I have been making this cake for a while, and it always gets rave reviews. When Sam and I were just dating, right before I went home to Canada for the summer, he had a really nasty accounting final. I got up crazy early that morning to make this cake in a cupcake version then booked it to his work to leave him a cupcake and a good luck note so that he would have it when he got in. And there you have it: how I won him over ;)

If you like coconut, this cake is to die for. Even if you don’t like coconut, this cake might just make you a fan!

The official recipe calls for a lot of pecans- but I like to half that amount and add a whackload (yes, that is a technical cooking measurement) of coconut. And for the frosting I omit pecans and just put toasted coconut on the outside with a few whole pecans. But whatever floats your boat. I’ll post the official recipe and you can do with it as you please. Annnnd two round cake pans is a lot easier than three, if you aren’t into spending the extra time preventing collapse.  It’s also awesome with almonds instead of pecans.

Italian Creme Layer Cake
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 (3.5 ounce) package flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease three 9 inch, round cake pans. Combine soda and buttermilk, and let stand a few minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, cream sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup oil and shortening. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix buttermilk mixture alternately with flour into creamed mixture. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  3. In a large glass or metal mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites into the batter, then quickly fold in remaining whites until no streaks remain. Gently stir in 1 cup pecans and coconut.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  •  1/2 cup margarine, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
Beat together cream cheese,  butter or margarine, vanilla, and confectioners’ sugar. Stir in chopped pecans. Frost and fill cooled cake with cream cheese frosting.


Try it. For reals.


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