Tropical Carrot Cake

Submitted by: Bonny on July 7, 2013

This cake is probably my signature cake for private orders, for restaurants, and often as one tier of a wedding cake. If it is part of a wedding cake, on display, we can’t frost and decorate it with a cream cheese frosting. Then we make our regular “mock whip” frosting with a Pina Colada flavor, or an Orange Rum flavor. They are both white, or can be tinted an ivory, to match the other wedding cake tiers.

I do not give out this recipe to anyone, and all of my employees have signed contract that they won’t either. Often when they make it for their friends or family, someone will ask them for the recipe, and all they can do is offer to make one for them.

When I’m making this as a layer cake for a dessert cart, I decorate each serving with a frosting carrot. This identifies that it is a Carrot Cake and also helps the waitresses know where to cut each serving.

Servings: 24   Prep Time: 30 minutes   Cook Time: not sure - maybe 45 minutes  


For the cake:
1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple
2 c. flour
2 t. baking soda
½ t. salt
2 t. cinnamon
3 eggs
2 c. sugar
¾ c. oil
¾ c. buttermilk
1 t. vanilla
2 c. shredded carrots
1 package matchstick carrots (I buy them at WalMart)
1 c. shredded coconut
1 ½ c. pecan pieces

For the glaze:
1 c. sugar
1 t. baking soda
½ c. soft butter
2 t. light corn syrup
½ c. buttermilk


This recipe will make 1 quarter sheet cake or 2 9” round cakes.

For the cake:
Drain the crushed pineapple very well, and set aside the juice for another use.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Getcake pan(s) ready by lining the bottoms only with parchment paper. Do not spray the sides of the pan(s).
Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together, and set aside.
Shred the carrots, or lightly chop the matchstick carrots, and set aside.
In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, cream the eggs and sugar until they are thick and fluffy. Add the oil, buttermilk, and vanilla. Mix until well combined.
Add the dry ingredients and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes only.
Add the carrots, pineapple, coconut, and pecans on low speed, or mix them in by hand.
Pour into cake pan(s) and bake until almost done – when you can smell the cake(s) they are almost done, and it’s time to start the glaze.

For the glaze:
You can cook the glaze on the stove top in a Dutch Oven, or in the microwave in a large glass bowl. (you really need a large bowl because the glaze will foam up and over flow a small one.).
Combine the sugar and the baking soda (sift the baking soda so there are no lumps) and stir the bakihg soda well into the sugar.
Add the stick of butter and the corn syrup – you can do this way ahead of time.
Add the buttermilk only when you are ready to start cooking the glaze, so the buttermilk and baking soda don’t start reacting ahead of time.
On the stove top, cook for about 6 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. In the microwave, cook for 4 ½ to 5 minutes, stirring after 1 minute to make sure the sugar is well combined with the rest of the ingredients.
Cook the glaze until it reaches a light amber color, then remove the cooking vessel from the heat and add the vanilla.
Remove the cake from the oven and immediately pour the glaze over the cake. It will be absorbed quite quickly.
When the cakes are cool, wrap tightly and refrigerate.
Frost with a traditional Cream Cheese Frosting. Sometimes I add some grated fresh orange peel if I’m frosting a layer cake, or more very well drained crushed pineapple and a little cinnamon if frosting a sheet cake in the pan.

I have also made Carrot Cake Cupcakes without the glaze.

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