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Friday, December 16, 2011

Italian Cream Cake

Italian Cream Cake is a cake that I associate with Christmas but I would welcome a piece any time of the year.  It's an elegant, rich cake and I was always in awe of whoever baked the cake that I was enjoying, whether it was a bakery or an individual.  When I found this recipe in Southern Living Magazine, I knew it would be the one that I baked for my family.

                                                          Italian Cream Cake

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, separated
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup flaked coconut

Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add sugar, beating well.  Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating until blended after each addition.  Add vanilla, beating until blended.  Combine flour and baking soda; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Beat at low speed until blended after each addition.  Stir in coconut.  Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, and fold into batter.  Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9 inch round cake pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 min. or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pans on wire racks 10 min.; remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.  Spread Nutty Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.

Nutty Cream Cheese Frosting

1 cup chopped pecans
1 - 8 oz. pkg. Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 - 16 oz. pkg. powdered sugar, sifted

Bake chopped pecans in a shallow baking pan at 350 degrees, stirring occasionally 5 - 10 min. or until toasted.  Cool.  Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla at medium speed until creamy.  Add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended.  Beat frosting at high speed until smooth; stir in pecans.  Yield:  about 4 cups.  Garnishes:  Toasted pecan halves, chopped pecans.

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