A delicious reimagining of carrot cake featuring crushed pineapple, shredded coconut, and macadamia nuts, frosted with cream cheese frosting.
Tropical Carrot Cake
- 2 – 9" cake pans
- Food processor or chopper
- Frosting spreader
- Large mixing bowl
- Baking parchment paper
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp. ground cardamom
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- ¾ cup coconut oil melted
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 2 cups carrots shredded
- 8 oz. crushed pineapple
- 1 cup sweetened flake coconut
- 1 cup macadamias chopped
- The juice from one 14 oz can of crushed pineapple
- 1 cup powdered sugar roughly one cup – add powdered sugar until the mixture reaches a glaze consistency
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom. Mix well.
- Then add to the dry ingredients the eggs, sugar, melted coconut oil, buttermilk, and vanilla. Using a mixer on the lowest setting, mix well. As the contents blend, gradually increase the speed of the mixer.
- Using a spatula, fold into the cake batter the carrots, pineapple, coconut, and macadamias.
- Line the bottoms of the cake pans with baking parchment. Then grease the edges of the pans with solid coconut oil.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until the center of each layer of cake is set.
- Let the cake layers cool a few minutes. Then brush them with some of the pineapple glaze to help the cake retain moisture.
- Frost Tropical Carrot Cake with a traditional Cream Cheese Frosting.
My Daughter’s Favorite Birthday Cake
Tropical Carrot Cake is my grown daughter’s favorite cake. She requests it every year for her birthday. It was her cake-of-choice for her college graduation celebration. She loves how rich and moist this cake is with the crunchy natural sweetness of macadamias.
And traditional cream cheese frosting add a richness that pulls all that is going on with this cake together.
The Garnish That Was Just “OK”…
Good food presentation, especially for cakes, gives a hint of what’s inside.
I’m not a very good cake decorator and didn’t want to make little frosting carrots on top. I would just make them look weird.
So I thought I’d try candied shredded carrots. Candied orange peel is pretty and flavorful. Carrots are sweet, so a candied version would be pretty and flavorful as well.
Well, not so much…
Making Candied Shredded Carrot Garnish
I followed the same recipe for candied orange peel for making candied shredded carrots. They looked rather pretty, but fell apart easily. And the flavor was not bad…it just wasn’t really there at all. They’re quite flavorless except for the sweetness of the sugar. So use them as a garnish if you like. Just don’t expect much other than some sugared carrot strips.
If I could bake a cake and then hand it off to a professional decorator to finish it, I would. But I’m stuck with me. So I made it work as best as I can.
My daughter doesn’t mind. She knows a lot of love goes into her favorite cake.
And that’s what matters.
Tropical Carrot Cake is a great way to finish a meal of Crockpot Rump Roast!