Italian Cream Cake

Happy (belated) Easter everyone! I was hoping to get this post up on Sunday; however, March Madness and the Duke game on Sunday coupled with computer issues yesterday delayed me from posting this fantastic recipe until today. My most sincere apologies for putting off this post as long as I have-once you try this cake, you will understand why I feel so bad for keeping it from you.


This Italian Cream Cake is a staple for my family. Ok, well maybe not a staple since we'd all weigh 500 pounds; but it is a recipe that is always requested at all of our family gatherings. I discovered this recipe when I worked for a small, family-owned restaurant when I was growing up. I, nor anyone in my family, had ever even heard of Italian Cream Cake. It wasn't too long after I began working that we all tried this amazing cake and fell in love. Even in my adolescence, I was obsessed with baking; so, naturally, I log on to our massive computer, wait for the dial-up connection, and look up a recipe for Italian Cream Cake. I later discovered that one of my mother's cookbooks had a very similar recipe, so I've since decided to use it as my go-to Italian Cream Cake recipe (notice all of the notes).


While this recipe might be a little more involved and calls for a few more ingredients than you standard cake recipe, all of the effort and money spent is well worth it. This cake is a very light, fluffy cake, that delivers a punch of flavor. It's creamy, silky, sweet vanilla flavors are complemented perfectly by the rich pecans and delicate shredded coconut. Talk about a flavor and texture party for your mouth. And that's just the cake. We can't forget about the frosting! The frosting is similar to your standard cream cheese frosting (which is delicious enough by itself), but with some chopped pecans mixed in. The pecans give the frosting more texture and balance out the sweetness from the powdered sugar. Sometimes I prefer to make the frosting without the chopped pecans and just sprinkle them on top of the cake at the end--do whichever method you prefer. Either way, the light but flavorful cake pairs perfectly with the dense, tart cream cheese frosting.


Since I know how much my family adores this recipe, I decided to make it the grand finale of our Easter dinner. To keep things festive, I added a few Easter candies to the top, but you certainly don't need to adorn this cake with anything else-it is perfect just the way it is. Just ask anyone in my family who devoured it this weekend!

Italian Cream Cake (slightly adapted from Cotton Country Collection Cookbook)
(12-16 servings)

For the cake:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup canola oil
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
5 eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup low fat buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped

For the cream cheese frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour three 8-inch or 9-inch round cake pans. Set aside.

Cream butter, oil, and granulated sugar in a mixing bowl for 2-3 minutes, or until ingredients are light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract. Stir baking soda into buttermilk. Add the sifted flour to creamed butter in three additions, alternating with buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Add the salt, coconut, and chopped pecans and mix ingredients into batter. In a separate, very clean bowl, beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the cake batter.

Divide the cake batter into the three prepared cake pans. Bake the cakes for 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans for 10 minutes before removing from pans to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting by adding the cream cheese and butter to a mixing bowl and creaming the ingredients together. Add the vanilla and salt and mix ingredients together. Slowly add the powdered sugar and mix until desired consistency and flavor is reached. I used about 2 1/2 cups. Mix in chopped pecans.

Once the cakes are completely cooled, frost the layers and outside of the cake. Cover any leftover cake and store for 3-4 days.

Print this recipe!

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 16
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 589.7
Total Fat: 39.2 g
Cholesterol: 105.3 mg
Sodium: 227.0 mg
Total Carbs: 57.5 g
Fiber: 3.7 g
Sugars: 42.8 g
Protein: 6.8 g

Pros:
-Delicious, rich cake!
-Great for special occasions
-Pretty presentation
-Crowd pleaser

Cons:
-Difficulty level is medium because of all of the ingredients and steps required to make this cake, but the outcome is well worth it

Check out some of the link parties that I shared this recipe on!

Elaine

15 comments:

  1. I've never had an Italian cream cake--it looks amazing! So soft and fluffy!

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    1. It's a hidden gem, for sure! I don't know why it's not more well-known, but I'm trying to spread the word about this delicious recipe. :)

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  2. Wow, stunning! I bet it tastes fabulous, too - Italian desserts and cream cakes are always delicious. Don't ask me how my pants fit after last week's trip to Italy ;-)

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    1. Lucky you! I'm not sure how this recipe stacks up to desserts in Italy--I can only imagine how delicious they must be. Italy is on my list of places to visit!!

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  3. That looks fabulous!

    You did a wonderful job frosting haha! Where did you learn to frost so well. I've found a few Youtube videos but I'm still learning@

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Anne! I've been frosting cakes since I could hold a knife. Cakes are one of my favorite things to bake, so I have been making and frosting them forever! I guess lots of practice. :) I'm still working on perfecting my pastry bag frosting techniques though!

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  4. Totally swooning over this cake, Elaine! So rich and decadent.. I love that for Easter desserts (okay, well, ALL desserts). I kinda sorta just wanna go to town on that cream cheese frosting with a spoon!

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    1. Oh Hayley, you better believe I made sure to scrape the frosting bowl clean after I was done frosting the cake. There was no cream cheese frosting that went to waste!! :)

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  5. I love traditional family recipes :) This cake looks delish!

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    1. Traditions are so fun, especially when they taste this good!

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  6. Your cake looks so extravagant and delicious! I've never had Italian cream cake. I'm going to have to change that soon.

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    Replies
    1. You definitely should, Marcie! It is one of my all time favorite cakes.

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  7. This looks fantastic! Thanks for linking up at Tried and True recipes at http://rediscovermom.blogspot.com/2013/04/tried-and-true-recipes-7.html

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