There are 2 reasons why I love carrot cake: it can be wholesome enough to be considered part of your daily veggie intake (ahem) and its cake. Cake! And these aren’t so tooth-achingly sweet that you’ll be speed dialing your dentist for a check up. Plus it has your daily fat intake (cream cheese) and even a little protein in there too (cream cheese) so really, with the carrots, we’re looking at a complete meal right here. All your food groups, wrapped up in one neat, little package. But all that aside, these just taste really good. It’s got an interesting addition of graham crackers (or granita biscuits, as we call them down under) which I’ve never tried in a cake mixture before, and while they aren’t overpowering in taste, they definitely add a little something. You won’t need any large equipment for this recipe either (unless you’d like to grate the carrots in your food processor) so it’s super simple. I’ve topped them with my favourite cream-cheese icing, a never-fail, pipeable, not-too-sweet mix which pairs well with the cakes’ earthy tones. Top it with crunchy nut and seed praline, and you’re onto a winner. Now, you just have to find your 4 other daily servings of vegetables, and you can call it a day. graham-cracker carrot cakes, cream cheese swirl + toffee praline – makes 9-10 cupcakes – can be made dairy free you’ll need… graham-cracker carrot cakes – adapted from smitten kitchen
- 1/2 cup plain spelt flour
- 50g granita or digestive biscuits, finely ground
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 2/3 cup rapadura sugar
- 100g melted butter (or oil to make dairy-free)
- 2 small, free-range eggs
- 180g finely grated carrots (peeled)
cream cheese icing – adapted from annie’s eats
- 140g cream cheese icing, chilled
- 45g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 205g icing sugar, sifted
- pinch of salt
- 40g pepitas
- 40g almonds
- 40g macadamias
- 1 tsp salt
- 90g caster sugar
here’s what you do…
- For the cakes, preheat your oven to 180C (160C fan forced). Line your cupcake tin with papers, or grease well.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, biscuit crumbs, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar butter and eggs until smooth, then add carrots. Pour wet ingredients into dry and fold in until just combined.
- Divide batter evenly between 9-10 cupcake cases (I use this cookie scoop to ensure consistent sizing of my cupcakes). Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle. Remove immediately onto a wire cooling rack
- For the praline, line a baking tray with baking paper. Toast the pepitas and nuts in a dry frying pan until slightly coloured and set aside.
- Put the sugar in the a small saucepan and place over medium heat (the pan must be big enough so the sugar is one fine layer instead of a thick one). Swirl the pan without stirring the sugar, and allow it to melt and become a mahogany-caramel colour.
- Pour the nuts into the saucepan, and working quickly, coat the nuts in the caramel and pour onto the baking tray. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes, or until hardened. Briefly pulse the praline in a food processor to break up into small pieces, or simply chop with a knife. Set aside.
- For the icing, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Add in the icing sugar and salt and mix on low for 30 seconds, then increase speed to medium-high for 3 minutes.
- To assemble, pipe swirls onto the cakes and top with the praline.