carrot cake with coconut icing

Did you hear that?

carrot cake |

I think that was the sound of a leaf changing colour…

carrot cake |

I know, it’s only mid-August but I swear I can smell fall in the air. Just a little…

carrot cake |

Regardless of whether it’s still Summer, or transitioning into Fall, is there ever a bad time for carrot cake? I made this carrot cake with coconut icing for Easter so really, it works for any occasion or season.

carrot cake |

I think we’ve discussed my small fear of making cakes. Am I alone? I think it has to do with the worry fear that the center won’t rise, or it will but the edges will be dry. It’s one thing…unlike two dozen cupcakes where even if you eat one screw one up, you still have 23. And decorating a cake…water, I need water…

carrot cake |

Fortunately, I came across a photo of Jaclyn’s Carrot Cake over at Cooking Classy and thought – HEY! I could probably pull that off! Jaclyn’s cake looks wa-ay better than mine but I think I did “ok”. So while my recipe is based off Sweetapolita’s Hawaiian Carrot Cake with Coconut Icing, the look was inspired by Cooking Classy . Inspiration is truly everywhere folks…but mostly on Pinterest.

carrot cake |

The end result? Fan-tas-tic. The cake is flavorful, not overly sweet, moist and the icing..oh the icing! It’s next level, especially if you love coconut. The best part? No raisins!

carrot cake with coconut icing
Makes one 2-layer, 9-inch round cake. It’s best to bake cakes a day ahead of icing and leave at room temperature overnight.
  2. 1 cup canned pineapple, drained and finely chopped
  3. 4 cups grated carrot
  4. 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  5. 1 tbsp baking powder
  6. 2 tsp baking soda
  7. 1 tsp salt
  8. 2 tsp cinnamon
  9. 1 tsp nutmeg
  10. 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  11. 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  12. 4 eggs, room temperature
  13. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  14. 1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  16. 2 pkgs (250 g each) regular cream cheese, room temperature
  17. 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  18. 1/4 cup plain yogurt (or sour cream)
  19. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  20. 2 1/2 cups icing sugar
  21. 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  2. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray or oil one 9-inch round cake pan.
  3. Place flour in a large bowl. Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir until blended.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add in sugar, then beat on medium for about 5 minutes. Add eggs, then vanilla.
  5. Beating on low speed, add about a third of flour mixture and beat just until mixed, followed by half the milk. Repeat additions, ending with flour. The batter will be very thick. Gradually mix in pineapple and carrots.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth with a small offset spatula. To remove air pockets, bang pans on counter a few times. Bake until center appears set when lightly tapped (about 40-45 minutes). Place on a baking rack to cool. After about 15 minutes, turn cake out of pan and cool completely on racks. It’s best to bake the cake a day ahead of icing and leave at room temperature overnight.
  8. Cut cream cheese into cubes. Place butter in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in sour cream and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and beat in cream cheese, piece by piece. Add about a third of the icing sugar and beat on low until just mixed in. Scrape sides of bowl and beaters occasionally.
  9. Gradually add remaining sugar, beating just until smooth. If too thick or thin, work in a little yogurt/sour cream or sugar. Remove about a quarter of the icing to be used on top cake layer and set aside. Stir coconut into the remaining icing.
  10. ASSEMBLY -
  11. Slice cake horizontally in half. Place bottom of cake on a platter or tray. Spread with a third of the coconut icing leaving a 1/2" border from the cake edge.
  12. If the top layer is quite "domed", you can use a serrated knife to carefully slice the top (horizontally) to create a flat surface. Lay the top of the cake cake on top. Spread with plain icing right to the edges and along the side. Decorate and/or garnish with toasted, fresh coconut as desired. Best to refrigerate several hours or overnight before serving.
  1. Easy topping idea: Toast flaked (sweetened or unsweetened) coconut on a baking sheet at 350F for about 12 minutes (until golden brown), and sprinkle on top of cake.
  2. Serving Tip: This cake cuts best with a very sharp, serrated knife.
Adapted from Sweetapolita
Adapted from Sweetapolita

3 thoughts on “carrot cake with coconut icing

  1. Erika says:

    Ok so I am drooling now, your cake looks fantastic…..oh and thank you for hating raisins as much as I do. 🙂 I am going to try this one for my family get together in the fall.

  2. Sammie says:

    Wow!! Seriously WoW!! Carrot Cake is my favourite cake in the whole, wide, world. I also love Black Forest Gateaux (but that’s in a separate category – Gateaux, right??). Liz this cake looks so professional, I haven’t seen the cake that inspired you – but your cake inspires me – to eat all of it!!!! So beautiful it deserves a face plant 😉. Sammie xo

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