This Italian Cream Cheese Cake is three layers of pure indulgence. Toasted coconut and pecan pieces upgrade the simply delicious cream cheese frosting. Searching for the perfect Italian cake recipe? Look no further. You’ve found it!
Why is it called Italian Cream Cheese Cake?
The name might imply that this cake has European origins, but this decadent cream cheesecake recipe is actually American-made. In 1937, Italian Cream Cheese Cake was created in Plano, Texas. While the original recipe has changed over the years, one thing is certain: we are obsessed with this coconut and pecan cake!
How to toast coconut?
Preheat the oven to 325°. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Place two cups of shredded coconut in a thin, single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Position the sheet in the oven on the lower rack.
After 3 to 4 minutes, take out the sheet pan and stir the coconut with a wooden spoon. Spread the coconut back into a single, even layer on your pan and return it to the oven for another 3 minutes.
Can Italian Cream Cheese Cake be frozen?
Yes! To make this cake ahead of time, bake the cake layers and let them cool completely. Wrap the layers in plastic wrap, followed by foil.
Store the layers in the freezer for up to one month. When it is time to assemble the cake, allow the layers to defrost and decorate with frosting and garnishes.
To freeze the leftover cake:
Wrap the individual pieces in plastic wrap followed by a layer of tin foil. The cake pieces can be stored in the freezer for up to one month. Simply remove the slices from the freezer and allow them to thaw fully for about four hours prior to serving.
How to store Italian Cream Cheese Cake
This Italian cream cake recipe can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. For extended storage, cover the cake with plastic wrap and keep it in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Ingredients for Italian Cream Cheese Cake
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 2 cups sugar
- 5 large eggs, separated, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 1-1/2 cups shredded coconut
- 1 cup finely chopped pecans
Ingredients for Italian Cream Cheese Frosting
- 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Ingredients for garnishing cake
- 2 cups shredded coconut, toasted
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and lightly flour three 9 inch round baking pans.
- In a large bowl, cream butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes.
- Beat in egg yolks and vanilla extract. Combine flour and baking soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Mix until just combined.
- Fold in coconut and pecans.
- In another bowl, beat egg whites with clean beaters until stiff. Fold the whipped egg whites into the batter. Pour into prepared pans.
- Bake 20-25 minutes. Test doneness by inserting a toothpick into the middle of a cake. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes before removing it from pans to wire racks.
How to Make Italian Cream Cheese Frosting
- For frosting, beat cream cheese and butter for five minutes until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla for five minutes more until light and fluffy. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake.
- Garnish with toasted coconut and pecans. See the tip below for how to toast shredded coconut in the oven.
- Store finished cake in the refrigerator for up to one week.