Christmas encourage us to find more time for family gatherings and overdue catch-ups with friends. I bet your calendar is bursting in seems at this time of year. That’s the part of December celebrations that I look forward to the most, I guess. This, or dumplings… both are eagerly awaited. Hard to decide, sorry guys! 😉
Thing is, if you go to visit someone it’s always nice to bring some kind of Christmasy trinket with you. The typical go-to gift is a bottle of some bubbles, and I am not saying that’s not a good idea but let’s be honest, you don’t get it for a song so if you have quite a few people on the list… Well, I will let you do your maths. Also, don’t you agree that even the tiniest thing made by yourself will show the other person your true involvement? And don’t be mistaken, I am not trying to convince you to turn your home into DIY factory, not at all!
I came up with an idea of baking some cupcakes as we had quite a few events within short period of time which we wanted to bring some Christmas ‘souvenirs’ to. Doing it individually for each of the occasions would have been a tactical failure, especially that time is something that we never have enough of. Instead, I decided to bake one base and put emphasis on personalised decoration. For Christmas Party at work- quite generic but fun, for friends- with their favourite flavour of frosting and toppings. To make it look even more special, I boxed them up and added some decorative bits and bobs.
Speaking of cake, the base for the cup cakes was baked according to recipe for my favourite carrot cake. I went for that one, as I don’t think many people bake it themselves at home and therefore eat as much as to get tired of it quickly. As far as flavour is concerned, it’s very subtle and despite the fact that it is literally loaded with carrots, you cannot feel anything but its sweetness. Thanks to shreds of pineapple it remains moist for couple of days and lovely crunch of nuts makes it more interesting for your palate. Moreover, if you add an extra spoon of cinnamon to the batter it will become truly festive. Trust me, it’s a real crowd pleaser!
Original Recipe Carrot Cake
eggs- 2 units
sugar- 200 g ( I used brown sugar)
vegetable oil- 150 ml
finely grated carrot- 200 g
pecan nuts or walnuts- 50 g (chopped)
pineapple- 75 g (chopped)
desiccated coconut- 50 g
all purpose flour- 200 g
baking powder- 1/2 tsp
baking soda- 1 tsp
cinnamon- 1 tsp (or more)
salt- just a pinch
1. Start from beating the eggs in electric mixer until they double its quantity. Add sugar and keep mixing until the mixture becomes smooth. Pour vegetable oil in and keep whisking for two, three minutes.
2. Add carrot, pineapple, nuts, coconut and fold them into the batter until well incorporated.
3. Swift the flour in together with cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda and mix again gently.
4. Transfer batter to previously greased baking tin and bake for an hour in 175C.
(If you would like to bake cup-cakes, follow all above instructions just shorten baking time to approximately 20-25 minutes, until tester comes out dry.)
5. Decorate with frosting of your liking or whipped cream. Enjoy!