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This easy muffin recipe has all the delicious flavour of a traditional carrot cake. Perfect for a picnic or kids' party, the recipe is so simple that children will enjoy making it.


You can have all the same flavours and textures of carrot cake in a muffin, plus the sweet cream cheese icing as a surprise filling.

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75g shredded bran cereal
225ml milk
1 medium orange
120g cream cheese
1 tbsp caster sugar
3 large carrots
125g light brown muscovado sugar
200g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
2 eggs
4 tbsp sunflower oil


Kit you will need: large bowl for mixing; wooden spoon; lemon zester or grater; two small bowls; chopping board; small sharp knife; vegetable peeler; sieve; fork; medium-sized spoon; 12-hole muffin tray lined with paper muffin cases; small spoon; wire rack.

Put the bran cereal and milk into the mixing bowl and stir just to mix. Leave to soak for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7.

Rinse and dry the orange. Grate the zest from the orange into a small bowl.

Tip half the zest into the large mixing bowl with the cereal and milk and put to one side. Add the cream cheese and caster sugar to the remaining zest in the small bowl and mix well – this will be your filling.

Put the carrots on the chopping board and, with the small sharp knife, trim off each end. Peel the carrots (you won’t need the peel or trimmings).

Using the coarse-hole side of the grater (there’s no need to wash it if you used it for the orange zest), grate the carrots onto the board. Weigh out 150g grated carrot and add to the large bowl. (You can save any leftover carrots for a salad.)

By now the cereal will be very mushy. Add the brown sugar to the big bowl and mix well with the wooden spoon.

Set the sieve over the bowl and tip the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger into it. Sift these ingredients into the bowl by gently shaking the sieve or tapping it with your hand. Don’t mix them in just yet.

Break the eggs into the second small bowl (then wash your hands). Add the oil to the bowl and beat with a fork just until the egg yolks are broken up and mixed with the whites. Tip into the big bowl and mix everything together with the wooden spoon.

Using the medium-sized spoon, drop a dollop of the carrot mixture into each paper muffin case in the tray. Drop a small spoonful of the cream cheese filling into the middle.

Then cover the filling with the rest of the carrot mixture, dividing it evenly among the cases. Place in the heated oven and bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown. Check the muffins are cooked by using the fingertip test.

Wearing oven gloves, remove the tray from the oven and set it on a heatproof surface. Leave for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer the muffins to the wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container and eat within 24 hours.

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