If you’ve spent any amount of time here in the South, you’ve probably had Italian Cream Cake. It’s a light, buttermilk cake with pecans and coconut topped with a cream cheese frosting. Sounds good, right?? It’s every bit as good as it sounds! It’s probably no surprise that I usually bring dessert to parties/get-togethers. I’m always tempted to make something “fancy”, but I find the biggest hits are almost always very classic desserts – Apple Pie, Chocolate Cream Pie, Texas Sheet Cake, White Cake with Marshmallow Frosting, anything with Oreos, etc. There’s nothing fancy about this cake – you don’t even need to pipe the frosting, but layer cakes are always more impressive than a sheet cakes, in my opinion. I’ve made this cake for several family gatherings and it’s always a hit. It travels well, slices (fairly) neatly, and keeps for several days (if you have any left!). You’ll want to bookmark this recipe for your next dinner party or potluck =). Enjoy!
Italian Cream Cake
for the cake:
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
5 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1 cup angel flake shredded, sweetened coconut
for the frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
dash of salt
8 oz cream cheese, cold
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 cups powdered sugar
~1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) round cake pans or spray with flour-added cooking spray and line bottoms with parchment circles.
2. Stir baking soda into buttermilk and set aside.
3. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; set aside.
4. Cream butter, salt, sugar and shortening in bowl of stand mixer for 3-5 minutes until fluffy and pale. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping the bowl often. Beat in vanilla.
5. By hand or using lowest speed of mixer, add flour and buttermilk mixture alternately to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Fold in egg whites. When egg whites are incorporated, fold in the pecans and coconut. Batter should be thick and light. Scrape into prepared pans dividing evenly.
6. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out with only a few moist crumbs. Let cool in pans on rack for about 10 minutes, then turn from pans and cool completely.
7. For the frosting, in bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment cream the butter, salt, and cream cheese until light and fluffy – about a minute . Add vanilla.
8. Gradually add powdered sugar. Beat until well blended. Frost the cakes and stack. Garnish with pecans.