Me making baked goods for any celebration is becoming the trend. One of my dad’s favorite cakes is Italian Cream Cake, so I decided to give it a whirl for Father’s Day! Blue Bell (my dad’s favorite) also just came out with a new flavor… Italian Cream Cake! So, of course we had to have the ice cream too… the two together tasted almost the same! yum! Happy Father’s Day Daddy! I love you! 🙂
I was in a bit of a hurry to make this cake. Let me tell you… patience is your friend when it comes to baking. This is especially true if assembling a layer cake. Waiting for the cake to cool completely, placing the layers in the fridge for half an hour after they completely cool, doing a crumb coat icing first… these are all seemingly unnecessary steps, but let me tell you these are the steps that separate the good from the extraordinary. I wasn’t a believer until last night when I started making this cake at 9:30pm. By one am I was exhausted and just wanted to be done. The last layer was still warm. It was supposed to be a three layer cake, but my last layer came out twice the size of the other two. So, my brilliant idea was to cut the big layer in half and make a four layer cake. Let’s remember the higher you go, the more unstable the cake becomes. So of course my big layer that was still warm ended up cracking and was nearly a complete catastrophe. In panic I began throwing icing on the cake trying to cover its imperfections, which created another problem….I didn’t have enough icing. AHH! Me AND the cake were having a melt down by this point. Jared quickly ran to Wal-Mart at one in the morning for more cream cheese for more frosting. He is such a good husband. I was able to patch the cake enough to be presentable. The walnut and coconut garnishes helped hide the cracks as well! Another side note, be careful if you melt your butter and cream cheese in the microwave to try to make them “room temp” in a hurry from the fridge. If they are even a little bit too melty, your icing will be too melty too. There is a reason it says room temp. So there you have it, a kind warning/ encouragement when it comes to baking. Patience my friends. Patience.
Italian Cream Cake
Adapted from For the Feast
- 2 Cups of Sugar
- 1 Stick of Butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
- 5 Egg Yolks
- 1/2 Cup of Olive Oil (a lot of recipes use 1/2 cup shortening instead, would be interested to know what difference it makes)
- 2 Cups of Sifted All Purpose Flour (you can also use Cake Flour)
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 Cup of Buttermilk
- 1 Cup of finely chopped walnuts (or pecans)
- 1/2 Cup of Shredded Sweetened Coconut
- 5 Egg Whites (beat until stiff peaks)
- 8 oz of Cream Cheese
- 1/2 Stick of butter for humid climates OR 1. to 1.5 sticks in dryer climates (I usually use 1 stick)
- 1 teaspoon of buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of Creme de Cacao (original recipe calls for this, but I didn’t use it)
- 2 cups Powdered Sugar
- 1 teaspoon of the White Chocolate Flavoring (optional- can be found in coffee aisle- it is a coffee syrup flavor)
- Cream room temperature butter and sugar together, then add vanilla.
- Beat in egg yolks one at a time. Add olive oil (or shortening) and beat until mixture is a lighter yellow color and fluffy.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the flour and baking soda.
- Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time alternating with the buttermilk.
- Fold in (use a rubber spatula and gently “fold” the batter) walnuts (or pecans) and coconut.
- In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until they create “stiff peaks”.
- *WATCH: How to Fold Egg Whites into Batter
- Fold in the egg whites very gently a little at a time (don’t stir, the egg whites will lose their consistency).
- Grease and flour 3 round cake pans. Evenly distribute batter to each pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees 20-35 minutes or until light brown and toothpick stuck in center comes out clean.
- Let cake cool in pan 10 minutes, then release cake from the pans and completely cool on cooling rack (about 30 minutes).
- Cream room temperature cream cheese and room temperature butter together.
- Add buttermilk, then vanilla (and white chocolate flavoring if using) and combine.
- Slowly add powdered sugar a little at a time.
Ice the top of the first layer of cake (leaving 1/2 inch parameter around the outside), then add the second layer and ice the top, and finally add the top layer. Lay parchment paper around the base of the cake for easy cleanup. Ice the sides and top of cake with a thin layer of icing (this is your crumb coat and it doesn’t have to be perfect). Place cake in refrigerator for half an hour or more. Now, add your final layer of icing to sides and top of cake. Decorate with walnuts and coconut.