With the arrival of my Pampered Chef 3 tier cake stand I've been on a bit of a cup cake crusade lately . They don't travel too well in a school lunch box [you should see the mess at the end of the day] but they are very very girlie and the flavour combinations are endless, watch this space for more...
175g golden caster sugar
150ml sunflower oil
200g self-raising flour, sifted
3 tsp mixed spice
2 medium carrots, coarsely grated
1 tsp vanilla extract
Finely grated zest of 2 oranges
1½ x 200g tubs Soft Cheese
50g golden icing sugar, sifted
1.Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Place 12 paper muffin cases in a deep bun or muffin tin.
2.Put the eggs, sugar and oil in a large bowl and beat with an electric whisk for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
3.Using a metal spoon, gently fold in the flour, spice, grated carrot, vanilla extract and half the orange zest, until thoroughly combined.
4.Divide the mixture between the muffin cases then place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until well risen and golden brown. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
5.For the frosting, beat together the soft cheese and icing sugar until smooth. Chill until ready to use. Spread liberally over the cooled cakes and top with the remaining zest, or, as shown, make long strips of zest using a zester.