Thanksgiving is over but i am still in some parallel world food coma ! My mind has been demanding a sugar rush lately and with rains soaking the usually sunny California, i am itching more than ever to put on my mittens and hit the oven. Today, i am continuing with the festive- holiday mode and baking some sinfully delicious Carrot Cake muffins !!
You would probably relate to it too when i say one needs to be in company of baked goods in winters. Nothing beats the smell of freshly brewed coffee/ masala chai accompanied with an assortment of “straight from the oven” croissants, muffins and cookies ! Don’t you just love that sweet scented aroma of the sugar, eggs and vanilla which creates magic and the strong robust aroma of the coffee which speaks directly to your senses … to me, that is one combination made in heaven !! Put me in a cafe with a book, some music and a sketchpad..and believe me, i would just live there 😛
It has been raining pitter patter for a few days and the temperatures are going down to welcome the winters here. I have been keeping rather busy with random things at my end but during winters, my oven literally calls to me and begs me to bake (or so i have made myself believe :P). With the thanksgiving weekend here and family at home, one has to just show a little inclination towards baking and the family starts demanding goodies 😛
Well, today the family asked for some muffins along with the morning coffee and i could not say no. I was keen on using some fresh ingredients and when i raided my refrigerator, i found a bag of carrots which needed some love… so i made some Carrot cake ! To amp up the festivities, i thought to go the cupcake route and made a quick frosting with a store bought instant lemon pudding … the result is yum !!
Carrot Cake with Lemon Pudding Frosting
Carrot cake with lemon pudding frosting
For the Carrot Cake
- 2 cups, All purpose Flour
- 1 tsp Soda bi carb
- 1.5 tsp Baking powder
- 1 tsp All spice powder
- Pinch of Salt
- 1 stick Butter, at room temperature (110 gms / 8 tablespoons)
- 2 tsp flax seed powder soaked in 6 tsp warm water / 2 eggs
- 1 tin condensed Milk (200 ml)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 2 cups carrots , grated
- Zest of 1 Orange (approx 1 tablespoon) . Can also use 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup Walnuts, chopped
- 1/2 cup Raisins (You can soak them in the orange juice for half an hour. For a fruit cake variation, soak in some rum)
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (i like to use dark chocolate chips)
For the Instant Lemon Pudding Frosting
- 1 cup milk (use whole milk for a richer, smoother frosting)
- 1 packet of instant lemon pudding (3.4 ounces)
- 100 gms cool whip (about 1/2 tub of 8 oz)
Pre-heat the Oven at 375 F. Grease the baking tin / muffin cups and keep ready.
- Take a mixing bowl. Add in all the dry ingredients and combine well. Keep aside.
- Take a separate bowl. Take the melted butter, flax seed slurry, condensed milk, vanilla essence, brown sugar, white sugar and whisk till homogeneous. (If using eggs, beat the eggs separately and gently fold in the mixture of the other wet ingredients).
- Now, add in the orange zest, walnuts, raisins, chocolate chips and grated carrots. Mix with the wet mixture.
- Next, slowly add in 1 tablespoon of dry mix at a time and fold with the wet mixture till everything is well combined.
- Pour the batter in the pre-greased muffin cups (fill only till 3/4 the capacity)
- Bake for 20-30 minutes or till the muffins are ready. Check with a toothpick/pin in the batter to see if it comes out clean.
- Once the muffins are baked, let them cool down completely before frosting.
For frosting – Whisk milk and pudding till homogeneous (about 2 minutes). Fold in cool whip. Spoon and spread evenly on cooled muffins. Refrigerate an hour to set before slicing and serving.
Isn’t that simply gorgeous !! ? The cake is moist, sinfully delicious and perfect for winters. Moreover, there is just enough butter in the recipe to keep it moist and nice but totally guilt free. The lemon pudding frosting brought along some citrus notes and complimented the orange zest in the recipe .. making it perfect for occasions. if you haven’t used instant puddings for frostings, give it a go … it is so convenient. Minimal effort and you get yourself a smooth, gorgeous frosting in minutes to take your amazing cake to a “wow” status !!
I think i am going to make another batch with some nuts and dried apricots and raisins for Christmas this year – that would be an interesting take on the fruit cake 🙂 Happy Baking !!