Carrot Cake with Macadamia Nuts and Crystallized Ginger

This is yet another slight twist on everyone’s favorite cake…Carrot Cake.  The Loon has requested this version…carrot cake with macadamia nuts and crystallized ginger…many times over the years.   I found this recipe in our early years in Inwood, and have tweaked over time.  It’s just so good.
Divide batter among pans.
uncooked cakes
Cool in pans on rack for about an hour.  Turn cakes out onto racks, cool completely. 
cooked cakes
cooling cakes
Carrot Cake with Macadamia Nuts and Crystallized Ginger
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This carrot cake with Macadamia nuts and crystallized ginger is one of the Loon's all-time favorite cakes. The hint of coconut really sets is apart.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12
  • For the cake:
  • 2 and ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour (sifted, then measured)
  • 1 cup of sweetened flake coconut
  • 1 cup dry-roasted macadamia nuts
  • ¾ cup chopped crystallized ginger
  • 3½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2½ teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups finely grated carrots
  • 2 8 oz. cans crushed pinapple, undrained
  • For the frosting:
  • 3 8 oz packages of cream cheese - room temp
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) of unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ¾ cup can of sweetened cream of coconut (such as Coco Lopez)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon coconut extract
  • 14 whole dry-roasted macadamia nuts
  • ½ cup chopped crystallized ginger
  1. For the cake:
  2. Pre-heat of to 350 degree F
  3. Butter three 9-inch cake pans with 1½ inch high sides
  4. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper
  5. Combine ⅓ cup of flour and then next 3 ingredients in your food processor, process until nuts are finely chopped
  6. Whisk remaining 2 cups flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a separate bowl
  7. Using an electric mixer, beat sugar and oil in a large bowl to blend.
  8. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  9. Beat in vanilla
  10. Beat in spice mixture, then carrots and crushed pineapple (with juice)
  11. Pour into prepared pans
  12. Bake until toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 35 minutes
  13. Cool in pans on rack for about an hour
  14. Run knife around the edge of pans to loosend cakes
  15. Turn cakes out onto racks, cool completely
  16. For the frosting:
  17. Beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until smooth and creamy
  18. Beat in powdered sugar, the cream of coconut, and both extracts
  19. Chill until firm enough to least 30 minutes
  20. Putting It All Together:
  21. Place 1 cake layer, flat side up, on a nice looking cake platter
  22. Spread about 1 cup of frosting over the top.
  23. Top with next cake and repeat with another cup of icing
  24. Top with third cake and press lightly to adhere, and go ahead a push the layers to make sure they are aligned evenly (you can even insert long wooden skewers throught the cakes at this point, to hold the cake in place, while you continue icing)
  25. Chill the cake for another 30 minute, then ice the rest of the cake
  26. Arrange slice ginger and whole nuts around the top edge of the cake
  27. Cover with dome, and chill. Let stand for 1 hour at room temp before serving
 Let stand at room temp for 1 hour before serving.
cut carrot cake


  • Omg! Your carrot cake recipe is amazing. mine is so very different. We need to sample each others sometime. I just stared reading your blog. Love it! Read the Loons comments on your pasta making history to frank while he as driiving and we were both laughing like hell. Potato skins is so far tops on my list to try.

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