MI Coop Kitchen

Gwen’s Italian Cream Cake aka THE birthday cake

Recipe by
Great Lakes Energy Cooperative  
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening (or all butter)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 cups cake flour (all-purpose works also)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup flaked coconut

Nutty Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 (16-ounce) package confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, cream butter and shortening. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks one at a time. Add vanilla and beat until blended. In a medium bowl, combine flour and soda. Add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour. Beat at low speed until blended. Stir in coconut. In separate bowl, beat egg whites until it forms stiff peaks. Fold egg whites into batter. Pour into three greased and floured 9” cake pans. Bake at 350 F for 23–25 minutes, until toothpick test is clean. Cool 10 minutes in the pans, then remove and cool completely on racks. To make frosting, bake pecans in shallow pan at 350 F for 5-10 minutes or until toasted. When you can smell the pecans, they are done. Cool completely. Beat cream cheese butter and vanilla at medium speed until blended.  Beat at high speed until smooth. Stir in pecans. Makes 4 cups, enough for 3 layer cake. When cake is cooled, between each cake layer, frost with Nutty Cream Cheese Frosting.  Garnish with pecan halves around bottom and chopped pecans on top, or pat additional coconut on the sides.


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