today's idea...

Carrot-Ginger Cupcakes & Palm Sugar Icing

I’ve been trying to find a cupcake recipe in which I could find most of the ingredients at our local market. My solution? Carrots! Carrots have been available in every country I’ve lived in, and hopefully they are available in yours! Plus they’re great for you, right?

This particular recipe has been altered to fit ingredients I can find in Cambodia, so feel free to experiment with your own.


Whisk together:

  • 1 ¾ cups of grated carrots
  • 2 large eggs (room temp)
  • ¼ cup buttermilk *
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar **
  • 1 cup oil (I substitute ½ this amount with yogurt)
  • 2 t. ginger (fresh grated or powder)

Combine in separate bowl:

  • 2 cups flour (I use 1 cup white + 1 cup whole wheat)
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • ½ t. salt
  • 1 t. cinnamon

Fold dry ingredients into wet until just combined.

If you have pecans available (lucky you), you can add ½ cup toasted pecan halves.

Bake 20-25 minutes at 350.


* Use ¼ cup of milk with a splash of vinegar or lemon juice.

** I use locally produced “palm sugar” paste, but any white or brown sugar works.

Palm Sugar Icing

Alas, our market most definitely does not have cream cheese. Or confectioners sugar. Both of which are typically used in carrot-cake frostings. However, this simple caramel-esque icing creation has worked just fine. For those of you not in southeast Asia, experiment with other types of sugar!

Heat together the following ingredients, then let cool before icing the cupcakes:

  • 3 spoonfulls of palm sugar paste
  • 2 spoonfulls of butter/margarine
  • Splash of vanilla extract – ours came in a care package ; )


One thought on “Carrot-Ginger Cupcakes & Palm Sugar Icing

  1. Hey Daphne,
    Check out my latest post on “Why Travel When You Can Live There” for some penny-pinching ideas that work well in any country!
    You might be able to use some on your site.

    : )

    Posted by Rick Granger | November 21, 2010, 4:18 pm

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