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4 from 1 vote


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.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 16
Author: Diane Roark


  • 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.


  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.