Recipe is below, as promised.
Recipe THE COMPLETE BAKING COOKBOOK by George Geary(Robert Rose, Inc.; Ocotber 2007;$24.95/paperback).
Serves 10-12 * (as a cake; I modified the recipe and poured it into two cupcake trays, one of 12-normal sized cupcakes, one of 24 nano-cupcakes. Then I tried to see how many I could fit into my mouth at once.)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Two 9-inch round cake pans, sprayed with non-stick spray (or the aforementioned cupcake trays, lined with paper liners)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup crushed pineapple, drained (I muddled cubed pineapple with a bar muddling stick and strained excess liquid out using a bar strainer: that is how I roll)
1/4 cup flaked sweetened coconut
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 cup shredded carrots
1. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon & nutmeg. Set aside.
2. In a mixer bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, combine sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla until well blended, for 2 minutes. Add pineapple, coconut, and pecans and mix for 1 minute. Using a wooden spoon, gradually stir in flour mixture just until incorporated. Stir in carrots.
3. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 28 - 32 minutes (check them sooner for cupcakes! I took mine out after 20 mins.) Let cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes before transferring to rack to cool completely.
4. For best results for decorating, wrap cake layers in plastic wrap and freeze for 1 to 2 days. (We were eating them almost immediately, so I did not do this.)
George suggests several different icing options for these puppies (all recipes can be found in the book), including Buttercream, Cream Cheese Icing, French Buttercream Frosting, Island Frosting, Seven-Minute Frosting, and Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting. I chose Island: it's recommended for "when the flavor of a cake calls for cream cheese with tropical-island flair. And how! The recipe is below:
Makes about 2 cups
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted (oops! Forgot that step; guess I got there after Applejack Manhattan No. 2)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
1. In a mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth, for 3 minutes. Gradually add confectioner's sugar, mixing on low speed until it gathers, about 2 minutes. Increase speed to high and whip until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Fold in vanilla, pecans, and coconut by hand. (I also let the frosting whip for a little too long, and for this I blame Manhattan 2.5. I simply finished the recipe and stuck it in the fridge for a bit to firm up while the cupcakes cooled.)