Apparently carrot cake is a very popular dessert around Easter.  I’m not totally sure why – I guess Easter makes us think of bunnies which make us think of carrots?  Whatever the reason, it’s a lovely spring dessert.  I have been wanting to try this recipe for tropical carrot cake since long before I owned The Pastry Queen cookbook.  I hosted a low key Easter-inspired meal this weekend for the in-laws and served this as the sweet finale.  It was a big hit with everyone, and I heard several refrains of “best carrot cake ever” as we were enjoying it.

This carrot cake earns its tropical label by the addition of macadamia nuts, diced pineapple, shredded coconut, and coconut cream.  All these tasty mix-ins gave the cake multiple layers of delicious flavor and great texture.  However, it also seemed to cause the layers to sink in the center during baking and after cooling.  The combination of such a moist cake and so many mix-ins produced a cake that was not the most structurally sound, but it came together alright nonetheless.  My only gripe was with the frosting because the original recipe simply didn’t make enough to cover the cake well.  Yes, it was enough to cover it very thinly, but lots of crumbs were showing and there was none left over for detailing.  I hate when I’m forced to go back and make extra frosting, so I have altered the version below to yield enough frosting to adequately fill and cover the cake.  I threw these little fondant carrots on top for decoration and they added a cute finishing touch.  This makes a reeeeally big cake, but somehow I don’t think guests will mind taking home a leftover piece or two ;)