Hello sweet friends, how lovely to have you here. Thanks for popping in. I hope you are able to take a few minutes out by yourself with a nice hot cup of tea or coffee and enjoy this post.
The mother life can be so rewarding, yet full, leaving little time to find personal creative refreshment. That’s one reason why I find my little space on the web so satisfying. The entire process of thinking up delicious recipes, baking and decorating, styling and photographing is completely enthralling for me.
My focus lately has been on developing my photography skills. Reading and researching different styles and techniques has pushed me to improve and learn as much as I can in the small pockets of time I have.
I’m not really out to compete with the plethora of insanely talented artists and full time bloggers dominating the online baking world. My desire is a simple one. To find my own style, my own voice, and to create beautiful images of cakes to share with whoever wants to see them. If any of you actually try out a recipe, or find inspiration from one of my vintage parties, then I’m happy.
I have been using this carrot cake recipe for about fifteen years now. It was given to me by a dear friend and has been a staple in our household. The recipe makes quite a large slab cake, three 6 inch round cakes, or two dozen cupcakes. For this post I have actually halved the recipe to make one dozen. ( Just double it if you have a crown to feed).
What is carrot cake without it’s perfect dancing partner, cream cheese frosting? For something a bit different, and because I had homemade caramel sauce in my fridge, along with a firm conviction that caramel (aka nectar of the gods) turns just about anything into a superfood, I ramped up my standard frosting with a generous dollop of salted caramel.
Carrot & Walnut Cupcakes
The only carrot cake recipe you will ever need. Moist, slightly spicy and topped with a decadent caramel cream cheese buttercream, these cupcakes with send any carrot cake lover craving more.
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup canola oil
- 125 grams sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups plain flour
- 1 tsp bicarb soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups grated carrot
- 100 grams roughly chopped walnuts You can substitute pecan nuts if you prefer
Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
- 125 g butter, chopped
- 125 g cream cheese, chopped
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 - 5 tbls caramel sauce, approx You may need more or less, depending on how strong you want the caramel flavour
- 1 - 2 tbls cream, approx Add as necessary, to get consistency right
- 2 - 3 cups icing sugar, sifted You may need more to get consistency right
Turn oven on to 180C
Line muffin tray with 12 cupcake papers.
For the cupcakes, using an electric mixer on low (or a hand whisk will do), combine eggs, oil, sour cream, sugar, vanilla and sifted dry ingredients in a bowl and mix on medium speed until well combined.
Turn mixer onto low speed and mix in carrots and walnuts until well combined.
Using an ice cream scoop, put mixture into prepared cupcake liners and bake in a moderate oven for 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. You may need to keep them in an extra 5 minutes. Make sure they are cooked properly.
Leave on a wire wrack to cool. Frost with caramel cream cheese icing and decorate with more chopped walnuts and caramel.
Cream Cheese Frosting
In an electric mixer on low, combine butter and cream cheese. Turn onto high and whip together for a good 4 - 5 minutes or until very light and fluffy and pale in colour.
Turn mixer to low and add vanilla.
Slowly add icing sugar, a little at a time. When it gets too thick, add the caramel.
If still too thick, add dashes of cream until frosting is desired consistency.
Homemade Caramel Sauce
Have all ingredients ready.
In a medium saucepan combine 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup water and a dash of sea salt. Whisk until mixture starts to boil, then leave it to simmer until it turns a brown, golden colour. This can take up to ten minutes. Swirl pan occasionally.
Immediately whisk in 1/4 cup chopped butter. Turn off heat and whisk in 2/3 cup cream. This will steam up and get very hot, so be careful and don't have the kiddies close with this one. Whisk until smooth. Allow to cool and pour into a glass jar to refrigerate, where caramel will thicken.
You may have noticed these cute little carrots adorning my cupcakes. They are made with coloured candy melts, which, to be honest, was anything but easy to melt, even with my Wilton Candy Melting Pot which is specifically designed for melting those cute little coloured buttons of decorating potential! (Go figure.) My only comment, is that maybe they will melt better in a microwave, which we don’t have. If you actually can get them sufficiently melted, pour each colour carefully into an icing bag with a small round hole tip and make your shapes on a tray with bake paper. Refrigerate before putting carrots carefully onto your cupcakes.
Well, we have our dear family visiting today, so I’m off to play with our darling granddaughter. The weather is beautiful and we may even go out and enjoy this paradise we live in.
Thanks again for dropping by. I’d love to hear from you, so feel free to say hello and tell me about yourself. Have a great weekend. xx