Carrot Cupcakes with a Zesty Orange Glaze

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

Soft and fluffy, these carrot cupcakes are sweetened with only 1 1/2 tsp of sugar each, making them the perfect treat for little ones and those who are looking to cut back on sweets!

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We all deserve a treat every once in a while, right? Well, here is my treat for you: amazing fluffy and moist carrot cupcakes that burst with flavour! The best part? Each cupcake (without the glaze) contains only 1 1/2 tsp of sugar and about 50% of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin A!

I know this is not the best way to eat vegetables, but hey every now and then, why not? I love baking cakes using vegetables, I guess it makes me feel less guilty about eating sweet treats. Plus, since vegetables are so moist, I think they pair up really well with gluten free flour, which retains more water than regular flour, giving incredible moist and soft baked goods. And…you literally cannot taste the vegetables (in this case carrots), so it can be a way to have all those little fussy eaters getting more nutrients. That said, please do not start feeding cakes to your kids every day just because they contain vegetables, make sure you check the other ingredients out as well ;)!

Let’s talk a bit more about these cute little things. Well, well, well, as I already mentioned, you can’t taste the carrots at all, instead they burst with flavour from all the extra spices added and the juice and zest of the orange. They are extremely light and fluffy, you know those cupcakes that feel so light and delicate when you hold them? That you are almost scared to break them? Well, that’s exactly how they are, minus the breaking part, they won’t crumble in your hands, don’t worry!

On my first take on these cupcakes, I used only 160g of carrots, instead of 200. They were even lighter, but I think they lacked a bit of extra consistency, hence I decided to increase the dose to 200g. Also, I kept the sugar low, as carrots are already sweets, especially baked, so I didn’t see the point of making extra sweet cupcakes when I didn’t have to. I only used 80g of sugar for all of them, which mounts up to just over 1 tsp of sugar each! That is without the glaze, of course. I think they taste amazing even without the glaze and could be eaten unglazed for breakfast, together with a yogurt, some nuts and a bit of fresh fruit. But, if you are more of a dessert kind of person, then indulge in the glaze and have them as an afternoon snack with a good cup of tea (or coffee)!

The glaze is very simple to make and all you will need is icing sugar, freshly squeezed orange juice and a bit of orange zest. It’s up to you, how much or how little you want to drizzle on your cupcakes. Make sure you go easy on it, though! 😉

Now a note on the sugar. For the cupcakes I used regular granulated sugar, as it’s cheaper and that’s what I had at home. Feel free to substitute it with brown sugar, for extra moist cupcakes and a bit of a caramel hint.

So, are you ready to bake them? You only need one bowl, so there’s not much washing up to do, I H-A-T-E washing up, as probably will a lot of you! Anyways, here’s the recipe.

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Ingredients (make 12 cupcakes)

For the cupcakes:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 80g granulated sugar
  • 125ml vegetable oil
  • 200g plain gluten free flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger
  • 200g carrots, grated very thinly
  • zest and juice of 1 orange

For the orange glaze:

  • 70g icing sugar
  • 1 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp orange zest

To decorate (optional):

  • Chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4 and line a muffin tin with cupcake cases.
  2. In a bowl, mix the sugar and the eggs using an electric whisk for about 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the oil, orange juice and zest and mix again.
  4. Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger and mix well, until incorporated.
  5. Finally, add the grated carrots and gently fold them in the mixture using a rubber spatula.
  6. Divide the mixture equally into the cupcake cases, filling them up to about 3/4 of the case.
  7. Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. Once they are ready, wait 5 minutes before transferring onto a cooling rack.
  9. When they have cooled down, make the glaze by whisking together all the glaze ingredients and then drizzle it on each cupcake. Decorate with a bit of chopped walnuts and enjoy! 🙂

Make sure you let me know if you try them and share photos on my other social media accounts! 🙂

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Have a great weekend!

Monica

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