26 November 2010

Italian Cream Cake

I spent Thanksgiving with some sweet friends, and much to my own amusement, was placed in charge of desserts. I'll post about Thanksgiving as a whole separately, but I wanted to include the recipe for Italian Cream Cake on its own. I keep promising to share the recipe, so here we go:

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
½ cup Crisco
2 cups sugar
5 eggs, separated
2 cups self-rising flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 small can of coconut
1 cup chopped pecans

Sift the flour and baking soda together in a medium bowl.  Cream the shortening, sugar, and butter with an electric mixer until smooth.  Add the egg yolks and beat well.  Add the flour/soda mixture to the creamed mixture, alternating with the buttermilk until both are incorporated.  Add the vanilla extract.  Using a spatula, fold in the coconut and the pecans.  Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff.  Fold them into the batter mixture.

Generously butter and flour three 8-inch cake pans OR one 13x9 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes for the 8-inch pans, or 45-60 minutes for the 13x9 pan.

Allow to cool completely before frosting with cream cheese icing.

NOTE:  If you make three 8-inch layers, you will need two recipes of the frosting.  You only need one recipe if you make the 13x9 sheet cake.

8 ounces cream cheese
½ stick butter
1 box confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Mix butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer.  Slowly add the confectioner’s sugar.  Add vanilla extract.  Fold in pecans.