Italian Cream Cake


My mother-in-law gave me this recipe when her son and I got married. It comes out great every time, even with minimal cake-baking experience! People who don't like coconut and cream cheese both have commented how surprised they are that they love this cake!

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
25 mins
Additional Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 25 mins
1 9-inch layer cake



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon baking soda

  • ½ cup butter

  • ½ cup lard

  • 2 cups white sugar

  • 5 eggs, separated

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 1 cup chopped pecans

  • 1 (3.5 ounce) can sweetened flaked coconut

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

  • ¼ cup butter

  • 3 ½ cups confectioners' sugar, or more to taste

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • ½ cup chopped pecans, or to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Grease three 9-inch round cake pans and line with waxed paper.

  2. Mix flour and baking soda together in a small bowl.

  3. Beat 1/2 cup butter and lard together in a bowl with an electric mixer until creamy. Add sugar; beat until smooth. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk, beating batter briefly after each addition.

  4. Fold 1 cup pecans, coconut, and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract into the batter.

  5. Beat egg whites with clean beaters in a glass, metal, or ceramic bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter. Divide batter among prepared pans.

  6. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool in pans, about 5 minutes. Invert cakes onto cooling racks; let cool completely, 25 to 30 minutes.

  7. Beat cream cheese and 1/4 cup butter in a bowl with an electric mixer until creamy. Add confectioners' sugar and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract; beat frosting until smooth.

  8. Spread a thin layer of frosting between cooled cake layers. Frost sides and top of cake. Sprinkle 1/2 cup pecans on top.

Cook's Note:

If frosting seems too thick in step 7, add a little milk.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

781 Calories
42g Fat
95g Carbs
8g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 781
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 42g 54%
Saturated Fat 19g 96%
Cholesterol 128mg 43%
Sodium 510mg 22%
Total Carbohydrate 95g 35%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 75g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 67mg 5%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 206mg 4%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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