Pineapple Carrot Coconut Cake is a decadently moist and flavorful cake loaded with crushed pineapple, carrot and coconut, spiced with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg and a drizzled with a lemony pineapple and mace glaze. Yields one (10-cup) bundt or 10 servings.
I love vintage recipes.
This particular one was found when sorting through old recipe tins. I was gifted two recipe tins from my mother-in-law that once belonged to her grandmother Leone. While going through them, I found an old news clipping for Hawaiian Pineapple Carrot Cake and was instantly intrigued. I love making old recipes and only wished the clipping had the news paper title and date listed. But besides the orange-brown discoloration of the aged paper, the opening line was a huge clue that it was indeed vintage. The article starts with “Nearly everyone has made a salad of carrots, golden canned Hawaiian pineapple and flaked coconut.” I laughed out loud, because I’m pretty positive that no one I know has made such a salad – but it does sounds interesting.
I gave this recipe a test run and the cake was incredibly moist and not too overly sweet. However, the lemon mace frosting(?) included in the clipping was an utter flop. After mixing the listed ingredients, it started to separate and looked curdled (how could they publish this?) so I decided to make a simple and fool-proof pineapple icing while still incorporating the mace, lemon zest and making use of the reserved pineapple juice.
The end result was amazing. The texture was spot on and the combination of spices, fruit and icing was perfection.
To Make this Pineapple Coconut Carrot Cake You Will Need:
for the cake:
- non-stick baking spray with flour – Thee best way to ensure your cake comes out of the bundt pan whole.
- crushed pineapple – Place in a mesh sieve set over a bowl to drain well. Reserve the juices for the icing.
- unbleached all-purpose flour – The base for the cake batter.
- baking powder – Will create lightness in the batter, which makes it rise.
- baking soda – Creates a gas while baking which helps the cake rise.
- fine salt – Use either sea salt or pink himalayan.
- cinnamon (ground) – Lends a distinct warm and woodsy flavor.
- ginger (ground) – Gives a pungent, spicy and sweet flavor.
- nutmeg (ground) – Warm, aromatic with subtle hints of clove.
- unsalted butter – Adds moisture, richness and flavor.
- granulated sugar (white) – For sweetening and flavor.
- eggs (room temperature) – Set out 30 minutes before using or let sit in a bowl of lukewarm water.
- vanilla extract – Adds warmth and enhances all of the other flavors in this recipe.
- grated carrots – Will give the cake a touch of sweetness and a pop of color.
- sweetened flaked coconut – Lends subtle texture and coconut flavor.
- icing ingredients – Listed below the step-by-step cake tutorial.
for the icing:
- powdered sugar – For sweetness and thinking the icing. Sifting in a fine mesh strainer will reduce the chance of lumps.
- mace (ground) – A similar flavor to nutmeg with notes of cinnamon and black pepper.
- lemon zest – Adds bright citrusy flavor.
- pineapple juice – Adds subtle tangy pineapple flavor and will thin the icing.
Preheat your oven to 350° and prepare your 10-cup bundt pan.
I highly recommend a baking spray that contains flour. However you can also use a pastry brush and melted butter, butter generously but do not allow any butter to pool in the bottom of the pan. Add a spoonful of flour and tap it to coat the entire inside. Tap out any excess flour.
Empty a 20 ounce can of crushed pineapple and drain well. I place it in a mesh sieve over a bowl and use a spatula to press out the liquids. Be sure to reserve some of the liquids to make the icing.
In a medium bowl add 2-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon fine salt, 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg.
Sift and set aside.
In a large bowl add 3/4 cup melted (cooled) unsalted butter, 1-1/4 cups sugar, 3 large eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. If the butter is hot, you risk scrambling the eggs.
Whisk thoroughly until combined.
Next, pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry.
Use a rubber spatula to mix until just about incorporated.
Now add all 2 cups grated carrot, the drained pineapple and 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut.
Can you Use Unsweetened Coconut In Cakes?
Technically yes, however sweetened coconut has more moisture while unsweetened tends to be on the dry side, thus making sweetened coconut to bake better in cakes than dry.
Mix just until combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to insure all ingredients are mixed well.
Spoon the batter into the prepared bundt pan and firmly tap it on the counter to settle the batter. Bake on the middle rack (lower third for small ovens) for 45 to 50 minutes or until a tester comes out clean after inserted.
Once baked, allow the cake to sit in the pan for 10 minutes before donning oven mitts and carefully inverting it on to a wire rack, plate or cake pan.
Carefully lift off the bundt pan and allow the cake to cool completely before icing.
Once the cake has cooled, gather your ingredients to make the icing.
Into a medium bowl, sift 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar with 1/4 teaspoon ground mace.
What Is Mace?
Mace is orangey-brown in color and is the outer lacy cover of nutmeg seed that has been dried and ground.
Add in 1 teaspoon lemon zest.
Then add a little of the reserved pineapple juice at a time.
Until you’re reached a desired consistency – it shouldn’t be too thick (paste) or too thin (glaze) however it should come off your spatula or whisk in ribbons.
Pour the. lemony pineapple mace icing over the crown of the cooled cake.
Such a stunning cake! And if you want the entire cake to be glazed, consider making 1 plus a 1/2 recipe.
Slice and serve.
This cake is super moist and goes great with a steaming cup of coffee or tea.
We all love this cake and you will too! My husband doesn’t really care much for carrots, pineapple or coconut, but he loved this cake. He even made sure that I put that in this post.
And the crackly icing is bright and the perfect touch of sweetness.
Enjoy! And if you give this Pineapple Carrot Coconut Cake recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!