In true British style I’ll begin by complaining about the weather… If it ain’t too cold it’s too bloomin’ hot!! It hit 30°C today and boy oh boy was it roasting in the KitchenMason kitchen! Possibly not the greatest idea I’ve ever had to invite a friend round the house, switch on the oven & do some baking – buy hey, it’s fun haha!
My friend Charlie really likes carrot cake so I told her I’d share a recipe & teach her how to bake them. Here is what you will need to make approx 12 cakes.
For the Sponge
- 225g Plain Flour
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
- 150g Light Soft Brown Sugar
- 3 Eggs
- Zest of 1 Orange
- Zest of 1 Lemon
- 190ml Sunflower Oil
- 150g Grated Carrot
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- 70g Unsalted Butter, softened
- 200g Full Fat Philadelphia Cream Cheese
- 450g Icing Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Orange Extract (Optional)
First thing’s first, Preheat your oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C and line a cupcake tin with foil cases.
In a stand mixer or a large bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder & bicarbonate of soda then add the sugar.
Take one jug and beat in the eggs. Measure the oil out in a separate jug then slowly pour (whilst beating) into the eggs. Add in the orange zest & the lemon zest then gradually fold in the grated carrot.
I asked my new assistant to help me out on this one, isn’t she good at it?!
Bake in the preheated oven for approx 20 minutes. Check with a skewer to see if they are ready. If it comes out clean, they’re done – if there is cake batter on it, they need a bit longer.
When they are baked, remove from the tin and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before decorating.
Now for the humorous part. Cream cheese frosting has the tendency to be a little runny and unstable if not made carefully OR if made in a 30°C environment!!
Lesson most definitely learnt, cream cheese frosting does not like the British summer. Good job we don’t usually get that much of one haha!
But anyway, we battled on regardless. The best way to attack a cream cheese frosting is to make sure everything is cold. Start by putting the bowl you intend on making it in, in the fridge to chill.
Also, measure out the cream cheese and put it straight back in the fridge until you actually need it.
Ok here we go. Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and set to one side. Then in the chilled bowl, soften the butter until smooth.
Take the cream cheese out the fridge and add it to the bowl. It is important Not to over mix at this stage but you must make sure you smooth out all the butter otherwise it makes it very difficult to pipe later on. Lumps of butter will actually clog up your nozzle preventing the frosting from being piped neatly.
Now add half of the sieved icing sugar into the bowl and mix carefully. The idea is to mix slowly until the icing sugar is very nearly incorporated – then add in the rest of it and repeat until smooth. Remember – do not over mix! The more you mix, the runnier it will become.
As soon as all the icing sugar is in and the lumps are smoothed out – get it back in the fridge to firm up a little.
When the cakes have completely cooled and the frosting has firmed up, you are ready to decorate! Load up your piping bag with a nozzle of your choosing and pipe away.
I handed over to my marvelous assistant again, I think she’s getting the hang of this!
And there is always an added bonus of making these beauties yourself…
The baker’s rights bowl of course! I tend to slice the tops off my cupcakes to ensure a flat surface to pipe on. These “tops” somehow always seem to end up in a bowl along with any leftover frosting… Yeah, you see why I had to join a gym now don’t you?!
Anyway, I’m off in search of a giant freezer I can hibernate in until this bizarre summer heatwave decides to move on haha!!
I hope you all enjoyed the post my lovelies.