Friday, February 8, 2013

Carrot & Apricot Cakes

My mum made these for a recent family dinner and they were so good I begged her for the recipe - which she'd gotten from the side of the Coles brand SR flour packet!  They are just delicious - check out the tips at the bottom for some other variations :-)

2 cups self-raising flour
2 cups grated carrot
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup flaked almonds (3/4 cup crushed or chopped, 1/4 cup whole for decoration, toasted)
1/2 cup dried apricot, chopped, plus 1/3 cup chopped for decoration
3 extra large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3/4 cup oil (vegetable, sunflower or light olive)

250g lite cream cheese, softened
25g butter, softened
2/3 cup icing sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons orange juice

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius/160 degrees fan-forced.

Combine flour, carrot, sugar, almond and apricots.  In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients.  Pour onto dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Spoon mixture into regular muffin pan, lined with paper cases.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, until puffed and golden.  Remove and cool.

For icing: beat cream cheese and butter in a small bowl until smooth.  Beat in icing sugar and oragne juice.  Spread icing over muffins and top with extra toasted almonds and apricot.

Tip: you can substitute sultanas for the apricots, or cinnamon, mixed spice or finely grated orange rind for the vanilla.  Any nuts can be used in place of the almonds.

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