ugh..prognosis not so good.
I delivered the cake to the intended recipient.. substituted sunflower oil and applesauce( half and half of each)(to make 1/3 cup) (substituted for 1/3 cup coconut oil).. The lady to whom I gave the cake said :"UGH".. it was sticky and gooey and stuck to her teeth. ( compared to the carrot cake with the coconut oil, which she loves).
i just wanted to post the results..
In this particular cake, I think the coconut oil in the original recipe makes it a more tender crumb and less sticky final product.
back to the drawing board.
thanks to all.