Hello September! The month associated with ‘back to school’, the end of Summer and the barbecue season, and the start of Autumn. There are actually a lot of things I love about Autumn. It’s the beginning of chunky knits season, a time for gloves, scarves, chestnuts, conker battles, smores (in the U.S), and the run up to Halloween, bonfire night and endless evenings curled up by the fire with a hot mug of cocoa and a good book.
Yep, I’m definitely a Winter girl. Not only because it’s the time of year when the ski season starts (which being a massive ski monkey is always something I look forward to), but also probably the fact that as a ginger, Summer and me… don’t really go together…
To get me in the mood for the onset of Autumn I thought I’d rustle up a batch of carrot cake cupcakes. It’s one of my favourite cupcake recipes and has a gorgeous warm wintery spice running through the cakes making them the perfect seasonal treat. It’s a Waitrose recipe though, so I can’t accept the credit for this one I’m afraid.. although I have made one alteration- swapping mascarpone icing for the suggested cream cheese.
Carrot cake cupcakes
2 large eggs
175g golden caster sugar
150ml sunflower oil
200g self-raising flour, sifted
3 tsp mixed spice
2 medium carrots, grated
1 tsp vanilla extract
Zest of 2 oranges
50g icing sugar, sifted
Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Line a muffin tin with 11-12 cases.
Put the eggs, caster sugar and oil in a large bowl and beat with an electric whisk until light and fluffy.
Using a metal spoon, gently fold in the flour, mixed spice, grated carrot, vanilla extract and half the orange zest until well combined.
Then divide the mixture between the muffin cases and place in the oven for 20-25mins until they have risen and are a light golden colour. Remove and place on a cooling rack.
For the icing, beat together the mascarpone and icing sugar until smooth. Chill in the fridge until ready to use. Once the cupcakes have cooled add a generous dollop of the icing onto each cake and spread using a palette knife. Finally top each cake with a sprinkle of the remaining orange zest.