Not Your Average Carrot Cake Recipe
I think most of us can agree that almost everything is better when you add coconut. That being said, we took some inspiration from our favorite coconut cake recipe to add a little pizzazz to an old fashioned carrot cake recipe.
The result was an amazing dessert invention that we like to call coconut carrot cake. Super creative name, I know haha, but this cake recipe has been a fan favorite among all who have tried it and just might be the crowning jewel of summer desserts.
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The best part about this super moist layer cake is that it is semi-homemade and includes a box cake mix (AKA less time and hassle for you). Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a newbie in the kitchen, this recipe is super easy to make! Add cream cheese frosting (our carrot cake frosting of choice), toasted coconut, and chopped pecans, and the result is truly heavenly.
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Carrot Cake With Toasted Coconut and Cream Cheese FrostingMay 17, 2021
- Baking Sheet
- Sauce Pan
- Round Cake Pans
- Cooling Rack
FOR THE CAKE
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 box yellow cake mix (Duncan Hines Moist Yellow Cake Mix)
- 1 box coconut cream instant pudding mix (5.9oz) substitute with vanilla pudding mix if needed
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon coconut extract
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup canola oil
- ⅔ cup milk room temperature
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 2 cups shredded carrots
FOR THE FROSTING
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- ½ cup butter (1 stick) softened
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4-6 cups powdered sugar sifted
- 1-2 tablespoon milk or heavy cream as needed
- 2 cups shredded coconut toasted
- ½ cup chopped pecans toasted (optional)
FOR THE CAKE
- Preheat oven to 325°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place pecans on baking sheet and toast in oven for 7-10 minutes until fragrant and golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool. Change oven temperature to 350°F and grease 5 6-inch cake pans (or 3 8-in cake pans).
- In a small saucepan, heat the shredded coconut over medium-low heat until lightly toasted, stirring often. Remove from heat when the coconut begins to turn light golden brown and let cool. Note: Toast all 3 cups of coconut for the cake as well as the topping.
- In a small bowl, shred the carrots with a grater. Press them firmly with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the cup of toasted coconut, cake mix, pudding mix, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla and coconut extracts, sour cream, oil, and milk. Mix just until combined. Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Stir in shredded carrots until evenly combined.
- Evenly fill greased cake pans and bake for 20-25 minutes (or 30-35 minutes for 8-in pans). Check the cakes with a toothpick before removing from the oven. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10-15 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. Allow cakes to cool completely.
FOR THE FROSTING
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in the vanilla extract.
- Sift the powdered sugar and mix until fully combined.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
- After assembling and frosting the cake, cover the entire outer surface of the cake with the additional 2 cups of toasted coconut. The coconut should adhere to the frosting when gently pressed against it.
- Sprinkle chopped pecans on the top of the cake until fully covered (if desired).
- Toasting the pecans is optional but highly recommended. This step adds more flavor and texture to the cake.
- Use whole raw carrots for the best results in this cake. After shredding the carrots, use a paper towel to soak up any excess liquid from the carrots before adding them to the cake batter.