Too often carrot cake seems like a throw back to the 70s, when they were dense and tasted ultimately too good for you. This version is moist, sweet and has a complex combination of spices and zest that all come through. Adding a bit of lemon to the icing brings out the bright flavors of the cake and the Lyle's Golden Syrup kicks over the top. I think the creamy topping is key to the success of the carrot cake! In fact, I make a really large batch and always have a bit left over to spread on toast.
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Fold in the coconut.
Divide the batter into the two prepared pans and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.
Let cakes cool completely in the pans on a wire rack.
Put one of the layers of cake on a 9-inch cardboard round and then top it with 1 cup of the cream cheese icing.
Cover the cake with a thin crumb coat. Then finish with a smooth coat of icing on the cake. I ran my spatula tip around the icing to create the swirls, but you'll be pressing coconut on the outside, so don't worry about getting this effect.
Before moving the cake to the platter, lift it and gently press the shredded coconut onto the top and sides.
This cake is wonderful the next day or even the following. Just wrap it well and refrigerate....if there is any left!