Carrot Muffins with Apricot and Almond

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No cupcake wrappers in the house so no cupcakes today, just muffins instead! Carrot cake is delicious… everyone who doesn’t like it probably just hasn’t tried a good one yet….. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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My dad grew this rose in his glorious garden haha so I had to take a picture!

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(There are a few more of his flowers on my insta)

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Carrot Muffins with Apricot and Almond
Ingredients:
Muffins:
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sour cream
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup grated carrots
Topping:
3 apricots (quite ripe)
Flaked almonds
Icing:
30g butter
3/4 cup icing sugar
A little hot water

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Grease a 12 hole muffin pan.

Whisk the eggs, oil, sugar and sour cream. Fold in the flour, baking soda and cinnamon. Fold in the carrots until just combined. Divide between the muffin holes (I only got 10 from mine). Bake for 20 minutes until the top springs back when pressed lightly.

Cool for a few mins then remove from the tin and cool completely. While they are cooling (or cooking, you can do this earlier), chop up the apricots and microwave for one minute on high, stir and then repeat. Cool completely then chill.

Soften the butter for the icing then mix in half the icing sugar and beat very well by hand. Add a few drops of water and add the rest of the icing sugar. Beat until thick and fluffy. Spread on top of the muffins then dollop on some apricot compote. Sprinkle the almonds on top. Chill until 5 mins before serving.

Makes 10 and they are just as delicious even three days later if kept chilled!

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Carrot Cake Muffins with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

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Nyahhh! This is a bit of a rushed post…. I just realised it’s been a whole week. So here, quite fittingling, are some muffins that I made in a rush too, at work. This is what happens when the cabinet is almost empty and it’s a public holiday. Customers.

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Excuse the awful photos. Hopefully they convince you that these muffins are delicious ๐Ÿ™‚

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Carrot Cake Muffins with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
Ingredients:
Muffins:
250g grated carrots
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
Icing:
30g butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
3 Tbsp cream cheese
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon juice
To decorate:
Dried apricots, chopped
Toasted coconut threads
Currants/dried cranberries
Flaked almonds

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease 6 holes of a muffin tray.

Beat the eggs, sugar and oil until combined. Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger and fold into the egg mixture, followed by the carrots. When JUST combined, spoon into the muffin holes and bake for 20 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool in the trays for 20 minutes and then unmold and cool completely.

Beat together the butter and icing sugar until pale and creamy, followed by the cream cheese, lemon juice and lemon zest. Spread on top of the cupcakes and decorate with the nuts, coconut and fruits.

Makes 6

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Carrot Whoopie Pies with Golden Syrup/Treacle Frosting

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Probably the only positive thing to happen while reading the paper….

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Just a quick recipe today, enjoy the goodness of carrot cake and caramelly filling in something you might not make very often (or at all). They are delicious ๐Ÿ™‚
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Carrot Whoopie Pies with Golden Syrup/Treacle Frosting
Ingredients:
Whoopie Pies:
1&1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
Pinches of some spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger etc)
1 egg, whisked
2 Tbsp oil
1 carrot, grated
1 cup (+) milk
Frosting:
25g butter, softened
1/2+ cup icing sugar
1 Tbsp golden syrup/treacle/dulce de leche

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and line two baking trays.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and spices. Make a well in the middle and pour in the egg, oil, carrot and a dash of milk. VERY gently mix together, adding more milk as needed, until just combined and the batter is quite thick but still drops off the spoon. Place even sized (Tbsp-ful roughly) dollops onto the baking tray and bake for 15 minutes, until firm and a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool on the tray.

Meanwhile, make the filling. Vigourously beat the frosting ingredients together until light and pale/fluffy/delicious etc. You may have to add a little more icing sugar or some milk to get a good consistency that won’t squish everywhere. Place a dollop of frosting on the bottom of one of the half-pies and sandwich another on top.

Store in an airtight container; makes 12-ish and they last very well ๐Ÿ™‚

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The Best Carrot Cake and the start of Birthday Season

Whilst I occasionally forget that October exists, I certainly don’t forget that August does. It alllll happens, mock exams, school formal, my birthday, by best friend’s birthday, more birthdays, sometimes a group of French students arrive… you know what I mean, we all have that time of the year ๐Ÿ™‚
Anyhow, it is also my favourite time of the year. My favourite things to bake are cakes….and my favourite type of things to bake are birthday cakes. This is the first of just a few to come in the next wee while….
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It was for my best friend’s father, who is pretty much a part of the family to me, and I think I did him proud. Time was scarce so an iPhone photo had to do before we cut it, but I assure you, it looked pretty darn good!
I always imagined carrot cake as sort of the earth mother of all cakes, all full of timeless wisdom and caring, as well as carroty goodness with a couple of walnuts here and there (she’s all knowing, walnuts are good for you!) and then a delicious slathering of cream cheese frosting, which no carrot cake could do without. She even has a crown, of nuts and seeds, or perhaps it’s a halo… What makes her look spectacular and full of her naturely grace is a crown of spun sugar, I’ll have to post a recipe for that another time.
Wow, so that’s enough of my madness, apologies for that. Whether or not you think cakes could have personalities, I’ll just hurry up and give you the recipe.
I love this one and don’t think I would ever bother trying another because it has tonnes and tonnes of carrot in it without overdoing it, or just feeling like you’re eating all carrot and no cake. It also uses oil, and after grating the carrots, takes a split second to make. This one is quite large of course, it IS a birthday cake, but half recipes work just as well for a smaller occasion.

The Best Carrot Cake
Cake:
500g carrots, grated (finely or normal, up to you!)
200g sugar
250ml oil
4 eggs

300g flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
pinch of cloves
Zest of an orange or lemon
ยฝ cup chopped walnuts

Frosting:
100g butter
1&1/2 cups icing sugar
Juice of two lemons
+zest
3 Tbsp cream cheese

To decorate:
Pumpkin seeds, raisins, walnuts etc

Line two 20cm diameter cake tins with baking paper and preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
In a large bowl, beat the sugar, oil and eggs until pale and fluffy. Sift the flour on top followed by the baking powder and spices. Mix gently into the egg mixture along with the zest and carrots. Add the walnuts last.
Divide evenly between the two cake tins and bake for about 35 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes, remove from the tins and then cool completely.
When ready to assemble, make the frosting: soften the butter and beat with the lemon juice and zest until light and fluffy. Then add the icing sugar bit by bit, beating well in between each addition (you made have to add a bit more lemon juice or some milk so it doesnโ€™t become too thick). Lastly add the cream cheese, beating until JUST combined!
Place the bottom cake layer on the place or serving tray and spread about 1/3 of the frosting on top, to fill the cake. Place the top layer on top and spread the rest of the icing in top (you could probably try and do the sides with this amount of frosting, just reduce the filling slightly or simply make more frosting!).
Arrange the decorations on top and youโ€™re done! Store in an airtight container. Lasts about 2-3 days untouched.