Before moving to Colorado, I had never heard of Italian Cream Cake. There is a large Italian contingent in Pueblo and many of Italian descent around Southern Colorado. Some of my friends, who are Italian, put me onto this wonderful cake. It is one of my top 2 most requested and I made it for several graduations this year, by request. If you like coconut or carrot cake, this would be in the same family, only BETTER. The cake in the picture, I made and decorated for a special friend's birthday. All of our gorgeous lilacs were in bloom then. Know you will love this if you try it!!!!
- 1/2 cup Crisco( I use 1 cup butter flavor Crisco at high altitudes!!! and leave off the butter)
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 2/3 cups sugar
- 5 Eggs, separated
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups unbleached flour, sifted (I use Pillsbury or King Arthur)
- 1 teaspoon Mexican vanilla
- 1 cup pecans, toasted and then chopped
- 1 - 3 1/2 oz. can flaked coconut
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 lb. Powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 TBLS. or more whipping cream(can use milk)
- 1 cup toasted, chopped pecans
Cream butter and Crisco, add sugar gradually and beat until fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time and beat well after each addition. Add buttermilk alternately with dry ingredients starting and ending with flour. Stir in vanilla, pecans, and coconut. Fold in stiffly-beaten egg whites. Bake in 3 greased and floured pans that also have a round of parchment or wax paper on top and then grease the paper too. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until done when checking with a toothpick. Cool in pans for 20 minutes and remove. Ice with cream cheese frosting and sprinkle with toasted pecans.
To make frosting: Cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add remaining ingredients, ending with cream to make the proper spreading consistency.