Tropical Carrot Cake

Tropical-Carrot-Cake (1 of 2)Disaster averted…kind of. My Pastry Queen cookbook has been missing since we moved. I put it in one of those I’ll put it here so I don’t lose it spots. I’ve been ranting and searching every box wondering where it might be.Turns out it was in the bag that also carried my olive oil containers that spilled ALL OVER my brother-in-laws truck (Sorry Steve!). Somehow, the book made it through almost unscathed. The paper cover is a bit slimy and the hardback cover now just smells really good. I have no idea how the pages avoided being ruined.

Since I haven’t cooked along with Project Pastry Queen in two weeks, I was anxious to get back to it. It was so good. So good, that I may actually put this into my regular mix of cakes. I was tempted to have it for breakfast today. I mean, it’s got cream cheese, right? If I were to bring this to a gathering, I would probably only make two layers or possibly cupcakes. The three layers were a bit daunting. It was incredibly moist and just darn good.

*Update – I forgot to link back to Project Pastry Queen and our lovely host, Emily from A Gilt Nutmeg. Pregnancy brain? Sure. Pregnancy is an excuse for everything, right?

Tropical-Carrot-Cake (2 of 2)

Carrot Cake
1 C macadamia nuts
3 C all purpose flour
3 C sugar
1 Tbls baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
1 ½ C sweetened flaked coconut (I used shredded)
4 large eggs
2 Tbls vanilla
1 ½ C vegetable oil
1 ½ C shredded peeled carrots
1 ½ C diced fresh or canned, drained crushed pineapple
½ C sweetened cream of coconut

Coconut-Cream Cheese Frosting
3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 ½ C powdered sugar (I added an extra cup to thicken the frosting.)
¼ C heavy whipping cream
¼ C sweetened cream of coconut
½ tsp of salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Spread the macadamia nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for 7-9 min. Set aside to cool. Chop into smaller pieces if desired.
  3. Place one oven rack ⅓ from the bottom of the oven and the second ⅔ from the bottom.
  4. Line three 9″ cake pans with parchment paper rounds, grease with butter, and dust with flour (or spray with Baker’s Joy).
  5. Stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, coconut and macadamia nuts in large bowl.
  6. In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, oil, carrots, pineapple and cream of coconut.
  7. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir until combined.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
  9. Stagger the cake layers on the oven racks so no layer is directly over another. Set two layers on one rack and the third on the other..
  10. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (mine required almost 10 additional minutes).
  11. Cool the cakes in their pans on racks for 5 min, then invert them onto the racks and cool completely.
  12. Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar on medium-high speed about 1 min.
  13. Add the whipping cream, cream of coconut, and salt. Beat until combined.
  14. Frost the cake being sure to add thick layers of frosting between each layer.

12-14 servings

Very slightly adapted from Rebecca Rather’s The Pastry Queen.

I cooked three 9” layers but cut out 7” rounds after they were cooked. The cakes were so large and a bit fragile, I thought they would be easier to manage. The scraps were delicious!

The frosting was a bit thin to me so I ended up adding an extra cup of powdered sugar and also refrigerated the frosting an hour before frosting the cake.


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