Coconut Carrot Cake with Lime & Pistachio Cream Cheese Frosting

34 Comments on Coconut Carrot Cake with Lime & Pistachio Cream Cheese Frosting
coconut carrot cake

Light, bright carrot cake served in little squares

Last night my parents threw a family party to celebrate our recent engagement.

coconut carrot cake

Each individual square is topped with lime mascarpone frosting & toasted pistachios

As befits little loaf household tradition, my Mum made enough savoury food to feed an army (and send them off with doggy bags), my Dad organised some incredible wine and I made dessert. Four different desserts to be precise: salted peanut caramel millionaire’s shortbread, almond treacle tart with clotted cream, vanilla cream meringues with raspberries and hazelnuts and these lovely little carrot cakes, taken from Tom Kitchin’s latest book.

coconut carrot cake

Made with carrot, coconut & oil, these little cakes are beautifully moist

Food was consumed, stories told and a plenty of prosecco flowed. Enough prosecco, in fact, that while I’m basking in the happiness of an unforgettable party and a lot of family love, my body isn’t up to much more than sitting on the sofa and eating carrot cake.

coconut carrot cake

The carrot cake batter is lightly spiced with cinnamon & nutmeg

So it’s a short post today, but a very delicious one. If you’ve never made carrot cake with coconut, please do give it a go. The result is moist and light and textured and sweet and ever-so-slightly exotic. Paired with a cream cheese buttercream lifted with a little lime zest and the contrasting crunch of toasted pistachio it’s carrot cake, but not as you know it. It’s delicious. It’s a keeper. And it’s both familiar and exciting at the same time.

Just like getting married, really.

coconut cake

Soft, light, creamy, crunchy & bright: the perfect carrot cake

Coconut Carrot Cake with Lime & Pistachio Cream Cheese Frosting (closely adapted from Kitchin Suppers)
(makes one 23cm square cake or 36 party-sized squares)


For the cake
A little butter, for greasing
190g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch salt
95g dessicated coconut
4 medium free range eggs
135ml vegetable oil
190g soft dark brown sugar
400g peeled carrots (about two large carrots), grated

For the frosting
270g cream cheese
230g icing sugar, sifted
225g unsalted butter, softened
Seeds of one vanilla pod, scraped
Zest of half a lime
A handful of pistachios, toasted & roughly chopped


For the cake
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.Β Grease and line a 23cm square cake tin.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, spices and salt. Stir in the dessicated coconut.

Whisk together the eggs, oil and brown sugar until thick and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Using a large metal spoon, carefully fold in the flour and coconut mixture until just combined. Gently fold in the grated carrot.

Spoon the mixture into your prepared tin and bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean and the top is slightly golden.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Cut into squares of your desired size.

For the frosting
Beat the cream cheese, icing sugar and butter on low speed until just combined. Add the vanilla seeds then increase the speed to high and whip for around 5 minutes until light, fluffy and white.

Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle. Pipe little swirls of icing onto each square of cake then sprinkle over a little lime zest and some chopped pistachios while still soft. If you like your buttercream with a little more bite, pop into the fridge for 30 minutes or so to firm up.

Serve and enjoy. Β Prosecco, three other puddings, seconds and thirds entirely optional. Unless at an engagement party.

34 RESPONSES TO Coconut Carrot Cake with Lime & Pistachio Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. It sounds like a most fitting party for a little loaf, I’m glad you had a wonderful time! I’m not usually drawn to carrot cakes but I love the exotic touches in these and that lime & pistachio frosting sounds heavenly.

  2. I don’t eat a lot of cake but I do love carrot cake and those look fabulous; totally irresistible.If only photos could come to life! Congratulations on the engagement.

  3. Wow! Looks so yummy! I love carrot cake. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Euan -

    Fabulous! Sounds like a great party .Hope you’ve recovered by now πŸ™‚

  5. I loved your analogy with getting married. I will never tire of trying new carrot cakes. Coconut really sounds like a very natural addition, gorgeous too!

  6. Abby -

    Hey! Congratulations to you and your guy!

  7. laura_howtocook -

    I do love a good engagement party, shame more people don’t do them anymore. You are so good to take along the puddings and I can only imagine that if I was there I would have tried them all. This variation of a carrot cake does sound divine. Pleased it went well for you!

  8. My Kitchen Stories -

    Yeay and congrats. A perfect combination again because often a coconut cake is too dry,. I will try this one as well. Look forward to baking it…. might be a keeper

  9. I love carrot cake and this one looks delicious, especially with the coconut added. These bite-sized morsels look so chic!

    • Kathryn – I’d probably never normally choose carrot cake over other kinds, but when I saw the photos in Tom’s book I knew I had to make it! And very glad I did.

      The Single Gourmet & Traveller – you don’t eat a lot of cake? I’m not sure I approve of that… πŸ™‚

      Vini – my pleasure!

      Euan – haha yes, all recovered thank you πŸ™‚

      Paula – the coconut is a gorgeous addition, it adds a lovely texture and flavour.

      Abby – thank you.

      Laura – people should definitely have them more often. We’re having two, the next one’s in November with all our friends!

      My Little Italian Kitchen – thanks!

      Frugal Feeding – make sure you just zest it on top and don’t put it in the buttercream or it could split.

      My Kitchen Stories – it’s definitely a keeper πŸ™‚

      Eat Little Bird – I love doing things bite-sized, that way you can try more different things!

  10. I love carrot cake! One recipe to add to my list, for sure!

  11. Loved the sentence: it’s both familiar and exciting… so true, perfectly describes marrying someone you already share a home and life with.

  12. Lisa -

    Being a carrot cake fiend..but always looking for new and unique takes on it, your little cakes are the bomb diggity! I can only imagine how the lime pistachio buttercream adds a punch to the sweet coconut and carrot. I can tell that the usual ‘load’ of carrot cake spices arent’ needed with that luscious swirl of buttercream. I need to try this!!

  13. I love carrot cake with coconut-it is really like a hummingbird cake which is so, so divine. Love the pistachios on the cream cheese icing! πŸ˜€

  14. Congratulations on your engagement!
    The cakes look wonderful, can’t wait to try the recipe out!! πŸ™‚

  15. Laura -

    They look soooo tasty. Love the sound of the carrot and coconut combo too. Cake is the best hangover cure – pleased to hear the party went well.

  16. NickkiT -

    Gorgeous! I have all the ingredients to make this too..;-) Congratulations on your engagement πŸ™‚

  17. Yum! I’m loving the coconut, lime, pistachio combo. That sounds divine.

    You guys know how to throw a good party. And there really isn’t a better reason to celebrate. Congrats again!

  18. How mad we both made carrot cake things this week! Love the bitesize presentation. I bet pistachio tastes great with it but then I love everything pistachio!

  19. I’m learning that nighttime is not the best time to catch up on blog reading. Maybe if it was popular mechanics or the rituals of monkey dating but not food. Here’s why, IM STARVING and hello blessed carrot cake with coconut do you look tempting. I don’t suppose you have any left? My dreams will be filled with more than visions of sugar plums tonight, I promise you that.

    • Giulia – enjoy!

      Nuts About Food – it perfectly sums up how I feel about getting married, and the future in general πŸ™‚

      Lisa – it’s not overly spiced but, as you say, I don’t think it needs it. It’s light and zingy and delicious.

      Lorraine – I don’t think I’ve ever eaten Hummingbird cake, will have to give it a try.

      Jina – thank you and enjoy.

      Laura – 100% agreed, there are few things cake can’t cure πŸ™‚

      Nickki – thank you.

      Erin – thank you so much, we’re loving every second!

      Becs – ooh, heading over to check out your recipe now πŸ™‚

      Tara – late night blog browsing is very dangerous! I’d send you a slice but I’m afraid it all got devoured over the weekend, sorry.

  20. What a gorgeous sounding carrot cake. It definitely does sound exciting, and a little bit different. Glad to hear you had a wonderful engagement party. Sounds like you and your family had lots of fun….and delicious food!

  21. heide thompson -

    Hi there, The other recipes sound equally delicious. Will you share the shortbread and th treacle tart recipes? Best wishes,Heid

  22. Pingback: Lemon Meringue Ice Cream | thelittleloaf

  23. Pingback: Crispy Oat, Milk & White Chocolate Chunk Cookies | thelittleloaf

  24. Pingback: Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting | thelittleloaf

  25. Pingback: Parmesan & Poppy Seed Biscuits | thelittleloaf

  26. Pingback: Gingerbread Lime Ice Cream | thelittleloaf

  27. Pingback: Banana Ice Cream with Cocoa Nib Freckles & Toasted Maple Walnuts | thelittleloaf

  28. Leanne -

    This is the best carrot cake recipe ever! Thank-you for sharing

    • thelittleloaf -

      So pleased you like it, it’s one of my faves πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.