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!
How to make Italian Cream 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.
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter
16 ounces powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
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!
Find this recipe at Farm Bell Recipes and save it to your recipe box.