Carrot & Apple Love Cakes

Carrot & Apple Love Cakes

Show someone you love them with these easy homemade treats…..

Or just show yourself some love (Seriously, who am I kidding? The greatest irony of my life is being married to a man who just isn't that interested in food…..so essentially I've just spent the afternoon baking Valentines Cupcakes for ME)

These are an absolute doddle to make (for even the least confident baker), and they are lower in sugar and fat than many cupcakes, and contain fresh carrot and apple to make you feel virtuous!

The recipe uses an American cup measure for the ingredients so there’s no weighing. If you don’t have a cup measure, just use a medium sized tea cup with a volume of around 250ml. (The ingredients don’t need to be hugely accurately measured, so its fine to just ‘guestimate’ what ¾ or ½ a cup should be)

Takes: 10 minutes to make, plus 25 minutes to bake, then 10-20 minutes to decorate (depending how beautiful you want them to look!)

Equipment:

Grater, 2 mixing bowls, wooden spoon, 12 hole cupcake tray, 12 paper cases, electric hand mixer (or a whisk and some elbow grease!), a small fine sieve (a tea strainer is ideal!), a piece of card and scissors to make the heart template.

Cake Ingredients:

¾ cup sunflower or rapeseed oil

¾ cup caster sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt (optional)

1.5 cups raw grated carrot (1 large carrot)

1 cup raw grated apple (1 large apple)

1 teaspoon ground mixed spice

1 cup self raising flour

Icing ingredients:

250 grams mascarpone cheese (or full fat cream cheese)

125 grams double cream (just half fill the empty mascarpone pot with cream to measure 125g)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 tablespoons icing sugar

approx. 1 tablespoon ground mixed spice

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Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 160 degrees C.
  • Line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases
  • First wash and grate the carrot and apple (I don’t bother peeling them)
  • Throw all the cake ingredients except the flour into a mixing bowl, and give it a good bash about with a spoon for a minute or two until it is well mixed and frothy.
  • Add the flour and stir gently, just enough to combine the flour.
  • Divide the mixture evenly between the cake cases.
  • Bake for 25 minutes at 160 degrees C, or until the cakes feel firm if you press the tops gently.
  • Take the cakes out of the baking tray and eave them to cool completely on a plate or a wire rack (note: DO NOT be tempted to ice these cakes until they are cold…the icing will melt and slide off and it’ll be a horrible mess!)
  • While the cakes are cooling put all the icing ingredients in a bowl and whisk until it is thick and spreadable (like the consistency of clotted cream). This takes less than a minute with an electric mixer, or 3 or 4 minutes if you whisk by hand. Leave the icing in the fridge until you need it.
  • If you’re feeling romantic, cut a small heart shape out of a piece of card (fold the card in half, draw half a heart, cut it and open the card – voila!)
  • Spread a heaped teaspoonful of icing onto each cake, then use the template to sprinkle mixed spice from a small sieve onto each cake. If you can’t be bothered with the hearts just dust each cake with a little mixed spice.

Note: if you’re not a fan of creamy icing these cakes taste fab just as they are without anything on top!

Storage: These cakes need to be kept in the fridge once they are iced. They will be delicious for up to 3 days – though the icing effect isn’t so good after a few hours in the fridge.

Un-iced these cakes freeze beautifully, so you can make them in advance and then defrost and ice them when you want them.

I hope you love this recipe as much as I do…….Please do let me know how you get on with it! Joyxx

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