Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Carrot-Pecan-Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I have been making carrot cakes for a very long time now and each time I bake them, I have tried to customize it to the perfect taste I love. You can find a lot of recipes online, but to be honest, they are either too oily or too sweet. This time a friend of mine wanted these for a party at her place and after successfully baking two unsuccessful recipes, I ended up making these cupcakes and they were perfect! I have added pecans instead of the traditional walnuts (somehow "S" doesn't like the oily taste walnuts have), made them with vanilla-orange-lemon sugar (for more flavour), used a bit of fresh grated ginger and instead of pineapple, this time I used dessicated coconut. For the cream cheese frosting I used a splash of cream along with butter and cream cheese. I sometimes omit the cream cheese totally and use mascarpone instead. I would say this icing is to die for, so its worth taking the extra effort of making it. I also made some marzipan carrots to decorate it just for fun. I was amazed at how friends at the party thought I have used blanched baby carrots!
Carrot-Pecan-Coconut Cupcakes (Makes 12 Med size)
Plain Flour - 150g
*Sugar - 150g (or light brown sugar)
Grated Carrots - 150g
Oil - 150ml
Baking Powder - 1/2 tsp
Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp
Ground Cinnamon - 1/2 tsp
Ground Clove - 1/4 tsp
Mixed Spice - 1/4 tsp
Grated Ginger - 1 tsp
Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
Raisins - 25g
Dessicated Coconut - 50g
Pecans chopped - 75g
Eggs - 2
Preheat the oven to 180C. Beat the eggs and sugar until pale. Add oil, Vanilla extract and beat for a minute or two. Stir in the grated carrots and  ginger, beat well. Sift the dry ingredients twice and toss the nuts, raisins and coconut. Slowly add the dry ingredients in three goes into the wet and fold until well incorporated. Divide the mixture into muffin tins, lined with paper cases, until 3/4 full. Bake for about 20-25 min or until skewer inserted in the centre comes off clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack completely before icing.
For the Cream Cheese Icing
Cream Cheese - 200g
Soft unsalted Butter - 50g
Fresh Cream - 60ml 
Icing Sugar - 150g (use upto 300g if you need sweeter icing)
Vanilla Extract - 1tsp
Beat the butter and sugar until light (you will be covered in icing sugar so try adding a little at a time). Add the cream cheese, vanilla extract and fresh cream and beat slowly till peaks form. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle and pipe as desired over the cooled cupcakes. Decorate with marzipan carrots or pecans. This can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, but do bring it to room temperature before serving to enjoy the luscious smooth icing.
*To make the vanilla-lemon-orange sugar, whizz the zest of a lemon and orange in a mixer and mix with the required quantity of vanilla sugar. Use immediately or else might form lumps. 
Verdict: This is one of those cakes that never lasts in my house. Absolute favourite of "S"s, he even wanted this for his birthday. This has even managed to convert a friend who is a complete chocolate cake lover. If you cant be bothered to make the icing just the warm slice of cake with coffee or a scoop of vanilla ice-cream on the side is absolute heaven. But the gorgeous creamy icing really compliments the cake.


ramakrishnan said...

Carrot cake is my all time favorite. I should admit that this is the best cake i had so far. a tasteful cake with perfect presentation as you can see at the shops. Well Done..Keep baking...


Colleen said...

Those look fabulously yummy! I love carrot cake. And those little carrots are seriously life like. Well done!

URS SUNNY said...

The best home made cake i had so far.First time i fell in love with baking.scolding myself for not tried yet.keep going...

Jamie said...

Those marzipan carrots are so adorable and really finish off this luscious cakelet perfectly! I usually just make my carrot snack cake in one pan totally unadorned but I love the cupcakes and the frosting is fabulous! I'll try this with mascarpone! I can so see how well it would go with carrot cake!

Debugcooking said...

I agree with ya...mascarpone just works its magic..I started of baking carrot cake in a pan but now its its S's fav I make it a point to make it fancy ^_^

My Kitchen Antics said...

i love carrot cake so much but the mere richness of it put me off, kinda:)
and the cream cheese, i absolutely love.

Unknown said...

i am loving it

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