Fall is my favourite season. I love the beautiful transition from the warmth of summer to the chill of winter. When I was a kid, I would always get excited on the first morning that I could see my breath as I made my way to school. I also love the changing of the leaves. I’ve lived in the UK so long that I usually don’t get homesick, but sometimes I’ll spot a tree turning golden or red and suddenly I’ll wish I was back in Canada.
This is an adaption of Canadian Living’s “Canada’s Best Carrot Cake”. It really is the best carrot cake recipe I’ve come across and it easily adapted to be both made with grams (vs cups) and into cupcakes. The secret ingredient is the pineapple. It doesn’t really affect the overall taste, but it makes it so moist. These cupcakes are gooey and soft in the best possible way. For the spices, I usually add a slightly different combination every time I make it depending on what I’ve got in my cupboard. Basically, as long as it’s mostly cinnamon, with a bit of nutmeg or ginger thrown in, it’ll probably have that spiced autumnal flavour.
It was Canadian Thanksgiving last weekend. I’ve had these Canada flag cupcake liners for years and only now have I found an excuse to use them. I also experimented a bit with different tips when piping the icing. To be honest, I think I liked them best when I just slathered it on with a knife – the ones that look slightly homemade with the most icing are the ones that I will pick every time!
Adapted from Canadian Living
- 250g flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 150g white sugar
- 150g soft brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 175ml vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 325 g peeled, grated carrots
- 1 tin pineapple, drained and finely chopped
- 60g walnuts/pecans/hazelnuts etc, chopped (optional)
- Line two muffin tins with 24 cupcake liners. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.
- Grate the carrot and chop up the pineapple. The most convenient way to do this is to use a food processor.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
- Using a wire whisk, mix together the brown sugar, white sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla until thoroughly mixed. Stir in the grated carrot, pineapple, and nuts (optional).
- Add the flour mixture and gently fold together by hand until the mixture is just combined. Do not over mix.
- Divide the batter equally between the 24 cupcake liners. Bake in preheated over for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Cool completely on wire rack before icing (see below).
Cream Cheese Icing
Makes more than enough for 24 cupcakes
- 200g full fat cream cheese
- 250g unsalted butter
- 650g icing sugar, sifted
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- Cream together the butter, cream cheese and vanilla extract until smooth and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
- Gradually add in the icing sugar. If icing is too thick, then add a tiny splash of milk. If it is too runny, add a bit more icing sugar.
- Beat on high for a further 30 seconds until dreamily fluffy.
- Frost cupcakes as desired.