Pistachio Coconut Carrot Cake

Who makes their own birthday cake?
Yep, that would be me.
Why, might you ask?
Why not?
I was craving a slice of wicked carrot cake and I don’t know of a place that makes it with pistachios, coconut and white chocolate. See that’s the joy of making your own cake, you can make it just the way you like. Feel like some candied ginger or even pineapple? Throw it in. Don’t like pistachios? Opt for walnuts, pecans, almonds or perhaps macadamia nuts instead.
Thus the perfect end to the perfect birthday.
coconut carrot cake
coconut carrot cake

Pistachio Coconut Carrot Cake
adapted from Anna Olson’s Carrot Cake

3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups pastry flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cloves
2 cups grated carrot
1 cup toasted coconut, split in half
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 1/4 cup pistachios, salted or unsalted, roughly chopped and divided in half

250 g cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9″ cake pan (I used a square one but circular works too) and line the bottom with parchment. The cake batter itself is a cinch to make. Combine the oil, eggs, both sugars and vanilla and whisk until smooth. In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients. Add the grated carrots to the flour mixture. This coats each piece, preventing them from clumping together. Also add the 1/2 cup coconut, 1/2 white chocolate chips and 3/4 cup of the pistachios. Finally add the liquid to the dry and mix until everything is just incorporated, similar to making muffins. In fact this batter would make amazing carrot muffins if you wanted to do that. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let it cool in the tin for at least 20 minutes because if you flip it out right away, it won’t be pretty. I remember this one volcanic looking cake I made a few years ago that had this giant crevice smack-dab in the middle of it. Lesson learned. Once you remove it from the pan, I also highly suggest refrigerating the cake for at least a couple of hours or even overnight prior to icing it. This makes it much less crumbly and again, less likely that it will crack in half.

coconut carrot cake
coconut carrot cake
coconut carrot cake
coconut carrot cake
coconut carrot cake

As for the icing, it is even simpler than the cake. First, use a mixer to blend the butter, cream cheese, vanilla and lemon juice until smooth. Add the icing sugar about half a cup at a time ensuring that there are no lumps before adding more. This can be made well ahead of time and refrigerated until you need it. Just let it warm up a bit before you try and ice the cake, thus making it easier to spread.

coconut carrot cake
coconut carrot cake
coconut carrot cake

Ok now for assembly. In short you simply take the cake, cut it in half, ice the middle, put the top back on, ice the top/outside, cover the sides with pistachios and sprinkle toasted coconut over the top. However there are a few things to keep in mind. When slicing the cake, use the longest serrated knife you have available. And please, take your time with this step. You want to carefully run the knife around the outside of the cake, keeping it level and then gradually work your way into the middle. Voila, top half and bottom half. I like to use the bottom of a removable spring-form pan to transfer the top piece as this provides the greatest insurance that it won’t self implode aka get mangled into 500 little crumbly pieces. Although icing can fix many of your problems. And the fact that this cake is coated in pistachios and coconut means that you don’t have to ice it perfectly because the icing itself hardly shows. After you finish your handiwork, chill the entire thing to allow it to set up. Finally you can slice and enjoy!

coconut carrot cake
coconut carrot cake
coconut carrot cake

One thought on “Pistachio Coconut Carrot Cake

  • May 24, 2013 at 2:51 pm
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    Hi I am from Mexico I like the name of your blog because it remains me my son, he loves food and likes to taste all kind of food chines , italian,etc I lived two years in USA when I was in high school and loved the food in my school now 37 years later I like to look for american recipes and one that i love is the carrot cake but yours seems celestial and I will prepare it very soon thanks for share . God bless you.

    Reply

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