There is nothing better than baking over the winter holidays. The smell of cinnamon, nutmeg and zesty orange in the kitchen is my version of Christmas happiness. I don’t pretend to be a cooking goddess or in any way a seasoned chef – but more of an every day kinda person who enjoys cooking and one of the things I LOVE doing is making out-of-the-box cakes and this is definitely, one of those!
350 grams self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
100 grams soft brown sugar
50 grams of sultanas
1 pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon of all spice
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
130ml buttermilk (or milk with 1tsp lemon juice)
3 eggs (lightly beaten)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
120 grams butter (melted)
400grams of carrots (finely grated plus extra for decoration)
250 grams of marmalade (plus extra for the buttercream) if you are not a fan of marmalade you can replace with apricot preserve.
240g butter, softened
350g icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
– Preheat the oven to 190°C or gas mark 5. Line a tray with 12-15 paper cupcake cases. I used a really rubbish set of silver ones that stuck to one another when peeling apart so make sure you use ones that will retain their shape.
– In a mixing bowl, sift the flour, sugar, all spice, cinnamon, salt and bicarbonate of soda and stir in the sultanas making a well at the centre for your wet ingredients.
– Whisk together the milk, eggs, melted butter and vanilla essence and pour into the well of the flour mixture. After roughly mixing, add the marmalade and grated carrot and stir roughly until all combined.
– Divide the mixture equally into your cupcake cases and bake for 20 minutes or until the tops are a golden colour. To check they are cooked in the middle, put a skewer in through the top of the cake and make sure it comes out clean.
– Allow to cool on a cooling rack before putting your buttercream on top.
Marmalade Buttercream method…
– Cream the butter in a bowl until smooth, gradually add the icing sugar until light and fluffy. Add the marmalade, vanilla essence and milk until fully combined. Using a piping bag, pipe from the outside in, finishing with a swirl.