Cheesecake Swirled Dark Chocolate Carrot – The Cupcake Version

In my original post of this recipe, I wrote that the orange zest was (optional). 
It isn’t really. 
Now, I have a friend who would walk away from this cake – yes, walk away from a dark chocolate carrot cake with a cheesecake swirl! – if she heard that there was orange zest in it. 
But, as long as citrus is not your nemesis, I strongly encourage you to include it in this recipe. 
There’s just something about the combination of dark chocolate and orange that titivates the tongue; not to mention how sublimely it combines with the cheese cake component in this mix. 
Convinced? Yes!

So, obviously now you want to make this Cheesecake Swirled Dark Chocolate Carrot Cake, but perhaps the Bundt cake version is a little intimidating.
No problem: It converts perfectly into cupcakes!

Here’s how:

Follow the recipe for the Cheesecake Swirled Dark Chocolate Carrot Cake, but forget the Bundt pan. 

Instead, prepare 2 x 12-hole muffin tins with cupcake cases (preferably the slightly larger “American” muffin cases).
Use a 30ml measuring cup (1/8th cup measure)*, to place chocolate carrot cake batter into the bottom of the cupcake case. 
Top with a scoop* of the cheesecake mix; followed by another scoop of the chocolate carrot cake batter.

*Ideally, use two separate 30ml measuring cups for this.
*Not all muffin trays are created equal – there’s a range of “standard” sizes. I used my larger ones for these cupcakes, ( they’re large but not giant muffin tins.)
*You only want to fill the muffin case approx 2/3 full in total with all three layers, so do one and then judge the rest of your scoops accordingly. 

Bake at 175’C for approx. 30 minutes, or until a cocktail stick inserted into the cupcake comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. 
Allow to cool slightly before removing from the muffin tin and placing on a rack to cool completely. 

If you want to simplify and omit the cheesecake part of this recipe, the dark chocolate carrot cake is great just on its own. But don’t leave out the orange zest 😉
Dust with icing sugar before serving, or – if you have omitted the cheesecake layer, try them with a swirl of cream cheese icing.