Monday, April 14, 2008

Tropical Carrot Cake

Okay, I have to admit in making this carrot cake I was cheating on my all-time favorite recipe, Martha Stewart's Carrot Ginger Layer Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting. I never liked carrot cake before I tried Martha's recipe. That carrot cake is so superb, I didn't see the need to try another carrot cake recipe, ever! I've previously blogged about my love of the Pastry Queen Cookbook. Through the years, I have passed the Tropical Carrot Cake recipe but couldn't bring myself to try it as I already had a perfect recipe. Yesterday, I finally gave in and decided to make it. I was persuaded by the 5 1lb bag of organic carrots in my refrigerator! My husband and our dinner guest really loved the carrot cake. I thought it was really good too. It was moist and delicious and the macadamia nuts added a nice crunch and opposing saltiness. I was a little disappointed that despite the addition of cream of coconut in the frosting and cake, the coconut taste was not very prominent. Would I make this again? Absolutely, it was a beautiful cake and would make a wonderful addition to any table. I can't really fault it in anyway. Does it replace my Martha Stewart recipe? No. The Tropical Carrot Cake was very good and would be my go to recipe if I wasn't already in love with the Martha Stewart recipe. For me, the Martha Stewart recipe takes it over the top. You can't beat the orange cream cheese frosting. Its certainly not a bad thing to have two great carrot cake recipes in your file!

Tropical Carrot Cake
Source: The Pastry Queen by Rebecca RatherTo make the cake:

List of Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut (I really like Let's Do Organic's Finely Shredded Coconut, sold at Whole Foods)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil, such as canola or safflower
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded peeled carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups diced fresh pineapple or drained crushed canned pineapple
  • 1/2 cup sweetened cream of coconut (such as Coco Lopez)

  • -- Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting --
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup sweetened cream of coconut (such as Coco Lopez)
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Arrange the nuts on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast them for 7 to 9 minutes, until golden and aromatic. Set aside to cool.

  2. Place one oven rack one-third from the bottom of the oven and the second two-thirds from the bottom. Preheat the oven to 350� F. Line three 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper rounds, grease with butter, and dust with flour. Stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, coconut and nuts in a large bowl. In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, oil, carrots, pineapple, and cream of coconut. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir until combined.

  3. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans. Stagger the cake layers on the oven racks so that no layer is directly over another. Set two layers on one rack and the third on the other. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. The cakes are done when they are golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their pans on racks for 5 minutes, then invert them onto the racks and cool completely, about 15 to 20 minutes.

  4. To make the frosting:
    Using a mixter fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a large bowl on medium-high speed about 1 minute. Add the whipping cream, cream of coconut and salt; beat until combined.

  5. Place one cake layer on a serving plate and spread a thick blanket of frosting on top. Add the second layer, spread thickly with frosting, and top with the third layer. Cover the top and sides of the cake with an even layer of frosting. If you're feeling energetic and there is frosting left over, use a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip to pipe a decoration around the top rim of the cake. (The cake can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 4 days. Let it cool in the refrigerator about 1 hour before covering, to ensure the frosting has hardened and will not stick to the plastic wrap.)

    Makes 12 to 14 servings.


Jen said...

beautiful cake!

Anonymous said...

looks amazing Brandie. I hope to one try this out someday.