Best Ever Carrot Cake and my little sister's wedding

4:37 PM

So, my little sister got married last weekend and guess who was in charge of making the wedding cake?  Yep - yours truly!  She requested a carrot cake and really, I would just go with my very favorite, and seriously amazing, carrot cake recipe, but there's just one tiny problem.  It has pecans on top, and they really just seem to make the cake. It's just not the same without the nuts!  I didn't think my sister would really be happy with the idea of having chopped nuts all over her wedding cake, so I had to come up with something different.  Instead of putting the nuts on top, I included them in a coconut cream cheese filling.  I also gave the cake a bit of a coconut boost by substituting coconut oil for the vegetable oil in the original recipe. This lessens the carrot flavor a little bit, but makes a nice blend of the carrot and coconut instead.

I absolutely love the cake with this filling!  I've been in love with my carrot cake recipe for a long time and wasn't looking to improve it, but I think that I'm going to have to start making it with this filling from now on!

This recipe makes about 6 cups of batter.  I used it for a 6-inch 3-layer cake.  You can also make a 9-inch 2-layer cake.

Best Ever Carrot Cake

For a more intense coconut flavor, try using coconut oil and coconut extract.
  • 2 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 1/4 c cooking oil/coconut oil
  • 4 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract (optional)
  • 3 c finely shredded carrots
  • 1/2 c shredded coconut
  • Cream Cheese Filling (see below)
  • Cream Cheese Frosting (see below)

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease three 6-inch cake pans and line the bottom with waxed/parchment paper.  Grease the paper as well.

Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger in medium bowl to blend.  (*Note: if using coconut oil, gently heat until almost melted, stir, and let cool a little bit.  You don't want it so hot that it melts all of the sugar.)  In a separate bowl, mix oil and sugar until well blended.  Add the eggs one at a time and mix until well combined.  Add the coconut extract now if you're using it.  Mix in the dry ingredients.  Stir in carrots and coconut.

Divide batter between pans - about 2 cups in each.  Bake layers for 45 minutes each, or until a tester comes out clean.  Cool cakes in pans 15 minutes.  Turn out onto racks, peel off paper and cool cakes completely.

Frost cake using the Cream Cheese Filling between each layer, and Cream Cheese Frosting on top/around the sides. (*I didn't quite use all of the filling on the cake.  If you have leftovers too, use it up in between graham crackers, or maybe just with a spoon!)  Be sure to do a thin crumb coat of frost on the outside and let it set before frosting the cake completely.  That way you won't end up with cake crumbs throughout your frosting!

Coconut Cream Cheese Filling
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 c butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 c powdered sugar
  • 2/3 c chopped pecans
  • 1 c shredded coconut
Cream together the cream cheese and butter.  Mix in the vanilla and powdered sugar until well combined.

Cream Cheese Frosting 
  • 6 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 6 Tbsp salted butter (room temperature)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
Blend cream cheese and butter together until well combined.  Add vanilla.  Mix in powdered sugar until everything is incorporated.  (If you find that it's too thick, add about 1 tsp milk at a time until you get it where you want it.)

(Photo credit for the wedding cake goes to Amelinda Olson.  Thanks!)

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