Tropical Carrot Cake

A less fussy, tropical take on the traditional cake, this one-layer stir-together comes together in a flash. Piled high with luscious swoops of Crème Fraîche Frosting and a halo of electric-orange sugared carrots, this beauty is just as eye-catching as the original.

Tropical Carrot Cake
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
  • 1¼ cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 (8-ounce) can (227 grams) crushed pineapple
  • ½ cup (112 grams) canola oil
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups (188 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons (3 grams) ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon (2.25 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 grams) baking soda
  • 1½ cups (161 grams) lightly packed grated carrot
  • ½ cup (64 grams) golden raisins
  • ½ cup (57 grams) chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup (42 grams) sweetened shredded coconut
  • Crème Fraîche Frosting (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: Candied Carrots (recipe follows)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray a 9-inch springform pan with baking spray with flour. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, pineapple, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, ginger, nutmeg, and baking soda. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture, whisking just until combined. Add carrot, raisins, walnuts, and coconut, and fold just until combined. Pour batter into prepared pan. Smooth top with an offset spatula.
  4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack. Spread Crème Fraîche Frosting on top of cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with Candied Carrots before serving, if desired.

Crème Fraîche Frosting
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg whites (60 grams), room temperature
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅔ cup (150 grams) unsalted butter, cubed and softened
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) cold crème fraîche
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer (see Note), whisk together sugar and egg whites by hand. Place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Cook, whisking occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer registers 150°F (65°C) to 155°F (68°C).
  2. Carefully return bowl to stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat at high speed until stiff peaks form and bowl is cool to the touch, 4 to 5 minutes. Beat in salt. Add butter, 2 tablespoons (28 grams) at a time, beating until combined. Gently fold in cold crème fraîche by hand just until combined. Use immediately.

Candied Carrots
  • ½ cup (54 grams) lightly packed grated carrot, patted dry
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (60 grams) water, divided
  1. On a nonstick baking mat or rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle carrots evenly in the center.
  2. In a medium saucepan, stir together sugar and 3 tablespoons (45 grams) water (it should be the consistency of wet sand), and cook over medium heat, being careful not to splash sides of pan and stirring occasionally to help sugar dissolve; use remaining 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water to brush down sides of pan. Once it starts to boil, increase heat to high and do not stir. Cook until light amber color is reached. Remove from heat; immediately pour over carrots. Let stand until cool and set. Place on a cutting board, and using a chef’s knife, cut into small pieces.


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