On a sunny but cold Easter weekend, a healthy treat never goes amiss. Carrot cake is my absolute favourite cake , so it was really time I made some. Publishing the recipe in Love East Magazine helped the process tremendously :). So did my flatmate, who happily tried some and gave them the thumbs up. These little cupcakes will be just perfect for your Easter Monday afternoon tea too.
In a truly healthy snack manner they are full of good fibre, proteins, vitamins, minerals and omega oils and burst with warming flavours of fresh ginger, ground nutmeg and cinnamon, which by the way helps to balance blood sugar levels. No proper carrot cake without walnuts. They add the protein and the omega oils and of course lots of flavour. To top all this, the cupcakes are made without refined sugar, I used dates instead. They are naturally very sweet, but come with beneficial fibre, which helps to slow down the release of their sugars, so you don’t go running to the cake tin for another one within 5 minutes. Well, you might, because they just taste so good.
The rich cashew cream really is the icing on these mini cakes, with added fresh vanilla, fresh orange juice and zest, it offers even more nutritious goodness and works perfectly well with the other flavours. The “whole food-real food bonus” is that you don’t need much of it !
The best part is that they are quick and easy to make and keep in the fridge for up to a week. Just store the cream in a separate jar and top the cakes only just before serving.
Gluten free Carrot Cupcakes with Vanilla & Orange Cashew Cream
Ingredients: ideally organic – makes 12 cupcakes
100g coconut flour or 300g almond flour
1/2 tsp of bicarbonate soda
4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger or 1 inch of freshly grated ginger
1/2 tsp of ground nutmeg
Content of 1/2 vanilla pod
300g grated carrots
4 medium sized eggs/ 3 eggs if using almond flour
400ml oat milk/ 300ml if using almond flour
1/2 cup of soaked dates (75g)-finely chopped
1 cup of walnuts (125g)- roughly chopped
1/2 cup of sultanas (75g)
Cashew Cream „Icing”:
1 cup of cashew nuts (150g)
1/2 cup of soaked dates (75g)
Zest of one organic orange (keep half to garnish the cup cakes)
60ml of freshly squeezed organic orange juice
1. Preheat the oven at 180C, prepare the cupcake baking tin by lining it with baking cups or baking parchment.
2. Mix the dry ingredients, including the fresh vanilla and set aside.
3. Next, mix the eggs with the milk, then add the finely chopped date and stir until well combined. The dates should be soaked in warm water until they are soft. I soak them for at least 1 hour. Keep the soaking liquid as you made it for the icing or you use it when preparing your porridge in the morning.
4. Add the grated carrots and dry ingredients; stir well, then fold in the chopped walnuts and sultanas and mix until everything is well combined.
5. Now, fill the dough in the baking cups, each to the top and bake at 180C for about 30-45 minutes or until the skewer comes out dry.
6. In the meantime, prepare the cashew cream „icing“ by simply placing all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. If the cream is still a bit too sticky, add some more orange juice or soaking liquid from the dates. Once nice and creamy, fill into a jar with a lid and keep in the fridge until ready to use.
7. Once baked, leave the cupcakes to cool down or serve warm topped with the cashew „icing” and some fresh orange zest. Enjoy!
They keep in the fridge in an air tight box for about 5 days to a week.
Happy Easter bank holiday weekend