Italian Cream Cake is a mouthwatering white cake made with buttermilk, nuts, and coconut folded in. Pecans are the more commonly used nut in Italian Cream Cake. However, I use almonds in my version because I love them so much. This cake is moist, decadent, and absolutely delicious and sure to become a new family favorite.
Find entire ingredient list and full recipe at the end of this post.
Time in the Kitchen is Time Well Spent
Back in California, I didn’t bake from scratch much, because I didn’t have a lot of time. Since moving to the farm, I have had the time to do so many things I’ve always wanted to do including baking from scratch. Italian Cream Cake is one of the first cakes I ever baked from scratch and it immediately became a family favorite at the farmhouse.
Rainy, cold winter days are perfect for baking. The kitchen is warm, time is plentiful, and there is nothing like the aroma of sugar and vanilla in the air. Although baking from scratch takes time, it’s worth the effort. The end result is a moist, delicious, and beautiful cake that satisfies all your senses.
Italian Cream Cake
What is the origin of Italian Cream Cake?… Thank you for asking. As I began writing this blog post, I started wondering myself, so I began researching.
Initially, I hoped to relay a romantic Italian story to you. A story about a man who baked a cake for the love of his life and after she tasted his incredible cake, she realized she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him. Then they got married and lived happily ever after. I wanted to be able to tell you that his Italian Cream Cake recipe went down in family history and was passed along to many generations that followed him and his wife long after their deaths and is being made throughout the world by millions today…
Sadly, after hours of research, it turns out that the history of Italian Cream Cake has been lost. As a matter of fact, it appears to be more Southern American than Italian, and no one seems to know where the recipe originated. If you want to believe the former story though, you’re in good company… I do too!
What Makes Italian Cream Cake SO Delicious?
As soon as you look at the list of ingredients, the answer to this question seems obvious. Of course, there are the obvious baking ingredients: sugar, butter, eggs, all-purpose flour, vanilla extract, and baking soda. However, it’s the other ingredients on the list that make eyes light up.
- Buttermilk – Always a surefire way to elevate baked goods both in taste and texture. The acidic nature of buttermilk helps tenderize gluten, which gives baked goods more texture and body.
- Almonds – Add a mild sweetness to baked goods. The buttery texture of almonds combined with their delicate nutty flavor pairs well with just about anything, especially vanilla and fruits such as cherries and pears.
- Coconut extract – Provides an intense burst of aromatic delicious coconut flavor in baked goods. Remember, a little goes a long way.
- Cream cheese frosting – Speaks for itself… It’s the best!
How to Make Italian Cream Cake
First, coat the bottom of 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper and then coat the parchment paper with cooking spray and dust with flour. Set them aside.
Next, combine the sugar and butter in a large bowl. With an electric mixer, beat them at medium speed until they are well-blended. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flour and baking soda; stir them well.
Then, add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in almonds and extracts.
Beat the egg whites at high speed with a mixer until stiff peaks form (do not overbeat). Fold the egg whites into the batter and then pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake the cakes at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean.
Let the cakes cool in the pans for 5 minutes on a wire rack. Then, loosen cake layers from sides of pans and turn them out onto wire racks. Peel off the parchment paper, and let the cakes cool completely.
Icing on the Cake
Now it’s time to make the cream cheese frosting. Beat the softened butter and cream cheese until they are well blended. Add powdered sugar and vanilla to the butter and cream cheese and beat until creamy.
Place one cake layer on a plate and spread the top with 1/3 of the Cream Cheese Frosting. Then top with the other cake layer. Ice the entire cake with the remaining frosting.
Finally, garnish the cake with sugared blueberries, orange rind curls, and mint leaves, if desired.
This Italian Cream Cake is always a crowd pleaser. I hope you and your love it as much as we do here on the farm!
Have Your Cake and Eat it Too
Looking for more easy and delicious cake recipes? You will definitely want to check out these: