Carrot And Date Cupcakes
Why I Love This Recipe
The original recipe for these yummy little cakes came from Nigella Lawson's lovely cookbook 'How to be a Domestic Goddess.' I totally love this book, its slowly becoming a quintessential part of my cookbook collection :) and a favorite, ofcourse.
The original recipe didn't call for any baking powder, but I added a bit, because I really wanted my cakes to get that high, domed top. I'd imagine without it they would still be fabulous, just not quite as popped up on top. I also added cardamom because a hint of the spice works really well with flovors such as cinnamon, carrots and fruits. I added the dates, because I love dates, and thought they'd be good in carrot cake I used the zest of an entire lemon, and no orange, because I didn't have an orange... and 2 large carrots, because, again, its what i had on hand. With the icing, I used about 1/4 teaspoon lime extract, because I didn't have any fresh limes, which turned out really well, and gave the icing a more intense flavor, that suprisingly matched fabulously with the flavors in the cupcakes.
One more small note... these turned out great, but probably more like a hybrid muffin/cupcake. Since I used more carrot than was probably intended, I think it also added to the more mufffin like texture. All in all, a pretty waist friendly recipe, and hey, atleast you're getting a serving of vegetables! :)
Ingredients You'll Need
scant 1/2 c light brown sugar
3/4 c oil ( I used canola oil)
1 1/2 c all purpose flour ( I used whole wheat pastry flour)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
good pinch of salt
zest of 1/2 lemon
zest of 1/2 orange
2 medium carrots grated
scant 1/2 c walnuts chopped (and toasted, ofcourse, it makes their flavors really come out)
scant 1/3 c chopped medjool dates
Heat oven to 400 F.
Cream sugar and butter for a couple minutes.
Add eggs one at a time, blending thoroughly after each one.
Mix in dry ingredients and zest.
Finally, fold in grated carrots, toasted nuts, and chopped dates. The mixture will be seriously thick, esspecially the batter, before adding the carrots and mix-ins. Trust me, once you add the carrots, their moisture will help to thin the batter a bit, so don't worry. I usually let the batter sit for a few minutes, to let everything acclamate, and allow the glutens from the flours to rest for a second.
Spoon evenly into 12 muffin papers (or sprayed tins). Mine filled up almost flush with the top (like I like it... I like TALL cupcakes/muffins).
Bake for 20 minutes, and cool on a rack completely before icing.