Makes about 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:

  • 290g plain flour
  • 270g sunflower oil
  • 360g light brown sugar
  • 290g grated carrots (about 2 large carrots)
  • 140g walnut pieces, toasted
  • 150g pineapple, finely chopped
  • 4 medium eggs, 2 of them separated
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

For the sugar syrup:

  • 60ml water
  • 60g caster sugar
  • juice of ½ lemon

Method:

Preheat the oven to 165°C/gas mark 4 and line the muffin trays with cupcake cases.

Beat the oil and brown sugar together until well mixed and slightly aerated.  In a separate jug, beat together the 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks, then add this gradually to the oil and sugar, beating on high speed.

Add the grated carrots, pineapple and nuts to the mixture and fold this through by hand.  Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon and fold this into the cake batter.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with the pinch of salt until soft peaks form, then fold this through the cake batter.  Use a plastic piping bag or tablespoon, carefully place the batter into the cupcake cases until two-thirds full.

Bake for 20-22 minutes, depending on your oven. The cupcakes are cooked when the tops are golden brown and spring back to the touch. If in doubt, insert a clean knife or wooden skewer into the centre of each sponge; it should come out clean.

While the cupcakes are baking, make up the sugar syrup. Place the water, sugar and lemon juice into a small saucepan and bring just to the boil.  Stir until the sugar crystals have all dissolved and remove from the heat.

Once the cupcakes are baked, let them rest for a few minutes outside of the oven. Using a pastry brush, soak the tops of the cupcakes with sugar syrup while they are still warm.

Once just warm, remove the cupcakes from the trays and leave to cool completely on a wire cooling rack.

To decorate:

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 250g full-fat cream cheese, slightly softened
  • 625g icing sugar, sifted
  • Finely grated zest of 2 unwaxed lemons

Place the cream cheese in a mixing bowl and beat with a spatula or wooden spoon until smooth and creamy.

Place the butter, lemon zest and a third of the icing sugar in a separate mixing bowl and cream together until very pale and fluffy. Add the next third of the icing sugar and beat again until the mix becomes pale and fluffy.  Add the rest of the icing sugar and beat again, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl well to ensure no lumps of butter remain.

Add the cream cheese, a little at a time, to the butter mixture and mix at a low speed until the frosting is combined. Chill until firm enough to pipe.

CUPCAKES by PEGGY PORSCHEN, published by Quadrille (£6.99)

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About The Author

Celebrity Baker

Fascinated by baking and cake decorating from childhood, Peggy moved from her home in Germany to London in 1998 to study at the internationally renowned cookery school Le Cordon Bleu. After successfully completing ‘The Grand Diploma of Cuisine & Patisserie', Peggy held a number of prestigious Pastry chef positions in London. Quickly developing her own style, Peggy set up her own business in 2003 founding Peggy Porschen Cakes, a bespoke British design company that not only reflects her life-long love of baking but also celebrates beautiful craftsmanship, inspired by romance, fashion and femininity. Peggy has since become one of the most prominent and pioneering names in contemporary cake design and is renowned for irresistibly pretty and elegant designs that are not only visually stunning but also taste delicious. Author of eight highly acclaimed titles, Peggy's books are popular in the UK as well as internationally. Her books have been translated for US markets and into German, Dutch, French, Portuguese, Turkish, Swedish, Russian, Italian and Spanish languages. Peggy has sold well over 600,000 books worldwide and is known to have redefined the art of modern sugar craft. Her first book Pretty Party Cakes was voted ‘Best Entertaining Cookbook' by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Peggy also regularly contributes to a number of influential titles including Sainsbury's Magazine, Condé Nast Brides and Wedding Magazine. UK television credits include the BBC's Great British Wedding Cake, Paul Hollywood's Pies & Puds, Rachel Allen's Bake, ITV's This Morning, Good Food Live, and Wedding Experts. Autumn 2010 saw the opening of the Peggy Porschen Parlour in London's Belgravia. For the first time Peggy was able to offer her previously made-to-order only designs to all on an everyday basis. The Parlour is also home to Peggy's Bespoke Design Boutique, available to clients by appointment only. The dainty panelled boutique offers private clients the opportunity to taste each of Peggy's flavour combinations and consult with a design specialist. Peggy aims to create an intimate and enjoyable ‘tea party' atmosphere for her clients as they select their wedding or special occasion cake. In January 2011, Peggy opened her Academy just over the road from the Parlour . London's first school entirely dedicated to baking, cake decorating and sugar craft. www.peggyporschen.com

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