Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Hawaiian Carrot Cake

There are very few cakes I am truly a fan of, and I have to say that carrot cake has always had a special place in my heart. Most cakes are way too sweet and dry and are topped with an even sweeter frosting. Actually feeling your teeth rot as you eat something is not something I have found I enjoy.

Carrot cakes are almost always moist due to the fruits and vegetables incorporated into the batter, and the signature cream cheese frosting is rarely ever too sweet due to the sour taste of the cream cheese cutting the sweetness of the sugar. Cake perfection! This recipe is especially perfect since it includes pineapple and coconut to give it a more Hawaiian island feel. In fact, this cake would be a fantastic dessert to serve at a summer pool party.

1 cup chopped canned pineapple
4 cups grated carrot
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk

Coconut cream cheese frosting:
2 pkgs cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 2 9-inch round cake pans.

Place grated carrots and chopped pineapple into a food processor and blend until just slightly chunky. Pour the blended mixture onto paper towels to soak up the extra moisture. Set aside.

Beat butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until creamy (about 3 minutes). Beat in eggs and vanilla. Beating on low speed, add 1 cup of flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and beat just until combined. Mix in the milk. Mix in the last 1 1/2 cups of flour just until combined. Mix in blended pineapple and carrots.

Divide the batter between the two pans. Spread to pan sides. To remove air pockets, bang pans on counter 5 to 6 times. Bake until the centers seem set when lightly tapped, after 40 to 45 minutes. Place on a baking rack to cool.

After about 15 minutes, turn cakes out of pans and cool completely on racks. It’s best to bake cakes a day ahead of icing and leave at room temperature overnight.

For the frosting, place cream cheese, butter, sour cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until creamy. Add in the shredded coconut and beat until mixed in.

Shave off the top of one of the cake layers to make it as flat as possible. Scoop about a third of the frosting onto the newly cut cake and spread it evenly to the edges. Place the next cake layer on top of the frosting. Use the rest of the frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake. Refrigerate and serve.


  1. I love new twists on favorite classics. That cake looks delicious. :)

  2. I love chocolate desserts but if carrot cake is an item I usually get because who eats carrot cake all the time?? The cream cheese frosting gets me ;)

  3. Reading this recipe and looking at the pictures literally made my mouth water! I am definitely going to try this! your blog is awesome


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