Pineapple and coconut add extra flavor and moistness to this tropical version of traditional carrot cake. For variation, try stirring a little coconut or pineapple into the cream cheese frosting to enhance the tropical flair.
Tropical Carrot Cake
Small amount of vegetable shortening and flour for preparing pans
1 cup raisins
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground allspice
4 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1¼ cups vegetable oil
2 cups grated raw carrots
1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup shredded or flaked sweetened coconut
1 cup toasted walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped (optional)
Tip: See Toasting Nuts and Seeds. Use standard measuring cups and spoons or scales for accurate measuring.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2½ cups confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two 9-inch round layer cake pans or one 9x13x2 inch oblong pan; lightly grease the pans with shortening and dust with flour. Tip: to make baked cake easier to remove from pan, lightly grease the pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, and then lightly grease the top of the parchment paper and dust the pan with flour.
- Plump the raisins by steaming in a colander in a double boiler; steam the raisins about 1 minute or until softened. Thoroughly drain, or spread the raisins on paper toweling to dry.
Tip: Create a double boiler by filling a saucepan with 2 inches of water and bringing it to a simmer. Place the fruit in a steamer or plastic or wire mesh colander on top of the simmering water, the upper pan should not touch the water.
- In a medium mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice; sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside.
- In a large bowl of an electric mixer, add eggs; beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. With the mixer still on medium-high speed, slowly add the sugar to the eggs, either one tablespoon at a time, or in a very slow steady stream, taking 3 to 4 minutes to add all of the sugar, and beating until the eggs and sugar are fully incorporated, and the mixture looks light in color and thickened. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly. Add the vanilla and then beat for 1 minute longer.
- Reduce mixer speed to medium, slowly pour the oil into the batter in a slow steady stream, and then beat for 1 minute longer.
- Reduce mixer speed to medium-low, and blend in the flour mixture all at once, mixing just until incorporated.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a balloon type whisk or large rubber spatula, fold in the drained raisins, carrots, drained pineapple, coconut, and nuts.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the surface with the back of a large spoon. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until a long toothpick, wooden skewer, or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Place baking pans on wire cooling rack to cool for 10 to 15 minutes. If using round cake pans, remove cake from pans and place directly on wire racks to finish cooling. If using 13x9 inch pan you can leave the cake in the baking pan to finish cooling and cut into squares to serve.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, and vanilla; use an electric hand mixer or wooden spoon and beat together until mixture is smooth. Add powdered sugar; beat until frosting is smooth and creamy. Use an offset spatula to spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake.
- Cover frosted cake and refrigerate until ready to serve. Refrigerate Leftovers.
Tip: Serve cake using a pretty cake plate and cake server for a delightful presentation.
Description: Frosted Fruit and Nut Oil Layer Cake
Pan: Two 9 inch round layers or one 13x9x2 inch oblong
Pan Prep: Greased and Floured
Oven Temp: 350o
Prep Time: 1½ Hours
Baking Time: 45 to 50 Minutes
Serves: 10 to 12
Storage: Cover and Refrigerate
Recipe Type: Cake, Carrots, Pineapple, Coconut, Raisins
Help: Cake Hints, Toasting Nuts and Seeds
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