Coconut Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Coconut Carrot Cake
Coconut Carrot Cake

This coconut carrot cake screams spring! You will love the moist, spice-filled cake paired with the light cream cheese frosting.

Is anyone else ready for warmer weather? This cake is my go to recipe when I’m dreaming of spring! I make it every Easter, and it is always a huge hit. My favorite part of this cake is the addition of coconut. It is optional, but it adds an extra element to a classic cake! You can also add in chopped nuts if that’s more your taste!

Coconut Carrot Cake Variations

  • I prefer a heavily spiced carrot cake. If you prefer a milder flavor, decrease the amounts.
  • This recipe can be easily customized to fit your preferences. Don’t like coconut? Add walnuts instead!
  • Add toasted pecans for a deep, nutty flavor.
  • A cinnamon streusel (recipe in my Cinnamon Streusel Spice Cake) is a tasty addition that adds wonderful texture to this cake! You can also use it to decorate the outside of the cake.
Coconut Carrot Cake

Ingredient Line Up

  • Unbleached, all purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Spices – ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves
  • Vegetable oil
  • Sugars – This cake uses both brown and granulated sugars. I use a higher ratio of brown for a deeper molasses flavor!
  • Large eggs, room temperature – Room temperature eggs will incorporate better. You can quickly bring your eggs to room temperature by placing them into a bowl of warm (not hot) water for 5-10 minutes.
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Grated carrots – Do not use the bagged shredded carrots! Grate your carrots fresh for this recipe. You will need about 4 or 5 large carrots.
  • Shredded coconut – This ingredient is optional, but I highly recommend it for an extra flavor profile!
  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Unsalted butter, room temperature
  • Cream cheese, room temperature

Coconut Carrot Cake Decorating Tips

Layered cakes don’t have to be intimidating! With a few helpful tips, you can create a beautiful tiered cake!

  • Leveling your cakes with a bread knife or cake leveler will ensure your cakes are the same height and even on top!
  • Applying a crumb coat (thin layer of frosting) to your cake lets you decorate your cake without crumbs in the finished product! Simply put on a thin layer of frosting, pop your cake in the fridge for the frosting to harden a bit, then decorate as desired. No crumbs will be seen!
  • A cake turntable makes spreading frosting on a round cake so much easier!
  • Carrot cakes are usually decorated in a rustic style. This makes decorating easy for everyone! Spread frosting on the outside and decorate with chopped nuts or toasted coconut for a simple yet gorgeous cake.
Coconut Carrot Cake

Coconut Carrot Cake

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings


Coconut Carrot Cake

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups freshly grated carrots
  • 1 cup shredded coconut

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz block cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract


Coconut Carrot Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and grease two 8″ or 9″ pans.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the vegetable oil and both sugars on medium high until combined – about 2 minutes.
  • Add in the eggs one at a time, incorporating fully after each addition. Add in vanilla extract.
  • Turn the mixer to low and slowly add in the dry ingredients. Be careful not to over mix!
  • Fold in the shredded carrots and coconut with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
  • Evenly distribute the batter to your prepared pans and bake about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Let cakes cool about 10 minutes in the pan. Then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and cream cheese together on high – about 2 minutes.
  • Add in the powdered sugar slowly.
  • Add the vanilla and beat until light and fluffy – about 3 minutes.


  • Level the cake layers using a knife or cake leveler.
  • Place one layer of cake on a turntable or cake stand. Evenly spread a bit of frosting onto the top.
  • Repeat with the next layer(s) of cake.
  • Coat the outside of your cake with a light layer of frosting, also known as a crumb coat. Then put the cake in the fridge about 30 minutes.
  • Take the cake out and decorate with remaining frosting as desired.
Keyword carrot cake, coconut carrot cake

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