Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot cake was the special request for a family member's birthday cake this month, and after browsing various recipes, these cupcakes were my (and their) pick. Very simple to make, these cupcakes are light, fluffy and moist, perfectly spiced for that classic carrot cake taste. And of course, are coupled with silky smooth cream cheese icing. Too good to resist, and very thoroughly enjoyed!

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


300g plain (all-purpose) flour
1¼ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
300g granulated sugar
90g packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
350mls canola/vegetable oil
450g (6-7 medium) carrots, peeled, grated (I used a food processor)
½ tsp. salt

340g chilled cream cheese
110g unsalted butter, softened
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
375g icing (confectioners’) sugar, sifted
Extra grated carrot and chopped nuts to decorate if desired


Preheat the oven to 180°C (350° F). Line cupcake pans with paper cases (if using regular size muffin/cupcake tin, this recipe will make about 22 cupcakes, using a smaller tin, as I did, makes about 44).

Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and spices into a medium bowl. Whisk together until mixed. Add the grated carrot and set aside.

Using a food processor, process the eggs and sugars for about 30 seconds or until fluffy and combined. With the motor running, pour the oil in a steady stream through the food chute/feed tube. Process for a further 30 seconds until the mixture is light in colour and thoroughly combined. Pour into a large bowl.

Add the bowl of dry ingredients to the wet mixture. Stir gently until mixture is well combined and no patches of flour are present.

Fill cupcake cases with mixture, about ¾ full. Bake for about 20-25 minutes (depending on the size of your cupcakes) or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, or with a few small crumbs clinging. Cool in pan for about 5-7 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. Re-line the tin and repeat with the remaining mixture. Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting.

To make the frosting: using a stand mixer and paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and butter for about 3 minutes on medium-high speed until thoroughly combined and smooth. Mix in the vanilla. Slowly add the icing sugar on low speed until fairly incorporated, then increase the speed and beat the frosting until smoothand creamy. Frost and decorate the cupcakes as you like. (I used both a star shaped and round tip to pipe the frosting).

Makes 22/44 cupcakes depending on tin size.

Source: Adapted from Annie's Eats

Caramel Coconut Fudge

Sometimes, along come recipes you would have never usually found, let alone tried. That was the case with this recipe - if it hadn't been for a friend's fundraiser, I would probably never have come across it! But I am definitely glad I did! Also going by the name 'Cajeta de Coco' ( coconut fudge), these caramel coconut fudge balls are so delicious. They have a gorgeous, smooth caramel flavour packed with shredded coconut, and let's face it, caramel and coconut make a winning combination. And as for the fundraiser, these fudge balls were a hit :)

Caramel Coconut Fudge


600g sweetened condensed milk
200g shredded coconut
230g unsalted butter
50g cookie crumbs (I used granita biscuits/cookies)
1 tsp vanilla extract


Combine condensed milk, 100g coconut, butter, cookie crumbs and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Heat on medium/high until it comes to a boil, stirring constantly to prevent the mixture sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning. 

Reduce heat until mixture comes to a gentle simmer, and continue cooking for a further 5-10 minutes until the mixture comes together, and away from the sides and bottom of the pan. The mixture should be a golden caramel colour.

Take the pan off the heat and let the mixture cool completely, or until cool enough to handle. Meanwhle, toast the remaining coconut in a small pan over medium heat, stirring constantly until just lightly golden-brown.

Take teaspoons of mixture and shape into balls with your hands. Roll in toasted coconut.

Makes a lot! Store in the fridge. 

Source: Adapted from here.

Lemon Meringue Pie

Hi again everyone. Sorry it has been so long between posts! The first post for the new year is Lemon Meringue Pie. Personally, I am a big fan of lemony things, and this dessert is no exception. I love the combination of the crunchy, crumbly pastry combined with the sweet and sour tang of the lemon filling, which is beautifully offset by the light and fluffy meringue on top. It's a perfect summer dessert, and although there are a fair few steps in the recipe, it's definitely worth making.

Lemon Meringue Pie

230g plain (all purpose) flour
1 tablespoon icing (confectioners) sugar
145g cold butter, cubed
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons iced water

80g cornflour (cornstarch)
220g caster sugar
130mls lemon juice
310mls water
2 teaspoons lemon rind, finely grated
60g butter
3 egg yolks

3 egg whites
110g caster sugar


Make pastry: Add flour, sugar and butter to a food processor and process until it reaches a texture similar to fine breadcrumbs. Add yolk and water, processing until a smooth dough forms and comes together. Transfer to a lightly floured flat surface, and knead until smooth.  

Form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap/cover and refrigerate for about 30 mins. (Note: if the dough is too wet, knead a little more flour into it, or if it is too dry, add a little more water to the food processor)

Meanwhile, grease a 24cm (9 ½ inches) round loose-based fluted tart tin.

Remove the dough from the fridge. Roll out on a large, flat well-floured surface (or alternatively between two sheets of baking paper) until it is big enough to line the tin. Lift the pastry into the tin, and press down into base and sides to line. Trim the edges (I usually just roll my rolling pin over the top a couple of times). (For tips on lining a tin with pastry, go to:

Carefully move tin to a baking tray. Cover with plastic wrap and return to the fridge for another 30 mins.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200C (212 F).

Remove tray from the fridge. Cover the tin with baking paper (fill with dried beans/rice or pastry weights), and blind bake for 15 minutes . Remove paper and weights, then return to the oven and bake for a further 10 minutes until pastry is light golden. Cool. (You can turn the oven off at this stage).

Meanwhile, make filling:in a medium saucepan combine cornflour and sugar, then gradually whisk in lemon juice and water until smooth. Heat on high, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon  until the mixture boils and thickens up. At this point, reduce the heat, then simmer for a further 1 minute.

 Take saucepan completely off heat, then  stir in the rind, butter and yolks until combined and smooth. Cool (for at least 10-15 minutes).

Remove filling from the fridge, and transfer with a spatula to the pastry case. Cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 200C (212 F).

Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Slowly add the sugar, beating until the mixture is smooth and glossy, and the sugar has dissolved (rub a little mixture between your thumb and forefinger, if it is stil very grainy, keep beating.)

Remove filled pastry from the fridge. Run a fork over the surface of the filling to roughen it up (this helps the meringue to stick and bond to the lemon filling). Spread the meringue mixture over the top with a spatula, covering the filling. Bake for about 2-3 minutes, or until the top of the meringue is lightly browned.