Monday, July 27, 2009

Chocolate Italian Cream Cake

My mom will be 50 years old tomorrow, and my dad and neighbors planned a surprise party for her last weekend. And of course, when it comes to birthday parties, cake is a must. My mom's favorite cake is italian cream cake, so I decided to mix it up this year and make a chocolate italian cream cake because you know that older women cannot resist the lure of anything chocolate.

5 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
2/3 cup finely chopped pecans
2 tsp vanilla extract

1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 (16-oz) package powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325 F and grease 3 8" round cake pans.

Separate the 5 eggs.

Beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form; set aside.

Beat butter and shortening until creamy.

Gradually add sugar, beating well.

Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.

Combine flour, cocoa, and baking soda; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition.

Stir in coconut, chopped pecans, and vanilla.

Fold in egg whites.

Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 8-inch round cakepans.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove cake layers to wire racks, and cool completely.

For frosting, beat first 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.

Combine powdered sugar and cocoa; gradually add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with powdered sugar mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in pecans. (I left the pecans out so that I could decorate the sides with them.)

Spread Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish, if desired.


  1. Christy,

    Came here through tastespotting! I am sure your momma would have been so happy to see you re-create her fave cake! The cake looks really beautiful and luscious!

    Belated birthday wishes your momma!


  2. Aww thank you so much Ria! The cake was a big hit with the party guests, and especially my mom. Celebrating half a century doesn't get any better than stuffing chocolate cake down your throat. ;)

  3. I'm sure your mum was thoroughly pleased with the cake .. I know I would! It looks gorgeous and so beautifully decorated.

  4. Hi Christy! This looks gorgeous. Can you tell me what method you use to get the nuts stuck around the sides of your cake? I just tried something similar with toasted coconut, but I ended up with dents in my frosting and piles of unstuck coconut on the plate. Any suggestions??

  5. Hey Judy! It's funny that you ask about that... Getting the nuts to stick around the sides was actually much harder than I thought it was going to be. It just takes some patience. People on TV make it look way too easy.
    All you have to do is take a handful of nuts, or coconut in your case, and gently press it to the side of the cake, trying to touch the cake with your fingers as little as possible. For the coconut that doesn't stick, just pick it back up and press it to another spot until you have used all the excess. Once you have a first layer of coconut stuck to the cake, you might want to stick even more to the cake to make it look thickly coated, so just go back around and stick on another layer, once again picking up the excess as you go along.
    I hope this helps!

  6. My mom turns 50 next week and I love chocolate italian cream so I'm sure she will too :-)

    I noticed your HEB buttermilk...where in Texas are you?

  7. Nice attention to detail! I'm in Houston, actually. What about you?

  8. I love just outside Austin. Hello neighbor :-)

  9. Hello. What an awesome cake. I have the first (I hope of many) currently in the oven. I did substitute coconut oil for crisco. and used turbinado sugar for white sugar ... and I only had 2 cake pans, so I am making do with just 2 layers. thanks for sharing this recipe with all of us.


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