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Spelt and Carrot-Ginger Cupcakes: When Words are Heavy

When you are a wordy person, there is an expectation that you should always know what to say. Wordy people know how to write a thank you card, a Maid of Honor speech, an anniversary toast and a condolence letter. Wordy people can be inspired, but they can also write the appropriate thing without any inspiration at all. Wordy people tend to be good at talking, too. Stuff like expressing their love, sorrow and apologies.

There’ve been a lot of really great things happening for Turntable Kitchen (podcasts and television segments and interviews). But it’s been a bit of a rough weekend, and while I’m normally quite the wordy person, I feel…at a loss for words. Life happens – sometimes you can write about it, and sometimes you can’t. And that’s ok. Words have weight and sometimes, you just want to be weightless.

That’s the great thing about food – it doesn’t require a lot of words to be shared and enjoyed. So today I’d like to share some cupcakes with you. They’re made with spelt flour. And they’re full of carrots and ginger. And topped with some maple cream cheese frosting. I made them a few weeks ago to celebrate a new life coming into this world. They are happy cupcakes. And we could all use a little happy.

Spelt and Carrot-Ginger Cupcakes
Inspired by The Doctor’s Dishes, Desserts and Decor + Smitten Kitchen
*makes 22 cupcakes

1 cup of spelt flour
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1 cup of brown sugar
3/4 cup of canola oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
a pinch of freshly-grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
3 1/2 cups of grated carrots (from about 4 carrots)

For the Maple Cream Cheese Frosting:

16 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick of butter, at room temperature
2 cups of powdered sugar
1/4 cup of good quality, real maple syrup

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
2. Combine the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on high speed, until the mixture is thick and light-colored (about 2 minutes). Slowly pour in the oil with the motor running.
3. Sift in the flours, baking soda, baking powder and spices, beating to combine. Stir in the grated ginger and carrot until well-incorporated.
4. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling each one about 2/3 full.
5. Bake the muffins for about 15-18 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean).
6. Let the cupcakes cool and make the frosting.
7. Make the frosting: combine all of the frosting ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until fluffy. Refrigerate the frosting for 20-30 minutes before pouring it into a piping bag fitted with a star tip.
8. Frost the cupcakes and store in the refrigerator until serving.

Musical Pairings: Charles Bradley – No Time For Dreaming + Spelt and Carrot-Ginger Cupcakes

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Posted by Kasey

Kasey is the food editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. She loves dark chocolate, warm crusty bread, and traveling to new places. She speaks Russian, but does not like vodka.

  • Hi!

    My friend Nicole DeByl recommended your site to me and your recipes are amazing!! Do you guys do cooking lessons or events in SF? If so, please let me know!


  • Hi Cherlyn,
    We’ve done a few events in San Francisco (we did a couple of musically-paired dinners). Haven’t done any cooking lessons, but would certainly consider putting something together. Thanks for stopping by – love Nicole!

  • I totally hear you with regards to wordiness and the times when you just can’t. (And all day long yesterday craved muffins, and was thinking of using your polenta cake as a jumping off point.)

  • Kimberley that cake is so cozy…it may be a little dense for muffins, but maybe an eggier base may give it that lift!

  • Elizabeth Howes

    You are absolutely not alone here. Years ago I did a shoot with Food Network and I couldn’t form an intelligent sentence to save my life. You are so eloquent and calm, I’m sure you did a fabulous job!

    One thing is certain, you nailed these cupcakes. They look so lovely.

  • I love the sound of these cupcakes. I’m curious as to how the spelt flour tastes. Is it nutty? Definitely my kind of cupcake. Congrats on all of the wonderful and deserved recognition!

  • Kasey. Hope all is o.k. I think after all the time you spent “on” this past weekend, a little quiet is certainly welcome. xo.

  • Nicole- Spelt flour is actually pretty mild – I’ll use it in place of whole wheat flour and the taste is pretty similar in my opinion. Thank you for your support!

  • Thank you, Beth, for the kind words. Doing television is definitely a challenge, but certainly more fun than work (when you’re not the producer). I wouldn’t mind doing it again 🙂

  • Megan, thank you so much for reaching out. Going through some stuff (as you know) and it really helps to have the support of wonderful friends. Big hugs!

  • Jen

    Kasey – looks like our recipes are pretty similar, although mine uses 1lb of carrots. I always wanted to try this with the maple cream cheese frosting too.
    Funny thing about having a blog is knowing how and what to share. Sometimes it flows out and other times you need to keep it to yourself. Glad to hear it’s all exciting things though!

  • Hey Jen,
    I totally agree with you re: knowing how/when to share. I think the nice thing is that you can be your own editor so you’re always the one that is in control of the content 🙂

  • This looks so delicious! I completely messed up a batch of carrot cake trying to bake in my toaster oven, then I realized the grocery stores here don’t have cream cheese. I suppose this is just one of the few pains of living abroad. :] P.S. I’m loving the food/music pairing!

  • Sewon: I know what you mean! I remember living abroad and having a hell of a time finding American ingredients. Some friends of mine got together one year in England to have an American 4th of July and found some very amusing items at the grocery store that were titled “American.” Thanks for visiting and for your comment! Hope to see more of you around here. 🙂

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