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Carrot Cake Cupcake Baskets

Whether you're making a cake or cupcakes out of this carrot cake batter, you won't be disappointed! This moist cake with a nice hit of cinnamon, is topped with a perfectly balanced cream cheese frosting with a hint of nutmeg. A winner for even the most ardent carrot cake nay-sayers!

Carrot Cake Cupcake Basket with chocolate eggs and a floral handle.

This carrot cake recipe was given to me by a dear Norwegian friend from school. I haven’t seen her in many, many years, but this always takes me right back to a girls’ trip in Norway. Three of us hit the road touring this stunning country, and I can’t remember the exact year, but there was a LOT of Alanis Morissette.

We swam in the crystal clear waters off the south coast, sunbathed on the glacier smoothed rocks, hiked in the mountains, ate amazing food, laughed until we cried (we probably cried too), aaaand maybe had a little wine. This carrot cake always reminds me of our first night back together after a couple of years, and that moment when you realize that these are friends that, no matter how much time has passed, you just pick up right where you left off.

As for the cake? Hands down, best ever! I never liked carrot cake until I had this one, so even if you’re a hater, give it a whirl! It’s not too sweet, it’s very easy to make and the cream cheese frosting has a little pepper and nutmeg in it which rounds it off beautifully.

I made cupcake baskets today because I saw everything outside starting to POP to life and thought it would be cute for Easter. Whether you serve this as a cake or cupcakes, be sure to share it with dear friends! Even if it means just dropping off a few at their front door. xoxo Kirsty

Carrot Cake Cupcake Basket with chocolate eggs and a floral handle.

Ingredients for one 8" x 8" (20cm x 20cm) baking pan or on round 9" (23 cm) pan, or 15 cupcakes

  • 4 eggs

  • 1-1/3 cup (75g) sugar

  • 1-1/3 cup (165g) flour

  • 3 teaspoons baking powder

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons (150ml) mild tasting olive oil (not a robust one, but a regular extra virgin olive oil is fine)

  • 5-6 medium carrots, grated

For the Icing:

  • 100g cream cheese, at room temperature

  • 50g unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 1 cup (125g) confectioners’ sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar

  • a few grinds of pepper

  • a few passes of nutmeg on the grater

  • a tiny pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Grease a standard 9-inch (23cm) cake tin or line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and the sugar until lighter in color, about 2 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, vanilla sugar, and salt. Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Stir in the olive oil and carrots until completely combined.

Pour the batter into the cake tin or cupcake liners, and bake. The cake will take 40-50 minutes, it depends on the size of your tin, but check after 40 minutes. If it bounces back when poked with your finger in the middle, it’s ready! Cupcakes will take 15-17 minutes. When done, remove from the oven and cool completely.

For the icing, cream together the cream cheese and butter until combined. Stir in the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla sugar, pepper, nutmeg and salt. Whisk on high speed for 1-2 minutes. Frost the cake or cupcakes and enjoy!

To make the handles, twirl some floral wire around blossoming twigs from the garden, and press the ends into the sides of the cupcakes.

Carrot Cake Cupcake Basket with chocolate eggs and a floral handle.

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