Lovely Lopsided Carrot Cupcakes

They say you’re either a baker or a cook. Thus far, I would always have classed myself in the cook category. I am not very mathematical, which I feel goes a long way to hinder the sponginess of my sponges and the crumbliness of my pies.

However, I’m starting to come around to the idea that you can do anything in the kitchen. Anything at all. As long as you’re not that fussy about the results, that is.

Baking in my kitchen has in the past been very stressful scene, all piles of flour and wretched-looking spatulas splattered across the floor. The last few times I’ve baked, however, a realisation, nay, a revelation, has slowly dawned on me.

I am not a Masterchef contestant.

If my cake doesn’t turn out, I will not get eliminated.

Yes, it will be frustrating if my cake flops, but really the only person I’ll be letting down is myself. My friends and family will be understanding and no one misses a cake or a loaf that they’ve never tasted. Am I right?

As this has sunk in, my calmness approaching baking has risen. So what if the cakes I make look a bit worse for wear and my cupcakes are dangerously lopsided? If they taste good, it’s a job well done in my book.

It was with this in mind that I approached these Carrot and Cream Cheese Cupcakes. Let me tell you, they were a delight to make and they came out a dream. Lovely and moist, sweet and sumptious, and very lopsided indeed.

The only thing I changed about this recipe was that I substituted the whole spice for 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and 1/4 of a whole nutmeg finely grated. Otherwise, I followed it to the T. I’m not about to mess with tested baking recipes!

What you need for some Ah-mazing Carrot and Cream Cheese Cupcakes 

I got 7 muffins out of this mix, but I was using rather large muffin cases. I’d say using regular sized muffin cases, you’d get closer to 10 or 12.

175g brown muscovado sugar (the light kind was the one I used)

100g wholemeal self-raising flour (I only had regular wholemeal so I used it and added 1 teaspoon of baking powder, as advised by the lovely Like Mam Used To Bake. Thanks for saving my baking, Rosanne!)

100g self-raising flour

1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

2 teaspoons of mixed spice (as stated above I substituted this with 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon and 1/4 of a whole nutmeg, finely grated)

Zest of 1 orange

2 free-range eggs

150ml sunflower oil

200g carrots

For the Cream Cheese Icing

100g of butter (make sure it’s out of the fridge and soft!)

300g of soft cheese

100g icing sugar, sifted (I actually used the same amount of caster sugar because I didn’t have any icing sugar and it was grand!)

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Orange coloured sprinkles, to decorate (I didn’t use these but sprinkled with orange zest instead)

Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas Mark 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with cases.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the sugar, flour, bicarbonate of soda, mixed spice and orange zest.

Whisk together the eggs and oil, then stir into the dry ingredients. Now finely grate the carrot and add it to the mix.

Divide the mixture between the cases and bake for 20 to 22 minutes until a skewer poked in to the largest muffins comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack before icing.

For the icing, beat the butter until really soft. I used my food processor for this but a hand-held beater is probably better. Although I don’t know why. Baking. Tsk!

Now beat in the soft cheese, icing sugar (or caster sugar as I used!) and the vanilla extract. Give it a taste. It should be really yummy.

Using a spatula or a cutlery knife, swirl dollops of icing on top of the cooled muffins. Finally, sprinkle the orange decorations (or a little grated zest of orange) over each muffin as a final decoration.

Bring these babies into work and expect a promotion by little break time.


I couldn’t resist. I’m just on giant cheeseball.

Categories: Baking Tags:


  1. ha ha love them so cute – whenever I used to mess up stuff in the kitchen people would just say – ooooh the rustic look. Still taste great – but a little wonky

  2. Hey Aoife, I LOVE these lopsided carrot cupcakes. When things don’t look perfect they usually taste more delicious! And, I bet these do….I need to file this recipe away for a future date (just polished off a massive cookie jar of peanut butter cookies) but will give them a go for sure! X
    PS. I love Bobby McFerrin…he’s from where I am from and we used to frequent the same bakery on weekends….amazingly talented and kind gentleman. Imen xx

    • Hi Imen, thanks for your kind words about my lopsided cupcakes! I won’t lie, they were yummy. I had to actually get them out of the house they were so delicious so I brought a load in to work to spread the calorie love!

      Amazing that you’ve met Bobby McFerrin, I’d say he’s one chilled dude. Thanks for your comment x

  3. The technical baking term for those cup-cakes is ‘bockety’ and they look very like my usual offerings. Bockety and tasty so job oxo as they say in the culinary world.

    Every body for the chorus then ‘do do do dodedo dodo dodo dodedooo…’

  4. These are the nicest most special carrot cupcakes I has ever ever laid eyes on. I am a horrible horrible baker, but a much better cook, now that I know baking is not for me. Once, the chef instructed to make something similar to Dove bars. He was running late at work and the recipe was easy. The ice-cream was at the ready, put a stick in it, dip it in chocolate and freeze….sounds easy, right? He ended up calling them ‘Pigeon bars’ and has never let me live it down…. Thankfully this was before we purchased a digital camera so they cannot be reproduced to shame me….. Sometimes the things that look a little imperfect taste the best…wish I had one for my tea this evening :0)

    • Thanks a million Mona! Your pigeon bars sound lovely too :)

      These were very quick to whip together and the recipe worked really well for me. Which says a lot!

  5. A spatula is called a ‘baby-cheater’ in our house #wordsyougetfromgrannies

  6. Aoife, as someone who bakes A LOT, I’ve found that the best results come when the baker has a calm head. When I’m feeling chilled and especially if I’m humming a tune as I bake (!), my cakes come out a lot better. If I’m stressed and cursing, it never tastes – or looks – as good.
    I don’t know why this should be the case but it’s true, for me at least.

    And anyway, looks aren’t everything. Sometimes the least appetising looking things taste the best of all. That’s not to say that your cakes don’t look appetising. I’d demolish one right now!

    • I’m definitely coming around to the idea that what’s the point in baking if I’m not going to enjoy it? After all, I’m the one in charge of my stress levels, not the flour :)

      Thanks for the comment, Sharon! Lovely to hear that a baker of your expertise has the occasional lopsided cupcake (although I find it hard to believe…)!

  7. I’m gonna try these bad boys this weekend since I’m soo poor I can’t afford to go out..booo! Love an aul bit o carrot cake…thanks love

    • Well hopefully you’ll love these too, Anna! And they’re SO sweet and yummy that you’ll be too high on cakes to worry about money :)

  8. We made something really similar when we had an unwanted abundance of carrots in our veg box, and I’ve got to say — I could just eat the cream cheese icing! Fatty fatty bum bum NOM.

    AND there is nothing cheesy about Bobby McFerrin. He’s a modern day legend.

    • The cream cheese icing nearly got me too – INTENSE.

      You’re right, he is a legend. Didn’t you tell me a cool story about meeting him or something? Someone we know has met him and he was, like, AWESOME. Or he saved someone’s kitten from a tree, that kind of story.

      BTW – did you see the comment about Angela Lansbury on my post about Jamaican Spiced Soup.



  9. Damn you! I will be able to think of eating nothing else for the rest of the day and am stuck in the office for the rest of the day :( They look amazing

  10. Will actually attempt this at the weekend with a bit of a Halloween orange twist! thanks for the inspiration! <3

    • Hi Sabina – these are a perfect Halloween treat! Hope you enjoy them. I’ve used this recipe twice now and I’ve found it very straight forward and reliable. Enjoy!

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