the cupcake monster

Berlin spent the month of July teasing me with the possibility of cupcakes. After having celebrated my Birthday this year with cupcakes, cocktail dresses, and tea, I decided that cupcakes need to make more of a regular appearance in my life and, especially, in my mouth. Moving to Berlin seemed to incorporate this decision perfectly. The city has a sweet-tooth for all home baked wonders. In fact, not only does it have a sweet tooth, but it also a small cupcake shop next to Zionskirche, the perfect destination after a Sunday afternoon spent rummaging through the flohmarkt for vintage sweaters and fresh-squeezed orange juice. However, on my first attempt to satisfy my cupcake craving I was not greeted by a hand-sized cake. Instead, my craving was stopped short by a sign saying that the cupcake bakers were on vacation. My stomach felt empty, but my senses told me that patience was all that was needed. I marked down their return date and left with the anticipation of early August cupcakes. Early August I returned, but once again there were no cupcakes, only this sign. This repeated each Sunday after flohmarkt hunting and orange juice drinking. My Sundays were missing cupcakes and so I decided to take matters into my own hands.

Well, I have no muffin tin. I also have no money to buy a muffin tin because my wallet has been seduced by flohmarkt sweaters and fresh-squeezed orange juice. However, this was no obstacle. Living in Denmark taught me that cupcakes do not need muffin tins; they need only muffin liners, very strong liners. A rainy Friday became the perfect background for cupcake baking. The timing was perfect, just in time for the Birthday of twins.

These are the cupcakes I made. Epicurious was my first inspiration, fresh ingredients from the Turkish market was my second. My hands never follow a recipe that closely, but these are the ingredients that went into my much craved cupcakes. I learned that Danish muffin liners are stronger than German ones and so unless one is drinking øl in the land of viking beauties, I recommend using a muffin tin.

Carrot Cupcakes with Orange Icing
-4 medium carrots, shredded
-1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
-a pinch of salt
-1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
-1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
-3 large eggs
-1 cup brown sugar
-1/2 cup unsalted butter
-1/4 cup apple sauce
(-a handful of dried cranberries)
(-a handful of toasted walnuts)

-1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
-granted zest of one orange
-fresh orange juice, 1/4-1/2 of one orange
-1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
-1 teaspoon lemon juice

Preheat oven to 185C. Whisk together dry ingredients. Mix together in a separate bowl butter, eggs, apple sauce, brown sugar and vanilla. Add carrot (and dried cranberries and toasted walnuts). Stir in flour mixture. Scoop into a muffin tin/ muffin liners. Bake 20-25 minutes.


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