Do you ever have one of those nights? The kind where absolutely nothing goes right, to the point of just having to laugh it off, lest you get really, really upset? Seems like we have those kind of nights a lot. The kind of nights where an entire tray of boiling hot soup and a HUGE glass of tea is dumped into my lap; my husband choking on the not-so-delicious, romantic Valentine’s Day meal I made for him, thus ruining everybody’s evening (and appetite!); or most recently (like, last night) our dog, Izzy eating the remainder of my beloved Girl Scout Caramel Delite cookies while we were out. My cookies! My precious, delicious only-come-once-a-year Girl Scout cookies!! She’s snickering at me right now from across the room…. *Sigh*

Anyway…that really has nothing whatsoever to do with Italian Cream Cake, but it feels better venting a little bit. Right, so, on with the post…

Months and months ago, my dad made a cake request for his birthday, which is 3 days after Christmas. Italian Cream Cake. That’s one of his favorites, so for the past few months I’ve been searching for the perfect recipe. Finally, I decided on one – Billie’s Italian Cream Cake, found on The Pioneer Woman. The instructions were really easy to follow and the end result was nothing short of amazing. Everyone agreed that it was the best Italian Cream Cake they’d ever tasted – success! The only change I made was adding a little lemon juice to the cream cheese frosting to bring out the tangy-ness in the cream cheese;Β Γ  la Ms. Dorie Greenspan. I think we’d all agree that the frosting, by far, was the best part.

Billie’s Italian Cream Cake
-found on The Pioneer Woman

For the Cake:
1 stick Butter, at room temperature
1 cup Vegetable Oil
1 cup Sugar
5 whole Eggs (separated)
3 teaspoons Vanilla
1 cup Sweetened Coconut
2 cups All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 cup Buttermilk

For the Frosting:
2 packages (8 Oz) Cream Cheese, at room temperature
1 stick Butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons Vanilla
1 package 2 Lb Powdered Sugar
1 cup Chopped Walnuts (I used pecans)
1 cup Sweetened, Flaked Coconut
1 squeeze fresh lemon juice (optional, but highly recommended!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans.
Beat egg whites until stiff. Set aside.

For the Cake:
In a large bowl, cream together butter, oil, and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg yolks, vanilla, and coconut.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and baking powder.

Alternate adding buttermilk and dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix until just combined, then fold in egg whites.

Pour evenly into the three prepared pans, then sprinkle the top of each pan with 1 (at least) tablespoon sugar.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto cooling racks and allow to cool completely.

For the Frosting:
In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Stir in chopped nuts and coconut. (Here is where you would add the lemon juice, if using). Spread between layers and serve.
Note: cream cheese frosting will soften at room temperature, so refrigerate if you won’t use it right away.


Sorry I don’t have any pictures of the inside of the cake – I took these before my parents came over; but trust me, it was beautiful! πŸ™‚ I would highly recommend this cake to anybody; even those who think they don’t like coconut or nuts….I am one of those people, yet I gobbled up every bit of my (giant) slice! Make this cake! Make it TODAY!! I guarantee it’ll be gone before the weekend’s over!

Oh and by the way, Izzy is just fine after eating all those cookies – she was a little hyper last night, but she’s feeling just fine today!



  1. I made this cake off the Pioneer Woman’s blog this past summer, it was awesome! I may have to try adding the lemon juice to the frosting next time, I felt like it was way too sweet.


    Comment by Stacie — January 22, 2010 @ 4:40 PM

  2. Stacie: Isn’t it great?! Yours looks fantastic too! You should definitely try it with the lemon juice next time – no one really notices it’s there, but it cuts back the sweetness and adds great flavor!


    Comment by amy — January 22, 2010 @ 5:50 PM

  3. That looks delicious! I love coconut cakes.


    Comment by cupcakesprite — January 22, 2010 @ 6:49 PM

  4. So pretty! Happy Birthday, Daddy E!! πŸ™‚


    Comment by Hornedfroggy of My Baking Heart — January 22, 2010 @ 7:09 PM

  5. I’ve never tasted Italian Cream Cake-this looks absolutely delicious! It’s hard to go wrong with a Pioneer Woman recipe!!!!!


    Comment by Jennifer — January 22, 2010 @ 9:01 PM

  6. Hi Amy and thanks for your visit! Your cake looks delicious and I see lots of other great looking recipes here!


    Comment by Susan — January 23, 2010 @ 7:05 PM

  7. Now that’s one decadent dessert! I’ve never had such a cake before, but now I’m seriously jonesing to make one.


    Comment by Hannah — January 24, 2010 @ 8:26 AM

  8. I’ll have to try this recipe. My mom used to make Italian Cream Cake all the time….thanks for the memories! β™₯


    Comment by bridget {bake at 350} — January 25, 2010 @ 10:02 PM

  9. Hey sweetie, that was BY FAR the best cake I have EVER tasted! You really did yourself proud with this one, and made your Daddy VERY happy! That was a GREAT birthday present!


    Comment by Daddy — January 28, 2010 @ 7:41 PM

  10. I made this for my son’s birthday yesterday, and I have to say it is the best cake I have ever made! Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful recipe πŸ™‚


    Comment by Vicki Wynn — February 3, 2010 @ 10:44 AM

  11. Vicki- Thank you for telling me! I’m SO glad it was such a big hit for you!



    Comment by amy — February 3, 2010 @ 12:40 PM

  12. Hi,
    Can u plz tell me what coconut u used in the cake batter? Sweetened/unsweetened? Fresh grated or flaked ?


    Comment by SA — February 8, 2010 @ 4:28 PM

  13. SA – hi! I used sweetened flaked. Just the plain old stuff in the bag. But really, any coconut you want to use would be just fine!



    Comment by amy — February 8, 2010 @ 4:30 PM

  14. Thanx so much for ur quick reply..the cake looks awesome!
    Am planning to bake it for our 2nd wedding anniversary πŸ™‚
    So using sweetened flaked did not affect the overall sweetness right? Or did u use less sugar?


    Comment by SA — February 8, 2010 @ 11:39 PM

  15. This looks amazing!! I can’t wait to try it.


    Comment by Jade — February 25, 2010 @ 1:55 PM

  16. My FIL asked for an Italian Cream Cake for his birthday this September, and I found your recipe. It was so moist and delicious! I don’t plan on making any other Italian Cream Cake besides this in the future! Love your addition of the lemon juice in the icing. Now whenever I make cream cheese icing I make sure there’s just a bit of lemon juice in it. Works every time. Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe!


    Comment by Lisa B — October 1, 2011 @ 5:15 PM

  17. It is recommended to incorporate three table spoons full of coconut oil per day in cooking to get at least ten to twenty grams of lauric acid which is important to
    boost your immune system, increase the metabolic function of
    the body. A client recently inquired about different coconut oils.
    Also native populations in Asia follow a diet heavily based on coconut products, overall extremely high in
    saturated fats but are free from cardiovascular disease and diabetes.


    Comment by using coconut oil — July 21, 2013 @ 2:48 AM

  18. I ate 3 slices of this cake last week. it was delic


    Comment by Laura — September 16, 2013 @ 6:05 PM

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