Though this recipe came from humble beginnings (it was in a shoebox of recipes my mother had saved since the forties), it has since risen to fame as the best carrot cake ever amongst my family, friends, and coworkers. Nothing like the sawdust-dry carrot cakes you often come across, this one is dense, moist and very rich. I knew I had a winner when an area restaurant owner tried it at a party and asked if he could feature it on his new spring menu. Plate it up as is, or serve small pieces in decorative cupcake liners. Lovely as a decorated nine-inch layer cake too!
Combine flour, soda, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
Combine eggs, oil, buttermilk, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl or stand mixer. Beat until smooth.
Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Mix in drained pineapple, carrots, and coconut.
Pour batter into a greased and floured 9 x 13 pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick comes out free of wet batter. While cake is baking, make buttermilk glaze.
For buttermilk glaze, combine sugar, soda, buttermilk, butter, and corn syrup in a heavy pan or small dutch oven. Bring to a boil; cook for four minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla.
When cake is finished, remove from oven and immediately spread with buttermilk glaze. While cooling, make cream cheese frosting.
For frosting, combine butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and powdered sugar. Beat until smooth.
After cake is cooled completely, spread on cream cheese frosting. Store cake covered in the refrigerator.