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Italian Cream Cake

Italian Cream Cake: A Decadent Dessert Delight

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Italian Cream Cake is a rich and moist dessert that combines the flavors of coconut, pecans, and a hint of vanilla, all enveloped in a creamy cream cheese frosting. This classic cake is perfect for celebrations, gatherings, or any time you crave a slice of indulgence. Follow this recipe to create a masterpiece that will impress your family and friends with its irresistible flavors and elegant presentation.

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Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • 6 egg whites, beaten to stiff peaks
  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

For the Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

Instructions

1. Preparing the Cake Batter

Step 1: Preheat and Prepare

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans, ensuring they are well-coated to prevent sticking.

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Step 2: Beat Egg Whites

In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

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Step 3: Combine Dry Ingredients

In another bowl, sift together self-rising flour. Stir in 1 cup of chopped pecans and 1 cup of shredded coconut.

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Step 4: Cream Butter and Shortening

In a separate large bowl, cream together vegetable shortening, unsalted butter, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.

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Step 5: Add Egg Yolks and Vanilla

Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla extract.

Step 6: Alternate Adding Dry and Wet Ingredients

Gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar mixture, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until just combined after each addition.

Step 7: Fold in Egg Whites

Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the batter until well incorporated. Be careful not to overmix to maintain the fluffy texture.

2. Baking the Cakes

Step 1: Divide and Pour Batter

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cake pans, smoothing the tops with a spatula to ensure even baking.

Step 2: Bake

Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.

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Step 3: Cool

Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely.

3. Making the Cream Cheese Frosting

Step 1: Cream Cheese Mixture

In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and unsalted butter until smooth and creamy.

Step 2: Add Flavorings

Add vanilla extract and continue to beat until well combined.

Step 3: Gradually Add Powdered Sugar

Gradually add powdered sugar, beating well after each addition until the frosting is smooth and spreadable. Adjust the consistency with a splash of milk if needed.

4. Assembling the Cake

Step 1: Layering

Place one cake layer on a serving plate or cake stand. Spread a layer of frosting evenly over the top. Sprinkle with chopped pecans and remaining shredded coconut.

Step 2: Repeat

Add the second cake layer and repeat the frosting and topping process. Top with the third cake layer.

Step 3: Frost the Cake

Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting, spreading it evenly with a spatula.

Step 4: Decorate

Decorate the top of the cake with chopped pecans and a sprinkle of shredded coconut for a decorative finish.

5. Serving

Slice and serve the Italian Cream Cake at room temperature. Enjoy the layers of flavor and texture in each bite, from the moist cake to the creamy frosting and crunchy pecans.

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Cooking Notes

  • Cake Moisture: The combination of coconut, pecans, and milk ensures a moist and flavorful cake. Ensure not to overmix the batter to maintain the cake’s light texture.
  • Baking Time: Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of each cake layer. It should come out clean when the cakes are fully baked.
  • Frosting Consistency: Adjust the amount of powdered sugar and milk to achieve the desired consistency of the frosting. It should be smooth and easy to spread.

Variations

  • Lemon Twist: Add a touch of lemon zest to the frosting for a citrusy variation that complements the coconut and pecan flavors.
  • Chocolate Drizzle: Drizzle melted chocolate over the top of the cake for a decadent chocolate-coconut-pecan flavor combination.

Italian Cream Cake is a delightful dessert that combines the richness of cream cheese frosting with the tropical flavors of coconut and the nuttiness of pecans. This recipe offers a step-by-step guide to creating a moist and flavorful cake that will impress your guests and become a favorite for any occasion. Enjoy the process of baking and savoring each slice of this classic dessert!