Italian Cream Cake!!

 

Italian Cream Cake is my husband’s favorite kind of cake – other than cheesecake! This particular recipe comes from his grandmother and is the best version of Italian Cream Cake that I have ever tasted. A detail unique to this version is the addition of  maraschino cherries. It sounds like a strange addition, but it really adds an extra punch of flavor, and makes the cake oh-so-pretty. I should tell all of you not to be fooled by the name – this cake is in no way shape or form Italian. Nope. It is purely American… originating in the good ol’ American South.

The Recipe:

1 cup butter

1 2/3 cup sugar

6 eggs separated

1 cup buttermilk

3/4 cup baking soda

1/2 t salt

2 cups flour

1 t vanilla

1/4 t cream of tartar

2 cups coconut

1/2 cup diced maraschino cherries

1 cup chopped pecans

Frosting:

1 cup butter

16 oz cream cheese

8 cups powdered sugar

1 1/2 cup toasted coconut (optional)

1/2 cup pecans (optional)

maraschino cherry (optional)

 

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time, incorporating well after each addition. Add buttermilk and dry ingredients alternately. Stir in vanilla, coconut, and maraschino cherries.

 

In separate bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into cake batter. Once well mixed, pour batter into three greased and floured 9″ cake pans. If you only have two 9″ cake pans – like yours truly – you can simply make a two layer cake, or cut each of the cake layers in half to make a four layer cake!!  Bake for 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Be careful not to overbake – This cake should be very moist.

 

 

 

 

While the cake is baking, place 1 1/2 cups shredded coconut into a pan over low to medium heat. Gently stir until coconut begins to toast and brown. Toasted coconut is beautiful on the frosted cake. Cover the cake entirely with coconut, or leave room for some pecans on top, let your stomach be your guide on this one. And of course, no Italian Cream Cake is complete without the cherry on top!

 

 

Buon Appetito!!

 

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