowl did feel rather indulgent. I think this feeling is best overcome by making these for an event where they can be shared around. Sadly this goes against the demands of my flatmate Frank that “these are not leaving the house”. These cupcakes would be fantastic for a birthday, I can just imagine a candle sticking out of that frosting.
There was rather a lot of frosting left over – each cupcake got a fair bit less than the recipe suggested as 2-3 tablespoons on each seemed a little excessive to me. So you could reduce the frosting quantities (2/3rd would be enough) or save the leftovers for another cake the following day as I did.
Thank you very much to the lovely Juliet for giving me the beautiful cupcake cases – they made me realise how long I have been cupcake-less when I saw them yesterday!
Carrot Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting
Adapted slightly from The Wednesday Chef
Makes 15 cupcakes
1 pound carrots (about 5), peeled
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup Demerara or brown sugar
1/2 cup sunflower oil
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup mascarpone
1 cup thickened cream
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Line muffin tins with paper cases – enough for 15 cupcakes
Grate the carrots using a food processor fitted with the shredding blade, or the medium holes of a box grater. You will need a total of 2 1/2 cups.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, oil, sour cream, and vanilla. Add the egg and egg yolk and whisk to combine. Add the flour mixture and whisk until just combined. Using a spatula, fold the carrots into the batter.
Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling them about three-quarters full.
Bake, rotating the tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool the cupcakes completely on a wire rack.
To make the frosting, combine the mascarpone, cream, sour cream, sugar, salt, vanilla and lemon zest and beat on medium speed with an electric whisk or mixer until the mixture becomes thick, about 5 minutes. (The frosting can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a day. Let it come to room temperature and whisk together if necessary before using.)
Using a metal spatula or a butter knife, spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of the frosting over the top of each cupcake.
The cupcakes can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.