Warming and sustaining, these spiced carrot muffins are definitely one to have in your baking repertoire. The fact they are sugar-free (if you forego the icing), is just a bonus. They can also be baked as a cake, just use a lined 20cm tin and increase the cooking time by 15-20 min or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Before I get into the recipe, I wanted to share with you my patented (not) method for making your own muffin cases. Yes, you can just buy them, but I a) never think of doing this when I'm shopping and b) I dislike superfluous spending, as well as excess packaging from multiple products. I always, however, have non-stick baking paper on hand, so I can always make these, and they are a breeze. Take a roughly 30 x 40 cm piece of baking paper, and fold lengthways in half, then half again, so you have four even parallel sections. Turn the paper and fold into thirds. You should now have 12 square-ish sections. Cut along these lines and then, stacking 4 together at a time, make a 2.5 cm cut on opposite sides on each piece (see picture). These cuts help the cases mould to the muffin holes. Smear a little butter into the base of each muffin hole, or spray with cooking spray and place each muffin 'case' into each muffin well, overlapping the cut sides and allowing the remaining paper to crease as it likes. You end up with a family rough and ready effect, but I rather like that and the benefit of having muffins that are easy to remove far outweighs anything else! Scroll down to the recipe below.
iMakes 12 muffins
2 cups whole spelt or wholemeal flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
2 t cinnamon
1 t mixed spice
130 g medjool dates
100 ml water
2/3 cup oil
2 eggs, lightly whisked
zest and juice of 1 large orange
2 cups grated carrot
2/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup sultanas
Coconut Lemon Icing (Optional)
150 g coconut oil
2/3 cup icing sugar mixture
Zest of 1 lemon
1 - 2 T lemon juice
1 t vanilla extract
Shredded coconut, to serve
Preheat oven to 170°C. Line a 12 cup capacity muffin tin, as above.
Place dates and water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Cook until dates are soft. Set aside to cool slightly.
Sift flour, baking powder and spices into a large bowl. Mash dates with a fork until you have a mostly smooth paste. Stir in oil, eggs, and orange zest and juice, mixing quickly to combine.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, add the date mixture and stir well. Stir in carrot, walnut pieces and sultanas.
Spoon into prepared muffin holes and bake for 25-30 min or until the muffins are golden and cooked through. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
Coconut Lemon Icing
Add coconut oil, vanilla and lemon zest to a bowl. Whisk with electric beaters or a stand mixer until soft and creamy. Add icing sugar in three batches, beating in each addition thoroughly. As the mixture thickens, add lemon juice a tablespoonful at a time until you have a smooth, spreadable consistency. Add more lemon juice, or water, a teaspoonful at a time, if icing is still too thick.
When cupcakes are completely cold, dollop heaped tablespoons of icing onto each muffin and spread to the edges. Sprinkle with shredded coconut. Store muffins in a sealed container in a cool, dry place for up to four days. The icing will go very hard if stored in the fridge, but you may store the cupcakes in the fridge if keeping for longer than four days or if the weather is very hot, just allow to come to room temperature before serving.
About The Daughter's Table
The Daughter's Table is a living archive of recipes and stories. It is inspired by my daughter, and the desire to create a food legacy that connects us to what we eat and why.