Italian Cream Cake: A Delectable Dessert Delight

If you’re a dessert enthusiast, you’re in for a treat today. In this article, we’re going to delve into the world of Italian Cream Cake, a mouthwatering delight that’s bound to satisfy your sweet tooth. This classic dessert is rich, moist, and bursting with flavor. Let’s explore the recipe and the secrets to creating this heavenly cake that will leave your taste buds dancing with joy.

Introduction to Italian Cream Cake

Italian Cream Cake is a classic Southern dessert known for its moist, tender crumb, delightful coconut flavor, and toasted pecan crunch. This cake, with its layers of cream cheese frosting, is a favorite at weddings, birthdays, and special occasions. But why wait for a special event? You can make this delectable treat right in your kitchen.

Gathering Your Equipment

Before we dive into the recipe, let’s ensure we have all the necessary equipment ready:

  • 9-inch round cake pan
  • Mixer

Now that we’re prepared let’s move on to the star of the show – the ingredients.

Assembling Your Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (280g)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (152g)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening (96g)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar (400g)
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup whole buttermilk (240mL)
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut (100g)
  • 1 cup toasted pecans, chopped (115g)

For the Frosting:

  • 2 8-ounce blocks cream cheese, room temperature (226g)
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (340g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 7 cups confectioners sugar (840g)

For the Garnish:

  • Toasted coconut
  • Toasted pecans

Now that we’ve gathered all our ingredients, let’s get down to baking!

Preparing the Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter and flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans or spray with baking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
  3. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening together on medium-low speed until combined.
  4. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolks one at a time, and beat until well combined. Scrape down the bowl and beat in the vanilla and almond extracts.
  5. With the mixer on low, add in the flour mixture alternating with the buttermilk until combined. Scrape down the bowl and stir in the coconut and pecans.
  6. In a separate bowl with clean beaters, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into the batter in three portions. Divide the batter among the cake pans.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and the edges of the cake start to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 15 minutes then remove and continue cooling completely on wire racks.

Making the Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla on medium-low speed until smooth.
  2. Gradually mix in the confectioners sugar until combined. Beat until fluffy, about 1 minute.

Assembling Your Italian Cream Cake

  1. Place a cake layer on a cake plate. Top with 1 cup frosting and spread into an even layer to the edge of the cake. Repeat with another cake layer and frosting. Top with the remaining cake layer.
  2. Spread the remaining frosting on the top and sides of the cake, saving about 1 cup for piping on the top, if desired.

Garnishing Your Cake

To give your Italian Cream Cake that perfect finishing touch, garnish it with toasted coconut and pecans.

Storing Your Creation

To keep your cake fresh, store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. Any leftovers can be kept loosely covered in the fridge for up to 1 week.


In conclusion, Italian Cream Cake is a dessert that combines the richness of cream cheese frosting with the delightful flavors of coconut and pecans. Whether it’s a special occasion or a simple craving, this cake is sure to impress your taste buds. So, roll up your sleeves, follow this recipe, and treat yourself to a slice of heaven.


  1. Can I use different nuts instead of pecans in this recipe?
    • Yes, you can substitute pecans with walnuts or almonds if you prefer.
  2. Can I make this cake ahead of time?
    • Absolutely! Italian Cream Cake actually tastes even better when made a day in advance.
  3. How do I toast coconut and pecans for garnishing?
    • To toast coconut, spread it on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F (175°C) for a few minutes until it’s golden brown. For pecans, you can toast them in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently until fragrant and lightly browned.
  4. Is it necessary to use both vanilla and almond extracts?
    • While using both extracts enhances the flavor, you can use just vanilla extract if you prefer.
  5. Can I freeze Italian Cream Cake?
    • Yes, you can freeze it. Just make sure it’s well-wrapped to prevent freezer burn.

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