Italian Cream Cake

B hit a milestone birthday today 😀 And it’s his first birthday as a married man whoohoo… as well as having the first birthday with us actually living together – yup, I’ve moved to Chicago, and we’re excited to live in the same city and house finally (at least until residency begins in a month)

Marriage is all about learning to love each other’s quirks.

B: Since living together I learned some new things about you…things I never knew before…
N: And?
B: You use a LOT of toilet paper. 

That was definitely not what I expected. Well, I need it for makeup removal and cleaning!

The perk of having a wife who likes to bake is always having a birthday cake.

We had Italian Cream cake for our wedding cake, which is now B’s new favorite dessert (I even hand carried the last remaining frozen cake slices on the plane to Chicago). He requested Italian Cream for his birthday, and I’m happy to have an excuse to make cakes.

Italian Cream is undeniably one the richest cakes, but I slightly lightened it with some yogurt and reduced sugar in my version (adapted from Trisha Yearwood on Food Network). The icing has less sugar and more cream cheese so it isn’t as firm, but it works beautifully for a naked cake.

Although B specifically wanted me to make a layer cake (cupcakes weren’t “awesome enough”), since he and his roommates are also moving out, I had no baking supplies so I had to improvise.

I had only one springform pan, so I lined the bottom with parchment so it wouldn’t leak batter – but it was easier to remove the cake. I had to make the entire cake twice separately per layer, as the egg whites had to be whipped and folded right before baking – which was a huge pain.

I also had to use his roommate’s ancient KitchenAid to whipping egg whites. I can tell you, the normal models today are much better designed. It was clanky and something that looked like it belonged to the Julia Child if she baked in the medieval era.

Also his roommate’s rather old toaster oven for toasting coconut may or may not have caught on fire…

I like baking in my own kitchen with my own supplies and equipment, but I’m willing to do all this for no one but B.

B insisted in getting actual number shaped candles for his birthday cake. Haven’t seen one of those kind of candles since my dad turned 50 years old – this means B’s at an age where there’s not enough candles than can fit on top hehe.

The birthday cake was destroyed by B and his friends is less than 24 hrs. Mission accomplished.

Italian Cream Cake 

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing (can sub 1/4 cup with Greek yogurt)
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/4 cups sugar
5 large eggs, separated
1 cup buttermilk, well shaken (1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1 cup shredded coconut, lightly toasted
Cooking spray

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup shredded coconut, lightly toasted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour two cake pans. Sift the flour and baking soda together and set aside.

With an electric mixer, cream the butter and shortening with the sugar until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the yogurt if using now. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating between each egg. With the mixer on medium speed, add the flour and buttermilk alternately. Stir in the vanilla, coconut and nuts.

In a separate bowl with clean beaters, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the batter, just until blended.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35-45 minutes (time varies, I used an old oven, so make sure to test if done – insert a knife and have it remove cleanly). Cool the layers.

With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese with the butter on high speed until fluffy. Reduce the speed to medium and blend in the sugar and vanilla. Beat well until the frosting is smooth.

When the cake is completely cool, spread the frosting between the layers and on the sides and top of the cake. Sprinkle on the toasted coconut.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. I LOVED THIS CAKE!! My friends did too and as evidenced by the cake being devoured within 24 hours of it being made! If I had it my way I would eat it this cake everyday!

  2. Your cake looks AMAZING! And I hear ya on the old KitchenAids! I'm currently using my Mum's KitchenAid that she received as a wedding gift 35 years ago. It pretty much sounds like it's dying every time it's turned on. Can't wait to have my shiny, gloriously red one back!

  3. Congratulations on the milestone! Living together really does make quite a difference in what you know about one another- Mr. C and I are the other way around; I'm always complaining that he uses too much toilet paper!

  4. This looks so good! I've made Italian Cream Cake for other people but I've never actually had it myself. I should probably get on that 😉 and sidenote, my fiance made the same exact toilet paper comment to me when we lived together too! Maybe it's just a guy thing. Who knows!

  5. Love a naked cake and this one looks absolutely amazing! Naked cakes can sometimes look a little plain, but this one looks delicious and so pretty!! Awesome post.

  6. I loved the intro of your post lol. And the cake looks so delicious… Pinning it to my board so I can give it a go on the weekend.