Ya’ll it is cold in Nashville. Like, really, really, really cold. As in, with a wind chill of -14°F this is the coldest it has been since we have moved here! So, what’s one to do when you’re iced in with stir-crazy little ones to entertain and a kitchen full of seasonal fruits and veggies? You bake, of course! This moist voluptuous carrot coconut cake uses half the oil and sugar of a traditional recipe and is paired with a luxurious Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting. It is a lovely twist on the traditional, but yet it is still as comforting as grandma’s knit woolen throw when freezing cold blankets the world outside and ice covers EVERYTHING in sight!This recipe makes 3, 8 inch cakes, or 30-36 cupcakes.
2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour, preferably unbleached
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup (75 grams) sweetened shredded coconut
3 large eggs at room temperature, preferably organic
1 cup (220 grams) light brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup (180 ml) vegetable oil
3/4 cup (188 grams) whole plain yogurt
3/4 cup (95 grams) golden raisins
3 cups (280 grams) very finely grated carrots, about 5-6 carrots, preferably organic
How to use them:
Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Prepare 3, 8 inch cake pans by spraying with nonstick spray and lining the bottom of the pans with parchment paper, or if making cupcakes or small cakes spray your pans with nonstick cooking spray. For this bake, I used disposable non-stick brioche cups.
In a medium bowl, whisk the dry ingredients, the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt, until well combined. By the way, nothing exudes an aromatic sweet, savory scent quite like fresh grated nutmeg.Whisk in the shredded coconut, which adds texture to the cake and is a warm nod to the tropics on this chilly day.
In a large bowl, whisk the the eggs, brown sugar, oil, yogurt, and raisins until thoroughly combined and the brown sugar has dissolved into the wet batter. The addition of yogurt here serves two purposes, one is added moisture, which is essential in carrot cake, but most importantly, it cuts the traditional 1 1/2 cups of oil in half, reducing it to 3/4 cup. This lightens the cake, but keeps it moist with a hint of tang to balance the sweetness. Another change is a reduction in sugar. Traditional recipes have about 2 cups of sugar, which this recipe cuts down in half. The addition of the raisins and coconut sweetens that batter to perfection, without it being overly sweet.Grate the carrots on the medium side of the grater, not too fine and not too large.Add the shredded carrots to the wet batter and stir with a spatula until combined. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet batter. Gently mix until the flour is well combined, and no streaks of flour remain. Do not over mix!
If using cake pans, pour your batter equally into all three pans and bake for 18-20 minutes, be careful not to over bake. If making cupcakes, scoop out the batter and fill about 2/3 of the cupcake liner. Bake the cupcakes for 16-18 minutes, until just baked and a cake testing skewer or toothpick comes out clean or with a few crumbs. Remove from the oven and cool on a baking rack.If you are making cakes, remove them from the oven when done and cool for 15 minutes, then flip onto a cooling rack to finish cooling completely.
Frost with your favorite frosting, or mine! I LOVE this dreamy Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting for these bakes, it’s absolutely perfect. You can simply swirl on the frosting or pipe it on! I chose this large round tip because it was was reminiscent of the mounds of snow outside my kitchen window.For the cake, I utilized the same piping technique on each cake layer and then on the last top layer as well. This is not only super chic… But, it it also ensures an even distribution of frosting.This cake is served well by chilling in the refrigerator so that the cream cheese can firm up a bit. Since it’s #snowmageddon2015, I simply set them on the back porch and dusted them with some cinnamon for the kids to grab and snack on as they play in the snow!