Mini Carrot Cakes with Orange and Ginger
I started making this carrot cake recipe for a friend of mine who couldn’t eat nuts. I love walnuts in my carrot cake so I wanted some interesting flavors to replace the nuts. The orange and ginger add a great dimension to these light airy mini carrot cakes and the crystalized ginger garnish gives the same crunch as nuts. NOTE: This recipe works for a cake, mini-cakes, or cupcakes. Adjust the cooking times accordingly.
For Mini Carrot Cakes:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
11/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fresh ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
1 pound medium carrots peeled and shredded (should yield about 3 cups)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 ½ cup vegetable oil
The fresh orange zest and crystallized ginger add a great flavor contrast to every bite of these delicious mini-cakes.
8 ounces cream cheese softened
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
Fresh orange zest for garnish
Crystallized ginger for garnish
For Mini Carrot Cakes:
Note: I use silicone molds to make these beautiful little cakes but cupcake papers work great as well.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray mini cake molds with nonstick cooking spray or line muffin tins with cupcake papers.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg - set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor blend the sugar, brown sugar, eggs, fresh grated ginger, and orange zest until well incorporated. 15-30 seconds.
With processor running, slowly pour oil into processor until combined. Pour into large bowl. Gently mix in the carrots. Add the flour mixture 1/3 at a time and gently mix until flour is completely mixed in (but be careful not to over-mix).
Pour into prepared mini-cake molds, cupcake papers, or prepared cake-pan.
For mini-cakes cook for 20-22 minutes. For cupcakes cook for 18-20 minutes. Toothpick inserted in should be try but with a few crumbs.
In a stand mixer or with hand beaters beat together cream cheese and butter on medium speed for about 20-30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add orange zest and fresh orange juice and mix briefly to incorporate. Add one cup of powdered sugar at a time and beat until incorporated. Pipe onto cakes or spread with a small offset spatula. Garnish with crystallized ginger and fresh orange zest.