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
- Grease and flour three (3) 9" round cake pans. Line with wax paper and then grease the paper also.
- Cream the butter; add sugar, beating well with an electric mixer at medium speed.
- Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each is added.
- Combine the flour and baking soda.
- Add to creamed mixture alternating with milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
- Stir in pecans, coconut and vanilla.
- Beat the egg whites (need to be at room temperature) on high until foamy.
- Add the cream of tartar; beat until stiff peaks form.
- Gently fold beaten egg whites into batter.
- Pour batter into prepared pans.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes.
- Remove from pans; peel off the wax paper, and let cool completely on wire racks.
- Sprinkle each layer of cake with 2 Tbsp. of rum.
- Let stand 10 minutes.
- For the frosting:
- Combine cream cheese and butter, beating until smooth.
- Gradually add powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
- Stir in pecans and vanilla.
This cake is just OH SO EXCELLENT!