These little cakes are really easy to make and are sure to go down well with everyone, especially lovers of carrot cake. Until making these cupcakes, and eating them, I had never tried carrot cake before. They definitely converted me, so I’m pretty sure anyone would like them! Not to mention that they are really pretty, and if you substitute my decoration for sugar flowers, they would have a sophisticated finish suitable for any event – high tea, dinner party, charity bake sale or, as Delicious magazine suggests, a wedding. I made mine gluten-free as they were for a charity event at work so I have included a GF version to Delicious Magazine’s original recipe (ingredients in bold where you can swap to GF ones). I hope that by making this recipe, you’ll see that gluten-free baking doesn’t have to be hard and I doubt you’ll be able to taste the difference from the non-GF ones!

(Gluten-Free) Carrot Cupcakes

Makes 22-24 | Takes: a couple of hours including cooling | A little effort | Gluten-free
You’ll need:
  • 200g grated carrots (about 2 medium carrots);
  • 250ml light olive oil;
  • 4 large eggs;
  • 75g sultanas;
  • 75g raisins;
  • 1 orange, zested;
  • 2 tsp ground mixed spice;
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice;
  • 225g self-rising flour/ 225g gluten-free self-rising flour (I used Dove’s Farms freee range, available in most large supermarkets and free form sections).
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda.
For the icing:
  • 100g unsalted butter at room temperature;
  • 250g full fat cream cheese at room temperature;
  • 100g icing sugar.
To decorate:
  • Sugar flowers or other small decorations (baking aisle in large supermakets)

To make the cupcakes, heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda and mix well with the mixed spice and ground spice. In a small ball, whisk the olive oil and eggs together. Make a well in the middle of the flour mix and slowly mix the wet ingredients into the dry. When everything is mixed well, add the carrot, dried fruit and orange zest. Mix everything well.

Line 2 x 12-hole cupcake/muffin trays with pretty cupcake paper holders or use silicone cupcake holders.  Spoon the batter into each case and divide the batter evenly between 22 or 24 cases. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a skewer pushed into the middle comes out clean. Leave the cakes in the trays until cool enough to handle, then put onto a rack to cool completely.

For the icing, beat together the butter and icing sugar until smooth. Then start beating in the cream cheese a spoonful at a time until smooth and well combined. You can spoon or pipe the icing onto the cooled cupcakes and top with sugar flowers. I topped mine with mini fudge bites.

Adapted from a Delicious Magazine recipe, issue May 2018, not available online.