Make this recipe for a delicious and moist Italian creme layer cake topped with coconut and pecans for a delicious and elegant dessert.

Recipe Summary

prep:
30 mins
cook:
30 mins
additional:
30 mins
total:
1 hr 30 mins
Servings:
12
Yield:
1 9-inch cake
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Ingredients

12
Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease three 9 inch, round cake pans. Combine soda and buttermilk, and let stand a few minutes.

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  • In a large bowl, cream sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup oil and shortening. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix buttermilk mixture alternately with flour into creamed mixture. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla.

  • In a large glass or metal mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites into the batter, then quickly fold in remaining whites until no streaks remain. Gently stir in 1 cup pecans and coconut.

  • Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

  • To make the Cream Cheese Frosting: Beat together cream cheese, 1/2 cup butter or margarine, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and confectioners' sugar. Stir in 1 cup chopped pecans. Frost and fill cooled cake with cream cheese frosting.

Nutrition Facts

925 calories; protein 8.5g 17% DV; carbohydrates 99.1g 32% DV; fat 57.4g 88% DV; cholesterol 110mg 37% DV; sodium 376.4mg 15% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (196)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
04/01/2010
Absolutely perfect! My family who doesn't like pecans, loved this cake! I didn't put the pecans in the icing, I just chopped them up pretty small and put them on the sides of the cake and on the center of the cake (a filled in circle) with some coconut around it in a circle. it looked goregeous! i don't know if anyone else knows this already, but i made it the night before, and stored it in the fridge. don't do that. if you just leave it on a cake platter with a dome over it, it stays moist and soft and light. in the fridge, it's still divine, just thicker, heavier, and less moist. ETA: I made this as a 4 tiered wedding cake and it was beautiful! I swirled the frosting and made a ribbon border with chopped pecans on each tier. It was devoured by all who came. The bride and groom said that when they ate their top tier a year later (after being frozen for a whole year) it tasted like I had just made it that same day! Read More
(139)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
09/15/2003
After so many rave reviews I had to try this cake. I am not a professional baker but I am a pretty experienced baker. This cake came out a disaster for me. It fell apart did not rise very well and when I tasted it I did not taste the yummy moist cake I have read about. I followed the directions to the T and use high quality ingredients and bakeware and have never had to throw out a cake until I made this one. Read More
(28)
242 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 185
  • 4 star values: 31
  • 3 star values: 14
  • 2 star values: 7
  • 1 star values: 5
Rating: 5 stars
04/01/2010
Absolutely perfect! My family who doesn't like pecans, loved this cake! I didn't put the pecans in the icing, I just chopped them up pretty small and put them on the sides of the cake and on the center of the cake (a filled in circle) with some coconut around it in a circle. it looked goregeous! i don't know if anyone else knows this already, but i made it the night before, and stored it in the fridge. don't do that. if you just leave it on a cake platter with a dome over it, it stays moist and soft and light. in the fridge, it's still divine, just thicker, heavier, and less moist. ETA: I made this as a 4 tiered wedding cake and it was beautiful! I swirled the frosting and made a ribbon border with chopped pecans on each tier. It was devoured by all who came. The bride and groom said that when they ate their top tier a year later (after being frozen for a whole year) it tasted like I had just made it that same day! Read More
(139)
Rating: 5 stars
04/19/2011
I love this cake! A co-worker said Italian Creme Cake was her favorite, so I made one for her birthday. After tasting it, another co-worker ordered one for her mother-in-law's b-day. I have never sold a cake to anyone, but she insisted and gave me 25.00. Her mother-in-law said it made her year, and she gave me 10 more!!! I don't know what cakes sell for, but I was blessed and tickled. I am not sure whose tips I read and followed, but it really made the cake wonderful and I will share them but not take the credit.....1. Make sure the eggs are room temperature (peak easier). 2. Use 5 yolks instead of 4. 3. DOUBLE the frosting and consider using half butter and half shortening. 5. Use parchment paper. 6. Make the cake the night before (or earlier in the day) let cool completely and cover but do not refrigerate. My tweaks...1. Use half vanilla and half imitation rum flavoring in the frosting. 2. Keep cake in the refrigerator to maintain fresh flavor. 3. Do not use pecan "chips", there are too many shells. Read More
(78)
Rating: 5 stars
12/20/2004
Excellent cake and always a hit. One great tip I usually dust the pecans in flour before adding to the batter. One faux paus I learned to never substitute cake flour for the all purpose flour. Read More
(75)
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Rating: 5 stars
06/26/2007
We really liked this recipe. I used butter instead of shortening (personal preference). I followed the recipe exactly. I used Pam's flour cooking spray and had no problems with the layers coming out of the pans or breaking apart. I did have to double the frosting to have enough to put on the whole cake. The only thing that I would change next time is to use less coconut but that is just for my own personal taste. Read More
(68)
Rating: 5 stars
08/31/2002
After making this cake I can throw out all my other cake recipes. It's the best both in taste and texture. I recently made it for a shower (without the coconut) and several people told me it was the best cake they had ever eaten. I added a couple of extra egg yolks to give it a little more body. I've also made it with almonds instead of pecans and now I plan to make a chocolate version. Anyone who isn't successful with this cake obviously doesn't know the first thing about baking. Barbara thanks a million! Read More
(57)
Rating: 5 stars
02/10/2014
Every time I make this cake I get rave reviews. It has been a consistent hit at fundraising bake sales silent auctions family dinners reunions alumni parties and home. It has been my "signature" cake for 10 years and even the most discerning bakers I know prefer it over other Italian Cream cakes or (HORRORS!) any made with a boxed mix. I have used it for cupcakes 9 x 13 single layer 9-inch layers and 5-inch towers. The ONLY thing I change...I do not mix the pecans into the icing because it shreds the tender crumb of the sponge cake......I just sprinkle the pecans around the lower half of the sides and the top of the cake. Read More
(43)
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Rating: 5 stars
04/23/2007
I was told this was THE BEST cake I've ever made- and I'm an avid baker! I added 1 tsp of coconut flavoring along with the vanilla. Very light moist and delicious! Read More
(38)
Rating: 5 stars
11/17/2006
I have tried many italian creme cakes and have never made one so I decided to try this one and it is the best I have ever tasted!!! Everyone loved it!!! I did have to double the icing though. Read More
(33)
Rating: 5 stars
08/28/2006
This is the absolute BEST Cake I have ever had!!! First off I HATE coconut so was very hesitant about making it... The cake is great & I wll definitely make it over and over again Read More
(30)
Rating: 2 stars
09/15/2003
After so many rave reviews I had to try this cake. I am not a professional baker but I am a pretty experienced baker. This cake came out a disaster for me. It fell apart did not rise very well and when I tasted it I did not taste the yummy moist cake I have read about. I followed the directions to the T and use high quality ingredients and bakeware and have never had to throw out a cake until I made this one. Read More
(28)