Italian Cream Cake


This cake is not for the faint of heart! Not with butter, eggs, buttermilk, two kinds of sugar, and cream cheese. Not to mention the coconut and pecans. This is a cake among cakes.
Georgia always makes this cake for my cousin for his birthday. This year is his big 5-0. And Georgia is still recovering from her recent hip surgery. (She’s doing well!) So while my cousin’s wife was working hard preparing his birthday dinner and setting the party scene, I made Georgia’s Italian Cream Cake, with her recipe she’s been using for 50 years.

Which means I had a lot to live up to here. I couldn’t let Georgia down!

Here’s the recipe. Make it with me!

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How to make Italian Cream Cake:

The cake
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup shortening (or lard)
2 cups sugar
5 egg yolks
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup coconut
1 cup pecans, chopped
5 egg whites, stiffly beaten

Cream butter and shortening.
Add sugar and beat till smooth. Beat in egg yolks.
I’ve been having to buy eggs from the store lately because the chickens have been on strike. But! See those two eggs in the front? They came from my chickens! They’re back to work! (Very exciting.)

Combine flour and baking soda; beat into creamed mixture, alternating with the buttermilk.
Stir in the vanilla, coconut, and pecans.
Then fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites. (Don’t over-stir.) Pour into three greased and floured cake pans. Bake at 350-degrees for 25 minutes. Cool and frost.

*I used three 9-inch cake pans for thin layers with lots of cream cheese frosting in between. You could also bake this cake using just two 9-inch cake pans, or using two or three 8-inch cake pans, or a 13 x 9 pan. Or even cupcakes. Adjust the baking time accordingly.

The frosting
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter
16 ounces powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
chopped pecans

Beat cream cheese and butter; add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat till smooth and creamy. Frost cake.
Sprinkle the top with pecans.

But we’re not done! We have to get the cake over to my cousin’s house! And we have to somehow manage to get this lovely cake there without messing it up. And we have to drive down this road. Remember this road?

Here, you hold the cake.
I have to drive. I hope you’re really careful with it because I wouldn’t want to be you when Georgia sees it if you mess it up!
I mean, you get one nut out of place and she’ll go crazy on you. She can really fly off the handle sometimes. She’s a tyrant, I tell you. A tyrant!
To make things more difficult, it’s already dark and it’s still a little snowy and icy.
AND BUMPY. WATCH THE CAKE. You doing okay?
Whew. I’m glad you got it here all right.
My cousin said my cake was as good as his mother made it.
I could tell Georgia was just about to fly into a rage and knock him upside the head so–
–I reminded him it was not as good as his mother’s and couldn’t ever be.
And then we all lived happily ever after.

Happy birthday, Mark!

(The End.)

Find this recipe at Farm Bell Recipes and save it to your recipe box.

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  1. Liz in PA says:

    :happyflower: Suzanne~ No matter what or how………

    YOU ARE THE WINNER ……and we all know it!

    I just treasure this Blog amonst all others…..

    I do believe your nickname should be:

    W O N D E R W O M A N :wave:

  2. JoLinda Flemister says:

    My Grandmother would make this cake for us at the holidays. She has been gone for a while and I did not get her recipe. I am so glad that Georgia shared it with you and you shared it with us. Thanks to you both.

  3. Sara says:

    You are a WINNER in my book!! That cake looks soooooooo good going to have to try that one

  4. blossom says:

    what can we do now?,

    i enjoyed the morning ritual of making a coffee and sitting down to vote and check the running totals.

    guess i’ll have to make that fabulous cake instead and eat that with my coffee……..

  5. Julie Curtis says:

    The big question……….did Georgia say it was good, too??

    I just bought myself a Kitchenaid mixer for Christmas. Maybe I should make this cake?

    Love the blog…

  6. Marla says:

    Yummy looking cake! :hungry:

  7. CindyP says:

    Oh my, that is a WONDERFUL looking cake!!! And I really don’t think Georgia would knock anyone up side the head, she’s just too sweet looking πŸ˜‰

    Happy Birthday, Mark!!! Looks like you had a great celebration!

    I guess I can remove the tab to Sam-e voting/watching from starting up when I open my browser……….just feels strange without heading over there….. BUT there’s still the chance of clicking over there to read YOUR Sam-e Good Mood Blog!! I don’t like waiting!!! :hissyfit: But, if you can, I guess I can, too!!

  8. Billy says:

    Happy Birthday Mark!!!

  9. Patricia Herman says:

    Beautiful cake! I bet it was just as yummy!!

  10. C says:

    Ummmm! Looks wonderful! C

  11. Tracey In Paradise,Pa. says:

    :shimmy: Happy Birthday Cousin Mark!!
    Your cake looks wonderful! And yes what did Georgia think of the cake? I bet she loved it..
    Have a great day!
    Hugs Granny Trace :happyflower:

  12. Jan says:

    These cakes are a hit at community events as well as at silent auctions. There is always someone sitting quietly in the wings willing to bid the price up, willing to pay dearly for a taste from childhood!

  13. Johanna says:

    Happy birthday, Mark! Aren’t you the lucky one to get such a delicious cake! Wish my coffee had been ready — looks like a cake that requires a cup of coffee with it. Mmmm!

  14. Diane says:

    Happy Birthday Mark :snoopy: I know you enjoyed your cake. It looks wonderfuly yummy. Glad it made the trip down the dirt road.

  15. Elaine says:

    Great! It is only 5:30am and I have just gained 10 pounds reading your post. UGH

  16. Box Call says:

    Man that cake really looks rich…..I would need two cups of coffee to help get all that buttery smoothness and sour creme richness down…but I love to make that cake. Love this blog on country life and like others have said….you are a winner!

  17. Leah says:

    That truly is a cake among cakes! Thank you for the recipe. And, I love stories about Georgia! You can’t fool us,we know she’s a sweetheart! πŸ˜‰

  18. Gail says:

    That cake is a lovely work of art! Is there any left… may I have a piece? Thanks for the recipe. I guess I’ll have to make my own.
    Nice to see Georgia again and I’m glad she is doing well. She is such a sweetheart. Since you moved to your own farm, we don’t get to see much of her.

  19. trish says:

    I love Georgia too! Glad to hear she is doing well. She will be like a new woman once she if finally healed.

    I think you won more than just a job with this SamE contest Suzanne. I don’t have to tell you that though. I know you realize it.

    It is going to be strange not to vote today though. I’m relieved and sad at the same time! lol

    Glad I could get the cake down the road for you in one piece. lol

  20. Debnfla3 says:

    Yep, that’s a good looking cake!

    I’m going to make this cake for Christmas…I love a cake with coconut in it!


  21. Mary says:

    What a wonderful cake. Anyone receiving that for his birthday would feel really special. I’ll keep that recipe for a “once a year” cake. Happy Big 5..0 to Mark!

  22. Chic says:

    Happy Birthday Mark! And THANKS Georgia for sharing your recipe with Suzanne and Susanne…thanks for sharing with us!! I feel like I’ve forgotten to do something this morning but that will soon be change when we have to go and read the Sam-e blog to see what you have to say. Good Luck Suzanne!!! Man that cake looks good. :hungry2:

  23. Patti says:

    I’m going to miss voting from home and work every morning. Good Luck!! Cake looks wonderful!

  24. Paula Tillotson says:

    OMG!!! I WILL have to make this cake. Your cake looks to good to eat.. :happyfeet: Thank you for posting this..I just LOVE reading what you write everyday

  25. Queenbuffness says:

    :hungry: Hey, my fatthighmaking friend, you said 2 kinds of sugar and I only see one. Did you mean 2 Cups? Can’t wait to make this poundage adding beauty!!

  26. Carol Warham says:

    Fingers crossed and good luck

  27. lisa brawner says:

    love it …… trip and cake πŸ™‚ I wanna try this for a new years party ..havent had one in years

  28. Nanny says:

    I haven’t a this cake in a long time….oh it is so good!!!! What a wonderful, wonderful gift….

  29. Lish says:

    I just went to sam-e to vote. It’s going to take some getting used to. Can we go vote on something else? Can you just put a vote button on here that does nothing… you know.. just for a little while… we’ll need weened off the daily voting. Sigh. I’m not sure what to do with myself now!!!

    Is there an aimlessly wandering emoticon?? :bugeyed:

  30. JOJO says:

    Good morning Suzanne, what a wonderful trip you took us on this morning, it was so nice of you to share photos of your family with us. Georgia looks like one of those ladys you have just got to hug every time you see her. I hope she is out and about soon.
    Thank you slso for this cake. It is one of our favorites, although I have never has the nerve to bake it, I have waited for a recipe that I knew would be good, and here it is. I will make this for our Christmas cake.
    We are all anxious to hear the news about the blog. I checked the voting last night–amd will keep my thoughts to myself. Nuff said.
    Have a wonderful 50 year Mark, you are now considered a collectable.

  31. Amy says:

    Georgia’s cake reminds me of my Grandmothers siggy cake. And you know what, we (the family) all have the recipe, but no one could actually ever make it as good as my grandmother could until we inherited The Pot. The Pot was the one that she made her icing in, and apparently is the secret ingredient in the icing turning out.

  32. Rys says:

    I too logged on this morning to vote. I hope you get it but as others have said:you’re a winner with us!

    Yum! Thanks for sharing Georgias’s recipe. I have a coconut cake that’s my “standby” for events but it calls for three days of chilling. This one looks equally delicious sans the holding time. I can’t wait to try it.


  33. Tobey says:

    What a delicious looking cake. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    I’ve been voting for you – I just don’t identify with some of the other bloggers in the contest. One of the reasons your blog brightens my day is you are so creative with what is around you. You make wonderful things happen with everyday items that you find during your everyday activities…and the food! Comfort and tasty taken to the next level. Yum. I really enjoy carefully tended family recipes. Those are the best.

    You have a don’t miss blog for me!

  34. Crystal B. says:

    Yum. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I will be making this. πŸ™‚ I sure hope you get the job.

  35. Myrna Mackenzie says:

    Suzanne, that road at night, with a bit of snow and ice? Eek! I am such a chicken (and not a great drver, either). You are such a brave woman (and obviously a better driver than I am). Of course, I have trouble backing down my paved (but very long) driveway straight once it gets dark. Or snowy. Or rainy. Or…

    Sounds like a great birthday. And the cake looks delish (and pretty).

    Lish, now there’s an idea. A vote button that does nothing! That could work. Weaning, right. I need some of that.

  36. Harbor Hon says:

    Best wishes to Sweet Georgia and hoping she recovers well. We’ve been missing stories about her around here. I think she would be proud that you made her cake too. xxoo

  37. KentuckyFarmGirl says:

    I knew I was in trouble the minute I saw the top half of that cake pic! I think I’ve gained 50 pounds just reading your blog…that doesn’t count the other 50 from using your recipes!

    Just let me say that you deserve this job! You are wonderful and I am praying that you get it ad I have voted every single day! I know you will be busy, busy, busy if you do and might not have time to do another big project BUT……

    Just in case you don’t get it (and I am praying that you do!) PLEASE do a cookbook!!!! I’m willing to buy a bunch of them as gifts for my cookbook-loving mom, aunts, grandma……

    Okay, I’ll quit begging now! Anyone else want to see Suzanne do a cookbook? Oooops, sorry, I said I would quit…I promise….bye now….PLEASE….. :heart:

    • JOJO says:

      I would love to buy a couple of her cook books if she would do one–I think that is a wonderful idea. Even though her recipes are posted, it would be nice to give to those that dont use the internet. What a wonderful wedding gift they would make!

  38. Claudia W says:

    I need a big glass of cold milk to go with this post today. That cake looks absolutely scrumptous! I think I just gained a pound reading about it!
    My Grandma didn’t make this cake, now I know I was missing something in my childhood. Oh but she did make some great cakes. I’ll have to look up the recipes and share.
    I miss voting! Is there anyway we can watch what is going on over there at SAM-e to see what is going on?Suzanne…give us something to vote for!!!

  39. ChrisUK says:

    WOW……amazing cake…I think you have outdone yourself this time.
    Do you take orders??????????

  40. Susan D. says:

    I’m going to have to make that cake. It looks delicious. I have been wondering about Georgia and how her surgery went. Glad she is doing well. I love reading about your farm and I love your staff members!

  41. Valerie says:

    What a lovely cake for that big day. Happy Birthday Mark! And it’s good to see Georgia up and sippin’ soup as grandma used to say. I am having “vote withdrawal” pains. Only thing that helps that is a piece of Italian Cream Cake…

  42. Patty says:

    It feels weird not to vote!!!! Such a creature of habit! Wonderful looking cake!

  43. 5kathleen2 says:

    This cake looks wonderful. I love cupcakes, think it would lose something in cupcake form? If I had a road like yours I would not leave home until spring!!!! :shimmy: :shimmy: :happyfeet: :shimmy: :shimmy:

  44. JeannieB says:

    I think I gained a pound just looking at the pics. What a cake!!!

  45. IowaCowgirl says:

    Now that would be a delectable thing to be snowed in with here in blizzard-land. Well, snow today and blizzard tonight and tomorrow. Once my girls are all fed and bed, I am hunkering down in the house with the fireplace, with the hot cider (or red wine!!), and with a calorie-laden plate of something…

    Everyone stay warm (and out of the ditches) – animals too!

  46. Debbie says:

    Look my jeans got tighter just from reading this post… yummy. Cake always tastes better when other people bake it and have to clean up the kitchen.

  47. rain says:

    You are the best :snoopy: -should be the winner-but that won’t pay the bills I know !! :sheep: The cake looks incredible-but a bazillion fat calories-maybe you shake them out on your road.! :shimmy:

  48. TXLady says:

    Italian Cream Cake is my favorite of all cakes and I make it maybe once or twice a year. it is so rich that it deserves being baked on really special occasions only…that way everyone understands that it’s a very special cake.

    I am hopeful for you Suzanne that your wit and quick humor and your wonderful writing skills will bring you into first place. I went around to all my boards and facebook this morning first thing and thanked them for the continual voting. I am praying that you win.

  49. Victoria says:

    You must be Mark’s hero, keeping tradition alive by baking his birthday cake and then keeping him a live after his “it’s as good as Mom’s” remark, lol. Continued prayers for the SamE job but if that doesn’t work out, then I’m thinking it’s high time you start working on a homesteading type book with with all your wisdom, recipes and photos. I’ll be first in line to get one.

  50. debbie says:

    Suzanne, you did it again. Not only does that cake look scrumptious, (Wow, wasn’t sure I could spell that!) but I’d been looking for a cream cheese frosting/filling on the sweetish side for a pumpkin muffin I want to try baking. It’s a rip-off of the local coffee chain’s where I work. Theirs are great but homemade is almost always better.

    Happy Birthday, Mark, you lucky fellow, you!

  51. Lola-Dawn says:

    :eating: Cake! Cake! I want cake for breakfast! HEY! Who cooked oatmeal instead of baking cake??? Darned chef around here …

  52. Claudia says:

    Your cake turned out beautiful, I bet it tasted as good too!

  53. Deborah R says:

    But…I am compelled to vote. I need to vote! It has become a daily habit! Please excuse me while I go look for a voting opportunity.

  54. Sharee says:

    I dont know how you do it. My mother called me at 8:30 last night ” our church christmas party is tomorrow night at 6:30. You guys are coming.” So of course you dont tell your mother “no” and I said “okay we will be there” choosing to ignore my suspicion that there was more to it than just showing up…”Oh good glad you are coming. Its potluck and its Italian themed.” Oh S*@#!?! So I am racking my brain all last night and this morning. So I figure I need to get my mind off it. Lets see how Suzanne is…and then SUZANNE SAVES THE FREAKING DAY!!! I have the recipe printed and I am taking off early baby! THANK YOU THANK YOU!! I just hope I have time to make it! YOU ARE AWESOME!!

  55. cheryl says:

    Best of luck with the paying gig, but I just wanted you to know that you’re already a winner in my book!! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they call, email, or whatever real soon to let you know that you’re the ONE! I enjoy your blog so much and if the folks at SAMe checked it out I know they did as well. Keep up the great work.

    p.s. wonder if you could leave out the cocounut in the Italian Creme Cake? Not a lover of coconut.

  56. BuckeyeGirl says:

    I’m printing out all my favorite recipes (including this one, in case I get the courage to try it) and putting them in plastic sleeves and then in a three ring binder. May I use a picture of Clover in her tiara for the front?

  57. Vicki says:

    Yummmmmm, yum, yum This looks absolutely delicious! Hope you win the contest- I know you deserve to, but no matter what, this WILL lead to something WONDERFUL for you!

  58. Janessa says:

    That looks fantastic and just thinking about making it I can feel the pounds adding to my thighs. (Sigh)

  59. Michele says:

    Good food and family what more can one ask for. Oh I know – more farm animals! The cake looks delicious. I want to try all your recipes. I have tryed a few. I love anything with coconut in it. :cowsleep: :chicken: :sheep: :reindeer:

  60. Miss Becky says:

    what a delightful tale of birthday cake and celebration! I love your stories Suzanne. I have one of my own. Last night my husband dropped my laptop on the hardwood floor ( don’t even bother wondering) and it is in for repairs and my entire life along with it. I am late getting to view your ordinary splendor today but late is better than not ever. You managed to calm me down and put a smile on my face once again. Thank you, and I only wish I could taste that beautiful cake. My husband’s birthday is Friday. Yummy. Do ya think he deserves it???? :devil2:

  61. Julie Harward says:


  62. catslady says:

    I’m not usually a coconut lover either but if it’s cooked in I think I wouldn’t mind it – just don’t like it crumbled on top lol. Looks loverly.

  63. Estella says:

    What a gorgeous cake!

  64. Molly says:

    This is my favourite cake of all time! My mom makes one for me for my birthday every year. It is the best cake ever. Thanks for reminding me about how fantastic it is.

  65. Angela says:

    Hey Suzanne!

    Looks like your cousin had a wonderful time at his party! Your cake looks yummy but I’m sure that your Aunt Georgia’s cake looks even yummier! :hungry: So does your family have some Italian in it? Is that why you are such a good cook?

    I thought for sure they would let us know who the winner was today!

    Angela :wave:

  66. Judy@daily yarns says:

    My mouth is watering this cake looks so good.

  67. Mary says:

    I love the way you took us down that road, and the way you put everything together. That cake looks soooo goood!!! You are a very talented lady my dear. Hugs!!

  68. Jo says:

    Glad the cake had a happy ending!
    Did you know your cousin looks like Stephen King?

  69. Maggie says:

    I read your post first thing every morning. It is a great way to start my day. Today I had one of those days. The kind we all have from time to time. So tonight I am returning to my ‘Good Mood’ bloger. And it is working. I feel better. You remind me of what is really important. Family, friends, good food, a couple of fur butt kids, and well, all the other things I find on the pages of your blog. You attract kind supportive followers, as is evident by all the gracious comments left by those who follow your daily adventures.

    So whether or not you get the paying gig, and I truely hope you do, as you totally deserve and have earned it, you are my good mood blogger.

    Thank you Suzanne for being, well, for just being you.

  70. Bonnie says:

    I am going to bake this tomorrow looks so good.
    And going down that road is just like my grandparents but I think the ruts were deeper. No matter it just looks like going home.

  71. Melinda says:

    I am going to program my telephone for 911 and then…….make that cake …911 for emergency assistance they will need to pry it, and a very large fork, out of my hands!! :snoopy:

  72. Judy Mitchell says:

    That’s a wonderful cake! I’ve made it for my family since I got past the age of “EZ Bake” toy ovens. My recipe calls for 4 eggs instead of 5. Otherwise, it’s identical. Maybe I’ll try it Georgia’s way and use 5 next time. You’ve got me wondering which is best! Could it possibly BE any yummier? I think I’ll have to find out.

  73. Lori M. says:

    I can’t wait to make this Italian Cream cake. I love Italian Cream cake. I think we are having it for Christmas.

  74. Donna says:

    Suzanne, I was making Italian Creme cake, like in the early 80’s or late 70’s…my ex SIL introduced me to it. It was the “hot” cake back then, to make.

  75. The Retired One says:

    If you don’t have buttermilk, can you substitute?

  76. Pattie says:

    Suzanne, I love looking at your pictures and all the good recipes. They look so delicious. I am going to try some of them sometime. I have made Italian Cream Cake but not in a long time. I will try your recipe soon. I live in Kentucky and we are having some really cold weather this week and lots of snow. We’re almost down to Zero. I will be glad to see at least a little warmer weather. I love your website and keep it up.

  77. Carol Langille says:

    I can’t tell you how pleased I am with this recipe! I made it today for my daughter’s 39th birthday and it was amazingly delicious! I think even Georgia would have been proud of my effort and I promise everyone here was very pleased. Thank you for posting.

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