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Italian Cream Cake. This slightly lightened up version with less eggs, less coconut, less nuts and my favorite frosting make one insanely delicious cake!

Italian Cream Cake


For the cake:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup low fat buttermilk room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon butter extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup 1 stick salted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 egg yolks room temperature
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 6 egg whites room temperature

For decorating:

  • chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray only the bottoms of 3 (9 inch round) pans with cooking spray. Line the bottoms of pans with parchment. Spray the parchment with cooking spray and dust with flour. Set aside.
  2. Whisk flour and baking soda together until combined. Set aside.
  3. Stir buttermilk and all the extracts together. Set aside.
  4. Beat butter on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until well combined and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture (1/3 of the flour, 1/2 the buttermilk, 1/3 flour, 1/2 the buttermilk, 1/3 flour.)
  7. Fold in chopped pecans. Set batter aside.
  8. In a clean bowl, beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Do not over beat. Gently fold egg whites into cake batter until no visible streaks of whites remain.
  9. Pour batter into prepared pans, dividing equally.
  10. Bake for 18-23 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs.
  11. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then loosen edges and turn out of pans onto cooling racks.
  12. Once cakes are completely cool, make Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting. Fill and frost. Decorate bottom of cake with additional chopped pecans, if desired.
  13. Store cake in refrigerator.

Recipe Notes

*Cake should be stored in the refrigerator. I like it served at room temperature for best flavor, but some in my family preferred it cold.

*You'll need 6 eggs for this recipe. You'll use 6 whites, but only 2 yolks. You'll have 4 yolks leftover. When I have yolks leftover, I always make lemon curd. That will use up 3 of them.

*This cake isn't heavily filled and frosted, but it was plenty of frosting to complement the cake for us. If you want thick layers of filling and a thicker layer of frosting on the outside of the cake, just make one and a half of or double the frosting recipe.

*Room temperature is important for the eggs, butter and buttermilk. The ingredients will incorporate into the batter easier and room temperature egg whites are easier to whip up.

*The bowl and beaters that you use to whip your egg whites must be free of any fat or it will inhibit the egg whites from whipping to stiff peaks. To be safe, you can clean your bowl and beaters with vinegar to insure they are clean and ready to go.

*Be careful not to over beat your egg whites or they will break. If you over beat them, they can not be saved. Start whipping them on low speed until foamy, then gradually increase the speed until you've just reached stiff peaks.

*Toasted pecans add greater depth of flavor. If you choose to toast your pecans before using, do it in advance so they have time to completely cool before you add them to the batter or use them to decorate. You don't want hot pecans to melt your ingredients.

Cake recipe adapted from Cooking Light Five Star Recipes

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