I grew up around food. I can remember waking up to the smell of freshly baked bread as a kid + the sound of the blender cranking ginger roots + carrots.
I grew up around food. At school, our lunch box didn’t look like the other kiddos. Instead of Doritos + fruit rollups + Cool Aid, Dad woke up extra early to pack ours with bow-tie pasta with sun-dried tomato + pine nuts, drizzled with pesto. My brother Coco + my little sister Laura + I were the envy of the cafeteria.
I grew up around food. Sunday’s are always at Abuelinis house. You arrive early with a ferocious appetite + diets stayed out the door, unless you wanna piss grandma. You leave full with a happy belly + paper napkins scribbled with notes on how to recreate the finger-licking dishes at home; thou we’ve quickly learned that Abuelita Nani never gives out her recipes, at least not accurately. On purpose. Our only luck has been literally following her around the kitchen with a video camera. So far we’ve only been able to immortalize granny’s Sweet Corn Soufflé + Egg Nog + Johnny Marzetti.
I love food. To eat it + to make it. I day-dream of recipes. Well, I night-dream of recipes too. I’m constantly thinking of different combinations of flavors + healthier substitutions. I get so much joy writing + sharing my love for food + the recipes that have been rattling around in my head + it’s stories with you, right here + in my book Life is Messy Kitchen (that you’ll get to see early Fall).
Today, I prepared for you a ridiculously healthy Easter treat, because it’s not a celebration without cake. And I gotta say, I nailed it with this decadent Raw Carrot Cupcakes with Orange Maple Creamy Frosting recipe. You won’t even miss the high processed + sugar high version that will surely give you an Easter coma.
You will need to start this recipe the day before to give the cakes time to firm up a little in the fridge + to chill the coconut milk for the cream. For the cream you need to make sure the coconut milk you use is a natural one, no nasty additives + additives whatsoever, just coconut + water is all it should say on the ingredients list.
- 2 medium carrots, ends trimmed + peeled + coarsely grated
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped but not pulverized
- 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 15 medjool dates, pitted
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted if solid
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- Zest from 1/2 orange (zest the whole orange as you need the rest for the cream)
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- 1 tin (approximately 1 cup) natural coconut milk (just coconut + water is all it should say on the ingredients list)
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- Zest from 1/2 orange (leave some for garnishing)
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- Orange zest
- Chopped walnuts
Place the tin of coconut milk into the fridge + leave overnight.
Place all the cake ingredients into a food processor + blend on high until everything is finely chopped but still chunky for that carrot cake texture we love. Line a six-hole 1/3 cup capacity muffin tin with cute baking cups. Divide the mixture between each hole. Press down firmly to pack it down. Cover + refrigerate overnight.
To make the cream, open the tin of coconut milk carefully + scoop off the thick cream that’s settled on the top + place it into a bowl, leaving behind the thin watery liquid at the bottom (this is delicious to add to baked oatmeal or smoothies so don’t throw it away!). Use a whisk or electric beater to beat the cream until thick + fluffy. Add in the maple + orange zest + whisk to combine.
Serve cakes topped with a dollop of Orange Maple Creamy Frosting, immediately.
Un-iced cakes will store happily in the fridge (covered) for 4-5 days.
Happy weekend + Happy Easter, my friends! I hope there’s love + family + Raw Carrot Cupcakes with Orange Maple Creamy Frosting + so much bunny-shaped chocolates in your horizon.