Lizz’s Tropical Carrot Cake Cupcakes

I first met my dear friend Lizz volunteering at our sons school PTA’s. We have been friends for many years and recently got together for the first time in 15 years. We do stay in close contact via Facebook and text messages. I wanted to make her something special for a birthday she recently celebrated. With help from family members, I found out what her favorite flavor of cake was, I made cupcakes and named my recipe for her. Cupcakes travel better than a cakes, so Lizz received belated birthday cupcakes.

Thanks Morgan!


1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, beaten

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 small can of crushed pineapple, drained

1 pound of carrots, peeled and grated

1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line your cupcake pan with liners.

My sweet friend Lizz! 💜💜💜

In a mixing bowl, whisk dry ingredients together. Mix in eggs and oil in dry ingredients. Stir in pineapple and carrots. Add chopped pecans and combine. Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full and bake 18-20 minutes, or until done. Cool completely and frost with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting. Enjoy!

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting


1 stick of unsalted butter

1 8 ounce block cream cheese

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon coconut extract

1 pinch of salt

1 pound of powdered sugar

Shredded coconut, if desired

Blend butter and cream cheese together. Add the extracts and salt. Gradually on low speed add the powdered sugar. Pipe on cupcakes. I used a Wilton 1M tip. Sprinkle flaked coconut on top of cupcakes.

Lizz’s beautiful Mom, Maria. This is proof that you cannot be sad holding a cupcake.

Nuts About Coconut Cupcakes

I have had so many requests for recipes for coconut cupcakes and cakes, I am starting off the new year with one of your requests. I find that people dislike coconut or they are nuts about it. This recipe is for the coconut lovers!


1 2/3 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1/2 stick butter, melted and cooled

1 egg, room temperature

1 cup canned coconut milk

1 teaspoon coconut extract or flavor

1 teaspoon vanilla 

1 cup of coconut, shredded, sweet

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Line tin with cupcake liners and set aside. 
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and powder, granulated sugar and salt, whisk to combine. Set aside.  Combine brown sugar and butter in your mixer.  Add egg, coconut milk, and extracts to the brown sugar and butter mixture. Add the dry ingredients and blend well. Stir in shredded coconut. Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Bake 19 minutes or until a cake tester is inserted and  comes out clean. 
Cool completely before frosting. Yields about 16 cupcakes. 

Coconut Whip Cream Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon coconut extract or coconut flavor

1/2 cup powdered sugar

16 ounces of heavy whipping cream

Additional coconut for garnishing tops of cupcakes

In a chilled mixing bowl (minimum 25 minutes in refrigerator), combine cream cheese and extracts. Add powdered sugar. Slowly pour in heavy whipping cream and mix until stiff peaks have formed. Pipe on the cupcakes and garnish with shredded coconut. Enjoy!

Coconut Chocolate Chip Macaroons

For all of you coconut lovers, I have an easy cookie and I added chocolate!

1 14 ounce bag of shredded coconut
1 can of sweetened condensed milk, I used Eagle Brand
1 egg white, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 12 ounce bag of semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325. Line baking sheet with nonstick foil or use a silpat. Beat egg white until stiff. Add condensed milk. Add extracts. Blend. Stir in coconut and chocolate chips . Drop by spoonfuls and bake 15 – 17 minutes. Remove immediately from baking sheet or cookies will stick. Cool on wire rack and store in an airtight container. Enjoy!



Caribbean Bananas Foster

Bananas Foster is one of my favorite desserts. Iavarone’s restaurant in Tampa used to make the best but they took it off the menu. I have put my own spin on this wonderful dessert by adding Malibu Rum and toasted coconut. Typically the bananas are sliced length wise and in half for this dessert but Iavaronnes always served theirs sliced and I do too!

A little history on Bananas Foster, it originated in New Orleans at Brennan’s. It was created by Chef Paul in 1951.

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup Malibu Rum
4 ripe bananas, sliced
1/4 cup Captain Morgan
Vanilla ice cream
1/4 – 1/2 cup toasted coconut*

Combine butter, sugar and cinnamon in a skillet. Over medium low heat, melt the butter and sugar. Stirring until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the Malibu Rum and once combined, add the sliced bananas. I cook the bananas and sugar syrup for 5 minutes once it becomes hot and bubbly. Carefully add the Captain Morgan. Raise heat to medium and bring bananas and syrup back up to a boil. Boil for 4 additional minutes. It is not necessary to ignite the sauce but if you wish to, please use caution. Spoon over vanilla ice cream and top with toasted coconut. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

*Toasted Coconut can be made in the microwave! Simply place your coconut on a plate and microwave in 30 second intervals. Stir after each 30 second interval until you reach desired brownness. My coconut was frozen (I keep mine in the freezer for freshness) and I microwaved mine for about 5 minutes.

If you have leftovers, the sauce can be refrigerated and heated up the next day.

Recipe adapted from Brennan’s.