Saturday, June 4, 2011

Recipe Review: Joy of Baking Carrot Muffins

I bake fairly regularly, especially this year now that I have a lovely open kitchen in my flat, unlike last year. I'm a bit of a stress relief, spur of the moment baker though, so I quite regularly find myself baking at 9.30-10pm at night with whatever I can find in the cupboard. Which means quite often I find myself scouring the web for recipes that only use whatever I have in the cupboard!

With that in mind welcome to my new column, Recipe Reviews. It won't be regular, just whenever I try a recipe I found online. I haven't been paid or asked to write a review, it's really just for my own memory and for you! So my first Recipe Review is . . . .

Joy of Baking Carrot Muffins

The photo here doesn't really do justice to what they actually look like, the colour is more similar to the one on the website.

Why I chose this recipe: I had some cream cheese that really needed using up, so wanted something that would work with cream cheese icing.
What changes did I make: I left out the cinnamon because at the time didn't have any, reduced the amount of nuts slightly for the same reason (and didn't toast them), used plain cooking oil and followed my own recipe for the cream cheese icing instead of theirs. I did include the optional coconut.

Expense/Ease of finding Ingredients: Easy. Every good baker would have a vast majority of the ingredients in the cupboard already, nothing fancy and nothing overly expensive. The ingredients I skipped because I didn't have them at the time were easily expendable, so it's a pretty adaptable recipe.
Putting it together: I had trouble combining the wet and dry ingredients without over mixing, but that was at least half because I was using a deep bowl. That being said, there are A LOT of wet ingredients. Apart from that, easy!
Baking: I'm a take-it-out-when-it's-cooked baker rather than one that follows the recommended time exactly, but for this the recommended time was almost spot on. However, I took them out at the last possible point before they would start to burn and there was still a tiny uncooked patch in the middle of each one. Not enough to make a difference to the taste, but I think the muffins would have cooked better if there had been slightly less moisture in the mixture. On the same note, the muffin trays need to be very well greased if you are baking without paper liners like I was. They do cool quickly, which is great for inpatient icers (like me)!
Taste: Fantastic! The best homemade carrot muffins I have ever had by far. Just the right density, carrot tasting without being overwhelmingly so (the nuts and the coconut are a nice touch here) and all round delicious.
Extras: Cream cheese icing was a definite must on the top, as it is with almost any carrot baking. Because I was trying to use as much cream cheese as possible, I just beat the cream cheese gently with plenty of vanilla essence and a little lemon juice.

Overall thoughts: A fantastic recipe that combines ready-to-hand ingredients to make a carrot muffin that is truly spectacular. The only change I would make is to halve the oil just to reduce moisture slightly. Will definitely make again and this recipe will make it into my recipe file so I don't lose it.
Score: 4.5/5

That's all for now,

I may be linking up to these parties, check them out!


  1. They look good!! Great review of the recipe too!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a great week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success


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