Carrot Cake with a Twist

by on May 30, 2012

I’m back. I have missed writing and sharing with you all and feel like I have all these pent up thoughts ready to explode. It’s been difficult get organized, focused, and back in action. For some reason it has seemed completely overwhelming! Today, I am starting – one post at a time, right? 

We recently celebrated our daughter’s 4th birthday {isn’t she sweet?} and I decided to bake my first cake for the occasion! I can’t remember ever baking a cake from scratch on my own. I have made cookies and cupcakes and muffins and brownies, but never a cake. {And never a pie, either, but we’ll save that attempt for another day}.

This cake was moist, flavorful, and had one of my favorites as a star ingredient: coconut. I found this recipe online and made a couple of minor changes and I just have to say that this was I am not a huge cake fan, which is probably why I hadn’t ever baked one.

I will post the recipe, with the ingredients I used here for your convenience, but please note: it is not my creation, it is just simply too good not to share! Click here for more detailed pictures and instructions. I do have to warn you, this particular recipe is not allergy friendly. I didn’t make it with any substitutions to make it gluten or dairy free, although I am sure it would be fantastic prepared that way as well.

Carrot Cake with a Twist

Carrot Cake with a Twist


  • 1 pound finely grated carrots
  • 4 extra large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups cane sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2/3 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla
  • Finely grated zest of 1 large orange
  • 2 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 cup golden raisins


  1. Prepare two 9 inch cake pans with parchment paper and oil. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Coarsely grate the carrots in a food processor using the grater attachment.
  3. Next, chop them into finer pieces with the medal blade attachment in the food processor
  4. Mix together the eggs, sugar, oil, brown sugar, vanilla extract and orange zest.
  5. Mix together all of the dry ingredients in a bowl with a whisk.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture.
  7. Add the finely chopped carrots, coconut, and golden raisins.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
  9. Bake cakes for about 30-35 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.
  10. Let cakes cool completely in the pans on a wire rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar


  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. To assemble the cake: Once the cakes have completely cooled, remove from the pans and peel off the parchment paper from the bottom.
  3. Put the cake on a cake turn table.
  4. With a thin serrated knife, slice off the very top of the cake by using a sawing motion.
  5. Then cut the cake in 2 equal layers.
  6. Slide the layers onto a cardboard round or any other flat surface.
  7. Put about 1 1/2 cups of the cream cheese icing.
  8. Using an offset spatula spread the frosting evenly over the surface of the first layer.
  9. Repeat for the rest of the layers.
  10. Place about 2 cups of the icing on the top of the cake and spread evenly.
  11. Spread the icing onto the sides of the cake.
  12. Lift the cake off the turn table and place on the serving platter.
  13. Using the spatula spread the frosting and create swirls on the cake.
  14. Press coconut onto the sides and sprinkle the top.{Note: I don't have any fancy cake decorating tools/equipment, so I just place the cake on a large plate and frosted it using the back of a large spoon :)}

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Brett May 31, 2012 at 12:41 pm

I was one of the fortunate few that got to taste test the cake in the above picture. I must admit this is by far the best cake I have ever had. I generally don’t enjoy cake as it is often too sweet or too dry or too fake, etc. However, this cake was a game changer!

Those pictures are giving me cravings! :-)


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