Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Italian Cream Cake and True Love

Italian Cream Cake was one of my favorite sweets growing up. I think of it as one of my grandma's signature desserts. It's a recipe out of her church cookbook, and it was usually my birthday cake request for her. When I got married and Italian Cream Cake was a wedding cake option, my decision was already made for me. But I wanted to be accommodating since I know some people aren't fans of coconut and give our guests another option, chocolate cake with the same yummy cream cheese frosting.

Jonah and I did the whole bride and groom thing, feeding each other Italian Cream Cake, no shoving or smearing was allowed by me. But when cake was served to all our guests, only the chocolate cake came out. The plan of two cakes got lost in translation somewhere along the way. These things happen in the chaos of weddings, but two lessons were learned that day:

1) Don't sweat the small stuff, especially when no one else will even notice.
2) Always just serve whatever kind of cake you want.

So only the bride and groom ate Italian Cream Cake on their wedding day. It's sort of special really, and since our fifth wedding anniversary is this Saturday, I thought it was time for us to share another one.

Italian Cream Cake
Adapted from the Robert McIntire United Methodist Church Cookbook

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sugar
5 eggs, separated
2 cups all-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sweetened coconut
1 cup chopped pecans

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 8 oz. package of cream cheese
4 tablespoons butter (half a stick)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 16 oz. box of powdered sugar
1 cup pecans, finely chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 8-inch round cake pans. (I used three 6-inch pans and had batter to spare.) Using an electric mixer, cream butter with shortening. Add sugar and beat until mixture is smooth. Separate egg yolks and whites. Beat egg whites until stiff and set aside. Add yolks to batter and beat well. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture a little at a time, alternating with buttermilk until combined. Mix in vanilla, coconut and chopped pecans. Then gently fold in the beaten egg whites. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Set on cooling rack for 15 minutes, then remove cakes from pans and allow to cool completely.

For frosting: Using an electric mixer, combine butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add one box (16 oz.) of powdered sugar and mix well. Add vanilla and beat until smooth. Frost cooled cake and coat sides with finely chopped pecans by pressing lightly into frosting.

This is one of those cakes that gets better with time. I made it on a Saturday and thought it was tastiest on Monday. Enjoy!

[wedding photo by: Kellie Kano]


  1. happy almost 5th! and i KNOW this recipe is good simply because it came from a church cookbook. can't go wrong.

  2. Aw, happy anniversary! I love seeing wedding photos; you two are so cute. This cake looks amazing (and I love your plates!)

  3. That looks delicious! And happy anniversary!

  4. oooh la la! What a pretty cake : )

  5. that looks frigging amazing! wow-a great way to celebrate an anniversary I would say!

  6. This cake is beautiful!! Happy Anniversary!!

  7. such a sweet post! and that cake looks delicious!!

  8. that looks so delicious and what a sweet little story to share. so true when it comes to weddings things never go as planned but sometimes for the better!

  9. Happy Anniversary! This cake looks beautiful AND delicious!

  10. This sounds just incredible–and I adore coconut! Even though it wasn't the plan, I love that just the two of you got to share your very favorite cake–and I'm sure you'll be sharing a slice again very soon! Happy anniversary!

  11. That sounds like the kind of cake I would love! Looks so good. Thanks for the recipe!

  12. This sounds amazing...I wish I could say I'd try this but I may be too lazy lol. Happy early anniversary and many more to come :)


  13. Thanks for all the sweet anniversary wishes!

  14. Wonderful wedding and exceptional cake. You know good eats. Happy happy anniversary J-boy and Nat!

  15. What a beautiful post :) I have never had the privilege of trying Italian cream cake, although I have oggled it on blogs often! I will save this recipe to hopefully one day rectify that :)

  16. happy belated anniversary! a trip to long beach sounds just right for the occasion and this cake! want. now.

  17. That looks all together delicious!!!!!!! Congrats too by the way!! Happy Anniversary!! :)

  18. Hello! I happen to love coconut but if I make this for family that isn't over the top crazy for coconut like me... will they be turned off? I guess I'm asking.. how coconutty is this?? :) thank you!

  19. Hello! If I make this for family that is not crazy for coconut like I am.. will they be turned off?? I suppose I am asking how coconutty is this cake?

    Thank you!!!



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