Homemade Makeover Italian Cream Cake Recipe
Homemade Makeover Italian Cream Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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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 sweetened shredded 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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myrk User ID: 1185373 244086
Reviewed Feb. 18, 2016

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

miffy1234 User ID: 8664775 241520
Reviewed Jan. 11, 2016


LynetteMichelle User ID: 6645729 176532
Reviewed Feb. 4, 2014

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

maryvandorin User ID: 1430948 107775
Reviewed Jan. 11, 2012

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

Renette89 User ID: 4631835 188192
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."

kitilardi User ID: 4775897 121184
Reviewed Aug. 11, 2010

"This cake was delicious. My family and friends loved it and ask me to make it again and again."

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