cakes Recipe

Italian Cream Cake

Italian Cream Cake

Italian Cream Cake is a three layer masterpiece of light sponge cakes with pecans,  and luscious cream cheese frosting with toasted coconut, and vanilla and almond flavors!

Italian Cream Cake

I’ve made several versions of this Italian Cream Cake over the last several months. I’ve toyed with my recipe a bit here and there. This version is mostly based on the recipe from Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen.

I think this is a FABULOUS party cake! Three layers always impress guests. The almond, vanilla, pecan, and coconut makes this cake a little more sophisticated than your average chocolate or yellow cake. It’s so easy to decorate this cake too. It’s SO forgiving… the coconut and pecans hide any frosting mistakes.

I photographed this cake recently at my mom’s house. I perched it on her milk glass cake stand. I think it looks just stunning! I’ve got to get one of those cake stands for myself!

Italian Cream Cake

5 from 1 vote
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Italian Cream Cake

Italian Cream Cake is a three-layer masterpiece of light sponge cakes with pecans,  and luscious cream cheese frosting with toasted coconut, and vanilla and almond flavors!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 16 Slices
Author we are all magic

Ingredients

Toasted Pecans & Coconut:

  • 14 ounces sweetened coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans

Cake:

  • 2 sticks salted butter, softened 1 cup, 225 grams
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 7 ounces toasted coconut (mentioned above)
  • 1 cup toasted chopped pecans (mentioned above)

Frosting:

  • 2 packages cream cheese Two 8 ounce packages
  • 2 sticks salted butter, softened 1 cup, 225 grams
  • 2 lbs confectioner's sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • remaining toasted coconut
  • remaining toasted pecans

Instructions

Toasted Pecans & Coconut:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F/175C and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Chop up the pecans, they don't need to be too small.

  3. Spread pecans evenly on one of the baking sheets and repeat with the coconut.

  4. Put both sheets in the hot oven and toast for 5-10 minutes. CHECK ON THEM FREQUENTLY! The coconut goes from toasted to burnt very quickly! I really like the toasted coconut because it gives a lot of texture to the cake, but I suppose you could skip the toasting part if you wanted. 

  5. Remove both sheets from oven and set aside to cool.

Cake:

  1. Grease and flour three 8-9 inch round cake pans. (I actually used aluminum disposable pans at my mom's house and the cake turned out fine!)

  2. In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream together the butter and the sugars for about 5 minutes until light in color and fluffy.

  3. Add egg yolks and extracts to the butter/sugar and mix until incorporated.

  4. Sift together flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix into batter alternately with the buttermilk in a few parts.

  5. Add coconut and pecans and mix well.

  6. Beat egg whites to soft peaks and gently fold into the batter.

  7. Divide the batter evenly between the three pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow layers to cool completely before decorating.

Frosting:

  1. Cream together butter, extracts, and cream cheese in a large bowl or stand mixer.

  2. Slowly add confectioner's sugar a little bit at a time until it's all incorporated. Beat the frosting until light and fluffy.

Assembling the cake:

  1. Position first layer on a cake stand and top with a hefty dollop of frosting. Spread evenly across the layer. Top with the second and third layers in the same fashion.

  2. Frost the sides of the cake. Use all of the amazing frosting and make it really thick!  Don't worry about making it too pretty, the coconut and pecans will hide any mistakes.

  3. Pat handfulls of coconut onto the side of the cake. Sprinkle pecans on top of the cake.

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    Marianne
    March 26, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    The Italian cake looks amazing. My heritage is Italian so I’m always drawn to anything Italian. I however do not care for almond flavoring. Have u made this cake with a different flavoring. Thank u

    • Reply
      we are all magic
      March 31, 2018 at 4:18 pm

      I’ve made it with walnuts instead of pecans before. I’m sure you could experiment with other flavors of extract!

  • Reply
    Elsie
    March 29, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    can the cake be made ahead of time?

    • Reply
      we are all magic
      March 31, 2018 at 4:17 pm

      I’ve made it a day ahead of time. I bet you could make the layers and freeze them if you wanted too.

  • Reply
    Megan
    March 29, 2018 at 10:55 pm

    That truly is a centerpiece cake!

  • Reply
    ashley
    March 30, 2018 at 7:47 pm

    This looks so beautiful and I can only imagine how good it tastes!!

  • Reply
    Megan @ MegUnprocessed
    March 30, 2018 at 10:29 pm

    This is gorgeous! Love all the coconut on the outside!

  • Reply
    Connie
    March 31, 2018 at 9:38 pm

    5 stars
    Just finished this cake to serve to my family on Easter Sunday!!! I love Italian Cream Cake and can’t wait to dig into a piece of it tomorrow!! Thanks for sharing this recipe!!

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