For easter, I planned on making a carrot cake of some sort...I mean c'mon, easter bunnies, carrots, cream cheese frosting? What could be better than that? Answer: Nothing. I adapted a recipe from my favorite food blog; Skinnytaste, where I swapped out the canola oil for applesauce, and instead of baking one large cake for all to cut off their version of a slice, I decided to make mini cakes, 1/2 of the batch with walnuts, the other half without (gotta please all my guests!). This way my Dad can have 3 mini cakes, and I can have 1 (Oh, who am I kidding, I'll probably eat 3 with my Dad. I mean, they are mini, right?).
Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, coconut, baking soda, salt, and spices; stir well with a whisk.
In a medium bowl, combine applesauce, eggs, and vanilla; stir well. Add grated carrots and pineapple; mix well. Fold wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, batter will be stiff and dry but keep folding it and it will all come together. Fold in 1/4 cup chopped nuts.
Spoon batter into an individual cake pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for about 20 minutes, until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and cake is pulling away from sides of pan. Cool cakes completely on a wire rack.
To prepare frosting, beat together cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread frosting over top of cake. Garnish with remaining chopped walnuts, or get creative and pipe orange and green frosting to make little carrots on top!