Carrabba's Italian Grill was founded by Johnny Carrabba and Damian Mandola in Houston, Texas in 1986. The restaurant features hand-prepared family recipes made from the finest ingredients and prepared to order in an exhibition kitchen. The success of Carrabba's led to the popular PBS cooking show Cucina!, starring Carrabba and Mandola, as well as a series of companion cookbooks. There are currently 240 Carrabba's Italian Grill locations around the country.

Offering Italian-inspired cuisine passed down from our founders’ family recipes, Carrabba’s uses only the best ingredients to prepare fresh and handmade dishes cooked to order in a lively exhibition kitchen. Featuring a wood-burning grill inspired by the many tastes of Italy, customers can enjoy signature dishes, including Chicken Bryan, Spiedino di Mare and a fresh twist on an Italian Classic, Wood-grilled Chicken Marsala. Carrabba’s was voted #1 Italian in the 2014 Consumer Picks Survey by Nation’s Restaurant News.



Coconut Cake

Carrabba's Restaurant Recipe

Serves 8-10

3 cups cake flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
2-4 tablespoons Half and Half
2 cups grated coconut

To make the Cake:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 (9 inch) round cake pans.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add the flour mixture and milk in thirds alternating with the sugar mixture, beating until smooth before adding the next. Mix in the vanilla and pecans. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared pans.

Bake for 25 minutes until the center springs back slightly to the touch. Let the cakes cool for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto cooling racks.

To make the Icing:  In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar. Beat in the vanilla and coconut extracts. Beat in as much Half and Half as desired to achieve a smooth, spreadable frosting. Ice one cake on top and sides. Sprinkle liberally with coconut. Top with the second cake and continue icing and adding coconut.  Serves 8 to 10.

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