The best substitutes for shredded coconut in carrot cake are chopped nuts, raisins, or dried cranberries. For a more tropical flavor, you can also use pineapple chunks or mango slices.
If you’re like me, you may have a hard time finding shredded coconut.
Some stores don’t even carry it!
But you don’t have to miss out on all the amazing things that shredded coconut can do for your carrot cake.
Here are 17 substitutes for shredded coconut in carrot cake that are just as good as the real thing!
Read Also: Looking for the perfect carrot cake topping? Check out our list!
Why Consider using a substitute for Shredded Coconut in Carrot Cake?
There are a few reasons why considering using a substitute for shredded coconut in carrot cake is important.
First of all, it can help to cut down on the sweetness of the cake.
Coconut is a very sweet ingredient, and too much of it can make a cake cloyingly sweet.
Another reason to consider using a substitute for shredded coconut in carrot cake is that it can add an interesting texture to the cake.
Shredded coconut can make a cake very dense and chewy, so if you’re looking for a lighter, fluffier cake, using a substitute is a good idea.
Finally, there are some people who simply don’t like the taste of coconut.
If you’re making a cake for someone who doesn’t like coconut, it’s best to leave it out altogether.
There are plenty of other ingredients that can be used to flavor and moisten a carrot cake, so there’s no need to force someone to eat something they don’t like.
17 Substitutes for Shredded Coconut in Carrot Cake
Carrot cakes are a delicious treat, but if you’re looking to try something new or can’t find shredded coconut, here are 17 great substitutes that will give your cake an extra special flavor and texture.
1. Dried Cranberries
You can also replace the shredded coconut in carrot cake with dried cranberries.
Dried cranberries are a more tart, tangy version of raisins, so they add a sweet and sour flavor to the cake that will make your guests think they’re eating something new and exciting.
They also have a crunchy texture, which makes them a good substitute for the shredded coconut in carrot cake because they’ll add a nice textural contrast to the softness of the cake itself.
2. Chopped Walnuts
Walnuts are another great option if you need a coconut-free carrot cake recipe.
They provide a similar crunchy texture and sweetness as shredded coconut does, but they also add an amazing nutty flavor that’s perfect for fall desserts!
You should be able to find walnuts at your local grocery store or health food store year-round.
3. Chopped Almonds
Yes, you can substitute chopped almonds for shredded coconut in carrot cake.
The almonds will add a similar sweetness and texture to the cake.
You may want to add a little bit more sugar to the cake batter if using almonds as they are not as sweet as coconut.
Other ingredients that go well with almonds in carrot cake include raisins, pineapple, and cream cheese frosting.
A tip for using chopped almonds is to toast them lightly before adding to the cake batter to bring out their flavor.
4. Coconut Flour
If you want to maintain a coconut flavor, you can also use coconut flour.
This flour is made from finely ground coconut meat and has a very strong coconut flavor.
It is also very absorbent, so you will need to use less of it than you would of other flours.
When using coconut flour, it is best to add other ingredients that will complement the flavor, such as ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
You should also increase the amount of liquid called for in the recipe.
5. Graham Crackers
Why not crush some graham crackers and use them as a substitute?
The crackers add a nice crunch and a bit of sweetness to the cake.
You could also add other ingredients to the cake, such as chopped nuts or raisins, to give it more flavor and texture.
Just be sure to use the graham crackers in the right ratio to the other ingredients so that the cake doesn’t end up too dry or crumbly.
This is a great alternative because it’s already sweetened and will help keep your cake moist.
Just make sure that the granola has been lightly toasted so that it doesn’t add too much crunch to your cake.
7. Crushed Pretzels
If you’re looking for something crunchier than granola but less sweet than shredded coconut, try crushed pretzels instead!
See Also: 47 Dips for Pretzels I Can’t Resist
Just like granola, sprinkle them over your cake batter before baking.
If you want more pretzel flavor without adding more sugar (or if you want to cut back on sugar), try using crushed salty pretzels instead of unsalted ones.
Oats will give your carrot cake the same crunchy texture and rich flavor as shredded coconut, but without the nutty taste.
They’re also easier to find at most grocery stores, because they’re used in so many things!
9. Shredded Wheat Cereal
Shredded Wheat cereal has a similar texture to shredded coconut and is easy to find in most grocery stores.
It’s also less expensive than buying shredded coconut from the store (although it might be more expensive than buying oats).
10. Shredded Wheat Squares
Shredded wheat squares are made of wheat, corn syrup, and sugar, and they have a nice crispy texture that’s similar to shredded coconut.
They come in a variety of flavors, including cinnamon, chocolate chip, and raisin-nut.
11. Chopped Cashews
These taste very similar to shredded coconut and have a similar texture—just make sure you chop them finely enough so they blend into the batter without making it too crunchy.
12. Sunflower Seeds (Lightly Toasted)
Sunflower seeds are often used as a substitute for shredded coconut in carrot cake, because they share the same texture.
In addition, they provide a slightly nutty flavor that can be a nice complement to the sweet carrots and spices of the cake.
The only drawback is that they may not be as moist as shredded coconut, so if you’re making your own sunflower seed meal, plan on soaking them in water first to rehydrate them before adding them to your recipe.
13. Chopped Dried Apricots
Dried apricots can also be used instead of shredded coconut in carrot cake, and they have some advantages over both seeds and whole nuts.
They’re softer than either of those options, which means that you don’t have to worry about overcooking or burning them like you might with some other types of nuts or seeds.
And since apricots are naturally sweetened with sugar (or honey), there’s no need to add any additional sugar unless you want extra sweetness in your recipe.
14. Chopped Dried Pineapple
Pineapples are fairly sweet when dried, so they’re a good option for people who want to add some sweetness without adding too much sugar.
They can be used in place of whole nuts in recipes like carrot cake or banana bread because they’re soft enough to blend into the batter without needing to be chopped up first.
They’ll add chewiness and body to your dessert without making it too soggy or heavy.
15. Chopped Dried Mangoes
Mangoes are delicious, and they make an excellent replacement.
The texture may be slightly different, but it will still taste great!
Just chop up your dried mango into small pieces, and then add them to your batter.
16. Chopped Dates
Dates also make a great substitute.
They have a similar texture and consistency, so they’ll mix well with the rest of the ingredients in your recipe.
Just chop up about 5-10 dates (depending on how sweet you like it), and then add them to your batter when mixing everything together!
Raisins are a great substitute, because they have a similar texture, but are more flavorful.
You’ll need to soak them in hot water before adding them to the cake batter, but once you’ve done that, it’s easy to use them as a substitute for shredded coconut.
Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.