August 15, 2011

Banana - Ginger Carrot Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Icing

I joined the Secret Recipe Club last month and this is my first post!  I was assigned to Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives.  Hello there, Lisa.  If you're reading this, your blog is fantastic!  There were so many yummy recipes to choose from that I only made my final decision on Friday!  They give you a month, in case you were wondering.  It was between her Peanut Butter Pie, Hamburger Buns or Carrot Cake.  I chose her Carrot Cake.

Why, you ask?  Well, I have master Carrot Cake recipe in my files.  I'm talking Grand Master of all Carrot Cake Recipes!  When I was running Deelcious Sweets as a business, I made it for The Tenderloin Room.   It was my most requested dessert from my customers and it still is with family.  I wanted to see how hers compared to mine.  A little friendly competition never hurt anyone! 

It's all made with love, anyway!
Here is Lisa's recipe with just a couple of my adjustments:

Banana - Ginger Carrot Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
Yield: 1 9-inch layer cake

Ingredients for the Cake:
  • 2 1/3 cups sifted all-purpose unbleached flour 
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 cup dry-roasted macadamia nuts, toasted
  • 3/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger
  • 3 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. fresh, grated or ground nutmeg
  • 2 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 2 cps sugar
  • 1 cup melted Kelapo Virgin Coconut Oil, or vegetable oil - I used applesauce
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 t. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups finely grated peeled carrots
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed, with some chunks remaining
  • For a less spicy cake, reduce crystallized ginger to 1/2 cup or just add 1 T. fresh grated ginger, and reduce cinnamon to 2 teaspoons.
Ingredients for Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 4 1/2 (8-ounce) packages (36-ounces total) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup (2 sticks), plus 2 T. unsalted butter, room temperature - I used 2 sticks
  • 3 cups powdered sugar - mine needed a lot more - I used 4 cups and could have use 5 if I hadn't run out.
  • 1 cup plus 2 T. canned sweetened cream of coconut (such as Coco Lopez or Goya)
  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 t. (scant) pure coconut extract - I used 2/4 banana extract
Garnish ideas:
  • 14 whole dry-roasted macadamia nuts, candied
  • 1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger, cut into strips
  • Toasted coconut shreds
  • Marzipan or Frosting piped carrots
Instructions for the Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter three 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper. Combine 1/3 cup flour and next 3 ingredients in processor. Process until nuts are finely chopped. Whisk remaining 2 cups flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in medium bowl to blend.
  2. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and oil (or Applesauce) in large bowl to blend. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Beat in flour-spice mixture. Stir in coconut-macadamia mixture, then carrots and mashed bananas.
  3. Divide batter among pans ( I weighed out close to even layers..about 1 lb 6 oz batter per pan). Bake until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool in pans on racks 1 hour. Run knife around edge of pans to loosen cakes. Turn cakes out onto racks; cool completely.
Instructions for the Frosting:
  1. Beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar, then cream of coconut and both extracts. Chill until firm enough to spread, about 30 minutes.
  2. Place 1 cake layer, flat side up, on platter. Spread heaping cup frosting over top of cake. Top with second cake layer, flat side up. Spread another heaping cup frosting over the top. Top with third cake layer, pressing slightly to adhere. Spread thin layer of frosting on top and sides of cake. Chill cake and remaining frosting 30 minutes. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Arrange whole nuts and ginger (or whatever decor you decide on - I used toasted coconut) around top edge of cake. Chill 1 hour. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and chill. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.)
Are you wondering who's was better?  I asked my hubby who is always honest with me and he said they were both excellent!  I will definitely be making this recipe again.  I loved the use of ginger and macadamia nuts.  I have a ton of icing left-over so I need to find something to do with it.  Looks like cupcakes are in my future!  Thank you, Lisa!

Secret Recipe Club


  1. I have never thought about putting ginger in a carrot cake! Sounds great!!

  2. OH MY... Ginger in a Carrot cake and just beautiful presentation. I love this!

  3. I love ginger and carrot together... but with coconut?! YUM!!! This sounds lovely!

  4. That is one fabu looking cake.

    If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my SRC recipe this month: Cilantro Lime Chicken

    Cook Lisa Cook

  5. macadamia nuts and coconuts in a cake must be divine! awesome cake recipe! you should totally submit this cake recipe to our #cakelove bloghop. :D

  6. Yaaay! Finally found you! I was looking for who was assigned my blog, but kept missing it! You did an amazing job and I love that you subbed apple sauce to make it healthier! I forgot to mention that the reason I made the frosting recipe and a half, was b/c I was going to pipe a basket weave, but a busted AC and heatwave killed that idea. I froze the rest in an airtight container in a freezer bag. Works really well, just have to beat again once defrosted :_

  7. Yum, yum and yum! I love carrot cake and this one looks scrumptious. I love this idea of the secret recipe club. Cute!

  8. flavourful looking cake and linked dishes

  9. Dee, this looks positively sumptuous and I just love the photo of the measuring spoons with powdered sugar - what a great post.

  10. This looks fantastic! I just stumbled this recipe and pinned it too. I can not wait for an excuse to try this cake. Thank you!

  11. What a great carrot cake! SRC was fun - it was my first month too!

  12. This recipe looks like a keeper! Love the flavor combo.

  13. This cake has some lovely flavors and looks really gorgeous. I so want to try this out!

  14. Yum, this cake looks amazing...full of so many tasty things!! :) Gorgeous photos too.

  15. Nice twist on a classic favorite-love the changes and add ins. Picture looks good enough to eat. Great post!

  16. What a gorgeous cake and I LOVE your measuring spoons!

  17. Sounds really interesting. Ginger and Carrot in cake. New combination. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I will surely try this out.

    Take the Cake Personality Test and find out which cake are you like. I have taken the test and have enjoyed a lot. Hope you too will enjoy it. Have Fun!!

  18. So flavorful & delicious looking cake, looks absolutely wonderful. Cute measuring spoons :)

  19. Amazing looking cake. You did a great job, I might have to go and make it this weekend!

  20. i love Lisa's blog and you did such a delicious job with her cake. Love the ginger hint and those measuring spoon are too cute!!

  21. LOVE this cake! It's like a jazzed up hummingbird cake! :D

  22. This is a super interesting pick. Love the flavors, and great pictures :)

  23. Anonymous16.8.11

    Oh, I 'll be right over, that cake looks wonderful. nice choice Andi

  24. looks so good.
    this would be perfect for Easter... i'm so terrible at making cream cheese frosting though!!

  25. Dee...this cake looks fabulous! COCONUT! I am hoping to join that club...but I don't have quite enough posts up yet. It looks like a lot of fun and a great way to explore new blogs! By the way...check out my last've been tagged! : )

  26. Anonymous17.8.11

    Can I have a slice of that, it looks so irresistable.

  27. this sounds like it would be a smorgasbord for the mouth. Great job!

  28. Dee, I just have to say that I've clicked through your SRC link three times now. How crazy is that? This looks wonderful. I think I know what kind of cake I'll be baking for my birthday next month. YUM!

  29. That is one gorgeous cake! I wish I could have a piece right now-- that is pretty much all of my favorites wrapped into one cake!

  30. Just stumbled on your blog this week, and thank heavens I did--this cake looks devine! Carrot is one of my favorites, and with the added ginger and coconut?!?!? I'll be making this SOON!

  31. wow ! junia, this is also so delicious with coconut and ginger.. cant wait to sample the taste- very creative

  32. i love your combination of flavors in this gorgeous cake! it sounds so yummy:) thank you for sharing this.

  33. This looks fantastic! Can't wait to try it.

  34. Those are the prettiest measuring spoons!

  35. Such a pretty cake! I don't care for the texture of coconut too much, but I love the way it looks!

  36. Oh my deliciousness! That slice of cake is such a beauty. I love carrot cake, but yours is just gorgeous. The layers, the pretty frilly coconut. Wow!!! Your blog is beautiful, so glad I stopped by from SRC. I am your newest follower :)

  37. Anonymous19.8.11

    Oh wow! This has everything I love in it! Banana, ginger, carrot and coconut what a lovely combination. And your photos are just gorgeous Dee! Great job on this post, as always it's wonderful and makes me really hungry =]

  38. I am, very sadly, allergic to ginger-sigh. But I love the addition of banana to a carrot cake-brilliant! Pretty pictures too :)

  39. Great twist on the reliable Carrot Cake. My next one will have ginger in it.

  40. I'm gonna have to make this for sure. I love how you used applesauce to cut down on the fat. I'm definitely gonna do that.

  41. I have always wanted to fix a cake covered in coconut. This one sounds heavenly! Thanks for sharing.


  42. Hi

    I do not like macadamia nuts, is there any other nut I could use in this recipe.


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