carrot cake with coconut cream-cheese frosting

I don’t know about you, but I loooooove cream-cheese frosting. I had never attempted to make some myself {I’ll admit it: I was intimidated} … whenever I made a cake I always chickened out and opted for the store-bought kind. But whenever I got a piece of red velvet cake or carrot cake from a bakery or restaurant, and the cream-cheese frosting was obviously homemade, it always tasted a million times better.

So, for Mike’s birthday, when I asked him what kind of cake he wanted me to make, he requested carrot cake … with cream-cheese frosting, of course! And I knew I had to try making the good homemade frosting for my sweetie.

I am SO glad I did! It was way easier than I expected, and sooooo delicious. This is now my go-to frosting for any cakes, cookies, cupcakes — you name it, I’ll frost it with coconut cream-cheese goodness.

Here is the recipe for both the carrot cake and the frosting. The carrot cake is relatively healthy as far as cake goes: no oil or butter; egg whites, applesauce, carrots. The frosting is not healthy in the least, but it is worth it!

carrot cake with coconut cream cheese frosting

– 6 egg whites
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 1 cup applesauce
– 1/2 cup skim milk
– 2 tsp vanilla extract
– 1/2 tsp ground cloves
– 1 tsp ground nutmeg
– 2 tbsp cinnamon
– 2 tsp baking soda
– 2 cups flour
– 2 cups shredded carrots
– 8 oz can crushed pineapple with juice
– 1/2 cup raisins {though I left them out because I don’t like raisins}
– 1/2 cup chopped walnuts {if desired}

– 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
– 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
– 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
– 1 tablespoon heavy cream
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 teaspoon coconut flavoring {optional}
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking pan with cooking spray.

2. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites. Slowly beat in sugar, then applesauce, skim milk, and vanilla. Stir in cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking soda, and flour.

3. Stir in, one ingredient at a time, pineapple (with juice), carrots, walnuts, and raisins.

4. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes. Your cake is done when a fork inserted in center comes out clean.

5. While your cake cools, make the frosting: Beat the cream cheese and butter in a mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, one cup at a time, alternating with heavy cream. Beat in the salt, coconut flavoring, and vanilla extract. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and spreadable. Add additional confectioners’ sugar if necessary to thicken the frosting, or more cream to thin. Stir in the coconut.

6. Once the cake has cooled, spread the frosting evenly over it with a knife or spatula. If you can bear the wait, pop the frosted cake in the fridge for half an hour or so to give the frosting time to set. I think this cake tastes even better the next day, after spending a night in the fridge!

Upon taking his first bite, Mike declared:



Happy weekend & happy baking!


Time spent: about 1 hour
Cost: $8.00

9 thoughts on “carrot cake with coconut cream-cheese frosting

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