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    > Carrot and Fresh Coconut Cake Recipe

    Carrot and Fresh Coconut Cake Recipe

    Carrot cakes are a dime a dozen but this one is extra special and delicious. Not only does it use coconut, one of my favorite ingredients, but it uses fresh coconut which adds another level of moist and sweetness to a crowd-pleasing cake. To be fair, this was an experiment as I happened to have fresh coconut in my fridge. I also had carrots, which is how the idea came about.

    Swimming & Cake

    As with all my cake experiments, I brought this cake to the Serpentine Swimming Club for some swimmer feedback. Swimming cakes are the best. Did you know that tea and cake are the ying and yang of swimming in the UK? It’s actually a cultural phenomenon and a very helpful concept too if you need pointers on your bakes. I would go as far as suggest to all Great British Bake Off candidates that they should find swimming friends for their intensive cake training.

    Anyhow, I cut up the cake and displayed it on a picnic table. Suffice to say that the cake was gone in 10 minutes and that I had forgotten to take a picture. Only the empty serving dish was left of the carrot and fresh coconut cake.

    I hear the cake was very good :)

    How was I going to illustrate this recipe? Fortunately, I had another cake at home for my daughter who loves carrot cakes and coconut. Disaster averted.

    How to Grate Fresh Coconut

    The magic ingredient in this recipe is freshly grated coconut, which is not necessarily a common ingredient outside of Asia and the South Pacific. There are basically two ways you can get freshly grated coconut. The first option is to head to your local Thai grocery store and buy frozen freshly-grated coconut. That’s what I usually do.

    The other option is to grate it yourself. Luckily, fresh coconuts are available in many supermarkets. The way described below I go about grating my own coconuts is easy. First, you need to open the coconut at home.

    Opening Fresh Coconut

    You’ll need a hammer to open the coconut. As this is going to be messy, head outside and hold the coconut in one hand or on the ground if you feel unsure you won’t hammer your fingers. Hold the hammer in the other hand and strategically tap the middle of your coconut, turning it around so you create a thin line all around the nut. When you’ve gone full circle, hit the line harder and the nut will crack open. Do it gently and protect your eyes to avoid flying coconut husk!

    Freshly cracked coconut

    In my native New Caledonia and in Thailand, people use machetes to crack open coconuts but I’ve never been that brave.

    Next, you need to grate the coconut meat.

    Grating Fresh Coconuts

    You can either use a regular handheld cheese grater or a stand mixer with the fine grate attachment. With a cheese grater, you will need to separate the coconut meat from the husk. I usually do that with a flat-tipped knife or a small spatula. It can be time consuming but it’s well worth the effort.

    The easier way is to use a coconut grater. I find that it grates the inside of the husk much more easily. Now, there are two different kinds of coconut graters. There’s the kind you sit on, like a stool. You hold the half coconut with your two hands and grate the inside with an up-down motion.

    Coconut grating stool

    It’s honestly the easiest way to grate fresh coconut if you’re going for quantity and time efficiency. We had a few of those at home in Bangkok.

    However if you are short on space, you can also use handheld coconut graters. Though they require slightly more muscle effort, they work fine and with a little practice, you can go through a coconut in a few minutes.

    Coconut grater

    So there, that’s how you get freshly grated coconut. When you’ve done this, you are ready to make the cake.

    Carrot and Fresh Coconut Cake Recipe

    This recipe is inspired by the cookbook of Miette Patisserie in San Francisco, the prettiest patisserie ever and home of the legendary old-fashioned (now called chocolate and Italian meringue) cupcake.

    Carrot and fresh coconut cake on a plate

    Carrot and Fresh Coconut Cake Recipe

    Laure Latham
    Finely shredded, fresh coconut makes this carrot cake moist and sweet with a taste of the south seas. Studded with walnuts and currants, it is intensely aromatic and your only regret will be that it disappears too fast.
    Prep Time 20 minutes
    Cook Time 45 minutes
    Course Dessert
    Cuisine American
    Servings 8



    • 3/4 cup rye flour
    • 1/2 cup White wheat flour
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp fine salt
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 3/4 cup olive oil
    • 1 1/4 cup finely grated carrots
    • 1 cup finely grated fresh coconut
    • 1/2 cup currants
    • 3/4 cup walnut pieces

    Cream cheese frosting

    • 2 cups cream cheese at room temperature
    • 3/4 cups unsalted butter at room temperature
    • 1 cup icing sugar
    • 1 tbsp vanilla extract


    Cake preparation

    • Preheat the oven at 165 C/360 F
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well with a spatula.
    • Line two classic 18-cm / 7 inch springform cake pans with baking paper. Divide up the batter between the two pans.
    • Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry, roughly 45 minutes.
    • Remove the baked cakes from the oven and let cool.

    Frosting preparation

    • In a stand mixer, whizz all the ingredients until smooth and cream-like.

    Decorate the cakes

    • On a flat surface, cut each cake down the middle with a sharp knife. Carefully remove the top part.
    • Spread 1/4 of the cream cheese mixture on the bottom half and smooth with a spatula.
    • Put back the top half on the frosting and spread 1/4 of the cream cheese frosting on top with a spatula.
    • Repeat for the other cake.
    • Decorate if you wish with walnuts and crystallised rose petals.
    • Set to cool in the fridge at least 2 hours before eating.
    • Enjoy!
    Keyword Cake, Carrot Cake, Tea Cake

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