Orange Spice Carrot Cake Muffins


Carrot Cake MuffinAs promised, here’s the second recipe from our recent Chamber of Commerce party. Our food theme was cooking with tea, and this was a variant of a recipe that Bigelow Tea originally published. Obviously, we substituted teas that we sell at our Tea Bar for what they originally suggested.

In the muffins themselves, Kathy used our Cinnamon Orange Spice Ceylon tea, which adds some nice black tea flavor to the pure herbal blend in the original recipe.

For the frosting, she used one of my house blends: Hammer & Cremesickle Red Tea (you can order it here). The honeybush, rooibos, orange, and vanilla give it a sweet, rich, creamy flavor.

We made mini muffins, since they were being served hors d’oeuvre style. Feel free to try this as full-sized muffins or even a cake tin. Just adjust the baking time a bit.

Muffin Ingredients

  • 1/2 ounce of Cinnamon Orange Spice Ceylon Tea
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1-3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 can of mandarin oranges
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp fresh-grated orange zest
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups shredded carrots

Muffin Process

  1. Boil water and add to tea. Steep for 6 minutes and strain out leaves.
  2. Heat oven to 350 F.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, eggs, and vegetable oil. Mix thoroughly at high speed for 1 to 2 minutes, or until thick and creamy.
  4. Drain the can of mandarin oranges (discard the liquid), and add it to the mixing bowl, along with the tea, vanilla, and orange zest. Continue mixing until well blended.
  5. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add this blend to the mixing bowl and mix at low speed for another 1-2 minutes.
  6. Add the shredded carrots and continue mixing until well blended.
  7. Scoop the batter into muffin tins, either using paper muffin cups or spraying the tins with non-stick spray. Fill a bit over 1/2 full.
  8. Bake for 18  to 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Frosting Ingredients

  • 1/4 ounce Hammer & Cremesickle Red Tea
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 eight-ounce package of cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp butter (softened)
  • 3-1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar

Frosting Process

  1. Boil water and add to tea. Steep for 6 minutes and strain out leaves.
  2. Combine butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl. Mix at high speed for one minute or until light and creamy.
  3. Add 2 tbsp of tea from step 1 and mix well.
  4. Add confectioner’s sugar and mix thoroughly for 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth and creamy.
  5. After the muffins have cooled, frost the top of each one with frosting.

These were a smash hit at the party, along with the Hipster Hummus recipe that I posted last week, and a couple more that I’ll be posting soon (next in the series: Meatballs in Lapsang Souchong Cream Sauce).

About Gary D. Robson

Gary Robson: Author, tea guy, and owner of Phoenix Pearl Tea. I've written books and articles on a zillion different subjects, but everyone knows me for my "Who Pooped in the Park?" books.

Posted on 23 February 2012, in Food & Tea and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. What size can of mandarin oranges do you use? Would a decaf Constant Comment for cake suffice (yes I’m a heathen)? Does your H&C Red have caffeine and can I buy anything similar in TN area?

  2. Tammy –
    I will have to ask Kathy about the mandarin oranges. I’ll post it here as soon as I know.
    The decaf Constant Comment is probably the closest major brand tea to our cinnamon orange spice.
    No, our Hammer & Cremesickle Red does not have caffeine. It’s a rooibos/honeybush blend.
    It’s my own house blend, so I don’t know of anything similar you could find there. We’re happy to ship to Tennessee, though!

  3. Oh, excellent! Let me check on my budget for the tea. It’s actually for my son’s first birthday in April.

  4. I followed thie recipe with the exception of not using the oranges and
    I used bigelow orange spice tea. My muffins came out horrible….

    • Even though you’re draining the liquid from the mandarin orange can, those oranges add moisture as well as flavor to the muffins. If you leave them out, you have to substitute something else that will add liquid.

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