When we met up for our interview, Marlene gifted me a tin of one of each of her company’s signature spice blends (4 in total). I’d already dabbled with the Seafarer spice blend, sprinkling it over salmon as it’s packaging suggested. Easter provided the prime occasion to test drive another recipe.
After ticking off the customary easter traditions- mass, brunch, and overloading on jellybeans and chocolate – I made my way into the kitchen to whip up a batch of Marlene Bernstein’s Gypsy Carrot Cupcakes with Merchant Icing. As you could guess the recipe incorporates the sweet and savory Gypsy blend of Paprika, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Cardamom, Anise, and Black Pepper as well as the spicy Merchant mix of Turmeric, Cumin, Black Pepper, Paprika, Coriander, Cinnamon, Clove and Onion.
You might not expect all of these spices to harmoniously mix but together the spice blends provide the perfect one-two punch of flavors. Since I’d already glutted myself on Easter candy, I decided to make a few substitutions to Marlene’s original recipe to lighten it up a bit. See below for my take on her masterpiece and head on over to the Savour the Kitchen blog to find the original recipe.
(Lightened Up) Gypsy Carrot Cupcakes with Merchant Frosting
Cupcake Ingredients //
- 3 Cups of Carrots, grated
- 2 Egg whites
- 1/2 Cup Truvia baking blend
- 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1 ½ Cups Apple Sauce
- 1/3 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
- 3/4 Cup of Coconut Flour
- 3/4 Cup of Gluten-Free Flour
- 1 Tsp Baking Soda
- 2 Tsp Baking Powder
- 4 Tsp of Gypsy Spice Blend
- 1 ½ Tsp of Vanilla
- 1 Tsp Salt
Frosting Ingredients //
- 16 oz Reduced- Fat Cream Cheese
- 1 Stick of Butter
- 1 Tsp of Vanilla Extract
- 2 ½-3 Cups of Powdered Sugar
- 2 Tsp of Merchant Spice Blend
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 F. In one bowl mix together egg whites, carrots, sugar blend, brown sugar, apple sauce, almond milk, and vanilla extract.
- In separate bowl mix flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and gypsy spice blend. Fold the dry flour mixture into wet carrot mixture.
- Spoon the batter ¾ full into individual cupcake liners in the cupcake tin. Bake for approximately 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
- Remove cupcakes from oven and allow time to cool.
- Combine room temperature cream cheese frosting, butter, vanilla extract and whip. Slowly incorporate sifted powdered sugar into creamed frosting. Finally add the merchant blend and whip until fully incorporated.
- Once cupcakes have cooled down, fill a pastry bag with frosting and decorate tops of carrot cupcakes. Alternatively, use a knife to spread the frosting.
Makes 24 Cupcakes