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Baby carrot cakes

A picnic isn't a picnic unless it comes with its own sturdy, portable fruit cake or rich nutty carrot cake. Better still is a muffin tray of little carrot cakes, iced and returned to the tray for easy transporting.

Ingredients

  • 250g plain flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground
  • cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 200g soft light brown sugar
  • 200mL corn, sunflower or light olive oil
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp natural vanilla extract
  • 200g raw carrot, finely grated
  • 75g walnuts, chopped
  • 100g raisins or sultanas

For the icing

  • 200g cream cheese
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 80g icing or caster sugar

Method

Preheat oven to 180 C. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and mixed spice into a large bowl. Add the sugar and mix well, then add the oil, eggs and vanilla. Beat well. Fold in the grated carrots, chopped walnuts and dried fruit.

Lightly butter or oil a 12-mould muffin tray and spoon in the mixture, mounding the top slightly. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cakes start to shrink from the sides of the mould and feel firm on top. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tray.

To make the icing, beat the cream cheese, lemon juice and sugar together and ice each cake using a broad, flat palette knife, dipped in hot water.

Makes 12

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