Carrot cake gets a modern update with a coconut-pecan coating in lieu of the standard cream cheese frosting. The perfect cake for spring!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Keep cake in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, until ready to serve.
*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.