Homemade Makeover Italian Cream Cake Recipe
Homemade Makeover Italian Cream Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Homemade Makeover Italian Cream Cake Recipe

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Toasted pecans and coconut take this moist cake from good to great, but it's the cream cheese frosting that makes it truly extraordinary. Thank goodness it's a makeover, because you'll definitely want seconds! —Christy White, Oxford, Mississippi
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
MAKES:16 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
MAKES: 16 servings


  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1/4 cup flaked coconut, toasted
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Nutritional Facts

1 slice: 297 calories, 15g fat (7g saturated fat), 56mg cholesterol, 180mg sodium, 38g carbohydrate (28g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein


  1. Line two 9-in. round baking pans with waxed paper. Coat pans with cooking spray and sprinkle with flour; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until crumbly, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in applesauce and vanilla (mixture will appear curdled). Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Fold in pecans and coconut.
  3. Pour into prepared pans. Bake at 350° for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  4. For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth.
  5. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle pecans over top of cake. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 16 servings.
Originally published as Makeover Italian Cream Cake in Healthy Cooking April/May 2010, p29

Sweet White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a sweet white wine such as Moscato or a sweet Riesling.

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Reviewed Feb. 18, 2016

"VERY good and delicious. Keep the recipe on my best list."

Reviewed Jan. 11, 2016


Reviewed Feb. 4, 2014

"I made this for a game night, everyone loved it!!"

Reviewed Jan. 11, 2012

"I've made this several times and we really like it."

Reviewed Dec. 5, 2011

"I have made this many time but have never put in the walnuts. It is absolutely delicious. I even sprinkle some coconut on top."

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