Carrot, walnut and orange cake with coconut frosting



This recipe is a firm favourite of mine. Crisp white frosting its easy to decorate for almost any occasion. Plus these little treats have reduced sugar and the added goodness of carrot, nuts and nut oil. There is no compromising on yumminess!

Makes 12 regular sized cupcakes or 18 small cupcakes

  • 113g rapadura sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 65g plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • Finely grated zest of 2 oranges
  • 100g walnuts crushed
  • 180g of finely grated carrot (approx 1)
  • 80ml macadamia nut oil

For the frosting

  • 400g tin coconut cream (unsweetened, no added emulsifiers)
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1tsp of maple syrup

–   We begin with the icing as this needs to chill in the fridge before use. Place the tin of coconut milk in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or overnight. The cold temperature will cause the coconut and the water to separate, and when you open the tin, you will find a thick coconut layer on the top, and the water underneath. If you use a brand with emulsifiers and additives, this separation will not occur, and you won’t be able to achieve the right constancy with the icing.

–   Carefully scoop out the coconut and place into a bowl – you can use the left-over water for smoothies, soups or curries. Add the orange zest, vanilla and maple syrup, and whisk until it is smooth and creamy. Cover the bowl and pop into the fridge until you’re ready to ice the cakes.

–   Preheat the oven to 180°. Place paper cups in muffin trays.

–   Whisk the sugar and eggs until thick and creamy and tripled in volume. Be patient this takes about 5 minutes, best way to test the consistency is if you can create a ribbon by lifting the beaters. It should rest for 10 seconds on the surface of the mixture.

–   In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, orange zest, crushed walnuts. Add the carrot by combining with your fingers. Next, add the oil, again using your fingers to gently distribute it. Add half the egg mixture to the flour mixture and very gently fold through. Add the remaining egg mixture and fold through gently not to let the air escape. Scoop mixture into cupcake moulds making sure you fill them almost to the top.

–   Bake for 25-30 minutes at 180°C. Allow to gently cool in the oven with the door open and oven off, then leave trays on the bench to completely cool before transferring to a wire rack.

Now you’re ready to ice and decorate as desired! Enjoy!

Tip: a cool way to decorate is to use a rind zester to make thin carrot strands. Pile a pinch on top of each cake making sure they stand tall. Sprinkle with some edible glitter.