Coconut Carrot Cake
The rain has finally stopped and the sun is shining. It had been raining for days and days on end. So much rain it is hard to remember when it started. It just always seemed like it is going to rain. I am not complaining because goodness, the whole state of California was about to shrivel up before it started but I am excited that it is over... for now at least. With all this rain comes the good stuff like all of the flowers in boom and everywhere you look seems to blanketed in bright flourescent green. It is a sign of spring and what's to come. This time of year is always so special in Oakland because I am reminded of everything that grows in this area - there are citrus trees, jasmine, magnolias, roses - the list could go on. I have become a horticulture dork in my old age and love walking the streets staring at everyone else's front yards, especially since ours is pretty busted.
Since last night was the perfect Spring night, I decided to tackle my yard and clean it up a little. When we first moved to Oakland we were in the start of an epic drought. I wanted to garden and landscape our backyard myself (which is a whole other story) but I always felt so guilty about using water to water my planets. So I tried to use as little as possible and, shocker, none of my plants grew - they just basically shriveled up and died. So I let the backyard go when the rain started last fall and let me tell you, all you need is water when it comes to gardening (another shocker, I know). I had a jungle of kale growing and it was no joke 4 feet tall when I pulled it out last night. I had a bed of herbs and my parsley was huge - the stalk was at least 2 inches thick. So moral of the story a green thumb just means you use the adequate amounts of water. Oh and maybe not live in a state that seems to be in a constant drought?
When this time of year rolls around I get excited for all the produce that is going to be coming our way. Asparagus should start popping up any day, spring peas, strawberries and carrots. I know that we can get carrots anytime of year but spring is really when they are at their prime. So to get us all excited about spring here is a coconut carrot cake because what better way to eat carrots than in a cake, right?
This is an old school carrot cake with a hint of coconut topped with mounds and mounds of cream cheese frosting. Lets be honest, I really only eat this cake because it is a socially acceptable way to eat as much cream cheese frosting as humanly possible.So heres to sunshine, carrots and cream cheese frosting. Yes most definitely to cream cheese frosting.
Coconut Carrot Cake
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp. baking soda
- 1 ½ . tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- pinch salt
- ¼ tsp. ground allspice
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted
- 3 tsp. vanilla extract, separated
- 3/4 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 ½ cups shredded carrots from about 2 large peeled carrots
- 1/2 cup toasted flaked coconut, plus more for garnish
- 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
- 2 Tbs. butter, at room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 Tbs. milk
Pre-heat oven to 350F. Spray a 9" round cake pan with non-stick baking spray and line with parchment paper.
In a medium sized bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, allspice and nutmeg.
In another bowl combine the eggs, coconut oil, 2 teaspoons vanilla, brown sugar and sour cream. Whisk well to combine. Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture until just combined. Fold in coconut flakes and carrots. Pour into prepared cake pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cake cool in pan for about 15 minutes, then invert and allow to cool completely.
Meanwhile make the cream cheese frosting by combining the cream cheese, butter, milk, powdered sugar, and remaining vanilla until well blended. Frost the cooled cake and garnish with extra coconut flakes.