Ginger Macadamia Coconut Carrot Cake Recipe

If I were to make a commercial for this carrot cake it would feature a family in middle America going “What’s for dessert?” and then the mom, with perfectly coifed hair and dishtowels in her hands says “Carrot cake” and then the kids with bowl haircuts say “Carrot cake again?” and put their face in their hands. The husband puffs on his pipe and buries his face in the newspaper, completely uninterested. But the mom’s got a mischievous look in her eye; she brings the carrot cake out and suddenly there is a calypso band in the dining room and the kids start dancing, heck even grandma joins in the dance. What I am saying is that this is not your average carrot cake. Feel free to replace the macadamia nuts with their more affordable cousins, walnuts.

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (or preferably freshly grated)
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped (even better if you can find small pieces specifically for baking)
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 cups carrots, grated
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Have ready two 8-inch springform cake pans, lightly greased. Alternately, these could be made into squares in a 9- by 13-inch baking pan and cut in half lengthwise to create two layers or just iced as one layer.
  2. In a large mixing bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ground spices.
  3. In a separate large mixing bowl, mix together pineapple, canola oil, sugar, syrup and vanilla. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in batches, and combine well with a hand mixer or strong fork. Fold in macadamias, ginger, coconut and carrots.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans and bake for 40-45 minutes. Let cool and put a layer of coconut icing between the layers, and a layer on top, I like to leave the sides free of frosting because it looks pretty.

This recipe, while from a trusted source, may not have been tested by the CHOW food team.