This recipe is my go-to Easter dessert, and can win over the most adamant of carrot cake haters! Dress it up or keep it simple, it’s a showstopper either way. This cake keeps for days- so its perfect to make ahead of time, allowing you to enjoy your company.
Toasted Coconut and Pineapple Carrot Cake:
3 cups grated carrots
1 1/3 cups crushed pineapple in juice (not drained)
3/4 cup Pete’s Dried Cranberries, coarsely chopped
1.5 cups Pete’s Sweetened Shredded Coconut
1/2 cup melted Dr. Bronner’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 beaten eggs
1.5 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Cream Cheese Icing:
1 lb powdered sugar
1 block (8oz) cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup full-fat sour cream
2.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
1.5 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
For the cakes:
Preheat oven to 350. Toast coconut in dry frying pan over medium-high heat. Combine grated carrots, pineapple, cranberries and 1/2 cup of toasted coconut. Add the oils and mix well, then the eggs. Stir in the sugar and vanilla. Sift remaining ingredients together and add to wet mixture in thirds, mixing well after each addition. Pour into a 9×13 greased and floured baking pan. Place pan in oven and lower heat to 325 degrees. Bake for 35 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.
Using a round cutter or clean tin can, cut into small circles. Cut each circle into 2 layers and top with cream cheese icing, stacking 3 layers high. Decorate with remaining icing and toasted coconut. Chill for at least an hour, and remove from fridge half an hour before serving. Enjoy!
For the icing:
Using hand or stand mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy. Add sour cream, vanilla, lemon juice and zest, combine well. Turn mixer to low. Slowly add icing sugar until incorporated. Scrape down the sides. Turn mixer to high and whip for 2 more minutes. Keep in fridge until ready to use.
Emily is photographer, foodie and crafter who has been honing her cooking skills since 6 years old. Formerly an executive catering specialist for advertising agencies, Emily is now combining her love of food and photography into a blog to be launched soon. Stay tuned!