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!
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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!
Looking for some other Easter cake ideas? Try these:
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
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.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups melted coconut oil or canola oil
- 3/4 cup milk or buttermilk, at room temperature
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups grated carrots
- 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
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- 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.