Featured Image - Recipe for Italian Cream Layer Cake

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Our youngest daughter first made this Italian Cream Layer Cake as a county fair project years ago. It boasts a tender and moist crumb, and is flavored with chopped pecans and coconut. Covered in a cream cheese frosting, it’s sure to please at your next holiday dinner.

Serving Italian Cream Cake on Pfaltzgraff Villa della Luna Dessert Plates

Layer cakes are a wonderful addition to a holiday menu. Not only do they feed a large number, they are also quite pretty featured on a cake stand for all to see. Some people are intimidated at the thought of decorating a layer cake, but if I can do it, so can you. Please see my detailed instructions further down in this post.

Place Finished Cake on a Pretty Cake Stand or Plate

I recently revisited this Italian Cake recipe that had been tucked away in my files for too long, and updated it with the addition of Fiori di Sicilia. This citrus and floral flavoring is lovely when added to cakes, cookies, and desserts, and can be purchased from King Arthur Baking Company. See more recipes that use Fiori di Sicilia Here.

If you are unable to purchase this flavoring option, you may simply substitute 1 teaspoon of almond extract in its place.

 

More Layer Cakes to Enjoy

 

Ingredients for Italian Cream Layer Cake

(See the full recipe at the bottom of this post.)

  • butter, softened
  • vegetable shortening
  • granulated sugar
  • large eggs, separated
  • vanilla extract
  • Fiori di Sicilia or Almond Extract
  • all-purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • buttermilk
  • sweetened flaked coconut
  • chopped pecans

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • cream cheese, softened
  • butter, softened
  • powdered sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • chopped pecans
  • sweetened flaked coconut

 

Instructions for Making this Recipe

Ingredients for this Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Gather the ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.

Line Baking Pans with Wax Paper and Wrap with Baking Strips

Line three 9-in round cake pans with wax paper. Spray tops and sides with baking spray. If desired, wrap pans with baking strips as directed on package.

 

Prepare the Ingredients

Using a knife and cutting board or a nut chopper, chop the pecans into small pieces.

Carefully, separate the egg whites from the yolks and place both in their own bowls.

 

Make the Cake Batter

Add Eggs and Extracts/Flavorings to the Creamed Butter

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter, vegetable shortening, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.

Beat in the separated egg yolks along with the vanilla extract and Fiori di Sicilia flavoring.

In a small bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine.

Gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed butter, alternating with buttermilk. Beat just until combined.

Fold Pecans and Coconut into the Batter

Fold in the sweetened flaked coconut and chopped pecans.

Fold Stiffened Egg Whites into the Cake Batter

In another large mixing bowl, whisk the separated egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into the cake batter.

Spoon Batter into Prepared Pans

Divide and spoon cake batter into the three prepared baking pans.

Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

 

Make the Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients for the Cream Cheese Frosting

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened cream cheese and softened butter until fluffy. Gradually add in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Mix until well blended, about 2-3 minutes.

If the frosting seems too thick, add 1 tablespoon milk. If too thin, add 1/4 cup more powdered sugar as needed.

 

Assemble and Frost the Cake

Begin by Icing the Bottom Cake Layer

To ice a layer cake, begin with the bottom layer, placing the top side down on the cake plate.

If desired, you may place strips of waxed paper around the bottom of the cake to prevent any icing smudges. 

Divide the frosting into quarters, and spread 1/4 on the bottom layer. Next, place the second layer top side up and spread 1/4 of the frosting on this layer.

Frost the Sides and Top of the Cake

For the third layer, place the cake top side up and place the remaining frosting on the top. Spread frosting along the edges, being careful to fill any gaps on the sides of the cake.

Finish Decorating Cake with Coconut and Pecans

Finish by decorating the top with chopped pecans and coconut.

I have decorated the top with a circle of pecans in the center and coconut along the edges, or vice-verse. Sometimes, I’ll cover the entire top with pecans and pat coconut along the sides of the cake. It’s your choice how you decorate. 

Serve Sliced Cake on Pretty Dessert Plates - Villa della Luna by Pfaltzgraff

Serve slices of cake with tea, coffee, or a glass of icy milk. This recipe will serve 12-16 people.

See more Cake Recipes Here. Browse Desserts Here.

 

Featured Image - Recipe for Italian Cream Layer Cake

Italian Cream Layer Cake

Italian Cream Layer Cake boasts a tender and moist crumb, and is flavored with chopped pecans and coconut. Covered in a cream cheese frosting, it’s sure to please at your next holiday dinner.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Cooling Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Serving Size 16

(As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.)

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs (separated)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia (or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup pecans (chopped)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 6 cups powdered sugar ((5-6 cups, as needed))
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pecans (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Gather the ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.
  • Line three 9-in round cake pans with wax paper. Spray tops and sides with baking spray. If desired, place cake baking strips on the outside of each pan, following product instructions.

Prepare the Ingredients

  • Using a knife and cutting board or a nut chopper, chop the pecans into small pieces.
  • Carefully, separate the egg whites from the yolks and place both in their own bowls.

Make the Cake Batter

  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter, vegetable shortening, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the separated egg yolks along with the vanilla extract and Fiori di Sicilia flavoring.
  • In a small bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine.
  • Gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed butter, alternating with buttermilk. Beat just until combined.
  • Fold in the sweetened flaked coconut and chopped pecans.
  • In another large mixing bowl, whisk the separated egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into the cake batter.
  • Pour cake batter into the three prepared baking pans. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

Prepare the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened cream cheese and softened butter until fluffy. Gradually add in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Mix until well blended, about 2-3 minutes.
  • If the frosting seems too thick, add 1 tablespoon milk. If too thin, add 1/4 cup more powdered sugar as needed.

Assemble and Frost the Cake

  • To ice a layer cake, begin with the bottom layer, placing the top side down on the cake plate.
  • (If desired, you may place strips of waxed paper around the bottom of the cake to prevent any icing smudges.)
  • Divide the frosting into quarters, and spread 1/4 on the bottom layer. Next, place the second layer top side up and spread 1/4 of the frosting on this layer.
  • For the third layer, place the cake top side up and place the remaining frosting on the top. Spread frosting along the edges, being careful to fill any gaps on the sides of the cake.
  • Finish by decorating the top with chopped pecans and coconut, as desired.
  • Serve slices of cake with tea, coffee, or a glass of icy milk. Cover and store in refrigerator for up to five days. This recipe will serve 12-16 people.

Notes

*Unless otherwise indicated, all butter used on this recipe site is salted.

Nutrition

Calories: 708kcal | Carbohydrates: 93g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 299mg | Potassium: 172mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 74g | Vitamin A: 667IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 2mg

 

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