An Italian Cream Cake for Blogoversary!

It’s hard for me to believe that it was just one year ago today that I said hello to all of you beautiful friends in the blogosphere.
I have had just a great time meeting new friends and sharing my thoughts on recipes and the beauty of life around us. It’s been simply a wonderful, rewarding experience.
So for this memorable day, I decided that the one and only birthday cake to make and enjoy is the very special Italian Cream Cake. This cake is very near and dear to Southerners’ hearts and I can’t quite figure that out, because there are so few Italians in the region, at least there’s not many in South Carolina! But no matter, the recipe is a real treat, and Southerners have the best food taste and skills to boot! .
Although many of you have your own versions of this delectable goodie, my recipe is straight from Southern Living magazine (I don’t remember which issue, but it is also featured in many of their cookbooks). I have never seen a recipe for this cake in any Italian cookbook — Italians don’t use cream cheese or coconut in Italy, so it’s my humble little hunch that this cake is really Southern in origin and not from Italy. Set me straight on this origin, anybody. . . I hate to speak incorrectly.
The only adjustment that I make is to DOUBLE THE FROSTING!
Italian Cream Cake
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs, separated and at room temperature
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup milk
  • ⅔ cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 (3-1/2 oz) can flaked coconut
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • 6 Tbsp light rum
  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 (16 oz) package powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup chopped pecans2 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Grease and flour three (3) 9" round cake pans. Line with wax paper and then grease the paper also.
  2. Cream the butter; add sugar, beating well with an electric mixer at medium speed.
  3. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each is added.
  4. Combine the flour and baking soda.
  5. Add to creamed mixture alternating with milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
  6. Stir in pecans, coconut and vanilla.
  7. Beat the egg whites (need to be at room temperature) on high until foamy.
  8. Add the cream of tartar; beat until stiff peaks form.
  9. Gently fold beaten egg whites into batter.
  10. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  11. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  12. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes.
  13. Remove from pans; peel off the wax paper, and let cool completely on wire racks.
  14. Sprinkle each layer of cake with 2 Tbsp. of rum.
  15. Let stand 10 minutes.
  16. For the frosting:
  17. Combine cream cheese and butter, beating until smooth.
  18. Gradually add powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  19. Stir in pecans and vanilla.
This cake is just OH SO EXCELLENT!

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  1. says

    Happy birthday “La Bella Vita!” This cake is perfect. Great call on doubling the frosting. I love the nuts mixed with the cream cheese too. Delicious. I don’t think it’s Italian either. I’m gonna have to do some research on it’s origin, now that I’m curious.

    My favorite is chocolate Italian Cream. It’s as sinful as it sounds, slathered in chocolate cream cheese. Drool :-P”’

    I just emailed you!

  2. says

    Happy Blogoversary! I agree with you about the origin of this cake — must be southern. My hubby is Italian. The first time I heard of this cake, I thought it was the one I made (a hot-milk sponge cake with coffee/rum sprinkled on the layers, then sweetened whipped cream as frosting and filling with chocolate shavings on top. When I saw what it actually was, I said where did this come from? I couldn’t find it in any Italian cookbooks either, and I thought it was some kind of a Southern attempt at an Italian cake. But I will say, it is quite delicious and your photos make my mouth water.

  3. says

    I researched a little more and the best I found was that it “could” have been made by an Italian baker living in the southern part of the US. While others have tried to find the origins of italian cream cake, one woman says, “My research didn’t lead to satisfying answers but lead me to just abandon the question as turkeys aren’t from Turkey and neither is ice from Iceland!”

    So I don’t really know wher eit comes from but it’s good and I don’t really care :-)

  4. says

    Happy Blogaversay to you, Happy Blogaversay to you, Happy Blogaversay dear La Bella Vita, Happy Blogaversay to you!

    Holy Cow, you are killing me with this Italian cake Roz! Please send me a piece… I’m just a few states away!

  5. says

    Oh my goodness…I have been DYING to make an Italian cream cake for the longest time and I definitely am going to after seeing your gorgeous photos. They bring back memories of my grandmother making this for my birthday when I was little. Love it! Thanks for posting the recipe!

  6. says

    Congratulations on your 1 year blogoversary, Roz! You have a GREAT blog!

    I used to live near a genuine Italian bakery, and they made Italian Cream Cake. It was so delicious and my absolute favorite. (Although they did not use cream cheese or coconut. This was not in the South, but you are bringing back some scrumptious memories for me.)

  7. says


    Did you toast the nuts for this cake and frosting. Also, what brand of light rum did you for this cake. Can this cake be served to children, by the cake layers are soaked with rum. Is this the double recipe for the frosting.

  8. says

    Oh my. Oh my. Oh my. I was all set to make your strawberry cake, but I do think this one might win out…this looks heavenly!! I’ll let you know which one I make!

  9. says

    Your blog about Italian cream cake is really awesome. I love this recipe very much.I will definitely try this recipe. The process of your cake is very simple and easy. I like Italian culture, tradition, italian food etc . Last summer I have visited Italy as well as I have visited Italian restaurant. I have enjoyed Italian food very much.

    • says

      Hi Rosalyne,

      (Our names are almost identical!) Thank you for your visit and kind comment! It is an absolutely delicious cake that I hope you can bake and enjoy someday soon! Hope you stop by again!


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