Whether it’s Easter, Mother’s Day, dessert or Sunday brunch, this amazing cake will be your new favorite dessert. Packed with coconut, pineapple, pecans and farm fresh rainbow carrots, this carrot cake is anything but boring!
My husband isn’t a fan of chocolate, so ganache style cakes don’t really make him feel very festive. When making a cake for holiday events, I tend to lean toward carrot cake so he can enjoy dessert with the rest of the family. This is a delicious carrot cake version I have been making for years and recently decided to add a slight twist – rainbow carrots! I am in love with the colorful variety each week from my Green Flamingo Organics CSA basket. While I could eat roasted carrots every day of the week, I decided to try them in this amazing carrot cake and see if that sweet, homegrown flavor could help cut the amount of sugar the recipe usually requires. It turned out to be absolute perfection!
Every few weeks, I am lucky enough to get together with some amazing women for a little Fika.
What is Fika?
This is a Swedish term, meaning “to have coffee” and it’s usually served with pastries or treats. Recently, our Fika consisted of a delicious brunch. Instead of bringing my favorite casserole or 4 ingredient appetizer, I wanted to make a brunch-worthy dessert. The rainbow carrots were begging me to make them into a carrot cake, so I happily obliged. And, of course, I didn’t want the cake to be lonely, so I brought this crostini appetizer because I can no longer go to events without it or I feel incomplete. Here are a few pics from our gorgeous day!
How should I decorate a carrot cake?
There are so many fun ways to make a carrot cake festive without spending all day piping and smoothing out buttercream. My favorite is to ice the cake, then gently press chopped pecans into the outer border. This easily hides any imperfections that are hard to cover, plus it makes the cake look super professional with minimal effort. You can add some pretty edible flowers, florals from your garden, or even make a fun “carrot patch” using leftover carrots with stalks still attached in a “pecan” rock garden. If you are using flowers and aren’t sure if they are safe to eat, cut a small round piece of parchment paper to place underneath and pipe icing on top of the paper. Slide flowers into the top layer of icing and this will help secure flowers in place. Check out some fun ideas below:
How to make Coconut Pecan Rainbow Carrot Cake:
1) Grate rainbow carrots. This is easiest by keeping the stalk attached to get a firm grip on the carrot so it doesn’t slip.
2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt into a bowl and mix well.
3) In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs well. Add sugar and mix well. Add oil and vanilla. Alternate buttermilk and flour mixture, trying not to overmix. Add carrots, pineapple, coconut, and pecans, mixing just until incorporated. Pour into 3, 8-inch greased cake pans.
4) Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until cake is set and toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes and remove from pan to cool completely.
5) When cool, frost and serve! Keep any leftovers refrigerated.
Tips to make the perfect carrot cake:
- Tap batter filled pans gently on the counter before placing in oven to help remove air bubbles.
- Always cook just until done. The cake will be firm in the middle and have a toothpick come out clean when inserted in the center.
- Let cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then remove to cool the rest of the way. If left in the pans to cool, the cake tends to stick and can break easily.
- For a super moist cake, freeze it first! This helps lock in some of the moisture and also helps with crumb control during the icing phase. Wrap first in saran wrap, then an outer layer of foil. Freeze until firm.
- Keep icing a little on the firm side to help support the cake layers and prevent bulging. Place cake in the fridge immediately after icing to help hold shape and keep from drooping.
DID YOU MAKE THIS COCONUT PECAN RAINBOW CARROT CAKE?
TELL ME ABOUT IT IN THE COMMENTS!
Coconut Pecan Rainbow Carrot Cake
Whether it's Easter, Mother's Day, dessert or Sunday brunch, this amazing cake will be your new favorite dessert. Packed with coconut, pineapple, pecans and farm fresh rainbow carrots, this carrot cake is anything but boring!
Rainbow Carrot Cake
- 2 cup all purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1.5 cups cane sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2.5 cups rainbow carrots grated
- 1 8oz can crushed pineapple drained
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup pecans chopped
Easy Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 sticks salted butter softened
- 1 package cream cheese softened
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 pound (16oz) powdered sugar plus more for desired consistency
Grate rainbow carrots. This is easiest by keeping the stalk attached to get a firm grip on the carrot so it doesn’t slip.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt into a bowl and mix well.
In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs well. Add sugar and mix well. Add, vanilla, and oil. Alternate buttermilk and flour mixture, trying not to overmix. Add carrots, pineapple, coconut, and pecans, mixing just until incorporated. Pour into 3, 8-inch greased cake pans.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until cake is set and toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes and remove from pan to cool completely.
When cool, frost and serve! Keep any leftovers refrigerated.
How to make Cream Cheese Frosting
Using a mixer, beat butter and cream cheese together until creamy and smooth. Add vanilla.
Slowly incorporate powdered sugar into mix. Frosting should coat a spoon without dripping off with done. Add more powdered sugar to achieve desired consistency. If too thick, add milk by the tablespoon until frosting thins out a bit.
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