Happy Birthday, Miguel!


Mitch answers to Miguel more often than “mitch”. So, when I really want his attention, I yell out Miguel. 99{27efe1ccc16afc6105236eb327c94109df2303d90755d07506af9f0011bd0280} of the time I get a response!


Today is his birthday (won’t say which one) and for the past many years (31) I have always baked him a cake on his birthday. It is typically a coconut cake. However, last year when we all gathered around the table to sing and give him his goodies, he was somewhat disappointed. He mumbled something to the tune of…ohhhh, it’s not your fabulous carrot cake. That little murmur has stayed with me, haunting me one year later.

Last week we were away on vacation and it was Eli’s mission to find out what he was craving, carrot or coconut? As we didn’t get home until late yesterday, I had to organize, get my market list together, as well as unpack and attempt to do 11 loads of laundry. It is now, 8:59 p.m. as I write this and I am one tired gal.

He had a good day. The day started with around of golf. Matzoh brie was waiting for him when he got home. Cake was cooling and ready just in time to meet his whole family for lunch. So glad I decided to take it to lunch. It was a big cake, more than enough for the 18 of us, with a little left over for tomorrows breakfast.

The cake was gone within 24 hours and I have already had requests for another one.
This one was adapted from an old Saveur Magazine.
I have also made this in a bundt pan, a tube pan and as mini cakeletts. For the tube pan/bundt pan increase the time slightly. For the cakeletts, decrease the time. I usually bake for 12 minutes and then keep checking until a toothpick comes out clean.




Nonstick cooking spray
2 cups sugar
1 1⁄2 cups canola oil
3 eggs
2 cups flour
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. fine salt
1 8-oz. can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 7-oz. bag shredded sweetened coconut
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large carrots, trimmed and finely shredded (about
2 cups)

3 cups confectioners’ sugar
3⁄4 lb. cream cheese, softened
8 tbsp. salted butter, softened
1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract


1. For the cake: Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9″ × 13″ pan with nonstick spray; set aside. Put sugar, oil, and eggs into a large bowl and whisk until well combined. Add flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt and stir with a wooden spoon until just mixed together into a batter. Add pineapple with juice, coconut, walnuts, vanilla, and carrots and gently fold together until combined. Transfer batter to prepared pan, smooth top with a rubber spatula, and bake until deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean, 50–55 minutes. Set cake aside to let cool completely.

2. For the icing: Put sugar, cream cheese, butter, and vanilla into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy, 4–5 minutes.

3. To assemble: Spread the icing over the cooled cake to cover, creating swirls and whorls, if you wish. Refrigerate the cake until completely chilled, about 3 hours. Cut into 12 squares and serve chilled.

The Urban Baker / SusanSalzman.com

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