Carrot & dates cupcake, baking with kids on children's day

Children’s day which falls on 14th November marks the birthday of renowned freedom fighter and India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who loved children immensely. This day honors his contribution and involvement in children’s welfare, celebrating childhood and children.

Children’s day is usually celebrated with great gusto with a range of fun-filled activities in schools and other organizations throughout India. Last year, my kid had a special class themed party for children’s day. But this year, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, all our little ones are at home. So, I thought why not spend the day with her doing fun things… like baking! This children’s day, you too can attempt this recipe and enjoy baking this delicious cake with your kids.

The process of baking can help you instill in your kids some basic virtues such as patience and perseverance in times when they are confined at home. Baking will teach them the importance of taking proper measurements and keeping a close eye on the time.

My seven-year old helps me whenever I bake, especially if I’m baking her favorite chocolate cake. So, this children’s day, we decided to try something new and healthy. I tried a couple of recipes over the past few days and zeroed on a wonderful carrot cake recipe. It got me thinking, why not try making carrot cupcakes packed with healthy dates and walnuts. We test baked a small batch in the form of a mug cake, and we just loved it. So, here is my super easy yet delicious carrot & dates cupcake with a lovely cream cheese frosting.

Healthy carrot and dates cupcake with cream cheese frosting


For the carrot and dates cupcake

  • Wheat Flour - 1 cup
  • Brown sugar – ½ cup or Jaggery - ¾ -1 cup
  • Cinnamon - 1 tsp
  • Baking soda - 1 tsp
  • Baking powder – ½ tsp
  • Salt – a pinch
  • Grated carrots - 1 ½ cups
  • Melted butter – ½ cup
  • Eggs – 2
  • Dates – 7-8 pieces

For the frosting

  • Cream cheese – 4 tbsp
  • Butter - 4 tbsp
  • Powdered sugar – 2 tbsp
  • Vanilla essence - 1 tsp


How to make a carrot and dates cupcake

  1. Firstly, it would be best to do the mise en place i.e. collect all the ingredients together in one place so you wouldn't have to run around looking for ingredients while cooking.
  2. Soak the dates in lukewarm milk for about an hour and grind the soaked dates to a fine and smooth paste.
  3. Preheat the oven at 180 °C for about 10 minutes.
  4. Mix the dates puree, butter, and beaten eggs together and keep it aside.
  5. In a separate bowl, add the grated carrots, cinnamon powder, sugar and mix well.
  6. Sift together the wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  7. Fold in all the dry ingredients into the wet to make the cupcake batter. If you think the batter is thick, add a few tbsps of warm milk.
  8. Put cupcake liners in a muffin tray, and pour in the batter into the cupcake liner till they are ¾ full.
  9. Bake the cupcakes for about 20-25 minutes at 180 °C.
  10. Once done, take the cupcakes out and let it cool.

Yummy and healthy whole wheat carrot & dates cupcakes are ready! You can have these cupcakes as it is, but the frosting is what takes this cake to the next level!

How to make the cream cheese frosting

  1. Blend the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla together until it is smooth.
  2. Add in the powdered sugar and mix till you get a smooth consistency.
  3. Transfer the frosting into a piping bag for piping the frosting in various patterns on the cupcakes.
  4. Lastly, you could add colorful sprinkles or crushed walnuts over the frosting to make the cupcakes look pretty.

7 tips to keep in mind while baking with kids:

  1. Do not freak out if your cooking area gets messy.
  2. Be patient, mistakes happen, let them know how to fix them without getting too frazzled.
  3. Start with basic recipes and then work your way up.
  4. Make sure you set age-appropriate tasks. For example, younger kids can do stirring, measuring, spooning out portions, cracking eggs, or decorating while older ones can be given bigger jobs or responsibilities.
  5. Teach them the importance of following the recipe by doing so yourself and ensuring that they read them and follow it step by step.
  6. Taste test together and appreciate them for their job while letting them know where they can improvise.
  7. Share the goodies to instill in them the joy of sharing.

I hope that you find some of these tips helpful in turning a regular baking session into a fun experience as you bake with your kids this children’s day. Do let us know how the recipe turned out for you.

Remember, children’s day is all about celebrating children and their childhood. Happy baking!

This blog was contributed by Sindhu Menon.