Sunday, February 26, 2012

hawaiian carrot cake with coconut icing

My mom's birthday is today, and we met for brunch this morning. I asked her what kind of cake she wanted for her birthday, and gave me the standard "don't go through any trouble" answer and "just a carrot cake will be fine".

Although I have a few standard recipes for carrot cake (one of which is my mom's carrot cake) I had seen the yummiest looking one in LCBO's Food and Drink magazine a while back. We don't drink, so I seldom get to go to the store and pick up a free copy of the magazine, but I always get super excited when my mom shares hers with me. One, it's a free magazine, two, it's glossy throughout on thick paper, and three, it's super pretty! And the recipes are quite good too. Well this one was anyways, even though my oven decided to give up on me and make me bake the cake for two hours at 225 degrees. Of course, it didn't raise. And it was underbaked, but even at that it was pretty good! As it has 4 cups of shredded carrots and one cup of pineapple, I'm pretty sure that even if baked properly, it would have been super moist too.

But the frosting... the frosting was delicious! I was afraid that the coconut in it would ruin it for me texture-wise, but it was fine. Super silky and delicious.

Once I get my oven fixed, I'll be sure to make this cake again, properly this time!

Hawaiian Carrot Cake with Coconut Icing 
source: LCBO's Food and Drink Spring 2011 magazine

1 cup chopped canned pineapple
4 cups grated carrot
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1¼ cups golden brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
½ cup milk

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray or oil two 9-inch (1.5-L) round cake pans.

Finely chop drained pineapple, place in a sieve and press with a spoon to remove as much juice as possible. Grate carrots using a food processor. Measure out 4 cups (1 L) and set aside. Place flour in a large bowl. Sprinkle with baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir until blended.

Place butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually beat in sugar, then beat on medium for about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, then vanilla. Beating on low speed, add about a third of flour mixture and beat just until mixed, followed by half the milk. Repeat additions, ending with flour. Batter will be very thick. Gradually mix in pineapple and carrots.

Divide between pans. Spread to pan sides. To remove air pockets, bang pans on counter 5 to 6 times. Bake until centres seem set when lightly tapped, from 40 to 45 minutes. Place on a baking rack to cool. After about 15 minutes, turn cakes out of pans and cool completely on racks. It’s best to bake cakes a day ahead of icing and leave at room temperature overnight.

Coconut Icing

2 pkgs (250 g each) regular cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup (250 mL) butter, at room temperature
¼ cup (50 mL) sour cream or natural yogurt
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
2½ cups (625 mL) sifted icing sugar
1 cup (250 mL) sweetened flaked coconut
Cut cream cheese into chunks. Place butter in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in sour cream and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and beat in cream cheese, piece by piece. Beating too much will cause thinning. Add about a third of the icing sugar and beat on low until just mixed in. Scrape sides of bowl and beaters occasionally. Gradually add remaining sugar, beating just until smooth. If too thick or thin, work in a little sour cream or sugar. Remove about a quarter of the icing to be used on top cake layer and set aside. Stir coconut into the remaining icing.

Slice cakes horizontally in half. Place top of 1 cake, dome-side down, on a platter. Spread with a third of the coconut icing leaving a narrow border of cake around edge. Lay the bottom of that cake, cut-side down, on top. Spread with half the remaining coconut icing, leaving a narrow cake border. Top with the bottom half of the second cake, cut-side down. Spread with the remaining coconut icing, leaving a cake border. Top with the fi nal layer, cut-side down. Spread with plain icing right to the edges. Garnish with toasted, fresh coconut. Best to refrigerate several hours or overnight before serving.

Because I'm learning about cake decorating, I decided to top them with hawaiian looking flowers, or my version of hawaiian flowers... I had a lot of fun! Can't wait until next class when I actually learn how to make these properly! Loved the effect of them on the cake! So pretty!


  1. I can't believe you made these flowers! Your cake looks & sounds wonderful - I love coconut!

  2. I wouldn't have known that the cake hadn't risen if you hadn't said so. The layers look great and your flowers are gorgeous! What an absolutely beautiful cake for your mom. Happy Birthday to her!


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