Carrot & Walnut Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Recently Kraft ran a local promotion on Philadelphia Cream Cheese products, for every 2 products purchased (cream cheese block or spreadable cream cheese), a measuring cup/spoon set was given free. The free gift came in 3 colours and looked so attractive that I got myself all 3 sets (4 blocks of cream cheese and 2 tubs of spreadable). Yep, so I have an abundance of cream cheese idling in my fridge :p

Was scratching my head over how to use up the cream cheese, and the Carrot and Walnut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting came to my mind. Haven't eaten this cake for a long time and kind of craving for it. Decided to make it in petite cupcake sizes as they look more cutesy and I also wanted to gift a dozen (to my hair stylist whom I've known for more than 10 years).

The texture for this cake is very tender and moist, with natural sweetness from the grated carrots and nutty flavour from the walnuts, with a hint of spices (cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg) for aroma and tinge of orange (juice, extract and zest) for tangy fragrance. It tasted very good on its own already but even better with some cream cheese frosting! Some white chocolate was added for a more creamy texture and orange (juice and extract) for fragrance. Love love love this cake! I still have lots of cream cheese left and already thinking of making another batch of cupcakes or probably bake a full cake this time.


Carrot & Walnut Cupcakes
(makes 20 petite cupcakes - Glassine black brown diameter 9.5cm base 4.1cm)

Ingredients (A)
  • 120g cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
Ingredients (B)
  • 120g neutral tasting cooking oil (I use grapeseed oil)
  • 60g unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tsp orange extract (I use Nielsen-Massey)
  • 1 zest of orange
Ingredients (C)
  • 2 eggs
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 70g light brown sugar
Ingredients (D)
  • 150g carrots, grated
  • 50g walnuts, chopped

Steps
  1. Preheat oven to 175 degree celsius, top and bottom heat.
  2. Line muffin pan with cupcake cases. Set aside.
  3. Sift all ingredients (A) together and stir with whisk till well-mixed. Set aside.
  4. Combine all ingredients (B) together till well-blended. Set aside.
  5. Add the eggs in a mixer bowl and whisk on medium high speed till foamy.
  6. Add both sugars and beat till mixture is slightly thickened on medium high speed.
  7. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the wet ingredients mixture (B) gradually. Beat till well-mixed.
  8. Add the dry ingredients mixture (A) in 3 additions. Mix till just combined, do not over-mix, scrapping down sides of bowl once.
  9. Add the carrots and mix till blended.
  10. Remove bowl from mixer and FOLD in the walnuts till well-mixed.
  11. Fill the batter into the prepared cupcake cases (about 3/4 depth).
  12. Bake at 175 degree celsius for 20 mins.
  13. Remove muffin pan from oven, cool on wire rack completely before piping.
Cream Cheese Frosting
(makes more than enough to frost 20 cupcakes)

Ingredients
  • 80g white chocolate buttons (I use ICAM White Chocolate Vanini)
  • 380g cream cheese (I use Philadelphia), cubed and slightly softened
  • 35g unsalted butter, cubed and slightly softened
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp orange extract (I use Nielsen-Massey)
  • 30g icing sugar, sifted
Steps
  1. Melt white chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir till smooth and cool before using.
  2. Add cream cheese and butter in a mixer bowl and beat on medium high speed using paddle attachment till smooth and creamy.
  3. Add the melted white chocolate, orange juice and extract and beat till combined.
  4. Add icing sugar and beat until smooth and creamy.
  5. Pipe on cooled cupcakes as desired. I use Wilton 1M piping tip.


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