Saturday, July 4, 2015

Italian Cream Cake

My daughter-in-law celebrated a birthday earlier this week. I wanted to make a cake for her to enjoy while opening her gifts, so turned to my son for suggestions.  Without hesitation he said,She would like your Italian Cream Cake. 

I looked at him. My Italian Cream Cake? MY Italian Cream Cake? MINE?!"Huh.
In my considerable lifetime I have only made Italian Cream Cake three times. The first, back in the 80's when I initially got the recipe, the second, in May of 2008 for my son and his then-girlfriend, now wife, to enjoy, the third being this past week.  I felt extremely fortunate to be able to put my hand on the recipe, considering the time that had lapsed. Initially I googled in search of a recipe, only to find, with dismay, that there are any number of different recipes, many of which contain a cup of oil. Gadzooks!  Thankfully, I did find mine, the only one that I've seen, I might add, that requires each layer to be brushed with Amaretto prior to frosting. (Yes, you can now throw your other recipes out. This is THE one!)

(The May, 2008 cake. Note expensive dental work.)
This recipe is the best of the lot. It's a bit labor intensive, but can be made over the course of two days, as I did, making the cake one day and the frosting the next. It is moist and delicious, and quite filling with its three layers and all, so a small piece will do, in which case it yields plenty. It's a guaranteed crowd pleaser, and pretty to boot.

Italian Cream Cake

 For cake:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
½ cup shortening (I used Crisco)
2 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs, separated
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
2 cups chopped pecans, divided
¼ cup Amaretto liqueur

For frosting:
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1-pound box confectioners' sugar

To prepare cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray three 8-inch round cake pans with Pam, then line each with parchment paper rounds, and spray the rounds.

In the work bowl of an electric mixer cream butter and shortening.  Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Into another bowl sift together flour and baking soda. Beat flour mixture into egg mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, until just combined. Beat in vanilla, and then the coconut and 1 cup of the chopped pecans. Beat egg whites in another bowl until they form stiff peaks and fold into batter until thoroughly combined.

Divide batter among pans and bake until a tester comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool cake layers in pans on racks 10 minutes and invert onto racks to cool completely.

Brush the top of each cake layer with Amaretto, this adds great flavor and allows even adhesion of the frosting.

To prepare frosting:
In a medium mixing bowl, mix cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add flavorings and sugar and beat slowly until combined, and then at high speed for another 3 minutes.  Remove ½ cup of frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a star tip for decorating the cake.  Frost the cake with the remaining mixture, covering top and sides evenly.

Garnish with remaining 1 cup of chopped pecans.
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Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

OMG this sounds wonderful. My cousin makes one, but a little different. She uses fresh coconut in hers. I love this cake - my very favorite. Thanks so much for the recipe.
Happy 4th.

Marigene said...

You had me at the mention of amaretto! Your cake is beautiful and looks delicious.

GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart said...

Heavenly!!! Oh, my! :)

Linda said...

It looks beautiful! What a wonderful compliment from your son and DIL.
Although I'm crazy about it, I've made Italian Cream Cake just about the same number of times as you. When I saw this I ran to my old recipe box to see how it compares to my recipe that I got in the 1970s. Sadly, I've lost it (how???) I know mine didn't have amaretto, which in my book makes yours the winner. :)

My Kentucky Living said...

This looks like a winner! Sheila

Doreen@foxdenrd said...

OMG!!! This looks and sounds amazing! You hit it out if the park with this cake and I'm definitely pinning this one! I'm not sure if I should thank you though...;)

Jerri at Simply Sweet Home said...

Wow! Your cake looks so yummy!

I'd love for you to share with us at our Friday Favorites link party!

Miz Helen said...

Hi Patti,
Your Italian Cream Cake looks fabulous, I can't wait to try this recipe. Hope you are having a great day and thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with Full Plate Thursday.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen

Lou Lou Girls said...

Oh Yum!Thank you for sharing this with us. Pinned and tweeted. I hope to see you on Monday at 7 pm, so we can party!!!! Lou Lou Girls

Miz Helen said...

Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday today! Hope you have a very special day and enjoy your new Red Plate.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

I am making this one this weekend for sure. It sounds totally awesome.

lynn cockrell said...

Your Italian Cream Cake looks absolutely scrumptious. Thanks for sharing your recipe!