Classic Southern Italian Cream Cake Recipe

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Sweet coconut and nutty cream cheese frosting combine to make this mouth watering classic Southern Italian Cream Cake recipe!

Sweet coconut and nutty cream cheese frosting combine to make this mouth watering Italian Cream Cake recipe!

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 wonderful cookbook this year! Not only does it include this recipe for Italian Cream Cake…but other southern comfort food like Creamed Corn, Sweet Tea, Buttermilk Fried Chicken, and more!

Trying to choose where to start wasn’t hard…I’ve been wanting to make an Italian Cream Cake for many years. You see, many years ago I happened to be on a mission trip in Louisana and one of our hosts prepared dinner and dessert for us. You guessed it, Italian Cream Cake was the dessert served. I’ve been itching to get that cake in front of me ever since.

When I was thumbing through Robyn’s book and dog-earing all the recipe I want to try, it hit me instantly as I came across the cake where I was going to start!

A southern treat: Italian Cream Cake with coconut and pecans!

I’m no stranger to baking cakes, but one thing Robyn does to give her cake light and airy texture is she instructs you to beat the egg whites for the cake until they form stiff peaks, about 7 minutes. Whoa. It really does make a difference, and I’ll be trying this technique in my favorite white cake recipe!

I love adding the coconut into the cake batter, as it creates such a moist crumb and texture! And finally, the frosting. Robyn uses a combination for butter and cream cheese which gets beaten for about 5 minutes to create a light and creamy frosting recipe!

If you’re on the hunt for a cookbook packed with stunning photos and classic Southern food (with a modern twist)…you’ve got to get your hands on this Add a Pinch Cookbook. It would make a great Mother’s Day gift (give it alongside this Italian Cream Cake, or pair it with a cake plate and cake knife)!

Italian Cream Cake recipe with coconut and pecans and cream cheese frosting!

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!

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Yield: serves 12

Italian Cream Cake

Italian Cream Cake
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes

Sweet coconut and nutty cream cheese frosting combine to make this mouth watering Italian Cream Cake recipe!


For the cake:

  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut (flakes or shredded)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


  1. For the cake, preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans with baking spray and set aside.
  2. Using a stand mixer with whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until a stiff peak, about 7 minutes. Set aside.
  3. In a clean bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment (or hand mixer), beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda. Alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk to the butter and sugar mixture. Stir in the vanilla, coconut and pecans. Fold in the whipped egg whites. Divide the batter and pour into the two pans.
  5. Bake for about 35-40 minutes, until the center of the cake springs back to the touch. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan and then turn out cake onto a wire cooling rack until completely cooled.
  6. For the frosting, beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stir in vanilla and pecans.
  7. Spread frosting of the top of one of the cooled cakes. Add second layer of cake and add frosting to top and sides. Keep refrigerated. ENJOY!

A classic southern Italian Cream cake recipe chock full of coconut and pecans with a cream cheese frosting!

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17 comments on “Classic Southern Italian Cream Cake Recipe”

  1. I saw this recipe in her book and was *this close* to making it! Now I have to! It looks amazing and your cake is beautiful!

  2. I’m thrilled to see you made this, Aimee! It’s a special cake and so delicious…and I’m so happy you liked it!
    Thanks so much for sharing your super sweet thoughts about the cookbook and baking this cake for your readers! I appreciate your support so much, my friend! Hugs to you, Aimee!!!
    Robyn xo

  3. Could this cake be made in 9 X 13 pan?

    • Rosemarie

      Yes. I have an old Texas cookbook with this recipe and it calls for a 13×9 pan. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.  I have made it in both pans and I prefer the two 9″ because I get the yummy frosting in the middle. 

  4. Adriana M

    Could this cake can be made in a 5×9 loaf pan or bundt cake pan? And if yes, same temperature? And for how long?
    THANKS!! Can’t waot to try it

  5. Thanks! I made this cake and it is extraordinarily delicious! My cake hardly rises and is very dense. This was very easy and very tasty!

  6. I love the color and I bet the taste is delish!

  7. This looks so fabulous and now I have ANOTHER BOOK on my wishlist! I like to change the egg-method to change cake texture – often if the recipe calls for the eggs to go in with other liquids you can get a much better texture if you beat them with the sugar first and then go ahead and fold the rest in – doing the egg whites separately is also a great trick that i even use for waffles!

  8. It looks amazing and your cake is beautiful!

  9. wah!!! I think this is the best cake which will be the best for my birthday.On my this birthday I will prefer this cake. Thanks alot!!!

  10. Jessica Medlin

    Can crushed pineapple be added to the cake or icing?

  11. Jennifer Farley

    This cake has the perfect amount of sweetness!

  12. Dini

    I’ve never made an Italian cream cake before, and this looks so moist and decadent! I’m going to try this for my birthday coming up! Thank you so much for sharing! 🙂

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