Spring is near and I couldn’t be more ecstatic. I anticipate every season with so much excitement because of all the different seasonal produce. It has also been getting a little warmer and sunnier here, so it’s basically spring! Cue the carrot cake. This Coconut Carrot Cake With Burnt Sugar Frosting is a DREAM!
This cake is loaded with coconut, pecans, finely grated carrots and a bunch of warm spices. The frosting taste like the most indulgent caramel ever with subtle hints of warmth and bitterness to complement the sweetness. It is the best combination. Definitely one of my favorite carrot cakes ever!
How to make burnt sugar syrup
- Add granulated sugar to a small saucepan on low heat.
- let it melt without stirring often. It will smoke a bit and once the sugar melts, it will turn a beautiful deep rich amber color. instantly remove it from the heat and add the water. Be very careful to not stand close as the mixture will Sizzle and bubble.
- Stir to combine and place it back on to stove to thicken a bit. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and allow to come to room temperature. It will continue to thicken as it cools. It will be added to the frosting.
I’m not a big fan of raisins in my carrot cake, but pecans? YES! And don’t forget the bits of coconut all throughout that gives this cake the best texture! Most recipes call for pre shredded carrots or matchstick carrots, but I like to finely grate the carrots with a box grater.
The combination of the warm spices really gives the carrot cake its classic flavor that makes it so addicting. You’re definitely going to want to try this coconut carrot cake with burnt sugar frosting! It really is the BEST.
DRY INGREDIENTS – flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg & salt.
WET INGREDIENTS – melted brown butter, oil, granulated sugar, dark brown sugar, eggs & buttermilk.
FROSTING – cream cheese, butter, burnt sugar syrup, vanilla, powdered sugar, & milk.
ADD INS – shredded coconut (sweetened), grated carrots & pecans. You could also add in pineapple and raisins if you prefer.
I bake this in a 8 inch square pan and get 9 perfectly sized slices.
Coconut Carrot Cake with Burnt Sugar Frosting
- 9 inch square pan
- Mixing bowl
- small saucepan
- Stand mixer or handheld mixer
- Offset Spatula
Coconut Carrot Cake
- 1½ cups All purpose flour spooned & leveled
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ginger
- ¼ tsp clove
- 5 tbsp butter
- ⅓ cup neutral oil vegetable or grape seed
- 1½ tsp vanilla
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1½ cups finely grated carrots
- ½ cup shredded coconut sweetened
- ⅓ cup chopped pecans
Burnt Sugar Frosting
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp water
- 4 oz cream cheese softened
- 4 tbsp butter softened
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1-2 tbsp milk or cream
- pinch of salt
Coconut Carrot Cake
- Add the butter to a small sauce pan on low-medium heat. Melt the butter down and allow to brown, stirring often. About 5-7 minutes.
- In a large bowl, add the sugars, brown butter, oil, vanilla eggs & buttermilk. Whisk to combine.
- Next, add in the flour, spices, salt, baking powder, baking soda. Whisk until there are no dry pockets left.
- Lastly fold in your carrots, coconut and pecans until thoroughly combined. Pour into a 8 inch pan lined with parchment and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the center is set. Allow the cake to cool before frosting. Slice and devour!
Burnt Sugar Frosting
- Add granulated sugar to a small saucepan on low heat. Let it melt without stirring often. It will smoke a bit once it starts "burning"
- Once the sugar melts, it will start to darken in color. Once it turns a deep brown color, instantly remove it from the heat and add the water. Be very careful to not stand close as the mixture will sizzle and bubble. Stir and return it back to the heat to thicken for another minute or two and then pour into a heat-proof bowl to cool. It will continue to thicken as it sits out.
- Beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add in the vanilla, salt & burnt sugar syrup until well blended. Continue mixing and add in the powdered sugar until thickened. Stream in 1-2 tbsp of milk or cream to loosen the frosting a bit and continue mixing for another 2 minutes until creamy smooth. Set aside until ready to frost.
- As you are burning the sugar, keep a constant eye on it as this process happens fairly quick once the sugar melts. It will smoke a bit as its darkening in color. Once it reaches a deep brown color, remove it from the heat and add the water in. Be very careful to not stand close as it will bubble and sizzle. Once you add the water in, use a spatula to stir. It will seem a little loose at first but will thicken back on the stove and continue thickening as it sits out.
- If you’re not a fan of nuts you can omit them. Or if you prefer to add in raisins, add in 1/3 cup.
- Pre-grated or “matchstick” carrots are totally fine. I like to use a box grater for a finer shred.