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
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
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
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two 9" cake rounds with parchment paper and grease.
- Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form and set aside.
- Combine soda and buttermilk and set aside.
- 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.
- Mix buttermilk mixture alternately with FLOUR into creamed mixture. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla.
- Fold 1/3 of the whites into the batter, then quickly fold in remaining whites.
- Stir in coconut and walnuts.
- Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.
Frosting and Cake Assembly:
- Cream butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, confectioners' sugar and cream cheese together. Chill in the refrigerator while you are toasting the coconut and walnuts.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.