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Ummm, can I go out and say, best carrot cake ever?!

Strawberry Coconut Carrot Cake with Mascarpone Buttercream | @hbharvest

Because I really, really want to! I hate when I’m always saying things are the best, but you guy, I really do not know how else to describe this cake. Three coconutty, carrot cake layers, frosted generously with the most delicious whipped mascarpone buttercream, and topped with fresh spring strawberries. Yup, see…best ever. Or at least it’s the best carrot cake I’ve ever had, which granted, I really haven’t had many carrot cakes, but I think you get what I’m trying to say here…

Plus, not only is this cake delicious, it’s super pretty too! Which you guys know is something I’m all about. If something can be pretty AND taste good, well that is just a major bonus for me!

This cake is the perfect way to be kicking off the weekend, right?! YES. Which by the way, hey, hi! Happy Friday! I feel like I just jumped right on into things here with some serious cake details, but as I’m sure you’ve noticed, I am a little exited about this recipe! OkOK, and the fact that it’s Friday just adds to the excitement! Anyone else totally ready for an awesome weekend?

It was a long but great week over here. I love that my weeks are jam-packed and feel really productive. All the more reason to end with cake and celebrate just a little! <–smart reasoning, trust me.

Strawberry Coconut Carrot Cake with Mascarpone Buttercream | @hbharvest

Strawberry Coconut Carrot Cake with Mascarpone Buttercream | @hbharvest

Here’s the deal, with Easter right around the corner, I am definitely in the baking mood. When I think about Easter eats, I think of ham, lamb, asparagus, pineapple, carrot cake, milk chocolate bunnies and strawberry filled desserts. Reading that sentence out loud, it sounds like a complete random mix of foods, but I dunno, those are just traditional Easter eats to me. What do you think of when thinking about your Easter menu?

Anyway, carrot cake is a classic. Thing is, you guys know that I’m typically all about chocolate cakes. I mean, the more chocolate the better! DUH.

I only recently started getting into baking fruity desserts, and while I will not deny that I don’t love them same way as say, something like this chocolate cake, I’m still loving having fun with them, and this cake is no exception. Hello, the whipped mascarpone buttercream alone is reason enough to bake this one up.

Strawberry Coconut Carrot Cake with Mascarpone Buttercream | @hbharvest

Strawberry Coconut Carrot Cake with Mascarpone Buttercream | @hbharvest

The idea of carrot cake has always sounded a off to me, but then last year I finally made a carrot cake cheesecake and my view on carrot cake changed forever. Not only do the carrots add major moistness to the cake, but the sweet flavor they give off is very good.

This year, I decided to step things up a notch and go all out…after all, I do love a good over the top cake. Muahahaha 🙂

The base layers for this cake are made of vanilla cake, flavored with cinnamon, carrots and tons of sweet shredded coconut. The coconut is probably my favorite part. It lends a really nice sweet, almost tropical flavor, to the cake that pairs really well with the strawberries in the frosting…which oh my gosh, this buttercream (or frosting, I never really know whether to call it frosting or buttercream, but I like buttercream), my mom says you could top off just about anything with this buttercream and turn it into something so delish.

It’s pretty traditional for carrot cake to have a cream cheese frosting, but I loved the sound of strawberries and mascarpone together, so I went for it…such a good idea. Especially paired with the super moist and coconutty carrot cake layers. It’s kind of like Italian cake meets carrot cake. Promise, it’s all things awesome and perfect.

Strawberry Coconut Carrot Cake with Mascarpone Buttercream | @hbharvest

While the cake looks all fancy, it’s actually pretty easy to make. Simply bake the cake layers, make the buttercream, frost the cake and DONE. Nothing complicated about it, which is great for any kind of holiday dessert.

OH, and while the chamomile flowers are optional, I love the pretty spring touch they add, and yes, they are edible!

This cake would be perfect for Easter or Mother’s Day, but also makes for a great weekend treat. I don’t know about you guys, but this week has left me feeling the need to celebrate its end with cake. Long work days and dealing with some online haters means cake is for sure a good idea…but then, cake is always a good idea!

I mean, ALWAYS.

Strawberry Coconut Carrot Cake with Mascarpone Buttercream | @hbharvest

Strawberry Coconut Carrot Cake with Mascarpone Buttercream | @hbharvest

Strawberry Coconut Carrot Cake with Mascarpone Buttercream

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings: 24 servings
Calories Per Serving: 384 kcal

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


Strawberry Mascarpone Frosting

  • 8 ounces mascarpone or cream cheese, softened
  • 2 sticks salted butter, softened
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freeze dried strawberries, ground until a fine powder
  • 1 cup fresh chopped strawberries


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter/spray with cooking spray.
    2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
    3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a hand held mixer) beat together the canola oil, buttermilk, eggs, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Beat in the carrots and coconut. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients with the mixer on low until there are no longer any clumps of flour. Batter should be pourable, but not super thin. 
    4. Pour the batter among the 3 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 and turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack. Cover and let the cakes cool completely before assembling.
    5. To make the frosting, add the cream cheese and butter to a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat another 2-4 minutes or until the frosting is light and fluffy. Beat in the strawberry powder. 
    6. Place one cake layer on a serving plate or cake stand. Spread a little frosting. Top with half the strawberries. Repeat with the remaining 2 cake layers. Be careful not to over fill your layers with fruit. Frost the cake sides. 


Cake recipe adapted from Martha Stewart. 
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Strawberry Coconut Carrot Cake with Mascarpone Buttercream | @hbharvest

That cake slice right there, it is to die for!

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  1. 5 stars
    BY FAR, my husband’s and my favorite cake! He asks for it every year on his birthday. This is my fourth year making it for him, and I doubt it will stop here!! we love freezing the leftovers and eating them up two weeks later. It tastes incredible (maybe even better) than on the first day!! Love this recipe so much. Thank you!

    1. Hey Tania,
      Awesome!! Thanks a bunch for trying this recipe and your comment, so glad to hear it turned out well for you! xT

  2. Can the flour in this recipe be traded for Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour? Looking to make the gluten free version of this recipe, it looks incredible!

    1. Hi Madison,
      Yes, that should work well for you! I hope this recipe is delish, let me know if you give it a try! xT

    1. Hey Annie,
      Happy Monday!! So glad to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks so much for making it! xx

  3. Hi there!

    If I only want to make two layers with 2, 8″ pans should I change the recipe at all?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Karly,
      You are just going to have some leftover batter, maybe use that to make some cupcakes? Otherwise, that will be just fine for you to do! I hope this recipe is a hit! xT

  4. Hi there! I’m very excited to try this recipe. If I use freeze dried strawberry powder, how much should I use?

    1. Hi Kelly,
      You’ll need just a couple tablespoons:) Let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love this recipe! xT

  5. HI Tegan
    If I made this Tuesday (then iced thurs) would it be still good to eat Friday or too early? (finding time to secretly bake)

    1. Hey Meg,
      I think that would be just fine for you:) I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xT

      1. Hi! Should I freeze the cake or just refrigerate if I plan to frost and serve it two days from making it?

    1. Hi Sheryl,
      Yes, that should be just fine for you to do! Please let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xx

    1. Hi Brandon,
      Sure, that will work! just follow the recipe as is but keep an eye on them towards the end:) I hope you love the recipe! xx

    1. Hey Chelsea,
      Yes, that will work well for you! Please let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xx

    1. Hi Leah,
      Yes, that will work well for you!! Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love the recipe! xx

      1. You clearly didn’t read Leah’s question nor do you ever read what people are asking. You’re always in a rush and hit copy and paste with your responses! Horrible job!

        1. Hi Tracy,
          Sorry, I am not sure how I did not answer her question. Leah asked if she could use freeze dried strawberry powder rather than freeze dried strawberries, and I said that yes she could do that. If there is something that I didn’t answer or need to clarify please let me know, but I think if she would confused about my response she would have reached back out! Have a lovely day! xx

  6. 5 stars
    I LOVE this recipe but keep running into a problem with my buttercream! When whipping the butter and mascarpone, my mix always buckles and becomes separated and watery. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Hey Jenny,
      So glad to hear you have been enjoying this cake! Sorry to hear you are having issues with the buttercream. How long are you beating together the butter and mascarpone? Are they both at room temp? Let me know! xTieghan

      1. Hi!! Both at room temp. I start w my stand mixer, paddle attachment at about medium but in under two minutes it separates! I’ve since just added the mascarpone at the very end and mix just until incorporated and that seems to work. So weird though isn’t it? I’m in KS so no funky altitude etc.

          1. Could this be made into cupcakes? If so, do you recommend a certain temperature and time for cooking?

          2. Hi Janeen,
            Sure, I would keep everything the same and start checking for doneness at 25-30 minutes. Please let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope it’s delish! xT

  7. Hi! I love this recipe and was wondering if it needs to be refrigerated after it’s frosted until serving time or is it ok at room temperature?

    1. Hey Sara,
      This will be good at room temp:) I hope you love the recipe, let me know if you give it a try! xxTieghan

  8. 5 stars
    This recipe is insane! I can’t even begin to tell you how delicious this cake is. It takes an already wonderful simple carrot cake to the next level. It is now the only kind of carrot cake I ever want to eat. Don’t keep looking for anymore cake recipes. Make this one!

  9. Hi! This cake will need to travel in the car for an hour. Will the frosting be okay? Can I also frost the cake a couple of hours before serving?

    1. Hi Darcy,
      Yes, that will be just fine! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xx