The Accidental Carrot Coconut Cakes / by Alice Zhao

Ok they weren't really accidental. I set out to make 1 batch of carrot-coconut cupcakes. I started shredding carrots until I realized that I had shred enough for 3 batches. Oh what the heck- I'll just make that many, I said to myself.

This is one of the first recipes I tried off of a few years ago and I think it's a pretty solid recipe. I've made this several times, sometimes with missing ingredients or altered quantities and they still turn out fantastic.

Here I present to you carrot-coconut cakes, three ways:

The spread
Mini Carrot-Coconut Cake LoavesMini Carrot-Coconut Cake Loaves

Carrot-Coconut Cupcakes with Brown Butter ButtercreamRegular Size Cupcakes in pastel silicone cupcake holders.
I had been staring at these super cute cupcake holders for the longest time until I broke down and bought a set at Sur La Table. Jared also decided to try his hand at making a brown butter buttercream, attempting to copy the ones we got from Molly's for our wedding. This is also Jared's first attempt at piping cupcake frosting with the set I bought him many years ago. Please excuse the odd looking frosting. I guarantee it tastes marvelous, though!

Mini Carrot-Coconut Cupcakes with Brown Butter ButtercreamMini Carrot-Coconut Cupcakes
I used my favorite silicone mini cupcake pans. Makes life a lot easier, and cuter!

Carrot-Coconut Cupcakes (Original Recipe)

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 8-ounce cans crushed pineapple in juice, drained
  • 1 cup grated peeled carrots
  • 3/4 cup (lightly packed) sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

For cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12-cup muffin tin with muffin papers. Whisk sugar, oil, and eggs in large bowl to blend. Whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg in medium bowl to blend. Stir pineapple, carrots, coconut, and pecans in another medium bowl to blend. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture until just blended. Fold in carrot mixture. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, dividing equally. Bake cupcakes until tops are golden brown and tester inserted into centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely on rack.

Source: Bon Appetit, November 2003

Jared's version of the brown butter butter cream

4 ounces of butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 package of cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons of Rum
1 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream.

Cook the butter, brown sugar and rum on medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is a little pasty. Let the mixture cool and then mix with cream cheese. Whip the heavy whipping cream in another bowl to stiff peaks. Carefully fold in the whipping cream to the cream cheese mixture, half at a time.