Italian Cream Cake

I recently made my first Italian Cream cake.  From what I hear, it was pretty decent.  Prior to making the cake, I searched for the best recipe I could find that did not seem too complicated.  I came across this recipe from Southern Food, it had several good reviews.

Ingredients for the cake:
1 stick of butter
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
5 eggs, yolks and whites will be separated
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans, plus some extra to sprinkle on the outside of the cake

First separate the egg yolks from the egg whites.  In another bowl, mix the flour and baking soda together and set aside.  In yet another bowl, cream the butter and sugar together.  Then add in the egg yolks to the creamed butter and sugar.

Mix it in.  The batter will look a little like potato salad.

Add in the flour a little at a time and mix.  Once all the flour has been added, pour in the buttermilk and mix with the handheld mixer.  Using a large spoon, stir in the vanilla extract, catching all the batter from the sides of the bowl.

Now, it is time to work with the egg whites.  Using the handheld mixer, mix them until they get foamy and become stiff.  This makes the cake light and fluffy.  Set the egg whites aside.

Add the pecans and coconut flakes to the batter and stir to incorporate fully.

Then fold the stiffened egg whites into the batter.

The original recipe called for the use of 3 round pans, but for this cake I used 2 round pans.  I usually coat the pans with Pam cooking spray first.  Then, bake for 30 - 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

While the cake is baking, you can move on to making the frosting. 

Ingredients for cream cheese frosting:
1 package of cream cheese (8 ounces), softened
1/2 stick butter (4 tablespoons)
1 pound confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream together the cream cheese and butter.  Gradually add in powdered sugar and mix.  After all the powdered sugar is incorporated, add in the vanilla extract and mix in thoroughly with handheld mixer.

My mother was over while I worked on this cake, so she iced the outside of the cake for me.  There is something about the way your mom does things that is comforting.  One of my favorite things is the way my mom ices cakes, it's so perfect to me.  It reminds me of all the birthday cakes she used to make for me growing up, before we both knew how to decorate cakes. 

Once cake has been iced, sprinkle chopped pecans on top.  To garnish the sides, you may have to pat the chopped pecans onto the sides of the cake.


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