Italian Cream Cake

Have you ever tried an Italian Cream Cake before?  It's a coconut and walnut cake (many people opt for pecans instead) with a cream cheese frosting.

My husband celebrated his birthday recently and purchased a chocolate cake from Wegmans that was utterly disappointing.  Any other cake we've had from there has been wonderful.  I was a little nervous about baking him a cake from scratch because homemade cakes tend to much denser than the store bought cake mixes.

What was surprising about this recipe is that even though I kinda messed up (didn't add the flour when I was supposed to) and should have had a cake disaster as a result -- the cake came out good anyway!  Something to keep in mind is that most recipes online have you mix the nuts and coconut flakes right into the frosting.  I chose to keep them separate but you can do what you want :)

This is the best homemade cake that I've ever made.

Italian Cream Cake
Cake Ingredients
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup shortening
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 egg whites, room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
1  flaked coconut *sweetened
1 chopped walnuts 

Frosting Ingredients
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
12 walnut halves, toasted
1/2 cup toasted coconut flakes

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two 9" cake rounds with parchment paper and grease.
  2. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form and set aside.
  3. Combine soda and buttermilk and set aside.
  4. Cream sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 1/3 cup oil and 1/2 cup shortening. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Cream mixture until it becomes light and thick. 
  5. Mix buttermilk mixture alternately with FLOUR into creamed mixture. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  6. Fold 1/3 of the whites into the batter, then quickly fold in remaining whites.  
  7. Stir in coconut and walnuts.
  8. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.  Cool completely before frosting.
Frosting and Cake Assembly:
  1. Cream butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, confectioners' sugar and cream cheese together.  Chill in the refrigerator while you are toasting the coconut and walnuts.
  2. Heat oven to 325 degrees.  Spread coconut flakes on a baking sheet.  Bake and as the coconut starts to brown, stir the coconut.  Frequently checking to make sure it doesn't burn.  Remove from oven and allow to cool. (Takes about 8 - 10 minutes).
  3. Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Place walnuts, single layer on a baking sheet.  Bake them, stirring occasionally until the walnuts are fragrant and darkened slightly in color (about 10 - 12 minutes).  Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Chop walnuts saving 12 halves for top.
  4. Frost cakes with cream cheese.  Mix toasted coconut flakes and chopped walnuts then add to sides of cake.  Pipe swirls of cream cheese on top then add halved toasted walnuts.
Hope you enjoy it! 

Recipe Adapted By: AllRecipes and Moms Mutterings


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