Sunday, February 12, 2012
Sweet Love: Italian Cream Cake
Valentine's Day should be sweet and simple and full of love. This year we'll be enjoying the sweetest - Italian Cream Cake - filled with love and butter and cream cheese and pecans and coconut!
Italian Cream Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Separate 5 eggs.
Beat the 5 egg whites until fairly stiff. If you do this first, you can move the beaten egg whites to a different bowl, then go ahead and use your mixer bowl to continue the recipe. Otherwise...if you wait til it's time to add them, the whole process has to stop while you clean and dry your mixer bowl, assuming you're using a stand mixer. Lesson learned the hard way over the years...I've been making this one for awhile!
Cream together 1 cup butter (2 sticks), 5 egg yolks, and 2 cups white sugar til fluffy. Alternately mix in 2 cups all-purpose flour and 1 1/2 cups buttermilk. (I rarely have buttermilk on hand; instead, a generous splash of vinegar in milk gives the same result.) Add 1 teaspoon baking soda. Mix in 1 cup pecans or walnuts and 1 cup coconut.
Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the mixture.
Pour the batter into three greased and floured 9 " cake pans. Bake 20 to 25 minutes - or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let them stand in the baking pans for 10 minutes before removing - they will pull away from the sides of the pan. Let the cake layers cool on a rack that will let them breathe. This is a very moist cake, and some of the steam from baking needs to be released.
Combine 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese with 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), 3 1/2 cups (1 1-lb. box or 1/2 of a 2-lb. bag) powdered sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. (Truth? I used 2 teaspoons of vanilla because more is better in this case.) Spread onto the cooled cake - you can ice heavily between the layers and on top, leaving the sides free of icing, or you can spread it a bit more thinly and you'll have enough to spread around the sides as well. Sprinkle the top with 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts.
Fun with pecans...!
Because there was plenty of time to make this today - it's easy but it takes awhile, especially with that important 'let it cool' step - we agreed to celebrate with JUST ONE PIECE tonight in honor of Valentine's Day Eve Eve. We shared.
Truly a five-heart, make it for your sweetheart kind of cake.
Confessions of 2 Hungry Travelers at 9:33 PM