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Italian Cream Cake

Finished Italian cream cake

Laced with toasted pecans and coconut shreds, then slathered with a rich and tangy cream cheese frosting, this is Italian Cream Cake!

Based on my Vanilla Cake recipe this Italian Cream Cake is soft, moist, and filled with flavor. The texture of the cake, pecans, and coconut shreds are perfectly complementary to the cream cheese frosting. Overall this cake is a jaw-dropping, drool-worthy dessert to make for any occasion.

Finished Italian cream cake

What is Italian Cream Cake?

Sometimes called Italian Cream Cheese Cake, Italian Cream Cake isn’t even from Italy! It’s actually from the American South (perhaps from Texas, others think Georgia). Regardless, you’re not going to care where it came from when you take your first bite. This cake is characterized by pecans, coconut and cream cheese frosting. Read on, fellow cake lovers!

Italian Cream Cake Ingredients

Start out by gathering up your ingredients. You’re going to find typical cake making stuff in this recipe plus a couple of special additions. Here’s what you need to make Italian Cream Cake:

  • Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, and Salt – flour fills out the cake, salt balances flavors, baking soda, and baking powder react with the buttermilk to make this cake rise.
  • Sugar and Vanilla Extract – for sweetness and for flavor.
  • Butter, Vegetable Oil, and Buttermilk – all three of these ingredients ensure a moist cake. More on that below.
  • Eggs and Egg Whites – for structure and a little color.
  • Pecans and Shredded Coconut – for flavor, texture, and complete yumminess.
  • Cream Cheese, Butter, Powdered Sugar, and more Vanilla Extract – all of these are used to make our cream cheese frosting.

That’s it! Onto making and baking.

How to Make Italian Cream Cake

For full details on how to make this Italian Cream Cake, see the recipe card down below.

  1. Preheat the oven. Line two cake pans with parchment paper and nonstick cooking spray, set aside.
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the vanilla and buttermilk. Set aside.
  4. In a stand mixer, combine butter, oil and sugar. Add in the eggs and egg whites and beat until fluffy.
  5. Starting and ending with the dry ingredients, alternate adding and mixing in the dry ingredients with the buttermilk mixture.
  6. Fold in the pecans and shredded coconut.
  7. Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans. Bake then cool cakes completely.
  8. Once cakes are cooled, slice in half horizontally.
  9. Assemble the layers of cake with cream cheese frosting between each one. Frost the entire outside then decorate with pecans and/or coconut. Serve!

Cream Cheese Frosting

Let’s talk about cream cheese frosting that coats this entire cake. Tangy, creamy, absolutely decadent. For all details pertaining to this frosting see here.

I wouldn’t recommend subbing out this frosting for another type, simply because it too perfectly goes with the flavors and textures of the cake.

slice taken out of Italian Cream Cake

Keeping Your Cake Moist

I’ve done a few things to ensure that this cake is moist and delicious.

  • I used 3 simple ingredients to add moisture. Butter, oil, and buttermilk.
  • I baked this cake at a lower temperature than other recipes. This means that it has to bake for a bit longer too. But be careful because over baking leads to a dry cake, ew.
  • I let my cakes cool completely but don’t let them sit out past 12 hours. This leads to crusty edges and a stale taste. If you want to make this cake ahead of time, simply wrap your cake layers in plastic wrap to keep them moist, then store in the fridge or on the counter.

Do I have to Refrigerate Italian Cream Cake?

Italian Cream Cake is safe to leave out if you plan on eating it within 2-3 hours. Anything after that, you should refrigerate.

To store, cover the entire cake with plastic wrap (a helpful tip is to use toothpicks to tent the plastic wrap around the cake). A covered cake stand also works super well.

slice of italian cream cake on plate

More Cake Recipes to Try!

Consider making this Italian Cream Cake for your next big occasion, or maybe just because you want to try something new.

Either way, the printable recipe card is below, enjoy πŸ™‚

Finished Italian cream cake

Italian Cream Cake

Laced with toasted pecans and coconut shreds, then slathered with a rich and tangy cream cheese frosting, this is Italian Cream Cake!
Prep Time 35 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings
Calories 1053 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the Italian Cream Cake

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 whole egg whites
  • 1/2 cup pecans toasted chopped
  • 1 cup shredded coconut

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 cup butter very soft
  • 16 oz cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 pounds powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two 8 or 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper and nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the vanilla and buttermilk. Set aside.
  • In a stand mixer, combine butter, oil, and sugar. Add in the eggs and egg whites and beat until fluffy.
  • Starting and ending with the dry ingredients, alternate adding and mixing in the dry ingredients with the buttermilk mixture. Fold in the pecans and shredded coconut by hand.
  • Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans. Bake 30-40 minutes in the lower 2/3rds of the oven. The cake is done when a toothpick can be inserted and comes out mostly clean.
  • Cool the cakes 15-20 minutes in cake pans before transferring to cooling racks. Cool completely before decorating.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Mix all ingredients together until completely combined and smooth. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl and stir again.

Assembly

  • Once cakes are cooled, slice in half lengthwise with a serrated bread knife. You should be left with four thin layers.
  • Place one layer onto the preferred serving platter. Top with about 3/4 cup of cream cheese frosting. Spread to the edges of the cake.
  • Top with another cake layer and continue frosting until all four sliced are stacked with frosting in between.
  • With the remaining frosting, frost the exterior of the cake.
  • Decorate with pecans and/or coconut then serve!

Nutrition

Calories: 1053kcalCarbohydrates: 140gProtein: 9gFat: 53gSaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 663mgPotassium: 193mgFiber: 2gSugar: 113gVitamin A: 1634IUCalcium: 102mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Italian Cream Cake
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