Coconut oil has become popular, and I’m seeing recipes using it on a lot of blogs lately. To get all the health benefits of coconut oil, it’s important to buy organic unrefined. (Virgin, or extra-virgin – an arbitrary designation -- means nothing on coconut oil containers, so pay no attention to it. Instead, look for “organic unrefined.”) Organic unrefined coconut oil has not been subjected to high heat, bleach or toxic solvents and retains all the many health benefits of fresh coconut.
While I love the flavor of this carrot cake, my two faves remain Carrot Cake with Creamy Supreme Frosting (an old Pillsbury recipe), and Simple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (a 2003 Cooks Illustrated recipe).
|Coconut Oil-Rum Raisin Carrot Cake with Coconut Oil Cream Cheese Frosting |
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated, 2003
Rating: 8 out of 10
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1/4 cup coconut-flavored rum, or regular rum
1 cup raisins
2-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I used 1-3/4 c UBAP + 3/4 c white whole wheat)
1-1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1-1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. powdered cloves
1/2 tsp. Diamond Kosher salt
1/2 cup unrefined coconut oil
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1-1/2 cups sugar (I used 3/4 cup sugar + 3 Tbsp. NuNaturals stevia)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
4 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk (or 3/4 cup milk + 2-1/2 tsp. vinegar or lemon juice)
3 cups peeled, grated carrots (use food processor or large holes of box grater)
1 cup sweetened dried coconut flakes (I used Baker)
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans
In small saucepan, heat rum to boiling. Add raisins, cover and set aside to steep for at least 1/2 hour, or until all liquid is absorbed. Spray 3 (8- or 9-inch) cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottoms with double thickness of wax paper rounds cut to fit the pans.
Heat oven to 350F. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt; set aside.
In another small saucepan, heat oil and butter till almost melted. Off heat; stir to melt any remaining pieces; set aside to cool slightly. In work bowl of food processor, using metal blade, process sugars and eggs till frothy and thoroughly combined, about 20 seconds. With machine running, add buttermilk and the melted oil/butter mixture. Process till light in color and well emulsified, about 20 seconds longer. Scrape into large bowl; stir in carrots, coconut, pecans and dry ingredients, mixing lightly just till incorporated and no streaks of flour remain. Pour into prepared pans.
Bake 27-29 minutes, or till a toothpick inserted near center returns with just a few crumbs. Cool in pans 10 minutes, then turn out onto towel-lined wire rack to finish cooling.
Remove wax paper from bottoms of cake while cake is still hot. Frost cake with Coconut Oil Cream Cheese Frosting. Garnish with toasted coconut* and pecans.
*To toast coconut, spread 1 to 1-1/2 cups sweetened dried coconut flakes on a jelly roll pan and bake at 325F, stirring often, until coconut is golden, about 20-25 minutes. Coconut will be limp at first, but will crisp up as it cools. Store in a covered glass jar in refrigerator till needed.