tropical carrot cake

April 20, 2010 at 10:07 pm 5 comments

Nothing screams “SPRING!!!” quite like fresh produce. I know that there’s fresh produce at other (read: all) times of the year, but somehow I want to eat it more in the spring. I even want to use it in my baked goods.

Segue alert!

Carrot cake is far-and-away my favorite way to consume carrots. I also enjoy carrot cupcakes. Carrot banana bread. Bizarre Indian carrot pudding (yum, by the way). And carrot muffins.

The reason I prefer my carrots baked into doughy form? I can actually chew them that way. Carrots make my jaw hurt. It takes 6 hours to chew up a single baby carrot. Jawxercise, you say? Toning my flabby jawline is not worth eating raw carrots.

I took this cake to a picnic and it was very well received. I love it because it’s not too sweet, but still tastes indulgent. As you can probably tell from the pictures, this beast ended up being a 4-layer cake, because it calls for three 9″ cake pans, and I only own two 8″ cake pans. As it turns out, 4-layer cakes are too tall for my cake carrier. I had to improvise.

Don’t worry. It reached its destination unscathed.

Tropical carrot cake

Discovered on Annie’s Eats, originally adapted from The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1  1/2 cups canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup cream of coconut
  • 1  1/2 cups peeled, shredded carrots
  • 1  1/2 cups diced pineapple (fresh or canned)
  • 1  1/2 cups sweetened flake coconut
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped and lightly toasted
  • Coconut cream cheese frosting, see recipe below

Preheat oven to 350F. Line the bottoms of three 9″ cake pans (or four 8″ cake pans) with circles of parchment paper, and grease and flour the sides, tapping out the excess flour.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk to blend. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the eggs, vanilla, oil and cream of coconut. Whisk well to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Add in the shredded carrots, diced pineapple, flaked coconut and macadamia nuts, folding in gently with a spatula until evenly distributed.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, rotating 180 degrees halfway through baking (if your pans are on both racks, switch them at this point). The cakes are ready when golden brown on top, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 5-10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Frost as desired*.

Coconut cream cheese frosting

  • 4 (8oz) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 5 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 5 tablespoons cream of coconut
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese on medium high speed until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and mix until incorporated. Beat 1 minute more, until smooth and fluffy. Mix in the heavy cream, cream of coconut and salt until smooth.

*Somewhere I saw a neat trick of placing scraps of parchment paper under the edges of your bottom cake layer before you frost, and then removing them when you’re finished. It keeps you from making a major mess on the plate (which I inevitably do otherwise).


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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mary Sue  |  April 21, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    oohhh….I can’t wait for Win to try this. 🙂

    Carrot cake is one of my very very favorites.

  • 2. Grandma  |  April 22, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    If it taste as good as it looks, you have a winner. Is that your and Aidans birthday cake?

    • 3. erin  |  May 1, 2010 at 6:51 pm

      No, Aidan and I enjoyed some pretty fabulous cupcakes made by Mom. I may make some of those so I can share them here (ok, and also so I can eat them again, they were delicious).

  • 4. Alfred  |  April 25, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    It was a tasty cake if i do say so my self…

  • 5. piña colada custard « Breakroom Test Kitchen  |  September 26, 2010 at 9:17 am

    […] once (which I’m going to have to learn how to make, since I’ve now referenced it in two posts). Or for something you’ve never even eaten before. Like piña colada […]


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