Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

 Moist carrot cupcakes topped with a luscious and tangy cream cheese frosting. 

carrot-cupcakes

I first shared these cupcakes a few years ago on my blog back in 2014, it will be nearly three years since the recipe was first published and I still enjoy these just as much as I did the first time round. The older recipe deserved an update and I’ve decided to share it again with brand new photographs. Carrot cake is one of my favourite cakes and if I had to I would definitely pick carrot cake over a slice of chocolate cake any day!

Easter is nearing closer so these cupcakes I am revisiting today will be the ideal recipe to celebrate the occasion with.

The addition of spices in carrot cake is an absolute must and I can’t even contemplate a carrot cake/cupcake without cinnamon added. Along with a teaspoon of ground cinnamon I also like to add a full teaspoon of mixed spice as well. Mixed spice is another spice popular in many Easter bakes, it’s the British equivalent to pumpkin pie spice and it’s frequently used in many of our traditional recipes such as hot cross buns and teacakes.

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I wish I could tell you that these carrot cupcakes are healthy because they contain vegetables but unfortunately they’re not! Carrots and other vegetables such as courgette/zucchini are a popular addition in many savoury and sweet recipes. They add moistness and I like to put quite a lot of grated carrot into my cupcakes, this is so I can ensure that there’s carrot in each and every bite. There’s nothing more disappointing than taking a bite from a carrot cake/cupcake and not being able to taste any carrot!

To decorate I decided to top the cupcakes with a classic cream cheese frosting. I’ve trialled several different cream cheese frosting recipes and I’ve found this one to be the best as it holds its shape when piped and really compliments the flavour of the cupcakes.

(Makes 12)

Ingredients:

Carrot Cupcakes:

175g light brown sugar

200g self-raising flour

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon mixed spice

Zest from 1 large orange

2 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

150ml sunflower or vegetable oil

200g (approx. 2 large) carrots, peeled and grated – weigh to ensure this is correct

65g chopped walnuts, plus extra for decoration

Cream Cheese Frosting:

60g unsalted butter, softened

200g icing sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

400g full fat cream cheese, softened – I leave mine out at room temperature for an hour to soften

Method:

1.  To make the cupcakes: Preheat your oven 160 degrees Fan / 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4 and line a 12-hole cupcake or muffin tin with paper cases. In a large mixing bowl stir together the sugar, flour, bicarbonate of soda, spices and the orange zest.

2. In another smaller bowl or jug whisk together the eggs and oil until incorporated. Add the wet ingredients to the dry along with the grated carrot and walnuts and stir until completely combined. Evenly divide the batter between the paper cases. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean without any uncooked batter remaining – mine took the full amount of time to bake. Leave the cupcakes to cool in the tin for a few minutes then transport them to a wire rack and allow to cool to room temperature.

3. To make the frosting: Cream the softened butter in a stand mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes to soften. Now add the sifted 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.

4. Once creamed add the softened cream cheese. Turn the mixer up and beat on high speed for approximately 2-3 minutes or until the frosting is creamy, thick and smooth.

5. Decorate the cupcakes as desired by piping or spreading the frosting onto each cupcake. Further decoration is optional, I chose to top each cupcake with extra chopped walnuts and a carrot made from royal icing. The carrot decorations can be purchased from most major supermarkets or online but just be sure to decorate just prior to serving. Cupcakes will keep stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Recipe Notes:

  • To adapt the recipe into cup measurements please see my conversion tables page for help.
  • You can adjust the amount of spice or play around by adding different spices to these cupcakes. If you can’t find mixed spice where you live you can substitute it with pumpkin pie spice or alternatively use a different combination of spices.
  • Adding walnuts to the batter is optional. If you want you can leave them out entirely or swap them for pecans, raisins or desiccated/shredded coconut.
  • Leave the cream cheese out at room temperature for an hour prior to making the frosting. The cream cheese needs to be soft to ensure the frosting is smooth and all the ingredients incorporate completely.
  • Don’t add any additional icing sugar to the frosting as this will make your cream cheese frosting too runny and you won’t be able to pipe it. To get perfect cream cheese frosting my best tip is to measure your ingredients accurately using the metric system for the perfect results every time.
  • The way you choose to decorate these cupcakes is totally up to you. When I shared the recipe the first time round instead of decorating the cupcakes with chopped walnuts as I did this time I sprinkled the tops with coconut and dusted a few of the cupcakes with cinnamon.

carrot-cake-cupcakes-recipe

Enjoy!

jess

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Gingerbread Cupcakes

Spiced gingerbread cupcakes with tangy and fluffy cream cheese frosting. A festive cupcake perfect for Christmas time!

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It doesn’t really much more festive than these homemade gingerbread cupcakes! Lightly spiced with festive flavour packed into each bite, these cupcakes are just perfect for the season!

I’ve revamped a classic sponge recipe by adding light brown sugar for a delicious caramel taste, and festive spices for warmth. The frosting is my go-to cream cheese frosting. It’s completely fail-proof and works perfectly every single time I make it. I use mascarpone for a slightly creamier consistency and it also makes the frosting lighter. Together they are the perfect Christmas combination without being too sweet. A quick note: if you want you can half the frosting, as it makes an ample amount – but if you like a generous portion of frosting just make the whole recipe as I’ve written it.

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When I first tested these cupcakes out we ate them warm with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with toffee sauce – sounds delicious, right? These cupcakes are very versatile, so you can serve them either warm or at room temperature. I personally think serving one of these warm with a generous scoop of ice cream on the side, whipped cream or custard would make a super indulgent dessert!

To decorate the cupcakes I used these adorable mini gingerbread men that I found at the supermarket. But feel free to decorate with your own homemade gingerbread, or simply with sprinkles. These are sure to be a hit with your family and friends at Christmas.

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(Makes 12)

Ingredients:

Gingerbread Cupcakes:

150g unsalted butter, softened

150g light brown sugar

3 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

150g self-raising flour

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Small pinch of grated nutmeg (optional

1-2 tablespoons milk

Cream Cheese Frosting:

500g full-fat cream cheese (I used a mix of cream cheese and mascarpone), softened at room temperature

150g icing sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

225ml double cream, chilled

Method:

  1. To make the cupcakes: preheat oven to 180 C /160 Fan. Line a cupcake/muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, and mix to incorporate. Sift together the flour and spices, and add the to the batter. Continue to beat until no lumps of flour remain, then finally stir through the milk.
  3. Equally distribute the cupcake batter between the paper liners. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until risen and when inserted into the centre a cake tester comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes, then transport to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
  4. To make the frosting: cream the softened cream cheese with the icing sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add the cream in batches and whisk until it’s just starting to thicken. Place the frosting in a piping bag fitted with your favourite tip.
  5. Pipe the cupcakes with the frosting and then decorate just before serving with mini gingerbread men, gingerbread sprinkles or any your other favourite sprinkles.

Enjoy!

jess

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Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes

Light and fluffy vanilla cupcakes topped with a lush vanilla buttercream and sprinkles! The perfect bake for any occasion and a great recipe for anyone new to baking!

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It’s about time to share my favourite and fail-proof vanilla cupcake recipe on the blog! And when I say perfect I mean these are the BEST vanilla cupcakes I have ever made!

I baked some delicious vanilla cupcakes to ready celebrate my birthday later this weekend! I turn 19 this Sunday and it wouldn’t be a celebration without cake or sprinkles involved, right?! Vanilla cupcakes have always been one of my favourite bakes and this is a recipe adapted from childhood and it’s one I have been making with my mum since I first stepped into the kitchen.

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These are seriously fluffy and with a beautiful vanilla flavour. They’re not sickly sweet and have just the right balance of flavour, sweetness and deliciousness. If you’re a regular reader, then you will know how popular the simple and easy recipes are on this blog! I love my no-bake recipes or no-churn ice creams and now quick and easy cupcake recipes too!

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When you’re baking cakes or cupcakes you need to remember some important points for a successful bake. Below I’ve put together my top tips.

1. Always cream the butter and sugar for at least 5 minutes. You want the mixture to be really pale and airy with no big lumps of hard butter. I usually leave the butter out at room temperature overnight to soften. But I am also guilty of softening it in the microwave too!
2. Always bake with room temperature eggs. I experienced many baking fails before finally perfecting these cupcakes. Room temperature eggs will give your cupcakes a finer crumb and they will bake more evenly and quickly. To warm your eggs before baking, place the eggs in a bowl or glass of warm tap water for 5-10 minutes. This is a life-saving baking tip and it’ll save you a lot of frustration!
3. Remember to sift your flour – to avoid lumps of flour in your cupcake batter.
4. Always fold your dry ingredients into the batter. I love to use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour into this cupcake batter, this will stop you knocking any air out of the batter.
5. Test the doneness with a cake tester, this is the most precise way to check the cupcakes are completely cooked through. When the cake tester is inserted into the centre of the cupcake it should come out with no uncooked batter. This way you can guarantee they’re cooked fully!

(Makes 12)

Ingredients:

Vanilla Cupcakes:

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

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

3 large free range eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

150g (1 and 1/4 cup) self-raising flour, sifted –

150g self-raising flour – you can sub with 150g plain flour + 2 teaspoons baking powder

2-3 tablespoons cold water or milk

Vanilla Buttercream:

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

300g (3 cups) icing sugar, sifted

2 teaspoons vanilla extract or seeds scraped from 1 vanilla pod

2-3 tablespoons double cream or milk

Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 160 degrees Fan / 180 °C / 350 °F / Gas Mark 4. Line a cupcake tin with 12 cupcake cases 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. Now add the milk or water to loosen the mixture slightly.

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: 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 double cream and mix on low speed for another minute to combine.

6. To decorate: Fit a large disposable piping bag with your favourite nozzle – I love the large star tip for cupcakes. Fill the piping bag with the frosting. Pipe even swirls on the top of each cupcake, then finish with sprinkles.

Recipe Notes:

  • Baking time will depend on your oven. This recipe recommends 18-20 minutes, but  different ovens may cause the baking time to differ slightly.
  • This cupcake recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to make more.
  • For the frosting I like to add a few tablespoons of double (heavy) cream. The cream makes the frosting lighter and it will have a creamier texture. If preferred, you can substitute with milk, but please note that frosting will not have a such a creamy texture.
  • The frosted cupcakes will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • With the frosting you can add a few drops of your favourite food colouring. Add a touch of red for a pink colour or blue!

perfect vanilla cupcakes

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Give these cupcakes an Easter decoration by topping with chocolate flakes/shavings and mini sugar-coated chocolate eggs!

Enjoy!

jess

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Eton Mess Cupcakes

Eton Mess has to be my all time favourite dessert especially in the Summer months. It’s the kind of dessert that’s the epitome of Summer for me. Sweet fresh strawberries mixed with crumbled meringue and freshly whipped cream. If that doesn’t sound like the MOST heavenly thing on earth, then I don’t know what does! And as I love being creative and experimenting with new recipes, I thought I would combine my favourite all-time Summer dessert into cupcake form! This is a fun, delicious cupcake recipe that will definitely become a hit once you try it! Enjoy everyone and have a great weekend!

eton mess cupcakes strawberries blog cupcakes easy Vanilla Sponge Cupcakes-

150g of unsalted butter, really soft

150g of golden caster sugar

Good splash of pure Vanilla extract (approx. 1 tsp)

3 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

150g of self-raising flour, sifted Enough ice cold water, to loosen mixture- A friend of mine gave me this tip- the water makes the cake lighter!

Vanilla Buttercream- 

150g of unsalted butter, softened

300g of icing sugar, sifted

1 tsp of vanilla bean paste

Toppings & decoration- 

Crumbled Meringue pieces

Fresh Strawberries

Method-

1. To make the cupcakes: Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C and line a 12 hole cupcake tin with paper cases. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together until light and fluffy. Then add the eggs and mix through thoroughly. Now fold in the sifted flour and add just enough water to loosen the mixture a little.

2. Distribute the batter between the cupcake cases- I like to use an ice cream scoop, as this way I know all the cupcakes are the same size and will bake evenly. Bake the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes or until nice and risen and a cake tester comes out completely clean. Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then remove and leave on a wire rack to cool completely.

3. For the buttercream & decoration: In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter, icing sugar and vanilla. Starting on low speed, cream together for a few seconds, then turn the speed up to medium and beat the mixture for 5 minutes until light and really creamy and pale in colour. Once the buttercream is ready, fit a piping bag with your favourite nozzle- I went for a large star tip. Then fill the bag with the buttercream. Pipe a nice swirl onto each cupcake, then crumble over a little meringue and finish with a fresh strawberry.

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ENJOY!

jess