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Italian Cream Cake

Italian Cream Cake
When Hubby had a birthday recently and I wanted to make him a special cake to commemorate his day.  I thought it would be fun to try a new cake rather than rely upon one of my tried and true cakes.  I've been saving cake recipes that look delicious on my Pinterest board, Let Me Eat Cake.  So off I went to see if there was a cake there that might fit the bill.

There were two cakes on the board that I thought would tickle his taste buds.  The first was the Italian Cream Cake from lynn-southernwithatwist.blogspot.com and the second was a Coconut Cream Cake from life-as-a-lofthouse.blogspot.com.  I showed Hubby the pictures of the cakes and read the ingredients.  He chose the Italian Cream Cake.

I had never heard of an Italian Cream Cake before.  Have you?   An online recipe search for Italian Cream Cake revealed recipe, after recipe, after recipe.  Where have I been all these years to have missed this cake?  All the recipes I found were very similar.  It appears the Italian Cream Cake is a southern tradition and not of Italian descent as the name might make you think.  The cake consists of three layers of yellow cake and most of the recipes include coconut and nuts in the cake batter.  The preferred nuts are either pecans or walnuts.

The frosting is a cream cheese frosting, which I love.  Some bakers mix coconut and nuts into the frosting, while others sprinkle one or the other on top of the cake.  Many commenters on this cake say its flavor improves as it sits.  That makes this the perfect cake to make if you need to bake a few days ahead of serving it.
Italian Cream Cake


Armed with three, 9-inch cake pans I was ready to bake.  Heeding the recommendation to bake this cake in advance, I baked it on Friday, planning to serve it on Sunday.  Other tips for success include:
  • Line the cake pans with parchment paper for easy removal of the cake.  The cake is tender and the parchment paper helps to ensure your success.
  • Cool the cakes completely in the pans.  If you have used parchment paper lining in the pans the cakes will remove easily.  The cakes finish setting as they cool in the pans so you won't want to disturb them by removing them from the pans before completely cool.
  • Grind your nuts to get them small enough so as not to sink to the bottom of the pan.  Ground nuts distribute evenly through the cake batter.
This cake is a bit more complicated that your average birthday cake to make, but is well worth the additional effort.  The cake is enhanced by the addition of nuts (pecans for me) and coconut, but neither overwhelm the cake.  Making the cake ahead of time allows the flavors to meld and the cake seems to be moister as time goes on.  Serve the cake at room temperature for the best flavor and texture.

Italian Cream Cake
Print Recipe
Italian Cream Cake Ingredients
Serves 12
  • 1/2 cup Crisco shortening
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 eggs, whites and yolks separated
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup finely ground pecans

Frosting Ingredients
The Frosting
  • 12 ounces (1 1/2- 8 ounce packages) cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 16 ounces confectioner's sugar
  • chopped pecans, or shredded coconut for garnish

Directions
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease three 9-inch cake pans.  Line the pans with circles of parchment paper.  Grease and flour the pans.

Be sure all your ingredients are at room temperature.  Cream together the shortening, butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating after each addition.  In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking soda.  Add the dry ingredients to the batter alternating with the buttermilk.  Begin and end with the dry ingredients.  Stir in the vanilla.

Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff.  Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.  Fold in the nuts and coconut.
Folding In Egg Whites

Divide the batter evenly among the three prepared cake pans.  Place the pans on the center rack of your oven, baking for 25 minutes, or until the cakes are golden and a tester comes out clean.  Cool the cakes in the pans completely.

The Baked Layers

While the cakes are cooling prepare the frosting.  Combine the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together in a bowl using an electric mixer.  Beat together until smooth and fluffy.  Add the sifted sugar, a little at a time until completely combined.  If the frosting seems too loose, place it in the refrigerator to firm up a bit.

Italian Cream Cake
Frost between the layers of the cakes, then the sides and top.  Garnish the cake with your preference of chopped pecans or shredded coconut.  Cover the cake and refrigerate.  Remove the cake from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.

You can freeze individual slices of any left over cake.  I did and it was delicious when thawed at room temperature.

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Enjoy!
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Comments

  1. I love this web site. Just found it on google search. Thanks girl and keep up good work. Nellieru in Texas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Nellieru! So happy you found me. Hope to hear more from you in the future.

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