Tropical Carrot Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2-2/3 cup all-purpose flour, sifted then measured
- 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
- 1 cup dry-roasted macadamia nuts
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 3-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2-1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups carrots, peeled and finely grated
- 2 (8-oz) cans crushed pineapple in its own juice, well drained
- 2 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1-3/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup canned sweetened cream of coconut
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp coconut extract
- 14 whole dry-roasted macadamia nuts, crushed
- 1/4 cup toasted coconut flakes
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Butter a 3-1/2-qt baking dish and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Combine 1/3 cup flour, coconut, and macadamia nuts and process until nuts are finely chopped. Set aside.
- In a medium-size bowl, whisk together remaining 2 cups flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and baking soda until well combined.
- Using an electric mixer, beat sugar and oil in large bowl to blend. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Mix in flour-spice mixture until well combined. Stir in the coconut-macadamia mixture, then the carrots and crushed pineapple.
- Bake until tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes. Cool in the baking dish for an hour. Run knife around edge of pan to loosen cake. Turn cake out onto racks; cool completely.
- For the frosting, beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar, then cream of coconut and both extracts. Chill until firm enough to spread, approximately 30 minutes.
- Spread a thick layer of the frosting on the top of the cake. Top with the macadamia nuts and toasted coconut.