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Tropical Carrot Cake

Yield: 8-inch cake


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla paste, or extract
  • 3 cups shredded carrots, about 3-4 large carrots
  • 6 oz can crushed pineapples, drained
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted

Lime Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 16 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • zest from one lime


  • dark rum for soaking cake layers
  • unsweetened coconut flakes to garnish sides of cake


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and line two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper.

  2. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together sugar, brown sugar, and oil.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix thoroughly.

  4. Fold in shredded carrots, crushed pineapples, and toasted coconut.  Add dry ingredients in two additions and mix until just incorporated.

  5. Divide batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans.  It is best to weigh out batter so ensure even cake layers.   Bake for 30-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.  Let cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes before unmolding.  Run a knife or a small offset around the perimeter of cake before inverting.  Let cake cool to room temperature on wire rack before frosting and assembly.

Lime Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together cream cheese and butter on medium high speed until smooth and fluffy.  Reduce speed and gradually add in confectioners’ sugar.  Add lime zest.  Combine to beat until frosting is smooth and spreadable.


  1. Once cakes are at room temperature, unmold and make sure layers are the same height.  If necessary, cut tops of cake with a serrated cake knife.

  2. Place one cake round on cake board.  Lightly soak cake with dark rum.  Evenly spread about 1/2 cup of lime cream cheese frosting (or more if desired) on cake using an offset spatula.  Repeat soaking and spreading frosting on second layer of cake.

  3. Use remaining frosting to coat sides of the cake.  If desired, garnish with unsweetened coconut flakes

  4. Chill cake in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

adapted from Home Baked Comfort by Kim Laidlaw