This Old Fashioned Carrot Cake recipe with pineapple, pecans and coconut is exactly just like how my Grandma used to make her carrot cake in an old-fashioned bowl, without a stand mixer, no food processor, no blender, no pastry wheel - just a bowl and a whisk.
Oil or butter an 8x8 inch cake tin or 9x13 inch cake tin. Line the base with parchment paper and dust the sides with plain flour.
Preheat the oven to 180°C or 350°F
Step 2 - Prepare the Cake Batter
Sieve together the dry ingredients - flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set this aside.
In a large bowl, combine the oil and brown sugar until mixed. It would be thick and lumpy but that is ok.
Add 1 egg at a time and whisk well.
Next in goes the canned pineapples along with its juices and coconut. Whisk well.
Finally, add the freshly grated carrots, vanilla extract and whisk again. That was all of your liquid ingredients.
Now add the dry ingredients in two stages reserving about 2 tbsp of the flour mixture. Gently fold in the batter
To the reserved 2 tbsp of flour mixture add the chopped pecans and mix well and fold it into the batter.
Pour this into the prepared pan.Bake it in a preheated oven or until a skewer comes out clean. Let it sit in the pan for 3 mins and then invert it onto a wire rack and allow it to cool completely before proceeding with frosting.
Step 3 - Preparing the Frosting
Start by beating the cream cheese until creamy. Then add the soft butter and beat well.
Add about 1/2 cup of sieved icing sugar also known as confectioners' or powdered sugar at a time and beat until creamy and fluffy.
Finally, add the lemon zest and then adjust the consistency of the frosting by adding a tsp of lemon juice at a time to form a smooth spreadable consistency.
Step 4 - Assembling the Cake
Once the cake is cooled completely, simply add all of the frosting reserving about 1/4 cup for decoration and spread using an offset spatula on all the sides.
Then divide the left out frosting into two and colour one orange and the other green.
Using a small round nozzle (Wilton 6) just create a carrot with the top being fuller than the bottom. Then using a petal nozzle create leaves on top with the green coloured frosting.
Slice the cake as per choice and enjoy this moist carrot cake recipe with delectable cream cheese frosting.
Always start by lining the cake pan and preheating the oven for evenly baking the cake.
Buy fresh carrots of about 6-8 inches which are easier to grate. Use freshly grated carrots (not packaged pre-shredded carrots). Use the larger side of the cheese grater and not the fine ones. If you have a food processor use that or a grater would work perfectly.
Even though I have used desiccated coconut in this recipe, the shredded ones would work even better.
I recommend using canned crushed pineapple along with the juices for this recipe but you can use fresh pineapple chunks too.
Walnuts can be used in place of pecans.
Spices like cinnamon and nutmeg can also be adjusted as per choice. You can opt for all spice or cardamom too.
You can consider toasting the nuts and coconut in the recipe for an added flavour.
The cake should be baked until the edges are set, the centre is just barely firm to the touch. Don't overbake it. The skewer should come out clean but the top and edges should not be crispy.
To prevent frosting from sticking to your knife and messing up your cake when slicing, dip the knife in warm water and wipe it on a kitchen towel before cutting each slice.
Homemade cream cheese frosting is best for this homemade carrot cake. So make sure you have enough time for making a batch of frosting. Do not opt for a store-bought one here.
Spread the frosting when the cake is completely cool or the frosting will melt.