Italian Cream Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Yield 12 to 16 servings

"This cake recipe was given to me 30 years ago, and I bake it for Christmas and birthdays. I am 89 years old and have to walk with a walker now, but I still can cook."


1 cup whole buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
5 eggs, separated
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (3-ounce) can sweetened coconut
1 ( 8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1 (16-ounce) box confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease three 9-inch cake pans and line with wax paper.
  2. To prepare the cake, combine the buttermilk and baking soda in a small bowl; mix well. Place the egg whites in a small mixing bowl and using a mixer at high speed, beat until stiff.
  3. Combine the granulated sugar, butter, and shortening in a large mixing bowl and beat with a mixer at medium speed until light. Add the egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well. Add the buttermilk mixture to the butter mixture alternately with the flour. Stir in the vanilla, fold in the beaten egg whites, and gently stir in the coconut.
  4. Pour the batter (about 2 cups each) into the prepared pans. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from the pans to cool completely.
  5. To prepare the frosting, combine the cream cheese and 1/4 cup butter in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla; mix well. Stir in the pecans and spread the frosting between the layers and over the sides and top of the cake. Store in the refrigerator.

—Azalea Stephens, Dayton, Texas



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