Carrot cake is a family favorite, even among the little ones. I first made this cake for brunch on Father's Day 2009 since it's my dad's favorite. With dried cranberries, toasted coconuts and walnuts, my sister also fell in love with this cake and has been begging me to remake it for her. However, upon learning of my niece's nut allergy, I've had to find alternate recipes for carrot cake, which had never satisfied the true carrot cake fans in the family. On this Easter, we celebrated my sister's birthday so I opted to contribute this cake to the menu since it was for her and not the kids.
I changed things up a little this time by using coconut oil, a combination of both sweetened and unsweetened coconut and white whole wheat flour. I didn't recall the batter being so thick, so I was a little worried when I put it in the oven. Thankfully, the cakes rose in height during their time in the oven. This is my favorite carrot cake recipe - it's moist with great texture from the coconut, dried cranberries and walnuts. The cream cheese frosting has the right balance between tangy and sweet - it's also creamy and smooth. This is my go-to carrot cake recipe.