Carrot, orange and sultana cupcakes…

Over the last couple of years my work colleagues have been spoilt rotten, sampling the fruits of my baking labours. Now with only a couple of weeks until I leave my job to move onto pastures new I’m making sure I bake them lots of goodies to cement my lasting legacy. Last week’s contribution to their calorie intake came in the form of delicious carrot, orange and sultana cupcakes…

To make these beauts you need to preheat the oven to 160 degrees and line a 12 hole cupcake tin with paper cases in preparation.

You need…

1 cup plain flour

1tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/4 tsp salt

1tsp ground cinnamon

2 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

2/3 cup corn oil (or similar)

1tsp vanilla extract

2tsp orange zest

1 cup grated carrot (approx 2 carrots)

3/4 cup sultanas

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cinnamon into a bowl. In a separate bowl beat the eggs with the sugar until smooth and thick. I’m lucky enough to have a KitchenAid mixer but a handheld mixer or some good old fashioned elbow grease would do the trick!

Slowly mix in the oil, vanilla and orange zest until blended. Then stir in the flour mixture that you sifted earlier and finally add the carrot, sultanas and walnuts.

Fill each muffin case to about 1/2 an inch below the rim and bake for about 25 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Leave to cool for 10 minutes and then remove them from the tin to cool completely ready for icing.

For the frosting you’ll need…

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

170g cream cheese, at room temperature

1tsp vanilla extract

3 cups icing sugar

2tsp orange zest

12 walnut halves

Now, in the past I’ve tried using light cream cheese for cupcake frosting and…it just doesn’t work! It tastes fine but the consistency always ends up being too runny. So, I finally decided to stop fighting it and opted for full fat and I can vouch for the fact that it really does make a difference. In for a penny in for a pound eh?!

Use an electric mixer to beat together the butter, cream cheese and vanilla until smooth. Add the icing sugar and beat until smooth again, then rack up the speed and beat for another minute of so until the frosting is nice and light.

Stir in the orange zest and either use a piping bag with a large nozzle attachment to swirl the frosting onto each cupcake or, as I did, use a small palette knife or spatula to spread a good dollop of frosting onto the cakes, topping them off with a walnut half…et voila…

If you don’t hoover them all instantly, you can keep them in the fridge and they’ll last for a couple of days.

They were exceptionally moist and light and the delicate orange flavoured frosting was literally the icing on the cake 🙂 …

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