Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot layer cake decorated with the ultimate fluffy cream cheese frosting. A cake recipe perfect for any occasion! 

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Admittedly, I have many favourite recipes. Carrot cake is one of my most beloved desserts. It’s moist, light, fluffy and each slice goes down a treat.

What I love most of all is how easy and simple this carrot cake recipe is to prepare. I also really adore the combination of spices, warming ground cinnamon, ginger and cloves work wonderfully, giving this cake its gorgeous unique flavour.

I think we can all agree that no other frosting suits carrot cake like a classic cream cheese frosting. So that’s what I went for to decorate my cake. Cream cheese frosting is usually my nemesis, as hard as I try I always seem to mess it up. Most of the time ending up with a runny and loose frosting with lumps of butter in! But I finally found a great cream cheese frosting, which has become my new go-to recipe! It’s ultra creamy and is made by simply whisking together cream cheese and mascarpone with icing sugar, vanilla and double cream. It turns out perfect each time.

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This recipe makes a big cake, which will serve about 10-12. If preferred, you could bake a batch of 24 cupcakes instead. I haven’t tried this yet, but baking time will differ.

This recipe is exactly how me and my taste testers like carrot cake. Plain and simple, without too many nuts in the cake, or any raisins or dried fruit added. It’s a definite favourite, and I cannot wait to make it again soon! Plus, we found the cake got better with age (I preferred the taste on day 2 and day 3), the flavour getting even stronger and the frosting stayed super creamy and fluffy.

I hope you love baking and eating this cake as much as we did!

Ingredients:

Cake –

450g (1 pound) carrots, finely grated

3 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

200g (1 cup) caster sugar

200g (1 packed cup) light brown sugar

355ml (1 1/2 cups) vegetable oil (or other flavourless oil such as canola)

80ml (1/3 cup) buttermilk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

240g (2 cups) plain flour (all-purpose)

150g (1 cup) wholemeal flour

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Cream Cheese Frosting –

250g (8.8 ounces) full-fat cream cheese, softened

250g (8.8 ounces) mascarpone, softened

150g icing sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

225ml double cream, chilled

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (160 Fan), 350 degrees. Line two 9 inch round cake tins with a circle of parchment paper in the bottom of each. Grease the sides of each tin with butter. Set to one side.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the grated carrot, eggs, sugars, oil, buttermilk and vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt and spices until combined.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and fold until fully incorporated.
  5. Equally divide the cake batter between the cake tins. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean of any uncooked batter – cooking time will depend on your oven, so if in doubt, carry on baking the cake until the cake tester comes out clean. 
  6. Once the cakes are fully baked, allow to cool completely in the tins, then remove.
  7. For the frosting, in a large mixing bowl whisk the softened cream cheese and mascarpone until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and sifted icing sugar and whisk until combined. Now add the double cream bit by bit, and whisk the mixture until it has thickened – this will take approx. 1-2 minutes.
  8. To decorate, take one cake half and spread with a layer of the frosting. Place the second cake layer on top and sandwich the two halves together. Crumb coat the cake – this is done by using an off set palette knife to spread a very thin layer of the frosting around the cake. Chill the cake at this point for at least 30 minutes to allow the first layer of frosting to harden.
  9. Now using the remaining frosting, decorate and ice the cake. Finish decorating the cake with chopped pecans or walnuts, or your favourite sprinkles or sweets.
  10. Chill the cake until ready to serve. Then slice up and enjoy!

Carrot Cake recipe adapted very slightly from Faux Martha Frosting inspired by All Recipes UK 

Recipe Notes:

  • You can bake the cake, and wrap it in cling film and store for 2 days before you make the frosting and decorate it.
  • Keep the frosted cake covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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Enjoy!

jess

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Lemon Cupcakes with Fresh Raspberry Buttercream

Light and buttery lemon-scented cupcakes topped with fresh raspberry buttercream.

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I’m super excited to share this cupcake recipe over on the Laura Ashley blog! The Great British Bake Off is currently airing on TV here in the UK, I am absolutely loving it! There really is nothing more British than tea and cake!

I am thrilled to have been chosen along with three other amazing bloggers (Aimee, Catherine and Sara) to take part in The Great Blogger Bake Off! I’m full aware most bloggers are going crazy over pumpkin recipes right now, but it is still the summer and I’m taking full advantage of that! I made these cupcakes way back in the middle of the summer, they went down a treat with everyone who tried one and are one of my favourite cupcake recipes.

THE GREAT BLOGGER BAKE OFF

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I love dusting each cupcake with a little bit of icing sugar – they look prettier that way! 

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For my recipe on the Laura Ashley blog, I decided to bake some summery cupcakes. I love cupcakes, so it seemed the obvious choice! Each cake is swirled with fresh raspberry buttercream. The buttercream is seriously addictive, so much so you could probably eat it by the spoonful straight from the mixing bowl – I’m always guilty of doing this!

I use a classic sponge cupcake, there is nothing more British than sponge cake! It’s a brilliant cake, light, fluffy and buttery. And perfect in so many ways!

I added the zest from one lemon to my cupcake batter, the lemon has a beautiful light flavour and it works amazingly with the tart raspberry buttercream. I use a brilliant vanilla buttercream base, but I’ve added some homemade raspberry puree to the mix. It naturally colours the buttercream, giving it a pretty pink colour!

These cupcakes would make a brilliant and pretty tasty addition to an afternoon tea party. Paired with my Easy Homemade Lemonade they would be the ultimate treat!

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For my recipe I received these absolutely gorgeous cupcake cases and toppers from the new collection! Along with the beautiful floral pastry guide worktop saver. I’m excited to make lots of pastry and roll out biscuits on this!

(Makes 12)

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:

150g (2/3 cup) unsalted butter, softened

150g (3/4 cup) caster or granulated sugar (superfine sugar)

3 free-range eggs, at room temperature

1 lemon, zest only

150g (1 and 1/4 cup) self-raising flour, sifted – be careful not to overmeasure – you can sub with 150g plain flour and 2 tsp baking powder

2-3 tbsp water or milk – water makes a lighter cake

Buttercream:

1 heaping cup (approx. 160g) fresh or frozen raspberries

150g (2/3 cup) unsalted butter, softened

300g (3 cups) icing sugar (confectioners’ sugar), sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

2-3 tablespoon milk or cream

Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C Fan / 200 °C / 400 °F / Gas Mark 6. Line a cupcake tin with 12 cupcake liners and set aside.

2. To make the cupcakes: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together until light in colour and very fluffy – this will take 5 minutes. Make sure you stop the mixer halfway through creaming and using a rubber spatula scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing.

3. Add eggs, one by one and mix to combine. Now fold in the flour – mix until just combined and no lumps of flour remain. Add the lemon zest along the milk or water to loosen the mixture slightly. Do not over mix!

4. Take an ice cream scoop and evenly distribute the cupcake batter between the cupcake liners. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out completely clean of any uncooked batter. Leave to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes, then when cool enough to touch remove from the tin and transport to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

5. To make the buttercream: Blitz the raspberries in a food processor or blender until pureed. Then pass through a fine mesh sieve into a small saucepan. Heat gently and reduce by about half – this will take approx. 3-5 minutes. Pour the thickened raspberry puree into a bowl and chill until cold.

6. Once the cupcakes are fully cooled make the buttercream. Add the softened butter to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream on a medium speed for about a minute just to soften. Add the sifted icing sugar and the vanilla extract and mix together on a low speed (this is to avoid a sugar cloud!) until the butter and sugar has combined. Now turn up the speed to medium and cream for another 5 minutes – remember to stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl. Once the buttercream is fluffy add the raspberry puree and double cream, and mix on low speed for another minute to combine.

7. To decorate: Fit a large disposable piping bag with your favourite nozzle. Fill the piping bag with the frosting. Pipe even swirls on the top of each cupcake, then finish with a fresh raspberry and the beautiful cake toppers or any other decorations you like. Enjoy!

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Vote your favourite recipe here for the chance to win a baking bundle and a £100 voucher!

jess

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Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Sweet and sticky banana cupcakes with classic tangy cream cheese frosting. A delicious treat topped with banana slices and milk chocolate chips!

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Say hello to my new favourite cupcake recipe! Sticky, buttery, moist and with a gorgeous banana flavour in each and every bite! A great bake to make when you have leftover over ripe bananas sat in your fruit bowl. These are extremely good topped with my go-to fluffy cream cheese frosting and scattered with milk chocolate chips!

These are definitely some the moistest cupcakes I’ve ever eaten and made. I much prefer banana cupcakes to homemade banana bread – which can have a drier texture. These cupcakes are just 100 x lighter and more enjoyable – plus they’re SO much easier to make, quick to bake and they taste even better! The 1/2 tsp addition of ground cinnamon in the cupcake batter is secret for the most incredibly flavoured banana cupcakes. I can’t imagine any banana bake without cinnamon added!

My sister made me chuckle she enjoyed these cupcakes so much and exclaimed “because these have banana in, it makes them healthy right?”. I couldn’t agree with that any more – so lets just forget about all the frosting and chocolate chips…I’ll take the whole tray quite happily!

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This cream cheese frosting is pretty delicious too, so much so I could totally eat it straight from the bowl with a spoon. (Anyone else guilty of that?)

It’s fluffy and airy! I’m really happy to finally perfect cream cheese frosting. Before this recipe I’ve tried others and I always seemed to end up with lumpy or runny frosting. But this frosting recipe is great and the bonus is you cannot go wrong with it! I piped beautiful swirls on each cupcake but you can also just spread the frosting on each cupcake with a knife! If you fancy a twist add some Nutella or other chocolate spread to the top of the cupcake before icing.

Ingredients:

Banana Cupcakes:

120g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened

200g (1 cup) granulated or caster sugar

2 free-range eggs, at room temperature

120g (1/2 cup) sour cream – Greek yoghurt or buttermilk can be used too

2 medium ripe bananas, mashed

180g (1 and 1/2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

Cream Cheese Frosting:

60g (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened

200g (1 3/4 cups) icing (confectioners’) sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

400g (14 oz) cream cheese, softened

Banana slices

Fudge cubes, chopped nuts or chocolate chips

Method:

1. To make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 °F / 180 °C / 160 Fan / Gas Mark 4. Line a 12 hole cupcake tin with paper liners.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add the softened butter, sugar and vanilla. Cream on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Now add the eggs one by one, making each egg is incorporated before you add the next.

3. Now add the sour cream and mashed banana and mix again until combined. In a small bowl mix together the sifted flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add to the mixer and mix on a medium speed for 1-2 minutes.

4. Take an ice cream scoop and distribute the cupcake batter between the paper liners. Make sure you fill 2/3 of the way up. Bake in the oven for 18-22 minutes or until a cake tester comes out completely clean of any uncooked batter. Once cooked through allow the cupcakes to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then remove and leave to cool on a wire rack.

5. To make the cream cheese frosting: In a stand mixer add the softened butter. Cream on medium speed for about 2 minutes to soften. Now add the icing sugar and vanilla and starting on a low speed mix to combine. Continue to cream for 5 minutes or until really pale in colour – stop the mixer halfway through to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

6. Once creamed add the softened cream cheese. Turn the mixer up and beat on high speed for approx. 2-3 minutes or until the frosting is thick, smooth and creamy. Once ready, fit a piping bag with your favourite nozzle. Fill the bag with the homemade frosting. Pipe onto each cupcake or simply spread two tablespoons of the frosting on each cupcake, if preferred.

7. Finish by decorating the cupcakes with a banana slice, chopped nuts or some chocolate chips.

 

Banana cupcake recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

 

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Enjoy!

jess

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Vanilla Sponge Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream – Laura Ashley Blog Feature

I’m featuring these cute cupcakes over at the Laura Ashley blog! They’re perfect for Easter, kids will have so much fun baking them and decorating with all the chocolate and sweets!

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I’m so happy to be working with the Laura Ashley blog again. It’s such a beautiful and luxurious British company and I’m a frequent buyer of their products. These cute cupcake cases and bunny ear toppers are so perfect for any Easter celebration.

I decided to keep the recipe simple and share a classic sponge cupcake. They’re light, super buttery and this recipe never lets me down – I’ve been making these sponge cakes since I was tiny with my mum so it’s a recipe that’s very close to me. I’ve topped each cupcake with a swirl of the most divine white chocolate buttercream. These cupcakes are always a massive hit with anyone who tries one – they always go down a storm with my taste testers! I will definitely be making these again and again over Easter!  They would also make a brilliant tasty addition to an Easter-inspired afternoon tea party!

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As well as baking with the cute cupcake cases and bunny ear toppers I also received some gorgeously delicious Easter mini chocolate eggs. They’re extremely tasty too and would be great to decorate and top each cupcake with! I really love the cupcake stand from the Laura Ashley blog too – it’s pretty and the perfect reminder of springtime!

Makes 10-12 cupcakes –

Vanilla Sponge Cupcakes –

150g of unsalted butter, softened

150g of sugar – you can light brown or granulated/caster

1 tsp of vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp of vanilla bean paste

3 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

150g of self-raising flour, sifted

2-4 tbsp of water or milk, enough to loosen the cake batter

White Chocolate Buttercream –

150g of unsalted butter, must be really softened

250-300g of icing sugar, sifted

1 tsp of vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp of vanilla bean paste

150g of white chocolate, melted and cooled slightly  

2-3 tbsp of milk or double cream

Decoration –

Bunny easter cupcake cases and ear toppers, to bake and decorate with

White chocolate chips or curls

Mini chocolate easter eggs

Method –

1. To make the cupcakes: Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C Fan / 200 degrees C / 400 F / Gas mark 6. Line your cupcake tin with the paper liners and set aside.

2. In a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together until light and fluffy. This will take about 5 minutes (a lot of elbow grease!). Then beat in the eggs one by one. Add the flour and fold in gently to combine fully. Loosen the batter with water or milk and then evenly distribute into the cupcake cases. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean of any uncooked batter. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove and leave to cool on a wire rack.

3. For the white chocolate buttercream: In stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream the butter, icing sugar together – starting on low speed until it’s just combined. Then gradually turn the speed up and cream for a further 5-7 minutes until light and extremely creamy. Add the melted and now cooled white chocolate along with the milk or cream and beat until smooth for another few seconds.

4. To decorate: Fit a piping bag with your favourite nozzle – I used my favourite Wilton large star tip. Fill the piping bag with your buttercream. Pipe swirls onto the top of each cupcake, then finish decorating with easter chocolate or sprinkles you like!

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(Photo from lauraashley.com) Buy some of these baking goodies and try these delicious cupcakes just in time for Easter! 

Enjoy the recipe everyone! Wishing you all a beautiful Easter and brilliant weekend!

jess