Delicious Italian Cream Cake Recipe for Dessert Lovers

Greetings, fellow food enthusiasts! Are you looking for a delectable dessert that can satisfy your sweet tooth? Are you in the mood for something classic and comforting? Well, allow me to introduce you to a beloved old family recipe – Italian Cream Cake.

This cake is truly a masterpiece that has been passed down through generations of my family. Its origins are in southern Italy where my great-grandparents lived. They brought the recipe with them when they immigrated to America and it has remained a staple in our family’s gatherings ever since. This cake is not only delicious but also rich in history and tradition.

The Italian Cream Cake is a perfect balance of flavors – nutty pecans, sweet coconut, and tangy cream cheese frosting. The combination of these ingredients results in a mouthwatering cake that will leave you wanting more with each bite. Its fluffy texture makes it perfect for any occasion, be it a birthday celebration, a holiday dinner or just a casual get-together.

This cake holds a special place in my heart because of its connection to my roots and heritage. I urge you to try this recipe for yourself and experience an authentic taste of Italy. So head to the kitchen, gather the ingredients and let’s bake our way back to Italy together!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Italian Cream Cake (old family recipe)
Italian Cream Cake (old family recipe)

Indulging in a delicious and moist cake is no less than a heavenly feeling. And that’s exactly what you can expect from the Italian Cream Cake. This old family recipe has been passed down for generations, and for good reason – it’s an absolute showstopper.

What sets this cake apart from other desserts is the perfect balance of flavors and textures. The recipe combines the creaminess of cream cheese with the nuttiness of pecans and coconut. Every bite of this tantalizing dessert will leave you craving for more.

The best part? You don’t have to head to an expensive bakery to get your hands on one. With just a handful of ingredients that are easily available in your kitchen, you can whip up the most scrumptious Italian Cream Cake right at home.

Trust me, once you try this cake, there’s no going back. It’s perfect for a special occasion, or even when you want to treat yourself or friends and family on a Friday night. So why not add it to your list of must-try cake recipes?

Ingredient List

 A stunning Italian Cream Cake, straight from our family recipe book
A stunning Italian Cream Cake, straight from our family recipe book

Before starting with the recipe, ensure that you have all the ingredients needed. Here are the ingredients required for this authentic Italian Cream Cake:

Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 5 egg whites, whipped into stiff peaks
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

Additional Flavorings:

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 lb. or 4 cups powdered sugar

Tip: For best results, make sure that all the ingredients are at room temperature. It will help achieve a consistent mixture and avoid lumps in the batter.

The Recipe How-To

 Layers of heaven: moist cake, soft buttercream, and crunchy pecans
Layers of heaven: moist cake, soft buttercream, and crunchy pecans

Now that we have gone through the ingredients, it’s time to delve into the recipe. As with any baking process, accuracy is key to ensure a perfect result. So, let’s get into the recipe how-to.

Step 1: Preheat your oven

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for at least 30 minutes before baking. This will ensure that the cake bakes evenly and rises perfectly in the oven.

Step 2: Prepare the Pan

Take two round cake pans and grease them with butter or shortening. Then cover the bottom of both pans with parchment paper to make it easy to remove the cake layers later on.

Step 3: Combine Dry Ingredients

In a separate bowl, combine 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and a pinch of salt.

Step 4: Mix the Butter and Shortening

Take another bowl and add in 1/2 cup of unsalted butter and 1/2 cup of shortening. Cream them together for about 5 minutes until they are fluffy and light.

Step 5: Add Sugar Gradually

Add in 2 cups of granulated sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition until everything is well incorporated.

Step 6: Add Egg Yolks

Next, add in 5 egg yolks, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Step 7: Mix in Dry Ingredients and Buttermilk Alternately

Combine 1 cup of buttermilk with 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Add your dry ingredients that you had set aside in step three by adding them alternately with buttermilk mixture you just created. Begin with flour mixture, then add the buttermilk mixture, then flour mixture again, then buttermilk once more, and end with remaining flour mixture while constantly mixing it all together until everything is thoroughly combined.

Step 8: Stir in Coconut and Pecans

Gently fold in 1 cup flaked coconut and 1 cup chopped pecans.

Step 9: Beat Your Egg Whites

In another clean bowl, beat the remaining five egg whites until stiff peaks form when you lift up your mixer.

Step 10: Fold In The Egg Whites into Mixture

Then add those beaten egg whites into your batter by gently folding them into your batter until they are fully combined.

Step 11: Pour The Batter Into Two Prepared Pans

Pour the batter evenly between both pans prepared ahead in step number two then smooth out surface for even layers by tapping pans lightly or using a spatula.

Step 12: Bake Cake Layers

Bake both pan for around half an hour or until a toothpick comes out clean after being inserted into center of baked cakes when you prick them carefully

Substitutions and Variations

 The perfect balance between sweet and nutty flavors
The perfect balance between sweet and nutty flavors

Are you in the mood for something a little bit different? Or do you want to put your own spin on this classic Italian Cream Cake recipe? Here are some substitutions and variations to get your creative juices flowing.

If you’re looking for a nut-free version of this cake, simply omit the pecans and use coconut instead. You can also swap out the all-purpose flour for almond flour if you’re looking for a gluten-free option.

For a more tropical twist, add some crushed pineapple or mango to the batter. This will give your Italian Cream Cake a burst of flavor that will transport you straight to a sunny island.

If you want to make this cake even richer, try using chocolate chips instead of pecans. This will give the cake a deliciously decadent twist that will be sure to satisfy any chocolate lover’s sweet tooth.

For those who love cream cheese frosting but want something a bit lighter, try swapping out some of the cream cheese for Greek yogurt. This substitution will cut down on calories while still providing that tangy, creamy flavor we all know and love.

Finally, for the adventurous baker looking to take things up a notch, try adding some espresso or coffee flavoring to the frosting or incorporating it into the cake itself. This will give your Italian Cream Cake a little kick and make it perfect for serving after dinner with a cup of coffee or espresso.

No matter which variation you choose, be sure to experiment and have fun with it! The beauty of baking is that there are always new and exciting ways to put your own stamp on classic recipes like this one.

Serving and Pairing

 Delightfully creamy: our cakes are a must-try for any occasion
Delightfully creamy: our cakes are a must-try for any occasion

You’ve put so much effort into baking this delicious Italian Cream Cake, now it’s time to present it in an attractive, mouth-watering way.

First, let the cake cool completely before decorating it with a generous amount of cream cheese frosting. You can top with crushed pecans or coconut shavings for some added texture and flavor.

To serve, grab a spatula and cut the cake into slices that are about 1 to 2 inches thick, depending on how hungry your guests are. The moist and creamy texture of the cake is irresistible when paired with a strong cup of coffee or tea, making it perfect for afternoon tea parties or brunch events.

If you want to make the dessert more fancy, serve it with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh berries like sliced strawberries or blueberries. It’s also fun to segment the cake into smaller pieces and pack them as take-home treats.

This cake is versatile and can be enjoyed in so many ways. Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, wedding, or simply satisfying your sweet cravings at home, this Italian Cream Cake is sure to please everyone’s palate!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Artisanally crafted and baked to perfection
Artisanally crafted and baked to perfection

Ah, storing food is something of an art, wouldn’t you say? It’s not just about making delicious dishes, but also about preserving their taste and texture. So let me tell you what I recommend for this Italian Cream Cake.

First of all, if you are planning to make it ahead of time, know that it can be kept at room temperature for up to two days (if it lasts that long, of course!). Just make sure it’s covered with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to keep any curious insects from getting too nosy.

But if you want to keep it fresh for a longer period, you can store your cake in the fridge. Make sure it’s covered tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out. If well coated and protected, the cake can last for up to a week in the refrigerator.

And what about reheating? Well, I’m not one for microwaving cakes – they tend to become rubbery – so I recommend taking your cake out of the fridge some time before serving as it will taste better at room temp.

But there’s one tip you must remember: sprinkle some powdered sugar on top of each slice right before serving because it does wonders on baked goods!

Tips for Perfect Results

 A piece of history that never goes out of style
A piece of history that never goes out of style

When making a recipe like Italian Cream Cake, it’s important to pay attention to detail in order to achieve perfect results. Here are some tips I’ve learned over the years from baking this cake many times.

1. Room Temperature Ingredients: Make sure all your ingredients, especially the cream cheese and butter, are at room temperature before starting the recipe. This will ensure that they blend together smoothly and create a uniform texture for the cake.

2. Sift Dry Ingredients: Sift together your flour and baking soda before adding them to the batter. This will help eliminate any lumps and make sure everything mixes evenly.

3. Incorporating Eggs: When adding eggs to the recipe, separate yolks and whites into separate bowls. Beat the yolks first and add them one at a time, making sure each yolk is fully incorporated before adding the next one. Beat egg whites separately until you get stiff peaks, then fold them into the batter gently with a spatula.

4. Don’t Overmix: Only mix your batter until just combined. Overmixing can cause your cake to be tough and dense.

5. Toast Pecans and Coconut: Toasting your pecans and coconut adds an extra layer of flavor to your cake. Spread them out on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown.

6. Let Your Cake Cool: After baking, let your cake cool completely before icing it. This will prevent the frosting from melting or sliding around on top of the warm cake.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to create a fluffy and delicious Italian Cream Cake that everyone will love!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a cake recipe that will impress your guests and make your taste buds sing, look no further than this old family recipe for Italian Cream Cake. With its indulgent blend of cream cheese, butter, buttermilk, pecans, and coconut, this cake is pure bliss on a plate.

Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a novice in the kitchen, this recipe is perfect for anyone who loves to bake cakes. Easy-to-follow instructions and simple ingredients make it an accessible and delicious addition to any dessert table.

So why wait? Give it a try tonight and discover the magic of this timeless classic. Trust me – once you sink your teeth into a slice of this cake, you’ll never want to go back to store-bought desserts again!

Italian Cream Cake (old family recipe)

Italian Cream Cake (old family recipe) Recipe

This recipe has been in my family for years, and in my opinion is the best Italian Cream Cake! It's very moist and always gets lots of compliments!
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: < 4 Hours, Christmas, Dessert, For Large Groups, Weeknight
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Calories: 646.6kcal



  • 1/4 lb butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans


  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 lb butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 box powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • For cake: Cream butter, shortening and sugar.
  • Add egg yolk one at a time, beating after each addition (this is an important step!) Stir in baking soda and buttermilk.
  • Add sifted flour into batter, alternating with the buttermilk mixture.
  • Add vanilla, coconut and chopped pecans.
  • Beat egg whites and fold into batter.
  • Pour into a greased and floured 9X 13-inch cake pan for a sheet cake, or two 9-inch round cake pans for a round layered cake.
  • Bake for 45 minutes, or until cake tests done.
  • Remove from oven, cool completely before frosting.
  • For frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter.
  • Add vanilla, powdered sugar, and pecans.
  • Continue to beat until you get a spreading consistency.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 163g | Calories: 646.6kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 7.2g | Fat: 37.8g | Saturated Fat: 18.4g | Cholesterol: 128.9mg | Sodium: 277.6mg | Fiber: 2.2g | Sugar: 56.8g

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