Italian Cream Cake

This cake is beyond delicious! I can’t rave enough about it. It’s very light and fluffy and perfectly sweet without being overly sweet. Here are some tips to make it (and any other cake) perfect:

1) When a baking recipe calls for an ingredient to be room temperature then it needs to be room temperature. They don’t tell you that just for kicks and giggles.

2) Use full fat milk or buttermilk. The fat in the milk is essential to the chemical composition of your cake.

3) Sift your flour because it will give your batter, and eventually your cake, a smoother texture.

4) Think of the provided baking time as a general guideline. The more you bake, the better you get at “feeling” when the cakes are ready. Lower temperatures will result in longer baking times. If you’re baking at 350, then the provided baking time will be fairly close. The cake will be perfectly done when the top springs back after you push it down and the sides should pull away from the pan after you pull the cake out of the oven.

Italian Cream Cake

  • 1/2 cup shortening, room temperature
  • 1 stick butter (8 tbsp), room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs, separated and at room temperature
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cups finely chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Grease two 9″ x 2″ pans or (2) 12-cup cupcake pans.

In a large bowl cream the shortening, butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt together onto a sheet of waxed or parchment paper. With the mixer on low speed, add the sifted ingredients in batches alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff, and gently fold into the prepared batter. And it is very important to beat the egg whites. It makes the cake very fluffy. Add the coconut, pecans and vanilla and fold into the batter. Divide the batter among your greased pans and bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown and a tester comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake. If you do cupcakes, you’ll bake them for about 15-18 minutes. Once the cakes have cooled, you can then frost them. You can find my perfect cream cheese frosting here.

If you’re not too keen on coconut or pecans, you can leave them out and you still have a delicious yellow cake! Enjoy!