Carrot Cake with Coconut Pecan Topping

Hello there– It’s Larry’s birthday today!!  I’m 3 months older than him so now he can stop teasing me about my advanced age.  Our parents are coming for dinner– chicken & rice– and we’ll top it off with this hearty cake.  Happy Birthday dear Larry!!

CARROT CAKE WITH COCONUT PECAN TOPPING

Cake:
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup canola oil
1  1/2 cups grated carrot (about 3 carrots)
2 eggs

Topping:
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2/3 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup butter (2/3 of a stick)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups pecan, coarsely chopped

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Then mix in the oil, grated carrot and eggs.

Spoon the stiff batter into a 9″ cake pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  And pop it into a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes, until a small knife inserted comes out clean.  Let the cake cool.

To make the topping, stir together the milk, 2/3 cup sugar, egg yolks, butter and vanilla in a sauce pan.

Then put the pan over medium heat, bring to a simmer and stir until the mixture thickens (2 or 3 minutes).  the stir in the coconut and pecans.  Let it set a few minutes to cool and then heap it onto the cake.

P.S. This is an OLD post– Larry’s birthday is in August!!  But I saved it and the cake was lovely, so I’m passing it along.  Better late than never!!

Pecan Coconut Banana Bread

Hello baking friends–  I’ve already posted more than my share of banana bread recipes on this blog.  Blame it on too many over ripe bananas collecting in my kitchen.  But honestly, this one must be the best!  All that coconut and those pecans!

Made it with my baking buddy, Jenna, and we downed it with mugs of tea at the kitchen table and agreed it was delicious.  Hope you give it a try…

PECAN COCONUT BANANA BREAD

Topping:
6 tab. flour
6 tab. brown sugar
1/4 cup (4 tab.) butter
1/4 cup coconut
1/4 cup pecans, chopped

Bread:
2 bananas
1/2 cup unflavored yogurt
3 tab. canola oil
1 egg
1  1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp, baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Melt the butter in the microwave.  Then in a small mixing bowl stir together the 6 tab. flour, brown sugar, butter, 1/4 cup coconut and 1/4 cup chopped pecans.  Set aside.

In a larger mixing bowl, smash the bananas with a fork. Then stir in the yogurt, oil and egg.  Next mix in the 1 1/3 cup flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, 1/2 cup pecans and 1/2 cup shredded coconut.  Mix just until it is all blended.

Spoon the batter in to a 9″x 5″ loaf pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray (I used two smaller half size pans).  Put it into a 350 degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes until it’s gold brown and a knife inserted comes out clean.

Muesli (with yogurt & cherries)

Hi friends– The first time I met muesli was on a road trip with our kids years ago when we lived in Spain.  Some friends in Austria offered to let us stay in their apartment while they were away– as long as we would feed their rabbit and feel free to help ourselves to anything.  That’s where we found the muesli– in their kitchen cupboard!  And loved it from the start.

So here’s my current version, sweetened with maple syrup and full of lovely crunch.  With yogurt and summer cherries, it’s perfect!

MUESLI (WITH YOGURT & CHERRIES)
3 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup sliced almonds
2/3 cup coconut
2 tab. sesame seeds
3 tab. olive oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp. sea salt*
also– serve with yogurt & fruit (like cherries!)

Stir together all the ingredients in a mixing bowl until the oats are thoroughly coasted.  Spread the muesli evenly onto two baking sheets that have been lined with foil.

Bake the muesli at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, taking it out mid-way to stir it up and spread it back out over the pans.  Let it cool and then heap it onto a bowl of yogurt & fruit!

Pina Colada Cake with Rum Cream Cheese Frosting

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Hi there–  I have to say when we pull out a cake fro friends after a big long meal, most people say– “oh oh, just the tiniest slice” or they might even skip dessert.  But this cake almost disappeared!  People took big slabs and then asked for more!  I had one ragged piece left to send you off a picture a slice.  They liked it! I think you would too…

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PINA COLADA CAKE WITH RUM CREAM CHEEE FROSTING

Cake:
1 white cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
2 tab. rum
1 cup shredded coconut

Toasted Coconut:
2 cups shredded coconut

Pineapple Filling:
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. conrstarch
14 oz. can crushed pineapple

Frosting:
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound box powdered sugar (3  3/4 cups)
2 tab. rum
garnish: stemmed cherry!

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Mix the cake mix according to the directions on the package (mine used 1 cup water, 1/2 cup oil & 3 eggs).  Then stir in the rum and 1 cup shredded coconut.

Spoon the batter into three 8″ cake pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes until it is firm to the touch.   Let the cake layers cool completely before you frost them.

While the cake is baking, spread the 2 cups of coconut on a baking sheet that has been lined with foil (for easy clean up) and put it in the oven along with the cake.  Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every couple minutes until half of the coconut has started to brown (be careful, it’s easy to burn coconut!)

To make the pineapple filling,  combine the sugar and cornstarch in the small sauce pan.  Stir them together until there are no cornstarch lumps.  Then dump in the crushed pineapple and stir on medium heat until it simmer for a 1 or 2 minutes and thickens.   Set aside to cool.

To make the frosting, Put the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and rum into a mixing bowl and beat it with an electric mixer until it is smooth and creamy.  If it seems too dry, add another tablespoon of water.  (Be careful, it’s easy to add too much water and it turns to mush!)

To put it all together, set one cake layer on a plate and top with half of the pineapple filling.  Add the second layer and pile on the rest of the filling. Next set on the 3rd layer.

Then frost the cake top and sides with the cream cheese frosting.  Pat the toasted coconut around the sides of the cake (this is a little trickier than it sounds– be persistent!)  And pop the cherry on top.  It’s ready to serve!!

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Chocolate Samoa Cake

 

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Hey friends– This cake gets it’s name from those Girl Scout cookies– the ones with the coconut & caramel & chocolate.  Know what I mean??  Delish!

I made it for our young adults group that comes in on Thursdays.  And I liked it so much, that I made it again on Saturday for dinner with friends!  (so I’ve been nibbling on leftovers all week…)   I think you would like it too…

CHOCOLATE SAMOA CAKE

Cake:
1 chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup oil
1 cup water
3 eggs

Frosting:
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup milk
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup caramel sauce*

Toppings:
2  1/2 cups coconut
1/2 cup caramel sauce*
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon canola oil

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Mix the cake mix up according to the instructions on the package.  Mine called for water, 1/2 cup oil and 3 eggs.  Pour the batter into a 3″ x13″ baking dish –or a large 10″ cake pan.**  Bake the cake 25 to 30 minutes until it is firm to the touch.

While the cake is cooking, line a baking sheet with foil (for easier clean up) and sprinkle the 2 1/2 cups coconut evenly over the foil.  Put it in the oven with the cake and let it cook for 10 to 12 minutes, taking it out and stirring the coconut every 3 or 4 minutes so it does not burn.  (be careful, this coconut can burn easily!) When half of the coconut is still white, but crispy and the other half is light brown, it’s ready.

Let the cake cool and then with the handle of a wooden spoon, poke holes all over the cake.

Mix together the frosting ingredients– the melted butter, 1/4 cup milk, powdered sugar, vanilla and 1/4 cup caramel sauce.  Pour them carefully over the cake, smoothing it with a spatula to get the frosting partially down into the holes in the cake.

Then spread the coconut over the top of the frosting.  Put the chocolate chips and oil in a glass bowl and microwave them about 120 seconds, until the chocolate chips are soft enough to stir into a smooth melty mess.  Alternately drizzle the chocolate and 1/2 cup caramel sauce over the coconut layer.  Done.

*You can make your own caramel sauce, but I use store bought
**I like to use my largest spring form pan -about 10  1/2″- because it’s easy to get the cake out onto a pretty plate to serve it.

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Coconut Peanut Butter Brownies

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Hello bog friends– Been crazy days around here.  End of school, birthdays, showers, I’ve barely had time to cook up something to send along to you.  Been eating a lot of cobbled together dinners, completely unblogable.  But Saturday night I was asked to bring a dessert to an evening with friends and here it is…

I love brownies, hands down– and peanut butter– and coconut macaroons.  But all together???   Well, I gave it a try and these were really luscious.  It takes a few bowls, bouts of mixing, but these sweet things are definitely worth it!  Hope you give them a try too…

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COCONUT PEANUT BUTTER BROWNIES

Brownies:
Brownie mix for a 8×8″ pan.
oil
egg
water

Peanut Butter layer:
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tab. milk
2 tab. yogurt

Coconut layer:
1 large egg white
2 cups shredded coconut
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt

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Make the brownie according to the directions on the box.  Spread the batter into a 8″ square or 9″ round pan* that has been sprayed with cooking spray and put it into a 350 degree over for 25 minutes.

Take out the brownie ayer and let it cook for a few minutes, while you mix up the other layers.

To make the peanut butter layer, use an electric mixer to beat together the peanut butter, cream cheese, sugar and egg.  Then mix in the milk and yogurt.  Set this aside.

To make the coconut layer, beat the egg white several minutes until stiff peaks form –works well if you have a whisk attachment on your electric mixer.  Set that aside.  In another bowl stir together the coconut, condensed milk, vanilla and salt.  Then gently fold in the egg whites until it’s all blended.

Then pour the peanut butter layer over the brownie layer in the pan.  And gently drop small spoonfuls of the coconut mixture over the peanut butter layer until it’s all covered.  Put it all back into the oven for another 25 to 30 minutes, until the top layers are set and firm.  (if the coconut starts to brown before the baking is finished, cover the pan with foil.

Take it out of the oven, and here’s the hard part.  Let it cool for an hour for the brownies to firm up before you cut them into tidy pieces to serve.

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Coconut Cupcakes

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Hello all– Cupcakes.  They’re the old stand by around here.  The nice way to have 24 little pieces of cake that are easy to serve, easy to eat for a crowd in the house.  These are from last Thursday when we have our weekly group of 20 & 30 somethings come in for the evening.  It’s fun for us to hang out with all those bright lively people and happily, they like coffee and cupcakes.  So it all works out…

COCONUT CUPCAKES

Cake:
1 white cake mix
1 cup water
1/3 cup canola oil
3 eggs
1  1/2 cup shredded coconut

Frosting:
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pound box powdered sugar (about 3  3/4 cups)
2 to 3 tab. milk
extra shredded coconut to scatter over the tops

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This is easy.  Make the cake mix according to the package directions.  My mix used 1 cup water, 1/3 cup oil and 3 eggs.  After you beat the batter with an electric mixer for 2 minutes, stir in the 1  1/2 cup coconut.

Spoon the batter into cupcake pans that have been lined with muffin papers.  Should make about 24 cupcakes.  And pop them into a 350 degree oven for 15 to 17 minutes until they are golden and firm to the touch.  Let them cool.

For the frosting, with an electric mixer, beat together the butter, cream cheese and vanilla.  Then slowly beat in the powdered sugar and milk.  When it’s all combined into a smooth frosting, spread it generously over the cupcakes and immediately sprinkle on the coconut over the top while the frosting is still moist so it will stick.

That’s it.  Make coffee. Invite friends.  And eat.

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