Dive into this Italian Cream Cake boasting three lush layers crafted with eggs, all-purpose flour, butter, shortening, sugar, vanilla, buttermilk, coconut, and toasted pecans, frosted with a decadent whipped cream cheese frosting. A slice of Italy, right on your plate!
Ah, the Italian Cream Cake. Every time I glance at its creamy exterior, I’m transported back to my Nona’s rustic kitchen in Tuscany. It wasn’t the vineyards or the rolling hills that captivated my heart, but rather the sweet aroma of this very cake that wafted through the air every Sunday morning. One summer, amidst laughter and familial tales, Nona passed down this heirloom of a recipe, which has seen countless gatherings, impromptu visits, and celebratory moments in my life. Sharing it now feels like sharing a piece of my heart, and my Nona’s legacy.
Italian Cream Cake:
Alright, let’s talk cake credentials. What makes this cake the Frank Sinatra of all cakes? First off, its three-tiered structure encapsulates the very essence of moistness, ensuring each bite is a cloud-like experience. The shredded coconut and toasted pecans are like the dynamic duo of flavor and texture, giving your taste buds an unexpected but delightful surprise. And the whipped cream cheese frosting? Let’s just say it’s the cherry on top but spread everywhere. Did I mention that it looks drop-dead gorgeous? Yep, it’s beauty and taste combined into a single masterpiece.
Ingredient For Italian Cream Cake:
Cake Layers: The unsalted butter ensures you have full control over the cake’s saltiness. When it comes to shortening, it gives the cake a melt-in-your-mouth feel. Oh, and buttermilk? It’s the ingredient that guarantees moistness.
Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting: When it comes to cream cheese, always opt for room temperature – it mixes better. Cold heavy whipping cream ensures the frosting gets the right whipped consistency. Also, don’t forget the toasted coconut and pecan crumbs, they’re not just garnish; they’re flavor enhancers!
How To Make Italian Cream Cake:
For the Cake:
- Starting off: It’s essential to separate the egg yolks from whites when they’re cold. Think of this as giving your eggs a brief separation before a grand reunion.
- Preparation: Don’t skimp on greasing those cake pans, and preheat that oven. It’s like warming up before a workout!
- The Mixture: Cream the butter, shortening, sugar, and extracts until they’re flirting seamlessly. Slowly introduce the dry ingredients, alternating with buttermilk. Think of this as a dance – one step dry, one step wet.
- The Grand Finale: Gently fold in those whipped egg whites with coconut and pecans, making your batter light and airy, like it’s floating on cloud nine.
- Baking: Split the batter between pans and bake. Wait for the aroma to fill your home!
For the Frosting:
- Cream that cream cheese till it’s smooth. Then whip your heavy cream with powdered sugar and vanilla until you achieve a fluffy dream. Marry the two, and there you have it – frosting heaven.
- Flatten your cakes to give them that even base, then spread frosting between each layer. Remember, it’s like building a house, one layer at a time. Once assembled, let your artistry shine by decorating the exterior.
Cakes are like divas; they need proper care. Store this creamy beauty in a cake container in the fridge. When ready to indulge, let it sit at room temperature for an hour or two, letting the flavors sing. Remember, this cake has a golden window of 3-4 days to enjoy it in all its glory.
Variations & Substitutions:
Got allergies or preferences? No worries! You can swap the all-purpose flour with gluten-free flour for those gluten-intolerant pals. If buttermilk isn’t in your pantry, mix some milk with a splash of lemon juice or white vinegar as a substitute. Not a fan of pecans? Almonds or walnuts can easily stand in. Remember, recipes are like jazz; sometimes, it’s all about the improvisation!
And there you have it, folks! From my kitchen (and Nona’s heart) to yours. Enjoy every bite! 🍰💕
Italian Cream Cake
- 5 large eggs
- 2 cups 260g all-purpose flour, properly measured
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup 112g unsalted butter, brought to room temperature
- 1/2 cup 95g shortening
- 2 cups 414g sugar
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract optional
- 1 cup 240ml buttermilk
- 1 1/4 cups 91g sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup 106g toasted pecan pieces
Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
- 20 oz 565g cream cheese, brought to room temperature
- 2 cups 480ml cold heavy whipping cream
- 1 1/2 cups 173g powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups 148g toasted sweetened shredded coconut
- Pecan crumbs for embellishment
- Begin by separating the egg yolks from the egg whites. Allow both to attain room temperature.
- Arrange three 8-inch cake pans, lining them with parchment paper circles. Thoroughly grease the sides, ensuring extra attention to the corners. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C).
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a larger mixing bowl, amalgamate the butter, shortening, sugar, and extracts. Cream them until the mixture is pale and airy, taking approximately 3-4 minutes.
- Incorporate the egg yolks sequentially, ensuring each yolk is mostly combined before adding the next.
- Gradually integrate a third of the pre-prepared dry ingredients, followed by half of the buttermilk. Continue this alternating pattern until all components are combined. Ensure thorough mixing, but avoid over-mixing.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites to form stiff peaks. Care must be taken not to overwhip.
- Gently fold a third of the whipped egg whites, along with the coconut and toasted pecans, into the primary batter. Subsequently, integrate the remaining egg whites.
- Portion the batter equally among the prepared cake pans. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until a testing skewer emerges clean.
- Once baked, allow the cakes to rest briefly in the pans before transferring them to cooling racks.
- In a mixing bowl, cream the cream cheese until it achieves a smooth texture. Set aside.
- In another bowl, whip together the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until it forms stiff peaks.
- Gently fold one third of the whipped cream mixture into the creamed cheese. Continue in portions until they are fully combined.
- Prior to assembling, level the cakes by removing any domes to ensure they are flat.
- Position the first cake layer on an appropriate serving plate or a cardboard cake circle. Uniformly spread approximately 1 cup of the prepared frosting atop this layer.
- Position the second cake layer and repeat the frosting procedure.
- Place the final cake layer atop the frosted layers, ensuring any protruding frosting is neatly tucked in at the sides. For best results, consider refrigerating the cake for 15-20 minutes at this stage.
- Proceed to frost the exterior of the cake meticulously. The toasted coconut can then be pressed onto the cake’s sides for an elegant finish.
- Employ the remaining frosting to craft decorative designs on the cake’s top edge, then gracefully embellish with pecan crumbs.
- It is advisable to refrigerate the cake until it is to be served. Ideally, remove from refrigeration and allow it to sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours before serving.