175g dark brown soft sugar
2 large eggs
150ml sunflower oil
200g sweet kingdom carrots, coarsely grated
1 orange, zest
100g dried apricots, finely chopped
75g desiccated coconut
½ tsp coconut flavouring (optional)
1½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp mixed spice
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
160g self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
65g salted butter, softened
125g icing sugar, sifted
1 tbsp coconut cream
1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C, gas mark 4, and line a 12-hole muffin tin with 10 large muffin cases. (If they don’t stand proud of the muffin holes, the mixture will make 12 standard muffins instead.) In a large mixing bowl, whisk the brown sugar and eggs together until well combined. Add the oil and whisk again until smooth. Stir in the carrots, orange zest, apricots and 50g desiccated coconut, followed by ¼ tsp coconut flavouring, if using, and 1 tsp vanilla extract.
2. Fold in the mixed spice, ground cinnamon, flour and bicarbonate of soda. Divide between the muffin cases and bake for 30 minutes (20 minutes if making 12 smaller cakes), until risen, just firm and springy to the touch. Transfer the cakes in their cases to a wire rack to cool.
3. For the frosting, beat the butter with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add the icing sugar and gradually work in using a wooden spoon or electric beaters. Whip until light and fluffy. Add the coconut cream and remaining ½ tsp vanilla extract, plus the remaining ¼ tsp coconut flavouring, if using. Beat to make a light frosting.
4. Toast the remaining 25g desiccated coconut in a dry frying pan over a low heat. Allow to cool. Spread the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and scatter over the toasted coconut.
This recipe first appeared in the Harvest section of Waitrose Food, November 2017 issue. Download the Waitrose Food app for the full issue.
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