Its been a couple of weeks now that its been raining. The skies are gray again and sun plays hide and seek throughout the day. The temperatures have dropped again reminding us of winter. But its still officially Spring or Summer..?. I want to believe that. The little boy had his `Spring holidays` a couple of weeks ago. Since his dad had been busy we had decided not to venture into any trips this time. So overall Spring holidays…enthusiastic preschooler … rains ..That adds up to a bored preschooler.
The toys didn't seem to appeal to him anymore. The puzzles did not excite him either. All the books had been read for the umpteenth time. He was and is never interested in coloring.
One afternoon he suddenly came up and said ..’’Mummy lets make something’’. I assumed he was talking about crafts and said ..’’Ok then get the glue and paper ready’’. He rolled his eyes and said ..”Noooo lets bake something!” . Now I was thrilled. Not that this was the first time. We used to cook together something very often before his lil sister arrived. We usually stuck to goodies involving store bought puff pastry or making cookies. He simply loves rolling dough and cutting out shapes. I am grinning as I write this realizing that my little boy shares my interest for cooking.
But this time he had his mind set on carrot cake which happens to be his favorite. So me and my little helper in the kitchen baked these carrot cupcakes while his little sister napped. He was in charge of mixing the flours and sifting and whisking the batter while I took care of the measurements and the oven. They made perfect treats for my afternoon tea and his milk.
We used store bought fondant carrot decorations. I can imagine they can also be easily be made at home using colored fondant. But you could also use any kind of decorations of your choice.
Eggless carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes about 6-8 medium sized cupcakes
For the carrot cupcakes -
Things you need -1 cup or about 140 gms All purpose flour
1 to 1.5 cups or 100 gms grated carrots
1 cup or 200 gms sugar
3/4 cup or 170 ml oil
2 tsp cornflour or cornstarch or custard powder
2 tbsp cold milk
1 tsp vinegar, i used apple cider vinegar
one fourth cup water
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
half tsp salt
How its done -
1. Preheat oven to 180 deg Celsius. Line the muffin tray with liners and keep aside.
2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cornstarch, salt together and sift them together.
3. In a separate bowl whisk the oil and sugar until smooth and creamy for about 2-3 minutes. Add the milk, vinegar, water and mix well.
4. Now add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix well.
5. Add the grated carrots to the batter and mix.
6. Using a spoon or ice cream scoop, fill the cupcake liners with the batter until they are 2/3rds full.
7. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick or skewer inserted in one of the cupcakes comes out clean. Allow them to cool on a board or wire rack.
Notes -- Original recipe called for use of cinnamon and ginger but I skipped them as I prefer plain ones. You could use them too.
- Chopped nuts and raisins can also be used.
- Baking time may vary, so keep an eye after 12 minutes.
For the icing -
Things you need -
100 gms cream cheese
30 gms butter, at room temperature
50 gms icing sugar, adjust as per liking.
1-2 tsp honey, optional
fondant decorations or sprinkles, optional
How its done -
1. Beat the cream cheese with the whisk for a minute or two until slightly creamy.
2. Add the butter, sugar and whisk well for 3-4 minutes. Add the honey for the last 1 minute.
3. Spread the icing on the cupcakes using a spatula or use icing bag with desired nozzle. See notes.
4. Decorate with sprinkles or fondant decorations.
Notes -- Honey lends a distinct flavour to the icing. If you don't like it, you may skip it or use vanilla extract instead.
- If you wish to use an icing bag with star nozzle etc, chill the icing in the refrigerator for about 30 mins before using to help retain the stiffness.
- The icing can be stored for upto 3 days in the fridge in an air tight container.