Sweet Potato and Orange Cupcakes

These cupcakes have oranges and sweet potatoes in them so it makes them slightly healthier than standard cupcakes.  If blood oranges are season this gives lovely pale pink icing and lots of 'ooohs and ahhhs' from children.  Omit the walnuts for people with food allergies or who dislike them.  These are my 11 year old son's favourite cupcakes, without the walnuts.

Ingredients: makes 12-16 cupcakes
120g soft butter
200g light brown soft sugar
1 large sweet potato, cooked and mashed*
2 large eggs
225g self raising flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon mixed spice
pinch of ground nutmeg
50g chopped walnuts (omit for people with nut allergies)
½ teaspoon vanilla
Finely grated zest of 1 orange

Ingredients: for the icing:
200g fondant icing sugar and juice and finely grated zest of 1-2 oranges

  1. Preheat the oven on to 180c / Gas  4 /AGA roasting oven, shelf on oven floor or baking oven shelf on second set of runners.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until they are light and fluffy, add the mashed sweet potatoes and beat.
  3. Break the eggs into a small bowl and beat with a fork, add to the mixture. Sieve in the flour and spices, fold into the mixture to mix, add the walnuts, vanilla and orange zest and gently mix.
  4. Spoon the mixture between the cupcake cases, the mixture should come halfway up the sides of the cake cases, if you have more mixture then use a second muffin tray. This will depend on the size of the sweet potato used.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch – cool on cooling rack.
  6. Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl, add sufficient juice to mix to a stiff paste then ice the cakes. Use the remaining orange zest to decorate.

• To cook the sweet potatoes either bake in the oven in their skins for 40 minutes, split and scoop out the flesh or steam, DO NOT boil the potatoes as they soak up a lot of water and you will end up with a really soggy mix that that may not rise properly.

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