Bursting with nuts and fruit, who'd think that a cake made with a vegetable can taste so good? Our carrot cake's cream cheese frosting comes smothered with toasted coconut.
- ¾ cup grated carrots (don’t squeeze out the juice)
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup crushed pineapple well drained
- 1 large egg
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup white sugar + 2 tablespoons
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ cup softened butter
- ½ cup roughly chopped cashew nuts
- ½ cup golden raisins
- ⅓ cup jam or marmalade
- ⅓ cup toasted coconut flakes
For the cream cheese frosting
- 250 grams cream cheese softened to room temperature
- ⅓ cup butter softened to room temperature
- 2 to 3 cups sifted confectioner’s (powdered) sugar depending on how sweet you like your frosting
Bake the carrot cake
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- If not using a non-stick pan, grease, flour and line an 8-inch round cake pan.
- Toss together the grated carrots and brown sugar.
- Stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Beat the butter and white sugar until creamy.
- Add the egg and mix until incorporated.
- Stir in the crushed pineapple, nuts, vanilla seeds and raisins.
- Add the flour mixture and mix until evenly blended.
- Finally, add the carrot-sugar mixture and mix until incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean.
- Cool the carrot cake in the pan for about 10 minutes then invert and re-invert. Cool completely on a rack.
Frost the carrot cake
- Make the frosting by beating the softened cream cheese and butter together.
- Add the confectioner’s sugar, half a cup at a time, mixing after each addition until smooth.
- Split the cake in half horizontally.
- Lay the bottom half on a plate (if you have a cake stand, use it).
- Spread the jam or marmalade on the bottom half.
- Cover with the top half.
- To keep the plate clean, place small pieces of non-stick baking paper underneath the cake (an Ina Garten tip).
- Spread the cream cheese frosting on the top and sides of the cake.
- Sprinkle the toasted coconut flakes over the frosting.
- Pull off the small pieces of baking paper to remove all the excess frosting and coconut flakes from the plate so that your carrot cake is nice and neat.
- Chill the carrot cake for a few hours before cutting and serving.
Toasted coconut flakes are available in supermarkets. If you can’t find any, desiccated coconut will work too. Updated from a recipe originally published in September 15, 2011