Life is uncertain. Eat Dessert first.

Carrot and Cardamom Cupcakes

If you need a treat to cheer yourself up on a wet and windy Sunday evening, these cupcakes from Susannah Blake’s “Cupcake” book have a creamy luxuriousness, and with the addition of carrot you can almost convince yourself that they’re good for you… almost.

Preheat the oven to 180degC, then line a muffin tin with paper cases.

Put 100g soft brown sugar in a bowl and break up using the back of a fork, then beat in 160ml sunflower oil and 2 eggs. Stir in the grated zest of an orange, the crushed seeds from 5 cardamom pods and half a tsp of ground ginger, then sift in 200g self-raising flour into the mixture and fold in, followed by 2 grated carrots and 60g roughly chopped walnuts or pecan nuts.

Spoon the mixture into the paper cases and bake for about 20 minutes until risen and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

To decorate, beat 150g mascarpone, the finely grated rind of 1 orange, 1 and a half tsp of lemon juice and 50g sifted icing sugar together in a bowl, then spread over the cakes.

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