Carrot Cake with Coconut, Ginger and Macadamia Nuts

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This Carrot Cake with Coconut, Ginger and Macadamia Nuts recipe has been Wesley’s favorite cake of all time ever since I first made it back in the early 2000’s.

It has truly stood the test of time.  Every time I make it, it gets rave reviews…and not just from The Loon!  It’s really a show-stopper and just incredibly delicious!

Carrot Cake with Coconut, Ginger and Macadamia Nuts recipe


Watch us make this amazing cake (but we decided to make it into cupcakes). Watch, laugh…and then make this amazing Carrot Cake!


The ingredients in the cake are classic carrot cake, with some wonderful tropical components added in, too.

So many layers of flavor in this incredible layered cake!

So good!

Carrot Cake with Coconut, Ginger and Macadamia Nuts recipe

There is nothing much more comforting than the smell of this incredible cake as it bakes in the oven.

We love a good layered cake! Dividing the batter amongst 3 baking pans is just perfect, but, of course, it would work in just two pans, too. Or…as cupcakes!! (Bake time for cupcakes: Approx. 15 to 20 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean).

Carrot Cake with Coconut, Ginger and Macadamia Nuts recipe

And let me tell you about the butter-cream icing with a touch of coconut milk. Oh, it is truly the icing on the cake. The best icing on the cake.

This is about as good as it gets. The Loon could (and practically does) sit and eat the entire bowl of icing by itself. I have to remind him that it needs to go on the cake!

It’s really that good.

Carrot Cake with Coconut, Ginger and Macadamia Nuts recipe

This is a beautiful cake. It’s perfect for spring and any kind of special occasion.

It’s beautiful when it’s whole, and it’s gorgeous when sliced.

You can’t go wrong with this cake.

Carrot Cake with Coconut, Ginger and Macadamia Nuts recipe

The Loon (as do I) loves this cake more than any other cake he’s ever tried…and he’s tried a lot of cake in his time.

It’s moist and layered with flavor and beautiful in appearance.

We just can’t rave enough about this incredible Carrot Cake with Coconut, Ginger and Macadamia Nuts recipe!

Who wants a slice?

Carrot Cake with Coconut, Ginger and Macadamia Nuts recipe


Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Red Velvet Cupcakes
Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes with Marshmallow Filling
Coconut and Lemon Curd Cupcakes
German Chocolate Cake
Coconut Cream Cake

But for now, go and make this super delicious Carrot Cake with Coconut, Ginger and Macadamia Nuts!

If you’re a fan of carrot cake, you are going to love this cake!! We promise!

A slice of Carrot Cake with Coconut, Ginger and Macadamia Nuts next to a patterned napkin

Carrot Cake with Coconut, Ginger and Macadamia Nuts

This Carrot Cake with Coconut, Ginger and Macadamia Nuts has been an all-time favorite recipe of Wesley's since I made it back in the early 2000s. It's really that good. So moist and layered with lots of classic carrot cake taste, plus a little tropical thrown in for an even bigger flavor boost. This is the good stuff.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Dessert
Keyword: Carrot Cake, Cupcakes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 836kcal



  • cups all-purpose flour sifted, then measured
  • 1 cup sweetened flake coconut
  • 1 cup dry-roasted macadamia nuts
  • ¾ cup chopped crystallized ginger
  • tsp ground cinnamon
  • tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups carrots finely grated
  • 2 8 oz. cans crushed pineapple undrained


  • 3 8 oz. packages of cream cheese - room temp
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temp 1 & 1/2 sticks
  • cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup sweetened cream of coconut such as Coco Lopez
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp coconut extract
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes lightly toasted



  • Preheat of to 350°F.
  • Butter three 9-inch cake pans with 1 1/2 inch high sides.
  • Line bottom of pans with parchment paper.
  • Combine 1/2 cup of flour and then next 3 ingredients in your food processor, process until nuts are finely chopped
  • Whisk remaining 2 cups flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a separate bowl
  • Using an electric mixer, beat sugar and oil in a large bowl to blend.
  • Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Next, gradually add in the flour/cinnamon mixture.
  • Beat in vanilla.
  • Beat in the spice mixture, then carrots and crushed pineapple (with juice).
  • Pour into prepared pans.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 35 minutes.
  • Cool in pans on a rack for about an hour.
  • Run a knife around the edge of pans to loosen cakes.
  • Turn cakes out onto racks and cool completely.


  • Beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until smooth and creamy.
  • Beat in powdered sugar, the cream of coconut, and both extracts.
  • Chill until firm enough to least 30 minutes.


  • Place 1 cake layer, flat side up, on a nice looking cake platter.
  • Spread about 1 cup of frosting over the top.
  • Top with the next cake and repeat with another cup of icing.
  • 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 throughout the cakes at this point, to hold the cake in place, while you continue icing).
  • Top with toasted coconut flakes and a few pieces of crystallized ginger.
  • Chill the cake for another 30 minutes, then ice the rest of the cake.


Calories: 836kcal | Carbohydrates: 133g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Sodium: 456mg | Potassium: 384mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 96g | Vitamin A: 5346IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!


  • Hi this sounds fabulous but do u know all the measurements in U. K terms as in grams etc at all please? Thanks Emma

    • Hi Emma! We turned on a button that is at the bottom of the ingredients list that gives you the opportunity to switch to U.K. terms, but (silly American), we’re not sure if it looks right, or if every item converted. Take a look and let us know. The cake, btw…is delicious!!! xoxo

      • Hi Kris
        Yeah you’re correct it doesn’t really work very well but no worries I shall try and figure it out Thanks x

      • So sorry about that, Emma! We’re trying to figure out why the information is so whacky! Thanks for your patience, but, you’ll probably figure out before we do! xoxo

  • 5 stars
    This says 2.5 cups of flour and then calls for 1/3 c with the ginger/nuts and the “remaining 2 cups” later. What about the balance?
    Also, when do you add the flour? After the eggs and before the spice mixture? I discarded the balance of the flour and added the flour before the spice mixture and it’s DELICIOUS, but just wanted to confirm! Thanks for the great recipe!!!

    • Hi there! So sorry for the delayed response! Sounds like you prepared the cake absolutely flawlessly, despite the few uncertainties in the instructions! We’ve updated the recipe to make it clear. We are so so thrilled you had such great success with the cake! Thank you so so much for sharing and for the GREAT review! That means the world to us! Please stay in touch! All the best, Kris & Wesley

      • 5 stars
        Thank you for the clarification and for the update to the recipe! I’ve never had so many people RAVE about a cake before! The ginger and pulverized nuts…and the crushed pineapple…. SOOOO good!

      • Awesome!!!! Congratulations!! We are so so happy you had such great success with the cake! Again…thank you for sharing and the wonderful review!!! xoxo Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    Wait, what???? How in the world have I missed this recipe on your site? This looks just heavenly. Since I make mostly all of your recipes, laugh at all of your videos which by the way make me look like a way better cook than I am, I am VERY EXCITED about this one. I can’t wait to tell you when I make it. I’m thinking Thanksgiving with a traditional pumpkin pie. I will update you as soon as I make it. I just had to tell you how excited I was to see this! This is in no way helping with my weight lol. Oh…. And I got your email and can’t wait to join your new endeavor. Count me in. Way to go guys.

    • Diane!!! LOL!! We have a few of these sinfully delicious recipes creeping around in the background on the blog! This has been a favorite cake of ours for years!! Really great for serving to guests! And thank you SO MUCH for subscribing! We hope you enjoy it! We are really really excited about it! Thank you again!! xoxo Kris & Wesley

      • Your subscription service is super. I subscribed and got the Black Friday discount. Every one should sign up now. I started getting the notifications already for the recipes to start cooking for dinner on your menu! I was thrilled…..but I was still working LOL. Said I needed to start cooking soon. I love it already. I love how you can save the recipes on that site. Super easy peasy! I’m so proud of you guys and will always support you. Thanks for inviting me! It was the highlight of my busy day.

      • Hi Diane!! That is music to our ears!! We’ll be sending out a “helpful tips” video on how to get the most out of the subscription, but it sounds like you’re already doing great! Thanks so much and hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! xoxo Kris & Wesley

    • Hi Robin! You absolutely could use a 9 – 10 inch tube pan. It’s most likely going to take longer than the 35 minutes. Probably 45 to 50. But, try the toothpick test around 30 minutes, and then keep checking periodically until it comes out clean. Let us know if you make it and how it turns out! All the best, Kris & Wesley

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