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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.

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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. Just made the carrotcake with jam swirl frosting for the third time. This time I lightly toasted the coconut and the coconut flavor just sang through cake.
    And as always, I could eat a bowl full of the frosting!

    1. Hi Deb,
      Happy Monday!! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for giving it a go! xxT

  2. I have made this cake before and I love it! I would like to try to do it using an alternative to the buttermilk. Do you have a non dairy milk suggestion? We also have to avoid almond milk.

    1. Hey Linda,
      I’ve only tested this recipe with buttermilk, but you could certainly try something like coconut milk! Please let me know how it turns out! xxTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    I made this for Easter and it was a big hit! So moist and flavorful! I didn’t have 3 round pans so just did it in 2 pans (increased the bake time a bit) and it was fine!

    1. Hey Tammy,
      Happy Friday!! Thanks so much for trying this recipe out, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! xx

  4. Hi! I wiuld like to make your coconut carrot cake from your recipe book « Super Simple ». It said to use 1 pound of carrots, grated. Would you know how many cups is 1 pound of grated carrots? I keep seeing different answers and I wouldn’t want to put too much or not enough. Let me know 🙂

    Thanks a tons,

    1. Hi Camille,
      You will want to use about 5 medium carrots. Please let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xx

      1. I also have a question about your the coconut carrot cake from you book. I have had it twice at two different parties and it’s amazing. Could I make it in 2 or 3 8-inch round tins?

        1. Hey Sheila,
          Sure, I think that would be a great idea! I would probably use 2 pans for that amount of batter. I hope you love the recipe! xT

  5. I would Love to add Golden Raisins & Pineapple to your Recipe…Would that Totally Spoil it? If Not, What do you suggest for Measurements on both?
    Thanx Much,

    1. Hi Avalon,
      I’ve not tested this, but I would add 1/4 cup of each. Please let me know how the recipe turns out, I hope you love it! xTieghan

    1. Hey there,
      Happy Friday!! I love to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks a lot for trying it out! I would say it’s best enjoyed within 5 days. ☀️xx

  6. Thank you recipe sounds awesome, will the shredded carrots cook thru, I have made carrot cake with store bought shredded carrots and thought they were not cooked enough.

    1. Hey there,
      The recipe calls for grated carrots, so you will want to actually grate these carrots on your own, they will be MUCH thinner than store bought shredded carrots which are totally different. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  7. I live in Basalt, CO at 7,000 ft and kept the flour the same, but reduced the sugar by two tablespoons. I also lightly toasted the coconut. The carrot cake came out perfect and delicious. I could eat a bowl of the frosting alone. We had some peach, mango jam and because it got lost color wise in the frosting, I put a light layer of frosting between layers an a thick layer of the jam. Needless to say, my husband and I ate the whole cake!!!
    Question: Are your baking recipes adjusted to altitude? And at what altitude do you and your baking barn live? Thank you!

    1. Hey Deb,
      Awesome!! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for making it!! You can follow all of my recipes as is, no adjustments needed:) Have the best day:) xx

  8. I really would like to try this recipe, but I have a question concerning your flour adds. I was wondering when measuring do you sift, spoon and level, before adding?

      1. Hey Andria,
        Sorry, I have not tested that with this recipe, I would keep it as a layer cake:) Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love the recipe! xx

  9. Thank you for this recipe! I’ve made it several times now and it’s always a hit! So delicious. Making this for Christmas with gingerbread spice and a bit of cranberry jam between layers!

    1. Hey there,
      Wonderful! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for giving it a try! Happy Holidays!?? xTieghan

  10. 5 stars
    sooo delicious! light and fluffy and gently sweet, not over-sweet. love the idea of the jam-swirled buttercream, and finding a frosting i can actually make! can’t wait to try more of your cake recipes!