Tropical Carrot Cake With Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

carrot cake with coconut cream frossting
QVC, Inc.
  • 75 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins,
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: 24 servings

One bite of carrot cake is never enough. The same can be said of my tropical-inspired version, which incorporates both coconut and pineapple ingredients into the classic. 

The rich coconut frosting truly tops off the cake. As an interpretation of traditional cream cheese frosting, this rendition spreads a bit of paradise over every inch. Sprinkling on macadamia nuts gives you some crunch, too. You can buy pre-roasted macadamias from the store, but roasting raw macadamia nuts can be done in a few easy steps.

End your meal on a sweet note and enjoy the fun flavors infused throughout the entire dessert. 

What You'll Need

  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour (sifted then measured)
  • 1 cup coconut (sweetened flaked)
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts (dry roasted)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 3 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups carrots (peeled and finely grated)
  • 2 cans/16 ounces crushed pineapple (in its own juice, well drained)
  • 16 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream (canned, sweetened)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 14 whole macadamia nuts (dry roasted and crushed)
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes (toasted)

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Butter a 3-1/2-quart baking dish and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  3. Combine 1/3 cup flour, coconut, and macadamia nuts and process until nuts are finely chopped. Set aside.
  4. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together remaining 2 cups flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and baking soda until well combined.
  5. Using an electric mixer, beat sugar and oil in large bowl to blend. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  1. Beat in vanilla. Mix in flour-spice mixture until well combined.
  2. Stir in the coconut-macadamia mixture, then the carrots and crushed pineapple.
  3. Bake until tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 40–45 minutes.
  4. Cool in the baking dish for an hour.
  5. Run a knife around edge of pan to loosen cake. Turn cake out onto racks; cool completely.
  6. For the frosting, beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until smooth.
  7. Beat in powdered sugar, then cream of coconut and both extracts.
  8. Chill until firm enough to spread, approximately 30 minutes.
  9. Spread a thick layer of the frosting on the top of the cake.
  10. Top with the macadamia nuts and toasted coconut.

Cook's Note: Be sure to fold the shredded carrots into the batter by hand. A mixer will continue to shred the carrots making them too thin.