Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Because I just can’t get enough!

Freshly cut slices of Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread.

For realzzzzz tho, I’m a diehard banana bread lover, especially when it’s loaded with all of the same flavors you find in your favorite Girl Scout cookie (Samoas, I’m looking at you!) This Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread just MAY be the best recipe adaptation I’ve ever made.


My passion for banana bread started when I was just a wee tyke (okay, maybe a preteen) getting interested in the world of cooking and baking. My mom had a Mrs. Fields I Love Chocolate Cookbook (thanks to my Dad’s obsession with ‘Vitamin C,” as we dubbed it in our household) and, upon leafing through it for inspiration, I settled on making the cookie goddess’ Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, if only because (a) it looked really easy and (b) it made two loaves!

Let’s just say this Chocolate Chip Banana Bread was a smashing success in our household, and became my go-to baked good whenever we wanted a little breakfast treat or dessert around to munch on.

Two freshly baked loaves of Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread cooling on their racks.

It’s been a while since I busted out the ol’ recipe that I copied out of my mom’s cookbook by hand to bring with me to my “adult” home, if for no other reason than I’ve been busy baking everything else under the sun for this blog (like this Hummingbird Bread, this Harvey Wallbanger Cake and these Addicting S’mores Granola Clusters.)

But pregnancy tends to bring you back to your homegrown roots, and I found myself craving a sweetly satisfying breakfast bread that I could easily enjoy a piece of when I wake up at the crack of dawn and still have a couple of hours to wait before the hubs is awake and it’s time for our Power Protein Smoothie.

So, I decided to take what I already knew was a favorite of mine and really make it my own. This oh-so-delicious Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread is the proud result! I used much of the original Mrs. Field’s Chocolate Chip Banana Bread recipe, except I decided to add a tropical twist with some finely shredded unsweetened coconut. I also not only reduced the overall sugar content in the recipe, but decided to use brown sugar as a partial substitute to really give the bread some caramelly flavor which, if you saw my above note about Samoas, is obviously a great compliment to the chocolate and coconut flavors.

Three stacked slices of Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread ready to be eaten!

Don’t be scared off by the large quantities of some of the ingredients. Keep in mind that this recipe makes two loaves! And I would like to point out that they freeze REALLY well. I’m starting to think about what I’m going to want to load our freezer with before Baby D. comes, and if the second loaf of this last batch of Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread happens to get consumed in the next four and a half months (which is very likely,) you can bet I’ll be making more. We need to be sure we’re well-equipped with delicious breakfast foods when we’re incredibly sleep-deprived and walking around the kitchen like zombies.

And the whole reason I came to enjoy making banana bread still stands true today – it is so easy! The hardest part might just be planning enough in advance so you can pull some butter out of the refrigerator to come to room temperature before making the batter.

Aside from that, you can have the batter mixed, poured out into the loaf pans and into the oven in less than 15 minutes. Then the only tricky part is waiting the hour it takes for the loaves to cook. It won’t be long before the smell of Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread is wafting through your house!

An overhead shot of a loaf of freshly baked Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread.

This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

Freshly cut slices of Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread.
Print
Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hrs 5 mins
Total Time
1 hrs 20 mins
 

This fun twist on banana bread adds two classic flavors - chocolate and coconut! It's an incredibly easy recipe and makes enough to enjoy now AND later!

Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Servings: 2 8.5-inch loaves
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups mashed bananas (about 8 bananas)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 3/4 cup flaked, unsweetened coconut
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray two 8.5-inch loaf pans with cooking spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Set aside.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both types of sugar until light and fluffy. Add the bananas and beaten eggs and mix until well incorporated. Add the vanilla.

  4. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix to combine. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and, using a spatula, fold in the coconut and chocolate chips. 

  5. Pour the batter evenly into your two prepared loaf pans, then place in the preheated oven for 65-70 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (a little bit of melted chocolate is okay.)

  6. Let loaves cool, in pans, on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then turn out of pans to cool completely. 

Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread | CaliGirlCooking.com

Lightened Up Double Strawberry Milkshake (and Big News!)

Okay, I’ve been keeping this secret for about four months now and I am soooo excited to finally share it all with you along with this perfectly appropriate Lightened Up Double Strawberry Milkshake…

A festive pink Lightened Up Double Strawberry Milkshake with pictures from some of our baby girl's first ultrasounds!

Baby Girl Deem will be arriving in October!!

That’s right, our little family is growing, and at a rapid rate at that, because there’s something else I haven’t told you yet (unless you’ve been peaking at my Insta-stories)…


The newest addition to our family, golden retriever puppy Brooklyn, isn't sure how she feels abut getting a baby sister in October!

We got a puppy!!

And oh my goodness we are just over-the-moon with excitement. Brooklyn is an 8-week old red golden retriever and she has completely stolen our hearts. We picked her up on Mother’s Day, which also happened to be the day we did our gender reveal with both of our families, so it was an exciting one! Good thing we have about five months to get used to Miss B. before our other little bundle of joy arrives in the fall 😉

So, yes, Chris will be going from just having to deal with me and my crazy hormones and Type A personality to a household full of girls in a matter of months…I hope he’s ready for all of this! Actually, I have no doubt that he is because he is the best and I know he is going to be the world’s greatest father to both our fur baby and our real baby. No questions asked!

To celebrate all of this big news and the sudden plethora of females in our little corner of the world, I decided to whip up this Lightened Up Double Strawberry Milkshake. After all, there’s nothing better than a festive (and yes, non-alcoholic) pink drink to get a pregnancy (or new puppy) party started!

Two frosty Lightened Up Double Strawberry Milkshakes ready to be consumed!

Now, I know many of you tune in every Friday for a new boozy cocktail recipe, so I hope you can bear with me here. And I also know what you’re thinking…There have been an awful lot of boozy cocktail recipes here on the blog over the past few months. Well, I’m loathe to report that I have not been drinking any of them (sad face) but have instead been working on my spitting game and handing the taste-testing reigns over to the hubs to make sure they’re suitable for your consumption and enjoyment. It’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it 😉

And if you’re really wanting a boozy recipe to get you through the weekend, I’m just going to throw this out there and say that a splash (or glug) of bourbon would be an absolutely AMAZING addition little addition to a frosty Lightened Up Double Strawberry Milkshake.

Overhead shot of Lightened Up Double Strawberry Milkshakes that happen to be dairy-free AND vegan!

In other news, these shakes just also happen to be dairy-free and vegan…and I’m very happy to report that you’d never even know it. They’re just as deliciously creamy and indulgent as your average strawberry milkshake, yet contain absolutely no milk or cream.

So here’s what I used:

Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream from Trader Joe’s

(I didn’t even know this existed but trust me when I say it’s amazing.)

Frozen Strawberries
Vanilla Extract
Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
Simple Syrup

That’s it! I picked up some strawberries at the Farmer’s Market that were possibly not quite ripe, so a little more on the sour side (although still delicious.) If you find some really ripe strawberries or can only find sweetened vanilla almond milk, you may want to decrease the amount of simple syrup or eliminate it altogether.

After you have all of the ingredients, the cooking process is as easy as throwing everything together in a blender and pressing “Start!”

Profile view of frosty Lightened Up Double Strawberry Milkshakes topped with homemade whipped cream and pink sprinkles.

One quick note: I did make some homemade whipped cream to dollop on top of these bad boys for photography purposes that is NOT vegan. I know some folks have had success making coconut whipped cream (I have not) so please feel free to use that if you want to go completely vegan and dairy-free, or just omit the whipped cream altogether. The shake will still taste super-delicious!

I know this is all a lot of excitement for one post, so I don’t want to keep you too long. What I do want to know, though, is what (if anything) you’d like to hear about how my pregnancy is going, how my diet and workouts are changing, what I’m buying (for myself AND baby girl,) etc. I know you come here primarily for the recipes, but I know there may also be some of you out there who are in the same boat as me, so please drop me a line!

Overhead view of Lightened Up Double Strawberry Milkshakes with some pictures from one of our baby girls' latest ultrasounds!

Looking forward to sharing all of these new adventures with you 🙂

Profile view of frosty Lightened Up Double Strawberry Milkshakes topped with homemade whipped cream and pink sprinkles.
Print
Lightened Up Double Strawberry Milkshake
Prep Time
10 mins
 

This lightened up version of the 50's diner favorite is both dairy-free and vegan but tastes just like the real thing.

Course: Dessert
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 pint strawberry coconut ice cream
  • 2 cups frozen strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon simple syrup
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until combined. Pour into milkshake glasses and garnish with whipped cream and fresh strawberries, if desired.

Fresh Strawberry Vanilla Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze

If this doesn’t scream “Mother’s Day,” what does??

Fresh Strawberry Vanilla Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com
This post is sponsored by Sonoma Syrup Co.

In-season fresh strawberries dot a vanilla- and lemon-laced Bundt cake, topped with the sweetest, tangiest lemon drizzle. This Fresh Strawberry Vanilla Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze is one for the books and I can guarantee that just about any mom in her right mind will go crazy for this if you make it for her this weekend.

This is yet another post I’ve created with my friends over at Sonoma Syrup Co., and I must say it was so fun to make and came at just the perfect time. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while now, you’ll know that over the past year or so I’ve partnered with Sonoma Syrup to make some really fun drink recipes, like this Honey Citrus Detox Elixir and this Spiked Lavender Lemonade, but every once in a while I love to flex my creativity and use their amazing syrups (and, in this case, vanilla extract) in a super tasty baked good, like these Vanilla-Ginger Doughnuts with Pomegranate Glaze.


So when they approached me to create a fun Mother’s Day recipe using their Vanilla Bean Extract “Crush,” I jumped at the chance. And of course I couldn’t stop there, I had to add some of their No. 1 Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup as well because who doesn’t love hints of fresh lemon paired with strawberry and vanilla?

Fresh Strawberry Vanilla Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com

I’m even more excited for this Mother’s Day for a few very important reasons that I have to keep under wraps for now, but I promise to let you know soon! We have both of our parents coming to town, plus some siblings, and a couple of big surprises to unveil that are going to really put the icing on the cake for the weekend (pardon the pun.) All the more reason to have some Fresh Strawberry Vanilla Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze to celebrate!

And really, this recipe is not at all hard to make. That’s one of the greatest things about Bundt cakes. They look so pretty and elegant with almost no effort at all. Forget the fancy frosting techniques, let the shape of the cake mold do all the work!

Fresh Strawberry Vanilla Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com - A beautiful and delicious Bundt cake laced with fresh strawberries, vanilla and lemon. The perfect spring dessert!

So, we start with a fairly basic Bundt cake batter, with a hefty dose of Greek yogurt to be sure it turns out nice and moist. We happened to have a huge jar of homemade limoncello in our refrigerator, so I added some of that to the batter to really up the lemon factor, but you could just as easily use fresh lemon juice if you don’t have any limoncello on hand. We’re saving the Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup for the glaze so it can REALLY shine.

Fresh Strawberry Vanilla Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com - Moist cake batter in Bundt pan laced with fresh strawberries.

I also put in a hefty dose (we’re talking one whole tablespoon) of Sonoma Syrup’s Vanilla Bean Extract “Crush.” Now what, you might be wondering, is the difference between the Vanilla Bean Extract “Crush” and regular vanilla extract? Well, the crush is not only made from some of the finest vanilla beans you can get your hands on, it’s also laced with actual vanilla bean SEEDS, making it especially delicious and intense in flavor. I love the extra-vanilla-y taste it gives all of my baked goods, I’ve even been known to throw some into a smoothie every now and then!

Fresh Strawberry Vanilla Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com - Baked cake without glaze.

Once our Fresh Strawberry Vanilla Bundt Cake has baked and cooled slightly, it’s time to put together the super-simple Lemon Glaze. This glaze is really similar to the Pomegranate Glaze I made for the Vanilla-Ginger Doughnuts I mentioned above, but using the No. 1 Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup instead of the pomegranate. To really punch up the flavor, I also added lemon zest and even MORE of the Vanilla Bean Extract “Crush.”

I really love that the light glaze is not too overwhelming with the delicate, fresh flavors of the cake, which also makes it just as suitable for brunch as it does for dessert after a heavier lunch or dinner. This means that you have no excuse not to order some of these syrups right this instant and make a Fresh Strawberry Vanilla Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze for all of your favorite moms this Mother’s Day.

Fresh Strawberry Vanilla Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com - A slice of this cake and a hot cup of coffee is all you need this Mother's Day!

Even better, Sonoma Syrup is offering all of you, my dear readers and biggest fans, 10% off of your next purchase. Simply use the special discount code CALI10 at checkout on their site and you’ll be well on your way to making a delicious dessert that all your guests will love. Now hurry up and order so you can get to baking!

Fresh Strawberry Vanilla Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com
Print
Fresh Strawberry Vanilla Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
1 hrs
Total Time
1 hrs 20 mins
 

A moist, delicious cake filled with fresh strawberries and laced with hints of lemon and vanilla, all topped with a tangy lemon glaze.

Course: Dessert
Servings: 10 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the cake:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 8 ounces nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon Sonoma Syrup Co. Vanilla Bean Extract "Crush"
  • 1 tablespoon limoncello (or fresh lemon juice)
  • 3 cups flour, divided (plus more for pan)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
For the glaze:
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons Sonoma Syrup Co. No. 1 Meyer Lemon Syrup
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (about 1 medium lemon)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sonoma Syrup Co. Vanilla Bean Extract "Crush"
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a Bundt cake pan with shortening or melted butter and then coat with flour. Set aside.

  2. First, make the cake. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until pale yellow and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla bean extract, limoncello (or lemon juice) and Greek yogurt. Beat until combined.

  3. In a separate, medium mixing bowl, sift together 2 ¾ cups flour, the baking soda and the salt. Add this mixture to the wet mixture and beat until just combined. 

  4. In a separate bowl, toss the strawberries with the remaining ¼ cup flour. Fold the strawberries into the batter. 

  5. Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan and bake at 325 degrees for about 60 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes before turning out of pan onto a wire rack to cool completely.

  6. While the cake is cooling, make the glaze. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all of the glaze ingredients. Drizzle over the cooled cake and let set for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Fresh Strawberry Vanilla Bundt Cake with Lemon Glaze | CaliGirlCooking.com

Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan and Dairy-Free!)

Boy oh boy am I going to need a lot of this when we get back from Italy.

Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan and Dairy-Free!) | CaliGirlCooking.com

Yes, I’m talking about turning to ICE CREAM to reset my diet after a week and a half of indulgence in one of the most foodie-friendly countries of the world. You know why? Because this Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream is h-e-a-l-t-h-y! That’s right. We’re talking vegan/dairy-free, where the only cream we’re speaking of comes from our good ol’ friend the coconut. Did I mention it’s darn delicious too?


Now, you know I’m no stranger to ice cream, and I’m certainly no stranger to the full-octane kind. This Fresh Mint Dark Chocolate Chip Ice Cream is still one of my favorite recipes to date, and as soon as fig season rolls around you can bet I’ll be whipping up this Maple Bourbon Fig Ice Cream on the reg. But to me, this Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream just screams spring and warmer weather. Sure, we can still enjoy our Golden Milk Lattes in the cool, often foggy mornings (here in SB at least,) but once the sun breaks through and the temperatures start to climb into the high 70’s, you can bet a healthy frozen treat will sound a whole lot better.

Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan and Dairy-Free!) | CaliGirlCooking.com

In case you’ve been living under a rock lately, here’s a quick recap of all of the great things turmeric can do for your body:

Help with heartburn and indigestion
Tame joint pain and inflammation
Support brain health
Fight cancer cells

So you can see why it’s been getting so much hype lately. Up until now, my go-to use of turmeric has been in our morning smoothies a few times a week, especially if the hubs and I are recovering from a tough workout or just not feeling up to snuff. But now I get to enjoy it for dessert too! Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream is definitely going to be a new staple in our household.

Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan and Dairy-Free!) | CaliGirlCooking.com

I have to admit, making ice cream out of coconut milk was quite the learning process. I’m not sure if I just fail at shaking canned coconut milk vigorously enough, or if TJ’s full-fat coconut milk just tends to be chunkier, but man I struggled when I used their stuff for my first go-around.

I did a little research when I first decided to give this Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream a shot, and found two recipes online that seemed intriguing. The first method (when I used the Trader Joe’s brand of coconut milk) was from my friends at The Kitchn, which involved heating things up with cornstarch over the stove and then putting the pudding-like mixture in the refrigerator to thicken overnight. Unfortunately, when I pulled the mixture out the next morning, I was greeted with an incredibly thick film over the top and completely runny bottom. I tried salvaging it in the ice cream maker but with no luck. Now, I’m not sure if the problem was the brand of milk or the method, but I decided to try a different angle for my second time around.

The second recipe that had caught my eye was Minimalist Baker’s easy technique for basic coconut ice cream. This one involved whirring all of the ingredients together in the blender before pouring it all into the ice cream maker, no overnight chilling or vigorous shaking required. I’m happy to say this second attempt was a success and we had a batch of delicious Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream ready to consume after just a couple of hours of firming up in the freezer.

One thing I will mention is that this ice cream gets quite hard and icy after it is completely chilled. All this means is you’ll have to take it out of the freezer 10-20 minutes before you want to enjoy it so it can soften up a bit to the consistency of soft serve.

Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan and Dairy-Free!) | CaliGirlCooking.com

Okay, folks, I’ve got to sign off because we have a very exciting day today. We’re taking a cooking class from the amazing owners at our villa and I cannot wait to eat allllll of the fresh pasta. I’ll try to post updates on my Instagram stories if our WiFi service is good enough! Xo

Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan and Dairy-Free!) | CaliGirlCooking.com
Print
Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan and Dairy-Free!)
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
4 hr
 

New "it" superfood turmeric is the star in this vegan, dairy-free ice cream made solely from coconut milk. The perfect healthy warm weather treat!

Course: Dessert
Servings: 8 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 14-ounce cans full-fat coconut milk Trader Joe's brand did not work for me!
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Be sure to freeze your ice cream machine canister the night before you want to make this!

  2. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on medium-high until sugar dissolves and everything is well-combined.

  3. Pour mixture into ice cream maker and churn according to maker’s directions. 

  4. Transfer ice cream to an 8- or 9-inch loaf pan and cover with plastic wrap, being sure to press the wrap down on the surface of the ice cream. This will help it from preventing too much of a film as it freezes.

  5. Freeze for 4-6 hours. Remember to remove the ice cream from the freezer 10-20 minutes before you want to enjoy it so it can soften up a bit!

Turmeric Coconut Ice Cream (Vegan and Dairy-Free!) | CaliGirlCooking.com

Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting

I have the best of both worlds for you today!

Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting | CaliGirlCooking.com

That’s right, I’ve combined my favorite carrot cake recipe with a not-so-traditional coconut pecan frosting, reminiscent of what you’d find on a German chocolate cake and, let me tell you, I wish I had thought of Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting years ago!


Now don’t get me wrong, I love me some classic decadent cream cheese frosting, but I also looooove the combination of carrot, coconut and pecans. It’s like the ultimate spring ingredient combo. Plus, doesn’t it feel great to have so many superfoods in a super-delicious dessert? I mean, there are plenty of indulgent ingredients in the recipes for both the carrot cake and the frosting, but having those other healthy ingredients in there to counteract everything else is EXACTLY how I roll. We’re all about that balance, right?

Quick backstory on my love for carrot cake, and specifically this recipe: I think I’ve mentioned it before, but my parents met and got married in Hawaii, where my dad grew up and my mom worked as a pediatric nurse. During my parents’ courtship, my mom was given this carrot cake recipe by a dear Hawaiian “tutu” named Mrs. Kealoha. And on the back of the recipe, she wrote a note: “Make this for Ken, and he will never leave you.” Well, I’m proud to say that truly was the case (my parents are still together 40 years later!), and now I ask my mom to make this cake for me without fail every year on either my birthday or Easter. It is, after all, the perfect spring-like dessert to bust out in March or April, as the days are getting longer and the sun is getting warmer.

Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting | CaliGirlCooking.com

Mrs. Kealoha’s recipe calls for the classic cream cheese frosting, which includes pounds of both butter and cream cheese. As delicious as that is (and I will never turn my nose up at it,) I do often find that I can’t quite finish alllll of the frosting that comes along with my slice, it’s just a leeetle too rich. So naturally I started thinking about other ways to frost my favorite carrot cake, and when my mind wandered to the caramel-y, pudding-like coconut- and pecan-laced frosting that traditionally graces the top of German chocolate cake, I knew it would be the perfect fit.

I had never made coconut-pecan frosting from scratch, but I soon learned it’s much like a pudding, where you have to combine the likes of evaporated milk and egg yolks with staples like sugar and butter to get that creamy consistency. Since this was my first time making it, I followed this recipe from MyRecipes to a tee and didn’t stray at all. We’ll save the improvisations for the next time around! I am happy to report, though, that this recipe did not disappoint. I have to admit that I was doubtful for a minute – Did I cook the egg yolks enough? Would the frosting just look yellow?  But after making sure I let everything cook and sit for the designated amount of time, I was left with a perfectly normal looking coconut pecan frosting that spread onto the three layers of cake like a dream.

Speaking of the layers of this cake, there is one disclaimer I have to make: I doubled Mrs. Kealoha’s recipe to make a four-layer cake, because I wanted it to be really grand and fun to photograph. BUT unfortunately one of my layers didn’t turn out of the pan properly, so I was stuck with just three, which turned out to be plenty. The layers of Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting are quite thick, and I still haven’t been able to bring myself to eat a serving of all three layers (usually I skim just one or two layers off and save the rest for another day…hehe!) So, use your judgment and scale this recipe down if you don’t want such huge servings. OR, you could do what I did and use any extra cake layers to make into yummy chocolate-coated carrot cake balls, which turned out to be really easy (I’ve included the basic recipe below in the recipe notes.)

Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting | CaliGirlCooking.com

You should have plenty of frosting to cover all four layers should you decide to go that route, especially if you go for the “naked” cake look like I did here (that also helps with the cake-to-frosting ratio I was speaking of earlier.)

Other than the quantity, the only thing I changed from Mrs. Kealoha’s original carrot cake recipe is that I used pecans instead of walnuts in the batter. I figured if I was using pecans in the frosting I might as well use them in the cake as well!

Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting | CaliGirlCooking.com

So that’s the long and short of it: Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting has been born and it’s here to stay. Do you have any fun family baking recipes you’ve adapted to make your own? Let me know in the comments below!

Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting | CaliGirlCooking.com
Print
Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hrs 5 mins
 

Carrot cake gets a modern update with a coconut-pecan coating in lieu of the standard cream cheese frosting. The perfect cake for spring!

Course: Dessert
Servings: 4 8-inch round cake layers
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the cake:
  • 2 1/2 cups canola oil
  • 8 eggs
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 4 cups flour plus 1/2 cup for coating carrots
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon mace
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups grated carrots
  • 2 cups chopped toasted pecans
For the frosting:
  • 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 6 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups chopped toasted pecans
  • 2 cups flaked sweetened coconut
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Instructions
To make the cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the oil, eggs and sugar until creamy. Toss the carrots with ½ cup of flour and then add them to this mixture along with the pecans. Next, add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, mace and salt. Mix until well combined.

  3. Unless you have four 8-inch round cake pans (I only have two), you will need to work in two batches to bake up all of the cake layers. Spray however many pans you have with nonstick cooking spray, then one-fourth of the batter into each one. Bake in 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

  4. Remove from oven and let cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove from pan onto a wire cooling rack and let cool completely. Repeat baking process however often is necessary until all of your batter has been used up.

To make the frosting:
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the evaporated milk, sugar, butter and egg yolks and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes or until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Cook, stirring constantly, 12-14 minutes more or until mixture is a light caramel color and is bubbling and pudding-like. 

  2. Remove from heat and stir in pecans, coconut and vanilla. Transfer to a bowl and let cool, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes or until it is of a spreadable frosting consistency.

Assembly:
  1. Place the first cake layer on your serving plate and, using a long, serrated knife, even out the top. This will help all of the layers stay put on top of each other rather than sliding off once you add the frosting in between the layers. 

  2. Slather a hefty helping of the coconut-pecan frosting over the top of this first layer, being sure to get all the way out to the edges. Repeat the process with however many more layers you are using. You do not need to even out the top layer as you don’t have to worry about another layer sliding off of it.

  3. Keep cake in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, until ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

*Coconut pecan frosting recipe from MyRecipes.

To make the cake balls:

Combine any extra cake with 1 cup of frosting of your choice (preferably one without anything chunky, I used a whipped cream cheese frosting) in a food processor. Pulse until a dough forms. 

Use a cookie scoop to ball up the cake dough. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Melt at least one bag (maybe even two) of chocolate chips of your choice (I did some white chocolate and some semisweet) in a heatproof bowl with one to two tablespoons of coconut oil.

Dip balls in melted chocolate and place back on parchment covered cookie sheet. Cover with sprinkles of your choice and refrigerate balls until hardened. I also recommend storing them in the refrigerator so they hold their shape.

Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting | CaliGirlCooking.com

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