Italian Cream Cake

by Suzanne on May 14, 2012

in Sweet Things

 I have been wanting to make this cake forever but I haven’t had to because my friend Heidi makes this for special occasions and I get the pleasure of eating it too. Heidi and I share a love of baking, she has some great cake recipes so this one won’t be the only one I share with you. This recipe is her Dad’s who used to bake cakes for weddings and own an ice-cream shop. I changed it a tiny bit by using coconut oil instead of vegetable shortening since coconut is the healthy oil to use now and vegetable shortening has the trans fats.
 I think most people know what an Italian cream cake is but if you are not familiar then you must try this wonderful cake. It’s full of pecans and coconut and frosted with cream cheese frosting, it’s dense, moist and delicious.  If you are a coconut fan and pecan fan you will love this recipe, I haven’t met very many people who don’t love it, except my kids who don’t like nuts or coconut but that is okay because it just means more for me and my hubby.

Italian Cream Cake

1/2 cup or stick of butter, soft
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 cup sugar
5 egg yolks
1 tsp. Mexican Vanilla
2 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/3 cup coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
5 egg whites, stiffly beaten

Step 1:  Cream butter and shortening, add sugar and beat until mixture is smooth then add egg yolks and beat well. Stir in vanilla.
Step 2: Sift flour and soda together then add to batter mixture alternately with buttermilk. Stir in coconut and nuts.
Step 3: Whip egg whites until stiff then fold in egg whites into the batter.
Step 4: Divide batter evenly into 3 greased and floured 8 inch round pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 min. or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on racks for ten minutes then turn out of pan onto cooling rack to cool completely.
Step 5: Make frosting according to directions below then, frost with cream cheese icing.

Cream Cheese Icing
1 1/2 sticks butter or 12 T. softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1-2 tsp. Mexican Vanilla (or plain vanilla)
6 cups powdered sugar
chopped pecans

Step 1: Cream butter & cream cheese together until smooth. Add vanilla.
Step 2: 6 cups of powdered sugar, add nuts if desired.

Do not recommend using a 13×9 pan.

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1 Laura (Tutti Dolci) May 14, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Wow Suzanne, this cake is beautiful! Coconut with pecan sounds like a perfect match.

2 Suzanne May 14, 2012 at 10:15 pm

Thanks Laura 🙂

3 Lisa (AuthenticSuburbanGourmet) May 14, 2012 at 9:58 pm

This is my kind of cake!!! Love coconut and pecans and cream cheese frosting. Will be pinning so I can make this divine cake!

4 Suzanne May 14, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Thanks Lisa, hope you do get to try it out 🙂

5 Sandra's Easy Cooking May 14, 2012 at 10:04 pm

This looks so tasty! Delicious recipe and beautiful photos! I am huge coconut and pecan I am loving thus cake that much more:))

6 Suzanne May 14, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Thanks Sandra, I just love this cake.

7 Priscilla @ShesCookin May 14, 2012 at 11:31 pm

You made that! 😉 Beautiful cake, so pretty with the roses. I’m a huge coconut (and pecan) lover – my willpower is being tested just looking at it!

8 Suzanne May 15, 2012 at 7:43 am

Priscilla, you got the title of my blog ha ha. A small piece wouldn’t hurt that’s why it’s good to make this for other people and give it away :).

9 Jen Laceda @ Tartine and Apron Strings May 15, 2012 at 12:07 am

Oh my goodness, this is one of my fave combos! Pecans and coconuts – love that earthy, nutty sweetness of these two! I can eat the whole thing…seriously!

10 Suzanne May 15, 2012 at 7:44 am

I know what you mean Jen, cakes are weakness especially ones with coconut in them :).

11 Nami | Just One Cookbook May 15, 2012 at 3:05 am

Actually, it would be me. I don’t think I’ve tried Italian Cream Cake before (I think…I sometimes don’t pay attention to names of the cake (you can tell I’m not much of a baker here)). I love coconut and nuts, so this must be my kind of cake then! Um… I don’t know if I can make this though… I’ve never made this kind of cake before….. it’s true! I have to find someone who bakes this or will pay attention at restaurants and bakery so I get to try this cake one day! Your styling is gorgeous and I really love how you took pictures!

12 Suzanne May 15, 2012 at 7:45 am

Nami, I wouldn’t have known much about this cake had I not moved to the South where they are quite popular. Thanks for the sweet comment.

13 Lilac May 15, 2012 at 4:12 am

Hello Suzanne,

Do you mind if I share this with my co-teachers? They would definitely love this 🙂

Also, does it matter what kind of coconut oil I use? I use this virgin coconut oil which is unrefined and supposed to be healthier,


14 Suzanne May 15, 2012 at 7:47 am

You bet Lilac, that’s what my recipes are for sharing with others :), and I’m sure virgin coconut oil will be just fine to use in this cake.

15 Amy (Savory Moments) May 15, 2012 at 5:39 am

You cake and the presentation look so pretty! Sounds very delicious as well.

16 Suzanne May 15, 2012 at 7:47 am

Thanks Amy, I appreciate you sweet comment.

17 Darcy May 15, 2012 at 8:17 am

I call this the 5 lb death cake! The hubby and MIL love this cake, we all do really, but they loooovvve it! Its a special occassion cake at our house!

18 Suzanne May 15, 2012 at 11:27 am

I know Darcy it’s a 5 lb. death cake, it’s took good to stop eating sometimes so one must exhibit lots of will power!

19 Heidi May 15, 2012 at 8:26 pm

I agree too Darcy!! I make it quite a bit throughout the year.

20 Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts May 15, 2012 at 3:58 pm

What a gorgeous cake! The perfect cake to make for Mother’s Day!

21 Heidi May 15, 2012 at 8:25 pm

I am flattered!! 🙂 This is my favorite non-chocolate cake in the world!!

22 Suzanne May 15, 2012 at 10:11 pm

As you should be Heidi! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

23 Marsha @ The Harried Cook May 15, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Wow! That cake is gorgeous! And I bet it would be very popular in our home with all those nuts and the cream cheese… really delicious flavors! Thanks for sharing 🙂 And I absolutely LOVE the photographs… 🙂

24 Suzanne May 15, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Thanks Marsha you are so sweet!

25 BigFatBaker May 15, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Gorgeous!!! I love the little pecan decorations 🙂 I’ve never had an italian cream cake but it sound right up my alley – coconut and pecans? Yes please!

26 Suzanne May 15, 2012 at 11:05 pm

Thanks for the sweet comment 🙂

27 Choc Chip Uru May 17, 2012 at 3:34 am

This sounds simply delicious my friend – your photos capture the essence perfectly 😀

Choc Chip Uru

28 Living The Sweet Life May 17, 2012 at 7:14 am

Gorgeous!! This is sure a beautiful cake, and the flavours sound so light and delicious 🙂 ~ yum

29 The Café Sucré Farine May 17, 2012 at 7:20 am

Oh my – so……. pretty and it sounds amazing, I’m glad you finally made it and shared it with us! 🙂

30 Roxana GreenGirl { A little bit of everything} May 18, 2012 at 10:10 am

One of my favorite cakes is German chocolate cake. It has chocolate, coconut and pecans. I know I’m gonna love this Italian cake. Coconut and pecans is such a great combo!

31 Liren May 18, 2012 at 9:39 pm

This cake is absolutely dreamy! I must try this!

32 Magic of Spice May 19, 2012 at 4:00 pm

What an absolutely gorgeous cake!

33 WeLoveChicken May 22, 2012 at 2:44 pm

You cake looks fantastic, delicious (I’m getting hungry)!

34 Suzanne May 24, 2012 at 5:37 pm

thanks so much it’s really delicious too, hard to have around the house 🙂

35 Sarah May 25, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Maybe it’s my oven.. I am baking right now and had to put in for extra 10 min so far.. is the top supposed to be squishy? maybe its the egg whites? I’m not sure if it’s done or not…help!

36 Suzanne May 27, 2012 at 11:24 pm

I wish I would have seen this earlier, I hope your cake turned out ok. It’s always a good practice to check them with a tooth pick or cake tester before removing them since ovens are so different and depending on where you live the elevation would have an affect too.

37 Baker Street June 1, 2012 at 10:41 am

Woah! What a gorgeous looking cake! Its creamy, dreamy and I can’t think of anything but coming over for a some right now. 🙂

38 Nancy/SpicieFoodie June 4, 2012 at 7:54 am

Hi Suzanne,

Your cake looks straight out of a magazine. So beautiful and mouthwatering. Your photos are great too.

Thanks for being a part of May’s YBR 🙂

39 Michelle September 10, 2012 at 10:50 am

Has anyone tried to make cupcakes using this receipe? Any advice?

40 Suzanne September 10, 2012 at 10:23 pm

I haven’t tried making them into cupcakes, I don’t see why it would be a big deal but the girl I got the recipe from said not to do it that they didn’t taste the same as the cake.

41 Michelle September 14, 2012 at 10:44 am

I made them last night. Never have made the cake version, but the cupcakes are really good. Filled about 3/4’s full, and baked for about 20 minutes. I bet the texture is better with the cake though.

Used the icing that also came with the recipe and it’s a fantastic combonation. I order an ICC for my birthday every year, but the cake part has the coconut and pecans on top not in the batter.

42 Suzanne September 14, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Oh that’s so good to hear Michelle, thanks for coming back and letting me know 🙂 I will have to try the cupcake version too now.

43 Heide M. April 18, 2013 at 7:28 pm

Your cake looks wonderful.

44 Kristine August 20, 2013 at 1:54 pm

When I saw this cake on your site I just had to try it. If I can make it anyone can and I found it wonderfully easy to make. It is by far the best cakes EVER! I made it for my mother and I and had to share some of it with the neighbors or we would have eaten it all ourselves. I told my Zumba class (I am the instructor) about it and they all want the recipe. I will be surprising them not just with the recipe but the cake itself tonight in class. Thank you so much for posting!!

45 Suzanne August 23, 2013 at 2:36 am

Thank you for coming back and letting me know and for baking this cake. Hope it stays a family favorite 🙂

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