Subscribe NOW & Get Access To All The Goodies!

Italian Cream Cake

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my links.

Becky left me an email earlier this month, wanting  my recipe for Italian Cream Cake. Well, as it happens, that’s my favorite birthday cake, and guess what ? My birthday was this week, so I made one. And can I just say. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!  This is layer on layer of  to die for flavor !

Much more Southern in heritage than Italian, this cake’s close cousin is the Hummingbird Cake that I dearly love as well. It’s popularly served at weddings, baptisms, birthdays and holidays. And is so moist, it almost melts in your mouth!

The  recipe itself appeared in Southern Living Magazine somewhere in about 2002. Its one of those I bothered to write onto a recipe card, instead of destroying the magazine (which ultimately took a swim in the gulf thanks to hurricane Ivan). I’m going to have to rewrite that card for my box now, its getting a little tattered.  The addition of brown sugar gives the cake its caramel color and flavor.  Don’t let the ‘steps’ in this one throw you off, it is pretty simple to assemble, you just have to get your ‘ducks in a row’. 

Go ahead, grab a print of this one, and you’ll be the hit of your next holiday party!

Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Italian Cream Cake

A Favorite Southern Cake For Birthday's or Christmas. Adapted From Southern Living Holidays 2002 (or thereabouts)
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time23 mins
Total Time33 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Southern
Servings: 12
Author: Debbie Lawrence


  • 3 cups shaved coconut
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs separated
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • Simply Quick Caramel Frosting
  • Simply Quick Cream Cheese Frosting


  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Place shaved coconut in a single layer in on a cookie sheet
  • Place pecans on a second cookie sheet.
  • Bake coconut and pecans at the same time 5 to 7 minutes or until coconut is toasted and pecans are lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring each halfway through cooking.
  • Using a heavy stand mixer beat butter and shortening at medium speed until fluffy
  • gradually add granulated and brown sugars, beating well.
  • Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
  • Add vanilla, beating until blended.
  • Combine flour and baking soda
  • add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  • Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition.
  • Stir in pecans and 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut.
  • Using another bowl,beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form, and fold into batter.
  • Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.
  • Bake at 350° for 23 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 1 hour).
  • Prepare Quick Caramel Frosting. Immediately spread frosting between layers and on top of cake. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting over sides of cake; press 3 cups toasted shaved coconut onto sides of cake.

 By the way, for those of you who have asked,  you can subscribe to  Southern Living (1-year auto-renewal) or get  SOUTHERN LIVING Magazine instantly on your Android device.  

Southern Living Magazine is as much a part of the South as sweet tea, ask any southern woman. Odds are fairly high she’ll have at least the last 6 months of the magazine on her shelf. I love the magazine personally, and I think you will to. They have not sponsored this post or provided me any payment to mention them.

Favorite Things

Great Reads


  1. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef says

    5 stars
    I shudder to think how much an American magazine to my phone would cost all the way down here. :)

    I made an Italian Cream Cake earlier this year and it was so sweet I couldn’t eat much of it. I’m going to try yours and see how I fare. :)

    • Debbie Lawrence says

      actually Maureen, I think the subscription is fairly reasonable.. its available in both the appstore for apple and androids. This is not overly sweet, but surely enough to make one happy!

    • Debbie Lawrence says

      Its a wonderful cake for certain.. a little more rustic on the inside than the out.. but delish!