I have done this recipe a couple of times now and I love it, having a muffins but its full of goodness carrots, apples, and all those crunchy nuts and seeds. You can easily adapt it to suit your taste with the nuts and seeds that you like.
This is definitely going to be my go to healthy muffin recipe.
Makes 18-24 Muffins 200g Caster Sugar *
200g Plain Flour
100g Plain Wholemeal Flour *
2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
180g Carrots, grated(about 2-3 carrots – depending on the size)
190g Apple, grated(about 2 apples)
50-80g Desiccated Coconut
100g Walnuts, chopped – plus extra for sprinkling (optional)
30g Pumpkin Seeds – plus extra for sprinkling (optional)
35g Sunflower Seeds
3 Large Eggs
250ml Vegetable Oil 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Preheat your oven to Gas Mark 4. Line your muffin tray with 18-24 muffins cases. (At this stage I would start grating your carrots and apples, as this is the most time consuming)
Sift sugar, flour, cinnamon and powder into a large bowl. Add sultanas, carrot, apple, coconut and walnuts. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, oil and vanilla.
Add the egg and oil mix to the dry ingredients and fold until just combined – do not overmix.
Spoon the mixture into muffin cases and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
*(For the mini loaves that took 35 minutes)
*Changes I made the second time
1. I lowered the sugar again, as you get a lot of sweetness from the grated apples. I wanted these muffins to be healthier, something you could eat for breakfast or as a healthy snack.
2. I did 150g each of the plain and wholemeal flour.
3. I added in an extra 1/2 teaspoon of Ground Ginger.
4. And finally instead of just making muffins I decide to make 4 mini loaves and the spare mixture made another 9 extra muffins – I thought that the mini energy loaves would be great to gifts.
Having never made a Giant Cupcake before my friends mom leant me their Giant Silicone Cupcake Mould, couldn’t wait to try it out, but what to bake…
Carrot Cake is their favourite cake which I have previously made for them so I thought that I would go for a different kind of carrot cake. My friend Ant had mention a Chocolate Carrot Cake covered in chocolate which a neighbour of his made and he loved it. It turns out that this neighbour ‘Elisia’ was actually someone who my mom went to school with… It really is a small world!
If you want to have ago at one of my other Carrot Cake Recipes here are the links; for a great for an afternoon treat you could go for the Carrot & Walnut Cake or if you fancied something a little smaller then you could go for these Carrot & Walnut Muffins which are just as delicious.
For the Sponge 6 Large Eggs
350g Caster Sugar
400ml Sunflower Oil
500g Finely Grated Carrots (about 10 medium)
400g Plain Flour
6 tablespoon Cocoa Powder
2 tablespoon Baking Powder
2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
250g Walnut Pieces or Chopped Pecans – I used Walnuts
For the Filling and Topping 200g Unsalted Butter, very soft
200g Good-Quality Cream Cheese – I used Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence – I used Nielsen Massey Vanilla Extract
300g Icing Sugar, sifted
6tbsp Cocoa Powder, sifted
2tbsp Walnut Pieces or Chopped Pecans to decorate – I used Walnut pieces and White & Milk Chocolate Hearts
*Half the recipe for both the Sponge and Filling to make a 20cm (8 inch) Sandwiched Chocolate Carrot Cake*
1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4, then grease and flour your Giant Cupcake Mould. If you don’t have a Giant Cupcake Mould half the recipe and grease and baseline 2 x 20cm (8 inch) round cake tins at this stage instead.
2. Put the eggs and sugar into a bowl of a food mixer and beat, using the whisk attachment, until very light and frothy. While still mixing gradually pour in the oil so it gets mixed in. Using a large metal spoon or spatula, stir in the grated carrots.
3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, ground cinnamon and ginger into the bowl and gently fold in. Once everything is thoroughly combined mix in the chopped walnuts.
4. Transfer the mixture into your prepared cupcake mould, until each is about two thirds full – leave it about 1.5 – 2cm from the top. (I also had some mixture leftover I was able to make about 6 small cupcakes)
Bake in the heated oven for 1 hour 15 minutes or until firm to the touch (Check the cakes after about 50 minutes and if the cakes are browning too much cover them with foil). I found that the base of my giant cupcake took longer to bake than the top halt. Turn out the sponges on to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
Once the cake had cool both parts needed trimming so that they sat level when place on top of each other – the trimmings were delicious who this is when I actually thought my god chocolate and carrot do go together.
Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Meanwhile, to make the Chocolate Cream Cheese filling and topping: put the soft butter, icing sugar, cocoa powder, cream cheese and vanilla extract into the bowl of your stand mixer and starting on a slow speed mix them together until very smooth and creamy.
Putting the Chocolate Carrot Giant Cupcake together Before I started putting my giant cupcake together I made up a bit of chocolate ganache:
100g Dark Chocolate
100ml Double Cream
Place a small heatproof over a saucepan of simmering water and gently melt the chocolate and cream together until smooth. Then remove for the heat and set aside to cool.
1. Firstly place the bottom part of your giant cupcake onto a serving plate or cake board, then cover with a thin layer of the ganache.
2. Then add some of the Chocolate Cream Cheese frosting onto the top, you can spread this on with a palette or pipe it on. Sandwich it together with the top section of the cupcake. I decided to pipe it on as I wanted to have a little practice at piping roses in anticipation of decorating the top part of my cupcake in piped roses. Another good thing about piping the frosting on was that the ganache was left untouched and I was able to put quite a fair amount on seen as the sponges were quite thick.
3. Now to cover the top part of the cupcake in a layer of chocolate ganache.
4. The next stage was to pipe roses onto the top section of the giant cupcake, then filling in any small gaps with small flowers. I added milk and white chocolate hearts around the bottom of the cupcake and then a fine dusting of gold edible glitter of the piped roses as the finishing touch.
The 8 inch Chocolate Carrot Sandwiched Cake
Place one of your sponges onto a serving plate or cake board then using about half of the Chocolate Cream Cheese to sandwich the sponges together. Once the second sponge has been added spread the rest of the frosting on top and finish off by scattering over the chopped walnuts.
The cake will taste at its best if kept for a day before cutting. Store in an airtight container and eat within 5 days. I would suggest keeping the cake in the fridge because of the Cream Cheese Frosting, then let it come to room temperature before serving.
A while back I made my friend and his family this Carrot & Walnut Cake, it was really moist, I loved all the pieces of walnuts in it and I even enjoyed the cream cheese icing on it which I’m not usually a big fan of. My mom isn’t really into Carrot Cakes but when I told her how nice it was she wanted me to make one for us, but to be a little different I decide to make them a little muffins.
For the Cupcakes
200g Soft Light Brown Sugar
200ml Sunflower Oil
2 medium Eggs
200g Plain Flour
1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml) Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml) Bicarbonate of Soda
1 teaspoon (5ml) Ground Cinnamon
200g Carrots, peeled and grated
100g Walnut Pieces, chopped
1 teaspoon (5ml) Vanilla Extract
For the icing
125g Icing Sugar, sifted
50g Unsalted Butter, softened
75g Full Fat Cream Cheese, chilled – I used Philadelphia Cream Cheese 12 Walnut Halves, to decorate
* If you like a lot of Cream Cheese Icing on your muffins that I would probably double the recipe, as I only wanted a small amount.
1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 3 and line a deep 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.
2. In a large mixing bowl place the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla, then beat together with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth and thickened.
3. Sift over the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon then fold in gently until everything is well combined. Fold in the grated carrots and chopped walnuts until evenly dispersed.
4. Divide the mixture evenly between the paper cake cases. Bake in the middle of your preheated oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown, risen and the middle bounces back when lightly pressed. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. To make the Cream Cheese Icing beat the icing sugar and butter together in a large bowl until fluffy – you can do this by hand or using an electric mixer. Add the cream cheese and briefly beat together again until just combined – Don’t overbeat or it will become runny.
6. Spread the Cream Cheese icing over the muffins and top with a walnut half.
I wanted to make my friend and his family a cake as I have been going round there quite often. His whole family are so nice and they make you feel so welcome and comfortable when I’m round there, I asked what cake they liked and his mom said that she liked Carrot Cake. I hadn’t made a Carrot Cake before so this was going to be a new one for me, I have to say it turned out great and they love it which was even better.
So on Monday night I took the cake round having to balance the lid on top as I didn’t have a box big enough… whoops looks like I need to go shopping, what a great excuse for new bakeware.
When his mom was cutting into the cake she commented on how light the cake was, I have to say considering this was the first one I had ever made it was pretty darn good!
Adapted from Mary Berry
For the Cake
250ml Sunflower Oil 4 Large Eggs
225g Light Muscovado Sugar 200g Carrots, coarsely grated
300g Self-Raising Flour
2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Mixed Spice
1 teaspoon Ground Ginger 100g Walnuts, chopped, plus 8 halves to decorate or Chocolate Carrots which I used (you can get them from Sainsbury’s)
For the icing: 50g Butter at room temperature 50g + 1 tablespoon Icing Sugar 250g Full-Fat Cream Cheese a few drops of Vanilla Extract
1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4 and grease and baseline two deep 20cm (8 inch) round sandwich tins with baking parchment.
2. Put the oil, eggs, and sugar into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. Whisk together until the mixture is well combined, lighter, and looks thickened. Gently fold in the grated carrot into the cake mixture, then stir in the flour, baking powder, mixed spice, ground ginger, and chopped walnuts until everything is evenly blended.
3. Spoon the cake mixture evenly between your prepared sandwich tins. Bake the cakes in the middle of the oven for about 35 minutes (mine took 40 minutes), or until golden brown, risen, and shrinking away from the sides of the tins. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
4. To make the cream cheese icing put the butter, icing sugar, cream cheese and a few drops of vanilla extract into a bowl and beat by hand or using an electric hand whisk until smooth and thoroughly blended.
5. Once the cakes have cooled spread half the icing on one cake, and place the other cake on top, and then spread the remaining cream cheese icing on top making a swirly pattern.
Decorate the top of the cake with the halved walnuts or chocolate carrots which I topped my cake with along with some chopped walnuts in the centre. Decorate the top of your cake how ever you fancy or you could even leave it with just the plain cream cheese.