Tropical Carrot Cake

Tropical Carrot Cake


I realized not so long ago that I know very little about baking. Wouldn’t you say so if you found out I had no idea that cakes need their source of heat from the bottom and not the top?!? And as it had to be, I learnt it the hard way – after completely scorching the crust of a beetroot-chocolate cake that was all gooey on the inside, in my zealous attempt to serve cake to my dear sister. Turns out, the oven I was using in tropical Bangkok only had broil-style coils on the top, none on the bottom. And cakes need to cook from the bottom. They “rise” – remember? That was a super-DUH moment right there. Well, at least I now know and would never venture into cake making before inspecting the oven inside out. Before you decide to run away, I do want to assure you that my cakes turn out just right here at home in my regular good-ol’ oven. So read on to discover this awesome version of carrot cake!

tropical-carrot-cake-dry-wet-ingredientsI found this recipe trying to look for one that had just the right proportion of carrots to flour to everything else. If I was going to make a carrot cake, I wanted lots of carrot in it. So 2 cups carrot for 3 cups flour did not seem to cut it. This one here not only packs in the carrot, it also has tons of other goodies – there’s yummy pineapple, raisins, coconut and walnuts in there. You could surely top it up with the ever-popular cream cheese frosting, but with so many flavors in the cake you definitely won’t miss the sugary frosting.


The texture is dense to start with, but as you dig into the cake you’ll notice how moist and crumbly it is. You definitely want to give this one a try… it might be a tad too late for Easter, but is a perfect Spring-time treat with the green colors bursting out every which way. So if you can’t bake in the tropics, bring the tropics right where you are with this perfect tropical dessert!

Tropical Carrot Cake

Based on recipe by

Prep Time: 20 minutes | Baking Time: 50 – 60 minutes | Makes: 1 large 11″ cake or 2-layer 9″ cake


Dry ingredients:

  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 2 tsp baking powder
  3. 1 tsp baking soda
  4. 1/4 tsp salt
  5. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  6. 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (or grated)

For the batter:

  1. 4 eggs
  2. 2 1/4 cup sugar (Note: only 2 cups if using sweetened coconut flakes)
  3. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  4. 1 1/4 cups olive oil (or vegetable oil)
  5. 2 cups carrot
  6. 1 cup pineapple, crushed (drained if using canned)
  7. 1 cup shredded or flaked coconut (sweetened or unsweetened, adjust sugar accordingly)
  8. 1 cup walnuts
  9. 1/2 cup raisins


Step 1: Preparing the raisins, walnuts and carrots


  1. Soak the raisins in hot water for 5 minutes , then drain thoroughly and set aside. This helps plump them up to prepare for baking.
  2. Toast the walnuts, before chopping, by baking at 350 F for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool and then roughly chop into small bits and set aside.
  3. Finely grate the carrots and set aside.
  4. If using fresh pineapple, cut up and crush by hand or make into coarse puree using a blender and set aside.

Step 2: Bake the cake



  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Prepare the cake pan(s) by lining with parchment and greasing the sides and top of parchment with butter or by greasing the pan with butter and dusting with flour (shake off the excess).
  3. Mix (or sift) together all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon) in a large bowl and set aside.
  4. Beat the eggs in another bowl, with a whisk attachment or by hand for a couple of minutes, until creamy and well combined.
  5. Add the sugar, a little at a time, and continue to whisk together with eggs until all the sugar has dissolved in the egg batter and its a thick creamy yellow mixture.
  6. Add the vanilla into the egg mixture and combine.
  7. Slowly drizzle the oil into the egg mixture and keep whisking until all the oil has mixed thoroughly into the batter.
  8. Add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and fold gently with a spoon or spatula until a thick batter forms.
  9. Add the carrots, pineapple, coconut, raisins and nuts into the flour batter and combine with a spoon or spatula thoroughly. The batter will loosen up a little now.
  10. Pour the batter into prepared pan(s) and place in the oven, rack placed in the middle.
  11. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until a skewer/cake tester inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean.
  12. Remove from the oven and let it rest for about an hour until its cool to the touch before cutting and serving.

The cake keeps well for up to a week, if packed well and stored in the refrigerator.


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