I'm half Italian and I'm embarrassed to say that I had no idea what an Italian Cream Cake was when I saw it in my Cook's Magazine. After doing some research, I learned that there's actually nothing even remotely Italian about this cake. It's more of a favorite in the American South than anywhere else. It didn't even originate in Italy so I'm not really sure where it got it's name from. I have to say that finding that out, eased my mind just a little because I felt like I had somehow shamed my Italian heritage by not knowing what in the world an Italian Cream Cake even was.
Once I did my research and found out that this cake was loaded with coconut and pecans, I realized that I HAD to make one - not because I'm Italian - or because I live in the American South - but because I LOVE coconut and pecans. (and cake)
Italian Cream Cake
2 1/4 cups sweetened coconut
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 teaspoons vanilla
3 1/4 cups cake flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
18 Tablespoons butter
6 Tablespoons shortening
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup toasted pecans
Process coconut in food processor unitl finely ground.
Add to buttermilk and vanilla.
Combine flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
Cream together butter, shortening and sugar.
Add eggs, one at a time.
Add dry ingredients, alternating with buttermilk.
Stir in pecans.
Divide batter between 3 nine inch cake pans.
Bake 35 minutes at 350.
24 Tablespoons butter
5 cups powdered sugar
1 cup coconut cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
32 ounces cream cheese
Beat first 5 ingredients. Add cream cheese, 1 ounce at a time.
Frost cake with coconut cream cheese frosting.
Frost sides and top of cake with a thin layer of frosting and refrigerate.
Spread remaining frosting over cake.
So there you go - Italian Cream Cake - made by an Italian - in the American South - doesn't get more authentic than that.