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make luscious, fruity carrot cake muffins
It turns out there are many, many different interpretations of carrot cake. I’ve had wholesome ones, squidgy ones, cakey ones, gluten-free vegan ones, ones with nuts and ones with raisins, carrot cakes that were just the excuse to eat cream cheese icing and others that were plain and simple.

I wanted to use coconut oil instead of another vegetable oil, I wanted the cake to be moist and muffin-y rather than too light and sponge-esque and I wanted the cream cheese in the icing to really shine through. In short, I wanted a decadent, zingy, fruity, lightly spiced carrot cake muffin with a dreamy, creamy icing.

These have no walnuts but do have juicy sultanas and caramelised fresh pineapple pieces - a recreation of the Entenmann’s carrot cake of my childhood

Posted by Holly from Paris, Île-de-France, France • Published See Holly's 7 projects »
  • Step 1

    Turn the oven on at 170°C and pop muffin cases in a muffin tin.

  • Step 2

    Now prepare the pineapple. Chop into cubes of approximately 1cm. Heat the butter in a frying pan until it starts to bubble/foam, then add the caster sugar and pineapple pieces and move around until the pineapple starts to go golden brown in places. Take off the heat and leave to cool.

  • Step 3

    Melt and measure out your coconut oil into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the muscovado sugar, eggs and vanilla extract and beat together until well-combined.

  • Step 4

    In a separate bowl, weigh out the flour and add the bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Stir together.

  • Step 5

    Add the dry ingredients to those in the mixer, with the machine running slowly. Stop when you have an even batter and take the bowl out.

  • Step 6

    Finally, fold in the cooled caramelised pineapple pieces, grated carrot, sultanas and zest of half an orange.

  • Step 7

    Fill the muffin cases 3/4 full and pop the tin in the oven for 20-25 minutes. When they are ready to come out, they won’t be wet-looking in the middle and the cake will spring back when pressed gently.

    Leave to cool completely.

  • Step 8

    To make the icing, beat the cream cheese with a wooden spoon in a bowl.

  • Step 9

    In a separate bowl, beat together the butter, icing sugar and honey. Add this to the cream cheese and mix together until smooth.

  • Step 10

    Use a knife to spread icing on top of each cake. If you like, add a little orange zest to decorate.

  • Step 11

    These are perfect eaten straightaway. If you’re going to keep them any longer, put them in an airtight container in the fridge but take them out to come up to room temperature before you eat them.

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