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Embracing springtime with a sweet Coconut Carrot Cake with Jam Swirled Buttercream. Three layers of light and fluffy cake swirled with sweet coconut, carrots, and a touch of warming cinnamon. Each cake layer is frosted generously with berry jam swirled buttercream. Every bite is layered with coconut, sweet vanilla, and filled with creamy buttercream. An easy, mouthwateringly delicious, carrot cake to enjoy anytime time of the year!

side angled photo of Coconut Carrot Cake with Jam Swirled Buttercream

When life gives you a lot of time to bake – we bake cakes! Or at least that’s what I’ve been doing. I mean, sort of. I’ve baked this cake, plus two others in the last few weeks. Honestly, I wasn’t sure…heck, I’m still not sure…if you all would be interested in a cake recipe. Times are obviously a little different right now. But with Easter this Sunday I decided to go for it and share this easier carrot cake with you guys.

I’ve been plotting and dreaming up this cake in my head for months now. I know we’re not having any large Easter gatherings or even any spring gatherings, but we can all still enjoy some cake, right?

Yes, yes. We have the time to bake, so let’s bake cake.

In all seriousness, I’m really excited to share this cake with you guys. If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that chocolate cakes are the usual favorite around here. But I’ve slowly started to enjoy baking with fruits…and now vegetables too. For the longest time, I never understood why anyone would want carrots in their cake. It just didn’t make sense to me, but now I get it. Carrot cake is delicious.

It’s sweet, tender, moist and so flavorful. The perfect springtime cake.

prep photo of Coconut Carrot Cake before adding buttercream

prep photo of Jam Swirled Buttercream

Some details.

With times being the way they are, I did have to adapt the recipe slightly from what I had originally created. I know many of you are cooking and baking using your pantry staples. So I wanted to be sure this was something we’d all be able to make with ingredients we all have access to. You’ll still need fresh carrots, but personally I always have carrots in my fridge.

The other key ingredients here are the usual baking items…flour, baking powder, etc. You’ll also need shredded coconut and any jar of berry jam. Not sure if coconut and jam are staples for everyone, but I like to have both on hand at all times. You never know when you might want a sweet coconut cake ore maybe even just a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

overhead photo of Coconut Carrot Cake with Jam Swirled Buttercream before cutting

Let’s start with the coconut carrot cake.

The batter is simple. As mentioned, you need the usuals plus shredded carrots and shredded coconut. I like to use coconut oil for even more coconut flavor and a touch of cinnamon to warm the cake up. The cinnamon is classic for carrot cake, but I also find it especially delicious when paired with the coconut.

It’s not even that you notice the cinnamon so much as it really just helps to highlight the flavors and make them that much better. These cake layers are soft and fluffy and have just the right amounts of carrots and coconut swirled throughout.

The layers themselves are truly delicious.

overhead photo of Coconut Carrot Cake with Jam Swirled Buttercream

But every cake needs a good buttercream.

Fun fact? I always go back and forth about whether to use the word buttercream versus frosting. I finally took the time to google what the difference really is…and it’s pretty simple. Frosting doesn’t use butter but instead uses shortening or cream cheese. And buttercream, well it always uses butter! Just in case you were all wondering.

Ok, moving along…

overhead photo of Coconut Carrot Cake slices on plates with forks

This buttercream is extra special. For one, it’s made with the addition of both butter and cream cheese. Classic carrot cakes always use a cream cheese frosting, so I wanted to incorporate a bit of that flavor into my buttercream. And two, this is an extra “whipped” buttercream with heavy hints of vanilla.

The other thing I wanted was a berry-filled buttercream. Since not all of us have easy access to berries right now, I decided to use jam, which honestly worked out better than using fresh berries. You can use whatever jam you like, but I used half raspberry and half strawberry.

Twas’ delicious.

side angled photo of Coconut Carrot Cake slice with fork on plate

Now, decorating.

I used the last of our fresh raspberries and strawberries plus a light sprinkle of very finely chopped pistachios. You can really decorate however you’d like. But I loved the simplicity of this, and the added salty, nuttiness from the pistachios are a nice touch.

If you’re looking to go the edible flower route, I love using chamomile or thyme blossoms. Sadly, there’s no chamomile around here right now.

And that’s it, a simple cake that’s fun to make and beyond delicious. Perfect for our days at home this spring. So what do we all think? Tuesday cake baking? I know many of us have the time, so why not? Sounds like the perfect stay at home baking day to me. Have fun and enjoy some sweet carrot cake!

overhead photo of Coconut Carrot Cake with Jam Swirled Buttercream

Looking for some other Easter cake ideas? Try these:

Lemon Coconut Naked Cake with Whipped Vanilla Buttercream

Coconut Carrot Cheesecake

Strawberry Coconut Carrot Cake with Mascarpone Buttercream

overhead photo of Coconut Carrot Cake slice

Lastly, if you make this coconut carrot cake with jam swirled buttercream, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Coconut Carrot Cake with Jammy Swirled Buttercream

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings: 20
Calories Per Serving: 466 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


Berry Frosting


  • 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 3 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter/spray with cooking spray.
    2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand-held mixer), beat together the oil, milk, eggs, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Beat in the carrots and coconut. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix until just combined and there are no clumps of flour.
    3. Pour the batter among the cake pans and bake 25-30 minutes, until the tops are just set and no longer wiggly in the center. Remove and let cool five minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the pan. Turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack. Cover and let the cakes cool completely before assembling.
    4. To make the buttercream. Add the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat until light and fluffy. Gently swirl in the jam, leaving streaks of jam throughout for a "swirled" look.
    5. To assemble, place one cake layer on a serving plate or cake stand. Spread the buttercream over the cake. Add the 2nd cake layer and spread with buttercream. Add the final cake layer and spread buttercream. Lightly frost the outside of the cake, it shouldn't look "perfect". Chill 30 minutes or store in the fridge for up to 3 days. 
    6. Before serving, decorate the cake, as desired with berries and pistachios.
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overhead horizontal photo of Coconut Carrot Cake slice

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  1. Hi I’ve made this cake so many times for family & friends and everyone always remarks on how tasty it is, I it’s a real crowd pleaser! Is there any way I could substitute the eggs for a family member who has an intolerance as they dying to try it?

    1. Hi Amy,
      Love to hear that this recipe is always enjoyed! Sorry, I have never tested this cake without the eggs, but you could certainly try a chia or flax egg! Let me know how that works! xx

  2. I plan to make this for my partner’s birthday this Friday, I only have unsweetened coconut flakes, do you think it will make a huge difference? maybe I will try coating them in a little honey or something…. also wondering if you think it would be ok to sub one stick of butter for more cream cheese for the frosting (so half butter half cream cheese) , because I love cream cheese frosting.

    1. Hi there! I haven’t ever tried this with unsweetened coconut so I’m not sure, it might turn out slightly different! xT

  3. 5 stars
    I made this for my husband’s birthday cake and it is outstanding! Light, moist and fluffy even with the addition of raisins and nuts I HAD to add! This is my new favorite carrot cake recipe, and believe me, I’ve tried a ton. Thank you very much for another wonderful recipe. 🫶🏽

    1. Hi Dana,
      Happy Monday!! Thanks so much for trying this recipe out, I love to hear that it turned out well for you! Have a great week! xT

  4. I made this cake back in 2020 for Easter for my husband and I and remember freezing part of it because it’s was a LOT 🙂 Anyways, I am looking to make for my son’s birthday and thinking of making it into cupcakes— any suggestion on the timing? How many cupcakes do you guess it might make? Thanks!!

    1. Hey Karrin,
      So glad to hear you have enjoyed this cake in the past!! I’ve never tested this as cupcakes, but I would start checking for doneness at 30 minutes and I would say that it makes at least 36 cupcakes! xx

    2. 5 stars
      Based on your estimate I halved the recipe but it only made 12 cupcakes! And they weren’t even that big! Just an FYI

    1. Hi Kathryn,
      I really like to use Bonne Maman jam. Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope this recipe turns out well for you! xT

  5. Cake turned out with the perfect texture and we loved the variation of the berry buttercream on a carrot cake vs the cream cheese frosting. All of our guests loved it!

    1. Hi April,
      Happy Monday!!🌞 I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your feedback, so glad to hear that it turned out well for you! xx

    1. Hi Lisa,
      You should be just fine following the recipe as written:) Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe! xT

    1. Hi Krystal,
      So sorry, I have never tested that…my only suggestions would be that you cannot make the layers and it might come out a little dense. Let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope it’s delish! xT

    1. Hi Mary,
      I think I would just go ahead and omit the coconut:) Let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope you love it! xx