Coconut Italian Cream Cake
Total TimePrep: 50 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
- 5 large eggs, separated
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1-2/3 cups sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1-1/3 cups sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
- 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2-1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 5-2/3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 3 to 4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
- 1/4 cup toasted sweetened shredded coconut, optional
- Place egg whites in a small bowl; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of three greased 9-in. round baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Fold in coconut and pecans.
- With clean beaters, beat egg whites on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold into batter. Transfer to prepared pans. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.
- For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar and enough cream to reach spreading consistency. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with pecans and, if desired, coconut. Refrigerate leftovers.
Editor's NoteTo toast coconut, bake in a shallow pan in a 350° oven for 5-10 minutes or cook in a skillet over low heat until golden brown, stirring occasionally.
To toast nuts, bake in a shallow pan in a 350° oven for 5-10 minutes or cook in a skillet over low heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
Nutrition Facts1 slice: 667 calories, 36g fat (18g saturated fat), 128mg cholesterol, 402mg sodium, 82g carbohydrate (68g sugars, 2g fiber), 7g protein.
Dec 3, 2018
I have been making this cake for over 30 years, got the recipe many years ago from my aunt. My husband does not like coconut so I omit that from the recipe all together and it is a wonderful cake. The secret is in folding the stiff egg whites in with over folding and breaking them down too much or the cake will be very dense. Use whole fat buttermilk not low fat.
Dec 3, 2018
I originally made this cake 46 years ago. Then it was just called “Italian Cream Cake.” It became my family’s celebration cake. They lived it so much they wanted it for any special occasion. The only difference in the recipe that I noticed was the heavy cream in the frosting recipe, which I think I’ll try. If you’ve never made this cake, you’ve got to try it. It’s great.
Mar 29, 2018
Way too much coconut for me. The icing is delicious. If I make it again I would probably just make a regular cake and use the icing.
Dec 18, 2017
One of my favorite cakes! I only do two layers, not three. I also add a tsp of butter flavoring as well as vanilla. So creamy and delicious.
Dec 18, 2017
I stopped making this when I could no longer find canned coconut.
Dec 6, 2017
I have made Italian Cream Cake for many years. One of the first times, was for my daughter's baptism @ 14 months. She is now 33, (turning 34 in January), and I cannot recall coconut being in the recipe at all. I do remember that it is a three (3), teir cake, time consuming, delicious and worth every minute!! I am Italian, too and to answer the "cream" question, please just read the ingredients.
Dec 5, 2017
This recipe is probably for high altitude since it came from Colorado. Is there one that has been adjusted for lower altitudes?
Dec 4, 2017
To die for!
Dec 4, 2017
I have not made this yet but as an Italian, why is it called Italian cream cake?
Dec 1, 2017
I took this cake to a church dinner and everyone absolutely raved about it. I was so proud of it.