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+ servings

Italian Cream Cake

This Italian Cream Cake is incredibly delicious, soft, loaded with chopped pecans and toasted coconut, and topped with a homemade cream cheese frosting. 
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 8 slices
Author Danielle

Ingredients

Italian Cream Cake

  • 2 cups chopped pecans divided (240 grams)
  • 2 ¼ cups cake flour spooned & leveled (260 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk at room temperature (240 ml)
  • 2 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract optional
  • 1 cup Danish Creamery European style unsalted butter softened (230 grams)
  • 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar (350 grams)
  • 5 large eggs separated and at room temperature
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut (95 grams)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 16 ounces brick-style cream cheese softened (452 grams)
  • 1 cup Danish Creamery European style unsalted butter softened (230 grams)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar (480 grams)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  • To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the pecans on the baking sheet and bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until fragrant. Set aside to cool completely.
  • Spray three 8-inch round cake pans well with nonstick cooking spray, line the bottom of each pan with a parchment paper circle, and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In another mixing bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the Danish Creamery butter until smooth. With the mixer on low speed slowly add the granulated sugar. Once all of the sugar is added, increase the speed to medium and mix for 4 to 5 minutes or until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  • Separate the egg yolks and egg whites. Add the egg yolks one at a time (set the egg whites aside for later), stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk mixture (begin and end with the dry ingredients) on low speed. Mix in each addition until just combined, making sure not to over mix the batter. Use a rubber spatula to scrape around the bottom and sides of the bowl to ensure that everything is well combined.
  • In a separate large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Gently fold ⅓ of the egg whites into the batter, then fold in the remaining egg whites until just combined.
  • Gently stir in 1 cup (120 grams) of toasted chopped pecans (set aside the other cup for the frosting) and the shredded coconut until just combined.
  • Evenly divide the cake batter between the three prepared cake pans and spread it around into one even layer.
  • Bake for 23 to 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pans for 20 to 30 minutes. Slide a knife around the outside of the cakes, then carefully remove the cakes from the pans, and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • To make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle or whisk attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the Danish Creamery butter and mix for about 30 seconds to 1 minute until well combined and smooth.
  • Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and continue mixing until fully combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Gently mix in the remaining 1 cup (120 grams) of toasted chopped pecans.
  • To assemble the cake: Level the tops of each cake with a knife or cake leveler.
  • Place one of the cakes on a cake stand, top with ¾ cup to 1 cup of frosting, and smooth it out into one even layer.
  • Repeat with the second layer and another ¾ cup - 1 cup of frosting, place the third layer on top, then use the remaining frosting to frost the top and sides of the cake.

Notes

Storage Instructions: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Freezing Instructions: Once the cake layers have cooled completely, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and freeze for up to 3 months. Frosting will also freeze well in a large freezer bag for up to 3 months. When you're ready to make the cake, bring the cake layers and frosting to room temperature, then assemble.
Slices of the frosted cake may be frozen for 2 to 3 months. I recommend wrapping them tightly with plastic wrap and storing them in a large freezer bag/container. Thaw to room temperature before serving.
To make a 9x13 cake: Grease a 9x13 pan with nonstick cooking spray and pour the batter into it. Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. I recommend cutting the frosting recipe in half for a 9x13 cake.
Cake Flour: If you don't have any on hand, you can use my homemade cake flour substitute here. Or you can simply replace the cake flour with 2 cups (250 grams) of all-purpose flour.
Cream Cheese: Make sure to use blocks of cream cheese in the frosting. If you use cream cheese spread in a tub, the frosting will be too soft.