I made these carrot cupcakes a couple of weeks ago after we’d moved into our new place. I woke up in the morning surrounded by boxes and thought my first priority was surely to bake something comforting and delicious! I was able to get a lot of unpacking done after scoffing a couple of these as part of my breakfast.
These carrot cupcakes are not only delish, but they also don’t contain any junk. And as a major bonus, I’ve also included a whole bunch of beautiful medicinal spices. The best part is that you can do it all in one bowl.
Photos are…subpar. But these are so good, who cares!
- 350g carrot
- 40g of melted butter, ghee, coconut oil or macadamia nut oil
- 2 eggs
- 80-100g coconut or maple syrup
- 15g blackstrap molasses (optional)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 190g spelt or gluten free flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp each of ground ginger, nutmeg, turmeric
- 1/4 tsp each of cardamom and clove powder
- few grinds or pinches of black pepper
- 1 tsp bicarb/baking soda
- 75g nuts or seeds
- 40g raisins/sultanas, currants, goji berries or chopped dried fruit
The easiest way to do this is if you use a Thermomix or other high-powered food processing/chopping/blending device, but you can totally do this by by hand also.
- Preheat your oven to 165°C and line or grease a 12-muffin tray.
- Add chopped carrots, eggs, butter/oil, vanilla and coconut/maple syrup to your device. You may wish to substitute some of the coconut syrup or maple syrup with a bit of organic blackstrap molasses for an extra depth of flavour and iron kick. Chop/blend thoroughly (about 10 seconds speed 5 in a Thermomix). If you don’t have a machine, grate the carrot by hand and mix thoroughly with the other wet ingredients in a bowl.
- Add flour, salt, spices, bicarb/baking soda and mix thoroughly.
- Add whole walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds and blend for a few seconds on a low-mid speed (so as to chop but not obliterate). If doing by hand, stir in chopped nuts or whole seeds until evenly distributed.
- Add fruit and stir through.
- Pour into muffin tray and pop into the oven for about 30 minutes. You will know they are done when they feel firm-ish when you press the top or a skewer comes out clean.
- I only use about 80g sweetener in these which is not very sweet, but is plenty sweet enough especially if you are adding a sweet icing/frosting. If you are not yet used to less than super sweet baked goods, you could try adding about 100g.
- When I need a liquid sweetener in my baking, I only use coconut syrup, and to a lesser extent, maple syrup. I try not to cook with honey, and save this for adding to warm drinks or drizzling or mixing into things after they are cooked or if cool.
- Try to get (or make!) real vanilla extract (or paste), rather than the synthetic vanilla ‘essence’ that is available in the shops. I make my own with vodka or rum and vanilla beans.
- When you buy molasses, look for an organic blackstrap molasses without added sulphur (or anything else). Then you’ll get all the goodness of the minerals without any added junk.
- Use seeds for a nut-free option for nut-free schools or nut allergies.
- All of the spices listed each have their own medicinal and healing properties. And you can’t really taste them except for a lovely subtle spicy flavour (subtle to me anyway!). The turmeric is anti-inflammatory and the black pepper helps us to absorb it. The other spices also have so many benefits – too many to go into here!
- I made a cream cheese icing, but a nice non-dairy option would be to use the solid cream from the top of a can of refrigerated coconut cream and blend it with a little bit of coconut or maple syrup, perhaps a splash of vanilla.
- Enjoy the food as medicine!