With it being a bank holiday and all I got my usual baking bug. This time I decided to try some carrot cupcakes, but I wanted to make them healthier… enter splenda (or any other granulated sweetner). I don’t think the taste was compromised too much, although it will never be the same as using regular sugar (there’s just something that can’t be copied!). I made the cupcakes from a few recipes, which were all changed up so much that eventually I ended up just writing my own ingredient list and method. I’ve named these as a healthy cupcake, that’s not to say that they’re 100% devoid of sin.. just a little less than the usual amount. So don’t go thinking you can stuff your face with the entire batch! This recipe makes a batch of 12. The carrot cake cupcakes are quite a grown-up cupcake, not overly sweet and quite dense.
150g Plain white flour
150g Plain wholemeal flour
350g carrots (finely grated)
150ml Vegetable Oil (if you prefer a very moist cake, add 25ml extra)
10 tbsp Splenda (or alternative granulated sweetener)
50g ground almonds
2 tsp mixed spice
1tsp Vanilla extract
zest of 1/2 a lemon
zest of 1/2 an orange
1.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 medium eggs
50g of raisins
milk to loosen
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6
The method for these cupcakes is SUPER easy.
In your bowl, sift all your dry ingredients and stir to combine. In a separate bowl beat the eggs, add to these the vanilla extract, oil and zest. Add this mixture to your dry ingredients… Now, if these are destined to be muffins then don’t stir too much, however if you’re going down the cupcake route and want a consistent spongey texture then give them a good stir, as you would cake batter. You may find you’ve got a very dry, lumpy mixture… enter the milk. Add enough to get a thick batter consistency. Better thicker at the moment, you can thin it a little more later but chances are the carrot will loosen it up more. Finally, add the remaining ingredients and stir well.
Using muffin size cups, spoon a decent amount of mixture into each (this batch should make around 12). Bake in the upper half of the oven for 20 minutes or until golden.
Now to top them. I’ve used a simple cream cheese frosting here, but made a slightly healthier than normal version. Instead of full fat cream cheese I used extra low fat philly, and I replaced part of the icing sugar with splenda. The process is easy peasy. Mix 150g of cream cheese with 1 tbsp of splenda and 2 tbsp of icing sugar, mix until it’s smooth. Add more or less splenda/icing sugar to taste. For this recipe I also added the zest of 1/2 a lemon. Refrigerate for a few minutes (or until your cakes are cooled) just to make things a little easier when you come to top the cakes. Smooth the frosting on top, no need to be delicate, these are rustic cakes! And you’re done! Enjoy.