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Favorite Italian Cake

Marilyn Morel KEENE, NEW HAMPSHIRE Here’s a scrumptious cake that melts in your mouth and makes you say, “Mil a Grazi!” (Thanks a million.) Pecan lovers will eagerly accept a second slice.
  • Total Time
    Prep: 40 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    16 servings


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 11 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour three 9-in. round baking pans. Cream butter, shortening and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Fold in pecans and coconut.
  • Pour prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For frosting, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. Press pecans onto sides of cake. Refrigerate.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 628 calories, 37g fat (15g saturated fat), 109mg cholesterol, 328mg sodium, 70g carbohydrate (56g sugars, 2g fiber), 7g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • BJ Smith
    Jul 13, 2019

    I have made this cake at least 3 times following it to the letter. It has turned out beautifully

  • Preety
    Mar 15, 2019

    Lost my original recipe. This was the clothes I could come to, a combined recipe between me and my auntie’s recipe . It was good but not my original recipe. I’m still working on trying to create the original loved recipe.

  • Cathy
    Jan 26, 2017

    Made cake for special bday at work, every one loved it!!! Did put chopped pecans on sides. Awesome cake!!

  • hatcher1970
    Apr 3, 2016

    Fabulous cake, I followed recipe to a tee. My opinion is that it really doesn't need all the nuts on the outside but that's just personal preference.

  • JanetJAkil1
    Jun 29, 2015

    I cooked this for a dinner party and it was the hit of the night! My husband told me it was the BEST cake he had every had! My only advice is to make the frosting at 1.5 or double the amount called for in the recipe. I did not have enough and had to make more which did slow down the time to finish! I will be keeping this recipe for future events!!!!

  • lurky27
    Apr 4, 2015

    Amazing! Great with whole wheat flour. We omitted the coconut. It doesn't need pecans on the frosting if you're a cheapskate like me!~ Theresa

  • heavenzchild
    Feb 1, 2015

    Awesome raves from all who tried, including myself as I tend to be my own worst critic. We were doing an Italian themed dinner at church so I wanted to try to make this and decided five stars were good enough. The cake is so light and moist and the frosting perfect (although I did week it a tiny bit by adding 2 tablespoons of heavy cream and another cup of confectioners sugar so I could have some for piping. I actually took home an empty cake platter!

  • ibrake4foodtruks
    Sep 1, 2014

    This is fantastic!

  • katstea
    Aug 21, 2014

    Didn't change a thing. Everybody loved it.

  • angela32
    Jan 8, 2014

    fantastic! making again soon!