CARROT AND ORANGE CUPCAKES

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These cupcakes are similar to carrot cake but with an orange twist. The sponge is deliciously moist with a nice kick of mixed spice and a nice fruity hit from the oranges. Despite the sponge being extremely tasty I was disappointed with the mascarpone frosting, I don’t know if it’s because I associate carrot cake with a cream cheese frosting but I just felt it did not do the cupcakes justice. I will make these cakes again in the future cause they really are tasty however I will replace the mascarpone frosting with a cream cheese one. I will include the ingredients for the mascarpone frosting in case you want to give it a go, which I suggest you do as everybody has different tastes. Alternatively you can skip the frosting altogether and have carrot and orange muffins, which are equally as good, I ended up eating them as muffins as I scraped the mascarpone frosting off. Whatever way you decided to make them I hope you enjoy them. Happy Baking!!!

MAKES: 12 Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS 

  • 115g butter, softened
  • 115g light brown sugar
  • Juice and finely grated zest of 1 small orange
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 175g carrots, grated (this is roughly 2 medium sized carrots)
  • 25g walnut pieces, roughly chopped (optional)
  • 125g plain flour
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • FROSTING:
  • 280g mascarpone cheese
  • 4 tbsp icing sugar
  • Grated rind of 1 large orange

METHOD

  1. Prepare you muffin pan with cases, than preheat your oven to 180c/160c fan.
  2. Put the butter, sugar and orange rind in a bowl and beat together until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs beating well after each addition.
  3. Squeeze any excess liquid from the carrots and add to the mixture with the walnuts and orange juice. Stir the mixture until mixed well. Sift in the flour, mixed spice and baking powder and then, using a metal spoon fold into the mixture.                  P1010107
  4. Spoon the mixture in to the prepared cases and bake for 25 minutes or until well risen, firm to touch and golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.BeFunky Collage123
  5. To make the frosting, put the mascarpone cheese, icing sugar and orange rind in a large bowl and beat until smooth.                                                                         P1010115
  6. When the cupcakes are cold, spread a little frosting on top of each, swirling it with a round bladed knife. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve.

Recipe Source: Cupcakes & Mini Bakes by The Sweet Treat Collection.

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VANILLA CREAM CUPCAKES

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Who does not love cupcakes? They are sweet, delicious, moist and so versatile. This recipe for Vanilla Cream Cupcakes is so simple and it’s perfect if you want to get your creative juices following by decorating them in any way you want. You can add food coloring, sprinkles, glitter what ever you fancy, I had so much fun letting my inner child out decorating them.  The buttercream in this recipe is certainly a winner for me, it is the best I have ever tried and I will be using it for other recipes which require buttercream. The vanilla buttercream was so creamy and had just the right amount of sweetness, it reminded me of vanilla ice cream in a frosting, I mean what could be better? I have struggled with cupcakes in the past whether I have made them or bought them, I always found the frosting overpowered the sponge however this recipe has renewed my love for these mini cakes and i’m looking forward to making them again and to get creative and let my imagination go wild. Happy Baking!!!

MAKES: 24         PREP TIME: 20mins        BAKING TIME: 20-25mins

INGREDIENTS 

  • 200g plain flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 150ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • FOR THE ICING:
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • Decorative toppings (optional)
  • Food coloring (optional)

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan and line 2 x 12 hole cupcake trays.
  2. Place the first 5 ingredients in a bowl and mix together with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.                                                                             P1010028
  3. In another bowl whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla extract until well blended.P1010034
  4. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the dry ingredients, using an electric hand whisk continue whisking all the time. Whisk gently until the mixture is smooth, being careful not to over mix as this can toughen the cakes.                                                  P1010046
  5. Pour the mixture in to a jug to make it easier to handle as it is quite a runny mixture. Carefully pour the cake mixture in to the paper cases, filling each one only half way. P1010051
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 mins. Leave to cool and then make the icing.
  7. To make the icing, combine the icing sugar, vanilla extract and butter in a bowl. Beat with an electric whisk for 5 mins, be patient the mixture will seem too dry at first but it will come together. Add your food coloring, I split the mixture in 2 and used pink and violet colors.
  8. If icing by hand add a teaspoonful of the frosting to the top of each cake and use the back of the spoon, dipped in warm water to smooth the surface. If piping the icing transfer the mixture to a piping bag and pipe a spiral on to the top of each cake. I found there was enough icing to frost the cakes using the teaspoon however there was not enough for piping therefore I suggest making double the amount of frosting if you wish to pipe and if there is any left over you can freeze it for another time.                                                                                      P1010075
  9. Decorate with sprinkles or any other decorative toppings you have if you wish. The cakes can be kept for 3 days in an airtight container.                                                      P1010073

Recipe taken from: Step by step baking by Caroline Bretherton.