Italian Cream Cake

IMG_3720 Table Scape 1

Italian cream cake… have you heard of this decadent dessert? Moist, dense vanilla layer cake dotted with chopped pecans and coconut and filled with a creamy frosting chock full of pecans and coconut. This cake is also known as Italian wedding cake. Just the sound of it lures you in.

IMG_3706 Table Scape

This cake is not light, aside from its chromatic tendencies. It’s deep, rich, and full and exploding with flavor. It’s worth every bite. 

IMG_3707 Coconut Shreds

I have long wanted to try an Italian cream cake. Along with red velvet, hummingbird cake, and other such well-loved layer cake recipes, it has made its way into my repertoire. And I hope it will become part of yours. If you need any nudging, just look at this cake. The layers are so moist, and its texture – so complex. Cutting a slice is not a clean job. It’s a home-style cake, indeed, and really… what’s better than that?

IMG_3723 Full Cake, Slice Out

The cake’s history is spotty; its origins, unknown. It’s even been said to not be truly Italian in heritage, but rather a Southern delicacy. This would explain the stick-to-your-ribs, lush quality of this cake. The shredded, sweetened coconut used in the cake and the frosting adds quite a bit of sweetness to the cake. To prevent the cake from being too sweet, I have only used 1 c granulated sugar in the recipe. The frosting accompanying this cake can be found here

IMG_3738 Top View Cake Slice

This cake just begs to be baked – it’s full of homey, warm, comfort food feel. The recipe below is adaptable, too – baking half a batch will yield a 3-layer 6″ round cake – just the perfect size cake for tasting.

IMG_3703 Top View Full Cake

I do hope you try it and if you do, let me know how you like it in the Comments section, below. My husband went for seconds, which of course meant he loved it! 🙂

IMG_3741 Top View, Slice Out, Full Cake

IMG_3730 Slice with Bite Out

IMG_3737 Holding Bite on Fork

Italian Cream Cake 

Recipe by: Leelabean
(Yield: three 9″ round cakes. *Halving this recipe will produce three 6″ round cakes)
2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
2 T cornstarch
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 c sugar
1/2 c unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 c canola oil
6 eggs, room temperature
1 c buttermilk, room temperature
1 T + 1 t vanilla extract
1 c chopped pecans, finely chopped
2/3 c shredded sweetened coconut

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Prepare your pans by spraying them with a non-stick cooking spray and lining them with parchment paper. Set them aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, or using a hand mixer, blend the butter, oil, sugar, and salt for about 5 minutes. The mixture will be very light in color and smooth in texture.

IMG_3663 Butter, Sugar, Oil

Add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating each before adding the next. Next, add the vanilla extract.

IMG_3664 Batter with Eggs

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and baking soda. Then toss in the chopped pecans and shredded coconut.

IMG_3661 Coconut & Pecans

Beginning and ended with the dry ingredients, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk. Do not over-mix the batter. 

IMG_3665 Batter Complete

IMG_3666 Batter in Pan

Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake in the pre-heated oven for:

6″ round: 18-21 minutes
9″ round: 25 – 28 minutes

The cakes will be done when a toothpick, inserted into the thickest part of the cake, comes out clean. Let the cakes cool for about 10 minutes and then un-mold them and let them continue to cool to room temperature on wire cooling racks.

IMG_3670 Cake Layers Cooling

Frost the cakes with Pecan Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting and enjoy. This cake can be stored in the fridge. Make sure to cover any exposed areas of the cake (cake not covered with frosting) with plastic wrap to ensure the cake doesn’t dry out in the refrigerator.

IMG_3686 Three Frosted Cake Layers

IMG_3687 Frosted, Finished Cake

IMG_3689 Top View Done Cake


IMG_3718 Closeup of Cake Slice

Sweetly ♥ Yours,



  1. Wowza! Looks delicious. Anything with coconut and pecans is good in my books

  2. cakewhiz says:

    i have never tried an italian cream cake but i adoreeeee italian desserts in general. And this cake looks exceptional! It looks rich and so full of flavor. Your kitchen must have smelled great when this cake was baking 😉

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