Without being overly sweet, this carrot cake is both delicious and slightly nutty, with a mild pineapple flavor, topped with a glorious cream-cheese frosting, crushed walnuts and desiccated coconut...this cake is the kind that will have you reaching out for a second slice even before the first one is done!
Preheat oven at 180 degrees C.
Grease and line an 8" pan, dust it with flour.
Toast the walnuts for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop coarsely. Add the 1 tbsp. of flour and toss with the nuts. (This will prevent the nuts from sinking in the cake).
Peel and finely grate the carrots. Set aside.
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger and cinnamon. Set aside.
Put the eggs in a bowl and beat with a mixer until frothy and thick (about 3 minutes). Gradually add the sugar and beat until the batter is thick and light colored (about 5 minutes). Add the oil in a steady stream and then beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. Do NOT over-mix as that would harden the cake. With a spatula fold in the grated carrots, pineapple and chopped nuts.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. After about 5 -10 minutes invert the cake onto the wire rack, remove the pan and parchment paper, and then cool completely before frosting.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
Beat the cream cheese and butter together on low speed until all lumps are gone. Gradually add the icing sugar and continue beating until the frosting is smooth and fluffy. If the frosting is too thin, add a bit more icing sugar. If too thick, add a bit of whipping cream, fresh cream or even milk, a few drops at a time.
Spread the frosting on the cake, you can leave the sides uncovered if you want, I like it to go all the way around the cake. Garnish with chopped walnuts and some coconut if you want. :)