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Homemade Makeover Italian Cream Cake

Toasted pecans and coconut take this moist cake from good to great, but it’s the cream cheese frosting that makes it truly extraordinary. And it's lower in fat and calories than similar recipes. You’ll definitely want seconds!—Christy White, Oxford, Mississippi
  • Total Time
    Prep: 40 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    16 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 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
  • CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
  • 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

Directions

  • Line two 9-in. round baking pans with waxed paper. Coat pans with cooking spray and sprinkle with flour; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until crumbly, about 2 minutes. Add 1 egg 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.
  • Pour into prepared pans. Bake at 350° for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For frosting, in a large bowl, 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. Sprinkle pecans over top of cake. Store in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 297 calories, 15g fat (7g saturated fat), 56mg cholesterol, 180mg sodium, 38g carbohydrate (28g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.

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