Italian Cream Cake is a egg rich three layer yellow cake that is filled with coconut and toasted pecans. It’s a special occasion dessert that we’ve made for birthdays, celebrations, and family gatherings. A rich cream cheese and toasted pecan frosting tops the cake and fills the layers. Toasted coconut tops the beautiful cake. Listen to the oohs and aahs when you present the cake and the yums after the first bite!
For this recipe you will need: buttermilk, baking soda, eggs, butter, sugar, shortening, all-purpose flour, vanilla extract, pecans, coconut flakes, cream cheese, coconut extract, powdered sugar.
Does your family have a special birthday tradition? We do. The birthday honoree picks the type of cake, like this Italian Cream Cake, and the entire dinner or lunch now that they’re adults, for his or her special occasion.
The birthday cake tradition.
When our kids were little, we would always invite the grandparents over for the celebration. We’d make a big production of keeping the actual cake a surprise.
This, you know, was to build the tension!
All day the excitement would build because they couldn’t see the cake until evening.
Those were such wonderful days! The birthday parties weren’t big just the family. But we made the birthday very, very special.
It was so much fun I would make the cakes when the kids napped. I kept everything a secret, they didn’t have a clue what the theme was.
The real challenge was trying to find a good hiding spot! You know how nosey little ones can be.
The first birthday cake
I remember the first cake I decorated! It was a Raggedy Ann cake. And if I do say so myself, it was adorable!!
I knew the little princess would be so excited. Michelle loved her Raggedy Ann Dolls.
I hid the decorated cake on the back porch. The same back porch that we had painted the week before with an oil-based formula.
It was the perfect hiding place! The little ones didn’t go out there, and besides the odor from the paint seemed gone.
The beautiful Raggedy Ann Cake ended up in the trash. Inedible!!! It tasted like the original odor of the paint. 😢
It was a sad moment *sigh* but the ice cream and presents helped her to forget.
The special occasion Italian Cream Cake.
For the past 30 years, the birthday cake requested by our daughter is always for Italian Cream Cake. Although this rich yellow cake doesn’t have any Italian roots, it’s delicious nonetheless.
I tried to find the origin of the cake, the only thing I found was that the first written recipe for an Italian Cream Cake was in 1937.
I’ve made this recipe, a lot, as you can see by the stains on the card. The back of the card is even worse.
This recipe is such a tradition I know exactly where the card is — at all times. 😉
Italian cream cake evolves.
When I was looking for the history of Italian Cream Cake on the Internet, I found that there are many versions. There are also countless printings for this yellow cake, and most of the recipes are basically the same.
We’ve tweaked our Italian Cream Cake recipe a little and we believe that it’s improved the flavor if that’s possible. 😍
If you’ve been making Italian Cream Cake, try toasting the nuts and coconut and see if that doesn’t improve the flavor.
Next special occasion try out our special coconut pecan yellow cake. You’ll find that it truly is an outstanding dessert!!
Tutti a tavola è pronto!
Un caro saluto e alla prossima.
YOU MAY NEED. . .
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Italian Cream Cake with Toasted Coconut
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 5 eggs separated
- 1 stick butter softened
- 2 cups 400 grams or 14 1/8 oz. sugar
- 1/2 cup shortening - I use the butter flavored Crisco
- 2 cups 250 grams or 8 3/4 oz. all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 1/2 cups 139 1/2 grams or 5 oz. loosely packed coconut flakes
- 1 Large package cream cheese 8 oz. at room temperature
- 1 stick butter softened
- 1 box 1 lb. powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1 cup toasted chopped pecans
- 1 cup toasted shredded coconut
- Prepare 3 - 8 inch cake pans by greasing and flouring the bottom and sides. I also cut round pieces of parchment paper to line the very bottom of each pan.
- Combine soda and buttermilk and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl cream sugar, butter and shortening until light and fluffy.
- Add egg yolks one at a time. Beat well after each addition.
- Add buttermilk and flour a little at a time.
- Stir in vanilla. Set aside.
- In another mixing bowl beat egg whites until stiff, but not dry.
- Gently fold the egg batter into the egg whites making sure everything is mixed.
- Add the coconut and nuts.
- Pour into the 3 prepared 8-inch cake pans.
- Bake at 325 F for 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick poked into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Let the pans cool on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove from pans, then cool completely on wire racks sprayed with cooking spray to prevent sticking.
- With an electric mixer beat the cream cheese with the butter on high speed until fluffy.
- Reduce the speed and blend in the powdered sugar, vanilla and coconut extract.
- Beat well until it is smooth and light.
- Fold in the toasted pecans.
- Spread the frosting between the layers and on the sides and top of the cake.
- Sprinkle with the toasted coconut.
- I use a wooden skewer to anchor the three layers together. It makes frosting the cake easier and the layers don't shift. Put the skewer right through the middle of the cake and then snip off the top that sticks out. The frosting will conceal the skewer and it's easy to locate once you begin to slice the cake.