Italian Cream Cake Recipe

Divine Delight: Italian Cream Cake Recipe

Indulge in a slice of decadence with our Italian Cream Cake recipe—a timeless classic that never fails to impress. With its velvety texture, nutty crunch, and creamy frosting, this cake is a celebration of flavor and tradition. Whether you’re marking a special occasion or simply craving a sweet treat, this Italian-inspired delicacy is sure to steal the spotlight. So, let’s embark on a culinary journey and uncover the secrets to crafting the perfect Italian Cream Cake!


For the Cake:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (toasted)

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • Additional chopped pecans and flaked coconut for garnish


  1. Prepare the Cake Batter:
    • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy.
    • Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.
    • Stir in the vanilla extract.
  2. Mix Dry Ingredients:
    • In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking soda.
  3. Alternate Adding Ingredients:
    • Gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, alternating with buttermilk. Begin and end with the flour mixture.
    • Fold in the flaked coconut and chopped pecans.
  4. Whip Egg Whites:
    • In another clean mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
    • Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the cake batter.
  5. Bake the Cake:
    • Pour the batter into three greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.
    • Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
    • Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting.
  6. Prepare the Cream Cheese Frosting:
    • In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract until smooth.
    • Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating until creamy and spreadable.
  7. Assemble and Frost the Cake:
    • Place one cake layer on a serving plate and spread a layer of frosting on top.
    • Repeat with the remaining cake layers, stacking them on top of each other.
    • Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting.
  8. Garnish and Serve:
    • Sprinkle additional chopped pecans and flaked coconut over the top of the cake for garnish.
    • Slice and serve the Italian Cream Cake, savoring each delectable bite.

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Toasted Pecans: Toasting the pecans before adding them to the cake batter enhances their flavor and adds a delightful crunch.
  • Buttermilk Substitute: If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make a quick substitute by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to 1 cup of milk and letting it sit for 5 minutes before using.
  • Make It Nut-Free: Omit the chopped pecans or substitute them with chopped almonds, walnuts, or hazelnuts for a different flavor profile.
  • Add a Citrus Twist: For a refreshing twist, add the zest of one lemon or orange to the cake batter for a subtle citrus flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use margarine instead of butter in the cake batter? A: While margarine can be used as a substitute for butter, it may affect the flavor and texture of the cake. Butter provides a richer flavor and better texture, so it’s recommended to use unsalted butter for the best results.

Q: Can I make this cake ahead of time and freeze it? A: Yes, you can bake the cake layers ahead of time and freeze them for up to 1 month. Wrap each cooled cake layer tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil before placing them in the freezer. Thaw the frozen cake layers in the refrigerator overnight before assembling and frosting the cake.

Q: How do I store leftover Italian Cream Cake? A: Store any leftover cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Bring the cake to room temperature before serving for the best taste and texture.

Q: Can I use a different frosting for this cake? A: While cream cheese frosting is the traditional choice for Italian Cream Cake, you can certainly experiment with different frostings such as buttercream or whipped cream frosting to suit your preferences.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

Keto Version:

  • Substitute the all-purpose flour with almond flour or coconut flour for a lower-carb option.
  • Use a keto-friendly sweetener in place of granulated sugar, such as erythritol or monk fruit sweetener.
  • Adjust the frosting recipe by using a combination of cream cheese, butter, and powdered erythritol instead of powdered sugar.

Low-Carb Version:

  • Reduce the amount of granulated sugar in the cake batter or use a sugar-free sweetener like stevia or xylitol.
  • Replace the buttermilk with unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk to reduce the carb content.
  • Opt for a low-carb cream cheese frosting by using powdered erythritol instead of powdered sugar and adding a splash of heavy cream for extra richness.

Indulge in the luxurious flavors of Italian Cream Cake—a dessert that captures the essence of indulgence and sophistication. From its moist cake layers studded with coconut and pecans to its luscious cream cheese frosting, every bite is a celebration of taste and texture. Whether you’re serving it at a special occasion or simply treating yourself to a slice of sweetness, this cake is guaranteed to delight your senses and leave a lasting impression. So, gather your ingredients, embrace your inner baker, and embark on a culinary adventure that’s as delightful as it is delicious!

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