Beyond delicious Italian Cream Cake

In a recent blog I mentioned in passing that I chose a cake at a buffet that reminded me of the Italian Cream Cake that I make several times a year.  A reader sent an email asking if I would share the recipe.  Making this recipe always brings back interesting memories for me.  I decided to surprise the reader who is also a friend and head into the kitchen and make and share some this wonderfully delicious cake.

I grew up in a very secretive environment.  My world was my mom and three brothers and our daily existence and no more.  I would periodically ask my mom questions and was always met with the same question, “What do you need to know that for?”  Once I married and started my own family I would call my mom and ask for recipes for some of the favorite dishes that I remembered from my childhood.  No luck there either.  After a while I stopped asking.

So, several years ago I decided I would seek out my two aunts living in Texas and see if I could learn a bit about my mom and at the same time get to know my extended family.

Randy with granddaughters Fiona and Lauren

Christmas of 2007 we were heading up to Huntsville, Alabama to spend the holidays with daughter Kara and her family and so decided that we would take a side trip to Texas to visit my aunts Irene and Jean.  We loaded the trunk of the car with Christmas presents, camera, laptop computer and scanner/printer and went on a road trip.

Me, Aunt Irene and her grandson

Our visit with Aunt Irene was very informative.  Like peeling an onion she peeled back layer after layer of family history revealing snippets of information what helped me understand my mom’s sense of privacy a little better.  As we were leaving I asked if she had a special recipe that her family had enjoyed over the years.  She mentioned that she had long since given away most of her recipes but found a recipe in a magazine that reminded her of one that she had made for years.

Having dinner with Aunt Jean and Uncle Dave

The recipe she handed me was one printed in the November 1996 issue Southern Living.  The opening statement for this cake read, “This cake is sure to win raves in your home—as it did in our Test Kitchens”.  Trust me when I tell you it will.  I have made this recipe several times over the years mainly for holiday gatherings or dinner parties.  Trust me when I tell you will love it and so will your guests.

Italian Cream Cake

½ cup butter or margarine, softened

½ cup shortening

2 cups sugar

5 large eggs, separated

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup flaked coconut

Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add sugar, beating well.  Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.  Add vanilla, beating until blended.

Combine flour and soda; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Beat at low speed until blended after each addition.  Stir in coconut.

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, and fold into batter.  Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.

Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

Spread Nutty Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.  Garnish, if desired.

Nutty Cream Cheese Frosting

1 cup chopped pecans

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

½ cup butter or margarine, softened

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar, sifted

Bake chopped pecans I a shallow baking pan at 350°, stirring occasionally, 5 to 10 minutes or until roasted.  Cool.

Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended.  Beat frosting at high speed until smooth; stir in pecans.  (Donna Willcut-Pryor, Oklahoma)

Did I learn any thing interesting during the visits with my aunts?  Yes and no.  My Aunt Irene shared some background information about my mom that gave a little more understanding about why she was who she was.  My Aunt Jean shared a wealth of family photos and told little stories as we flipped through the album pages.  I left somewhat satisfied but also wanting more.  So, I will try again.

In the meantime I discovered a similar recipe that my Aunt Irene shared with me.  I have a habit of buying food magazines with the idea that I will get to them eventually.  By the time I get to the pile usually a whole year hs gone by.  Then I sit down and patiently go through the pile pulling out those recipes I find interesting.  In one of those piles was a wonderfully lighter version of the Italian Cream Cake printed in the March 2007 Cooking Light magazine.  I have made this version too and it is great.

I sent a few slices to several neighbors to get some feedback.  Our next door neighbors Bob and Sandy called and said, “It was so good we were almost unconscious eating it” and asked for the recipe.  Both John and Lorraine loved it saying, “It was delicious” and thanked me for sharing.  Whichever recipe you decide to make you will not be disappointed. The symphony of textures will make your mouth sing with joy.



This entry was posted in cake, Cooking Light, Dessert, Food, Italian Cream Cake, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Beyond delicious Italian Cream Cake

  1. Jane Fortmann says:

    Sounds sinful… Jane

  2. That’s one stunning cake, a little dangerous no doubt!

    • Hello, It really is a wonderful cake for the holidays or dinner guests. I have always gotten wonderful compliments. And, yes it is a little dangerous too as the butter, sugar, nuts, coconut, etc. will definitely add to your caloric count. But who cares if you only make it once in a great while. Thanks for stopping by and leaving some words. Keep reading. Mary

  3. Randy says:

    It was wonderful but very rich. I learned a lesson, don’t ask for a large piece. A small piece is the way to go.

  4. Liz says:

    Love these stories you write… Question: Is this a Weight Watchers recipe? Ha! It sounds delicious.

  5. I have always wondered how an Italian Cream Cake would taste like… Reading this makes me want to bake it more.

  6. Jane Setman says:

    Sounds wonderful! We enjoy your stories!

  7. Thanks for another informative website. Where else may just I am getting that type of info written in such an ideal way? I have a project that I am just now operating on, and I’ve been at the glance out for such info.

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