carrot and zucchini cupcakes with yoghurt frosting

cupcake Over the past ten years, I feel like I’ve transformed from a Type-A, borderline obsessive, rigidly organised individual into someone who is late for everything. Someone who forgets birthdays, who loses the electricity bill ‘somewhere’ between the bedroom and the study, someone who forgets to pay said bill until one week after the due date.

It’s strange. Slightly unnerving.

Not to say that I’ve completely eradicated my Type-A personality traits; conversely, I’m still a typical over committing, perfectionistic workaholic who suffers more stress and emotion than the average Type-B. I’ve just slipped further down the spectrum. coconutbutter Take this weekend, for example. After a full week at work, the scourge of disorganization struck. I completely failed to organise Mother’s Day activities until late on Wednesday night. All plans to bake my mother’s favourite cake fell in a heap after I forgot to buy oranges and eggs.

(It’s the scourge, I tell you).

I finally got around to organising breakfast and a posy of flowers yesterday (the latter from The Little Posy Co. in Perth; I’m a big fan). We ate avocado toast with plenty of chilli flakes and hot English Breakfast tea. But… there was still something missing. Warm baked goods, hand-delivered, made with my mother in mind. veg So, yesterday afternoon, I sifted flour and poured batter with sticky hands. I made sugar-free yoghurt frosting and pried Loki away from my beloved jar of coconut butter. I sang rhyming songs in dulcet tones whilst my thoughts drifted to days of old; four hands grating apples onto the kitchen bench of my childhood home.

There was love baked right into that apple cake. lokivegveg2 So, mum – these are for you. Full of goodness, not-too-sweet, moist with fruit and vegetables. Just the way you like them. I love you more than feeble words could say.

Happy Mother’s Day.

P.S. I’m on my way, bearing cupcakes. Put the kettle on! x spoon Carrot and Zucchini Cupcakes

Adapted from this recipe by Giadia De Laurentiis at Food

Makes 12 medium cupcakes

  • 1 cup nut meal (I used a combination of almond and hazelnut)
  • 1/4 cup rice flour (preferably brown)
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup rice malt syrup or maple syrup
  • 1 large free-range egg, at room temperature (substitute a flax egg to make this completely vegan)
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot (about 1 large carrot, I don’t bother peeling)
  • 1/2 cup grated zucchini/courgette (about 1/2 large zucchini)
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Yoghurt Frosting:

  • 180mL (6 oz) plain coconut yoghurt or Greek yoghurt (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2-3 tsp coconut nectar (I use Loving Earth, it’s got a stunning burnt butterscotch flavour; substitute honey or rice malt syrup) to taste
  • for garnish: crunchy toasted coconut flakes and edible flowers (the latter if you happen to have some hanging around)

Position a rack in the centre of your oven and preheat it to 180 degrees C (350 degrees f). Line 12 muffin pans with paper liners, then set aside.

In a medium bowl, sieve the dry ingredients together (add any nut solids left in the sieve back into the bowl and mix in). In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients and the grated vegetables. Add to the dry and mix until just combined.

Using two spoons, distribute the mixture evenly between the 12 muffin cups. Bake until light and golden (about 15-20 minutes). Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

When completely cool, whisk together the yoghurt and coconut nectar until smooth. Spread liberally over each cupcake. icingSprinkle with coconut flakes and edible flowers, then refrigerate for at least one hour before serving (this allows the frosting to set; however if you’re impatient like I am, feel free to dig straight in!). icedhand

52 responses

  1. Thank you Sweetie, you really do not have to go to so much trouble. I appreciate you everyday and I am thankful to have you as a daughter . Love you heaps!😘💑

    Sent from my iPad


  2. I was just thinking the other day how I’m moving from someone who is normally a bit of a perfectionist/over-analyser/super-organiser person who has never lost their house keys/wallet/phone etc to someone who misplaces an item of importance nearly on a weekly basis. Though Im yet to forget anyone’s birthday.. (thank god for Facebook notifications!) Old age!? Lets hope it’s not a sign of things to come!
    I love the look of these cupcakes Laura. They look super-sweet decorated with flower petals, without actually being too sweet! Perfect :)

    • Haha… oh yes, let’s hope it’s just being stressed/overloaded/busy (I don’t feel ready to be old yet!). Funny that you’re experiencing the same thing! Thanks for the comment lovely – hope that you’re getting slightly warmer weather today! xx

  3. Type-A with a little bit of Type-B thrown in to keep things interesting. Sounds like me too. It’s definitely what makes us bake cupcakes when we have so many other things to do… and mix dough at 12 midnight so we have fresh bread in the morning… and forget to pay the bills on time. Still, we wouldn’t have these beautiful cupcakes to drool over without it.

    • Yes! Exactly, I’ll say that it’s just priorities… plus, no one complains when they get to eat the cupcakes (except maybe the bank), Thanks lovely, so nice to hear from you! xxx

  4. Happy Mother’s Day to your mum! I’m sure she will adore the treats. They look delicious and the love that went into making them is very obvious ❤️. I’m also a perfectionist haha and like things just so, but sometimes it’s a little relaxing – if disorienting! – to let go of that a bit haha.

    Ps. Loki is so beyond adorable, sneaking into your photos :) xx

    • Oh thanks so much Ksenia! Yes, it’s definitely liberating to let go of the perfectionism a bit. I tend to think I’m ‘mellowing’ out a bit as I get older :) And ah, that little Loki bug! He’s so much fun, even if he does try and steal my carrots! xxx

  5. Hi Laura. Definitely saving this beautiful cupcake recipe. I love your ingredients, such wonderful alternatives to using typical sugar, oils and flours. I have been a bit obsessed over coconut butter the past few months (I eat it by the spoonfuls!) and this is the first I have seen it used as a frosting. It’s brilliant with yogurt! Loki’s adorable! :)

    • It’s such a great frosting, it was a bit of an experiment with the coconut nectar but I loved it! I could even eat it as-is with some fruit as a dip :) Thanks for the lovely comment, so nice to hear from you! xx

  6. These look lovely! I would love about three of them, but especially if you were with them. Alas, we’re half a world apart, so I’ll make these and raise one in a toast to you that maybe someday we shall meet. xx

    • Oh Julie, I would love to eat cupcakes together! I do believe it’ll happen at some point, Aaron and I definitely want to visit the USA in the next couple of years if we can get enough cash saved up. Sending you hugs in the meantime, hope that you still had a lovely Mother’s Day despite your baby being in Espana (looks like the cat isn’t too happy about that either!) xxx

  7. Wow, these look so mouthwateringly delicious with just the perfect amount of sweetness! I’ve never seen coconut nectar in stores here– never looked for it, actually– but I think I must track some down for this recipe! You are so lovely and thoughtful to put in such efforts to make your mother’s day extra special. :)

    Opposite to your recent tendencies, I’ve transitioned from someone who was Type A in many aspects, yet always late and only somewhat organized, to (almost) always on time and increasingly more organized. It’s been an interesting change that started when Rob came into the picture. ;) He was not a fan of my constant tardiness, haha. It hadn’t ever phased me because all my friends and family were like me, but Rob made me realize that being late all the time (when he was on time) was quite inconsiderate. And so, with a valiant effort, I became timely! Becoming a wife has also made me more organized, as I’ve got more schedules, family’s birthdays, etc. to keep straight. I still struggle with paper piles (bills and the like) accumulating on the kitchen counter, so if you ever conquer that mountain, please divulge your secrets!

    Hope all is well with you! xxx

    • It’s really delicious, definitely becoming more widely available here in Australia. I love the fact that it’s not very processed either – it’s got a bit of a molasses-y, golden syrup-ish type of flavour (don’tcha love that I just made new words in that sentence? Haha). MISS YOU Ali dear! I’ve been thinking of you! Just checked out your sloppy joes post and realised how long it’s been since our last conversation (man, this year is going by fast). How are you and Petra and Rob? :)
      As for the change with marriage, I’ve kinda been the opposite! I was super neat, organised, a little bit obsessive about saving money… Aaron has definitely mellowed me out a bit. I think it’s a good thing, though I don’t like the fact that I’m now pretty much late to everything, all of the time (argh!). Glad I’m not the only one with the unconquered paper pile, hahaha… if I develop an easy solution I’ll definitely tell you!
      Much love, we are going well (just very busy, the year is disappearing and I am freezing in my wimpy Australian boots as winter approaches!) xxx

      • Mmmm, you had me at molasses-y, golden syrup-ish- I’m sold! Haha, it sounds great. :)

        I miss you as well and have been thinking of you!
        Just today I was realizing this year is nearly halfway gone. What?!! Rob and I have been busier than bees in an apple orchard, but we’re well! I’ve got a new job that has made life much happier (baking full time for a coffee shop my friends opened- YAY!), and Rob has been busy with his newly-launched business re-brand. He’s releasing a short film next week, so you’ll have to check it out and let me know what you think. :)

        I am most thoroughly enjoying the spring weather that finally decided to show up! Stay warm, you; I’m sending cozy thoughts and lots of hugs!! xx

      • Oh my gosh, that sounds amazing Ali! Definitely the dream job :) I will look out for Rob’s short film – send me the link? Eeep, exciting times! Hugs right back xxx <3

  8. Yep, Type A stressed-out kid over here too! Luckily I have my Mama to talk me down.
    I’m sure your Mum loved her flowers, her breakfast, and will love these cupcakes too.

    • Aw, aren’t mums the best? Definitely a lifesaver for me too… however stressed I am, my mum can make me feel better. Hope that you and your mumma had a beautiful mother’s day Amy xxx

  9. Oh hunny, its not that your standards are falling, its that you are too busy! I can guarantee that you mum understands, and loves you all the more for making that added effort. These cupcakes look like they were the perfect morning tea supplement, better still made with tummy friendly healthy ingredients. Hope you are well xxxx

    • Thanks beautiful, I appreciate you! I’m going ok, just running out of time for everything as per usual. Hope that you’re staying warm as our weather cools down. Sending you hugs! xx

  10. I think I may have a split personality: Type A and B, depending on what the situation . . when it comes to work, I am Type A, but everything else I try to be a B :P at least you won’t suffer from heart disease if you are now truly a B! :) and I feel like that’s how life should be. . we should grow to be more relaxed as we get older right? :P I hope your mom loved the Carrot and Zucchini Cupcakes. . they look divine!!! I hope she had a wonderful Mother’s day!!

    • Haha, yes! All of the symptoms that Type A’s supposedly get with age is a little scary! Maybe I should try and make the complete transition to a B! Thanks for the lovely words Alice. Hope that you had a gorgeous mother’s day too xx

  11. I bet your mother loved these! I love how finely you grate the vegetables. I think that is the downfall of most carrot cakes I have had – too coarse, and it makes for an odd texture. I especially lvoe your yogurt icing. Definitely have to give that a try.

    Mother’s Day is tough for me – my mother passed 28 years ago – half of my life – and I still miss her on a daily basis. Keep the type A stuff going where it counts – for your mother! :)

    • Thanks so much David. I am sorry to hear about your experience of Mother’s day now. Your mom was definitely taken far too young and I do think that we never get over absences ofthose we love. We just learn to deal with life in a different way, we adjust and move forward, but never completely ‘heal’. Thinking of you. And yep, my mother fought through breast cancer four years ago and I was scared of losing her. Gives me a whole new sense of urgency about not wasting time that I have with people I love. Thanks so much as always David xx

  12. Hi Laura! This recipe is completely delicious, congrats!! I have yet to make it though but I trust my instincts that is going to be delicious and consumed pretty fast between my girlfriend and her sisters ::))So I l’let you know how it goes .

  13. I am sorry one more question . Did you change it at all from Giada’s recipe or just the frosting is modified?

    • Hi Peter, I hadn’t deleted anything, I just hadn’t approved your comments yet so they hadn’t shown up (they need to be manually approved by me). Apologies for the delayed reply. Thanks for the kind words, I hope that the recipe worked out well for you? I’ve included a hyperlink for Giadia’s recipe in the recipe text so you can compare it directly as desired. I’ve only made small changes to the batter, you’re correct in saying that the biggest change is the icing. Apologies again and thanks for taking the time to comment 😊

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