Sweet coconut and nutty cream cheese frosting combine to make this mouth watering classic Southern Italian Cream Cake recipe!
Why this Recipe Works
When it comes to making an Italian Cream Cake, it takes a true southerner to know how to make it right. Thank goodness my friend Robyn from Add a Pinch put out a cookbook to help our northern gals like me.
The layers of airy sponge cake surrounded by a generous spread of creamy butter frosting won me over in one bite.
I’m no stranger to baking cakes, but this cake has a few special instructions that are different from the norm.
To give the cake a light and airy texture, Robyn instructs you to beat the egg whites for the cake by themselves until they form stiff peaks. This took about about 7 minutes but . . . whoa!
It really does make a difference. I’ll be trying this technique in my favorite white cake recipe next!
Coconut in the batter creates a fabulous crumb and texture for the cream cake. It reminded me of the texture of my favorite watergate cake recipe.
Cream Cake Frosting
A combination or butter and cream cheese gets beaten for about 5 minutes to create a light and creamy spread that’s so good I was half tempted to eat it straight from the mixing bowl.
I’m glad I didn’t though, because it belongs on this cake. With Italian Cream Cake you don’t just put on a sissy thin layer of icing. You absolutely SLATHER the cream cheese frosting between the layers, then coat the assembled cake with a nice thick coating.
Somehow, even with all that cream, the icing doesn’t feel heavy or weigh the cake down. It’s light and airy, much like the cake itself, with a sweet finish and irresistibly velvety consistency.
Serve a big slice of this Italian Cream cake with a glass of Italian Soda! Match made in heaven.
How to store
Keep Italian Cream Cake in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. The cold temperature makes the cake taste even better!
Because of the cream cheese in the frosting, refrigeration is necessary to present spoiling and keep the icing in place. When ready to serve you can cut and slice it right away, no need to wait for it to come to room temperature.
Can you freeze cream cake?
Make it in advance. I would freeze this Italian Cream cake in layers without the frosting. Let it thaw in the fridge for several hours or overnight.
Then, when you’re ready to serve, make the frosting and assemble the layers.
Freeze Leftover Cake. You can also freeze this cake AFTER adding the frosting. Wrap in plastic wrap then foil. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Tips & Tricks
- Homemade buttermilk works just great in this recipe.
- For more coconut flavor and texture, sprinkle some toasted coconut flakes on top of this cake along with the pecans.
- If you don’t have a stand mixer, electric beaters will also work for beating the egg whites. You can beat the egg whites by hand with a strong wire whisk, too, but be warned it will take much longer and requires serious elbow grease!
More cake recipes
- The Best Cream Puff Cake recipe featuring a fluffy crust, easy vanilla filling, and of course, chocolate. You’ll love this homemade version of a cream puff!
- This Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is everything you want it to be, and more! Two moist layers of ‘from scratch’ Banana Cake, topped with a sweet frosting!
- Peanut Butter Cake
- Birthday cake recipe
- Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Whether you grew up eating southern style Italian Cream Cake or this is your first time trying it, I know you’re going to fall in love with it as much as I did. Nothing says “Southern Hospitality” like a slice of classic cream cake for dessert!