Italian Cream Cake Recipe



1/2 cup butter (softened)

1/2 cup shortening

2 cups granulated sugar

5 large eggs (separated)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1/4 teaspoon almond extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup buttermilk¹

1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

1 cup chopped pecans


12 ounces cream cheese² (softened)

1/2 cup butter (softened)

5 cups powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2-1 teaspoon almond extract³

1 cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour 3 9-inch round cake pans. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and shortening together until well-combined.
  3. Add granulated sugar, and beat until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in egg yolks, vanilla, and almond extract, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  5. Add half of the flour and all of the baking soda. Stir in until just combined.
  6. Mix in buttermilk.
  7. Stir in remaining half of the flour until just combined.
  8. Mix in coconut and pecans until incorporated.
  9. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  10. Fold one-third of the egg whites into batter.
  11. Fold in remaining beaten egg whites.
  12. Gently spoon batter into prepared pans.
  13. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
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  15. Cool 10 minutes in the pan, and then remove cakes to wire rack to cool completely.
  16. For frosting, beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth.
  17. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and almond extract, and mix on low for 30 seconds, or until powdered sugar is just incorporated.
  18. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until fluffy.
  19. Spread frosting over layer of cake and then top with pecans. 
  20. Repeat with remaining layers, frosting, and pecans.⁴ 
  21. Refrigerate before serving, and cover and chill any leftovers. 


  1. Low-fat or full-fat buttermilk ok
  2. Full-fat or 1/3-less fat ok. Fat-free isn’t recommended.
  3. If you want a milder almond flavor, use 1/2 teaspoon. For a stronger almond flavor, use 1 teaspoon.
  4. I also sprinkle the top layer with cooled toasted coconut. 
  5. Nutrition values are estimates.

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