• Author: Diane Roark
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 16
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: American


Italian Cream Cake is a classic three layer buttermilk cake loaded with Southern pecans and coconut.  This cake is a special occasion cake in the South.   It is frosted with a wonderful cream cheese frosting.


  • 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


  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees
  2. Combine the buttermilk with the coconut and let set.
  3. Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and shortening.
  4. Gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  5. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each egg.
  6. Use a whisk to combine the flour, salt, and soda.
  7. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the sugar and egg mixture alternating it with the buttermilk and coconut mixture.
  8. Stir in Vanilla and pecans.
  9. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until they form peaks.
  10. Fold them gently into the batter.
  11. 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.
  12. Pour batter evenly in three 9-inch cake pans that have been prepared.
  13. Bake 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.
  14. 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.
  15. Cool cake completely.


  1. Frost cake with cream cheese frosting.  See the bottom of this post for the recipe.
  2. Refrigerate cake in a covered container.
  3. Remove from the refrigerator at least one hour before serving.
  4. The cake is best when made and refrigerated two days before serving.