1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 & 1/2 cups sugar
1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla or rum
1 tbsp orange or lemon zest
1/2 tsp grated ginger (optional)
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 & 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cardamom (optional)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
3 cups grated / shredded carrots
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup butter
2 cups softened cream cheese
1 & 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- Toast walnuts in oven for about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool
- Beat together: oil, buttermilk, sugar, vanilla, zest, and ginger.
- Beat in eggs - one at a time.
- In a separate bowl, sift together: flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Add 1/2 of the flour mixture at a time to the oil/sugar mixture, beating at low speed.
- Fold in grated carrots, raisins, and nuts until just blended. Don't beat or overmix.
- Scoop (I use an ice cream scoop) batter into lined muffin tins - about 3/4 full.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, rotating the muffin tin half-way through.
- Test with a toothpick or knife for doneness. (The toothpick should pull out clean when inserted in the middle of the cupcake.)
- Cool for about 10 minutes before removing from muffin tins. Cool COMPLETELY before icing.
- Sift powdered sugar.
- Beat together softened cream cheese and butter. Gradually add powdered sugar.