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

Carrot Cake with Coconut, Ginger and Macadamia Nuts

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
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.
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  • 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



  • Pre-heat 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 1/3 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.
  • 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 spread...at 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