Celebrate Christmas or any special occasion with this fabulous Italian Cream Cake.
Italian Cream Cake is a classic three layer buttermilk cake loaded with Southern pecans and coconut. The cream cheese frosting that covers the cake is worth every calorie in it. Italian Cream Cake is a special occasion cake in the South. It has a close cousin the Southern Hummingbird cake which I dearly love too. Depending on where you live in the South, chances are you have eaten one of these cakes. My husband grew up eating Hummingbird cake, and I grew up eating Italian Cream Cake. The Hummingbird cake includes bananas and pineapple which is the main difference between the two cakes.
Step by Step Instructions For Baking This Italian Cream Cake
This Italian Cream Cake is not one of my easy to make recipes, but it is the holidays. Christmas is a season where people make time for baking I know I do. I love to bake but what makes cooking even more special is doing it with my kids.
This post includes step by step instructions for baking this cake. I am going to teach you each step so you can have fun baking and eating this cake with your family.
Ingredients in this Italian Cream Cake
To make this cake, you will need softened butter, vegetable shortening, sugar, eggs, all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, buttermilk, cream of tartar, vanilla, coconut, and pecans. The fabulous cream cheese frosting consists of the following ingredients; cream cheese, butter, confectioners sugar, pecans, and vanilla.
First Step and Tip
Soak your coconut in the buttermilk. Soaking the coconut in the buttermilk helps soften the coconut and adds fantastic flavor to the buttermilk. It is an excellent tip for baking anything using coconut and milk or buttermilk.
Use an electric mixer and cream together the butter and shortening until fluffy. Gradually add the sugar and continue whipping until light and fluffy.
Slowly add the eggs one at a time. Give time for the mixer to combine each egg before adding the second egg.
Combine the flour, salt, and soda in a large bowl. Use a whisk to combine everything well.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the sugar and egg mixture alternating it with the buttermilk and coconut mixture. Stir in Vanilla and pecans.
Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until they form peaks. Fold the egg whites gently into the batter.
Grease and flour three 9-inch pans. You could also use cooking spray with baking and a piece of parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper too.
Pour batter evenly in three 9-inch cake pans
Bake 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.
Watch the cake carefully. Because ovens cook differently, use a toothpick and insert it in the center of the cake. The toothpick should be dry.
Cool cake completely. While cake is cooling, make the frosting and chop the pecans.
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This recipe was adapted from Miss Daisy Celebrates Tennessee cookbook.
ITALIAN CREAM CAKE
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 2 cups sugar
- 5 eggs separated
- 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla
- 2 cups coconut
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven 350 degrees
- Combine the buttermilk with the coconut and let set.
- Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and shortening.
- Gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
- Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each egg.
- Use a whisk to combine the flour, salt, and soda.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the sugar and egg mixture alternating it with the buttermilk and coconut mixture.
- Stir in Vanilla and pecans.
- Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until they form peaks.
- Fold them gently into the batter.
- Grease and flour three 9-inch pans. You could also use cooking spray for baking and a piece of parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper too.
- Pour batter evenly in three 9-inch cake pans that have been prepared.
- Bake 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.
- Watch the cake carefully. All ovens cook are different. Use a toothpick and insert it in the center of the cake. The cake on the toothpick should not be wet.
- Cool cake completely.
- Frost cake with cream cheese frosting. See the bottom of this post for the recipe.
- Refrigerate cake in a covered container.
- Remove from the refrigerator at least one hour before serving.
- The cake is best when made and refrigerated two days before serving.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 12 ounce package cream cheese cold
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 5 cups Confectioners Sugar sifted
- 1 cup pecans chopped
- 2 teaspoon vanilla pure
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Using an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.
- Sift the Confectioner's sugar and gradually add the sugar to the cream cheese and butter. Beat until light and fluffy.
- Stir in vanilla and pecans.
- 2 cups chopped pecans, depending on if you want to decorate the sides of the cake with pecans. If decorating the sides of the cake with pecans, you can leave the pecans out of the frosting.
- Add more Confectioners sugar if you are going to pipe with this frosting.
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