Italian Cream Cake...a Southern Favorite!


Italian Cream Cake is a wonderfully moist cake that doesn't really seem to have originated in Italy, but in the South. I have no idea why it's called "Italian Cream Cake".  I have researched it and can't seem to find anyone who does know.  When I think of Italian Cream Cake, I think of my late mother in law, who made one every year during the holidays, sometimes two, one for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas.   She made one of the best I have ever had the pleasure of eating.  Unfortunately, I didn't get her recipe, but this recipe comes very close to it according to what my husband and I remember.  Here is what you will need for this decadent cake:

1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
5 egg yolks
5 egg whites, stiffly beaten
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
1  1/2 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans

Frosting
1  8oz. package cream cheese, softened
4 Tbs. butter, softened
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans (for garnish on the top of cake)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

With an electric mix beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, set aside.

In a separate mixing bowl, cream the butter, shortening and sugar together.  Add the eggs yolks and mix well.  Mix the flour, baking soda and salt.   Add the buttermilk and flour alternately to the mixture and blend, don't over beat this, but make sure it is well incorporated.  Add the vanilla, nuts and coconut. 

Fold in the beaten egg whites. 

Pour the mixture into 3 greased and floured cake pans (9 inch works best).   Place in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.  Let them stand and cool about 15 minutes before trying to remove from pans.

Frosting
Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Beat in the powdered sugar and add vanilla. Frost between the layers of the cake and the top and sides and sprinkle the 1 cup chopped pecans on top.


A good way to keep your cake plate clean when frosting a cake is to lay the first layer on pieces of wax paper slipped up under the edge all the way around.  Then as you frost it, it will catch any that comes off the edges.  I tend to be  a bit messy so this really helps me.










When you finish with the whole cake, carefully pull out each piece of wax paper and then just neaten up the edges.  See how clean the plate is?  It wouldn't look like this if I hadn't used the wax paper, believe me.  I am not that neat.








Italian Cream Cake!










34 comments:

  1. Quick question Kathy, I don't like to use shortening, wonder what would happen if I used a whole cup of butter instead of the half shortening & half butter.

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  2. My late mother-in-law also made an awesome Italian Cream Cake each holiday season. I do have her recipe and it is very similar if not the same as this one. Love it!

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  3. Italian Cream Cake is a particular style of cake popular in Texas and that area, typically made with coconut, nuts and cream cheese icing. The origin has been said that these were originally created by an Italian Baker from the South. :)

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  4. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I had wished to find it.

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  5. Heather using all butter is perfectly fine. I always do.

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    1. I use all butter in all my cakes. They're much better I think. :)
      This recipe is like mine and is delicious. :)

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    2. I like to use butter also. It just seems ro raste better..

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  6. I make one similar to this but I don't put pecans in my batter. And I chop pecans and mix them in well in the icing

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  7. I have a very old recipe that came from my husband's grandmother for Italian Cream Cake. She has been dead for over 20 years and she died at the age of 96-7. Her recipe is identical to the one that you have shared! So I bet it is the same as the one you remember!!! It is delicious! And so is her Lane Cake recipe!

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  8. I believe it is called "Cassata" cake in Italian and is just about the same cake....therefore called "Italian Cream Cake"....which originated in Sicily, Italy.

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    1. not even close to Cassata Siciliana!

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  9. I can't wait to try this one. The picture looks so tasty!

    To the above post, that is definitely not a cassata cake. I'm Italian lol. The ingredients are different. Cassata is made from ricotta and has a lot of other ingredients. It's almost the same as cannoli cream.

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  10. I love this cake but the recipe I have you put coconut all over the outside of the cake. I think I like this one better.

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  11. I think the Original "Italian Cream Cake" is what is known as "Cassata" cake. It was originated in Sicily. You can get the recipe here (only one of the many online places that has it....some may vary though):

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/my-country-my-kitchen/sicilian-cassata-ricotta-cake-recipe/index.html

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  12. Cassata Cake is an Italian cake of a cream sort, but it bears no resemblance whatsoever to this Italian Cream Cake. Cassata Cake is a sponge cake with dried fruit and ricotta cheese. There is no comparison between the two.

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  13. An Old Bakery in Downtown Fort Worth Texas use to make a Devils food type cake with Coconut and White Whipped type frosting and called it a "Canasta Cake" My Grandmother's favorite as a child....back in the 20's & 30's

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  14. I saw where you beat the egg whites until stiff and set aside. After that, I don't see them mentioned. What did you do with them after they are beaten?

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  15. I'm sorry,I see it now. The egg whites are to be folded in after everything else has been mixed together in the cake batter.

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  16. My recipe for Italian Cake is identical to this one, except that it it uses 1/2 cup of vegetable oil in place of the 1/2 cup shortening called for in this recipe. I've always made it as a sheet cake, but my aunt in Arkansas did it in layers. It's a wonderful cake and worth the extra effort. (The recipe I use is from West Virginia.)

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  17. Thank you so much for sharing with your face book friends. I would love to see more of this on FB .

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  18. I make this cake often everyone loves it....

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  19. I made this for Christmas and it was a hit and requested by everyone for Easter! Thanks for the recipe:)

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  20. This is my husbands favorite cake. This is what he asks for every year for his birthday and Christmas.

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  21. I made this cake today for my husbands birthday ! He requests it every year !
    We love it.....

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  22. My favorite cake.. never a crumb left. I originally got the recipe from the Georgia Natural Gas bill in 1972.

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  23. My favorite cake.. never a crumb left. I originally got the recipe from the Georgia Natural Gas bill in 1972.

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  24. I don't like coconut, so can I leave that out?

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  25. This was the cake I chose for my wedding 11 1/2 yrs ago....it was delicious!

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  26. I don't like coconut either, can we leave the coconuts out?

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  27. I make this same cake except I spread smashed strawberrys along with the icing between the layers. YUM!

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  28. in our area, only the italian grandmas made it, BUT they soaked rum in the cakes for a couple of weeks. Yeah, it's an adult treat!

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  29. Our family (except me ) is not big fans of coconut , may I leave this out and do I need to use anything in it's place ? Merry Christmas.

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