Classic Italian Cream Cake

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Italian Cream CakeIf you are longing for a rich and creamy dessert, then the Italian cream cake will delight your palate. Laden with nuts and coconut, this layered cake is decorated with delicious cream frosting. This recipe calls for long hours of slaving away in the kitchen. 

However, one bite of the cake makes all your effort worthwhile. This cake is the ultimate delicacy for any special occasion. Scroll down to learn to make this Italian delicacy from scratch.

Preparation time- 50 minutes
Baking time- 40 minutes
Chilling time- 2 hours
Serves- 12

Ingredients

2 cups refined flour
2 cups white sugar
1 cup buttermilk
200g butter
1/2 coconut
3 tbsp sugar
5 eggs
1tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup walnuts
½ cup pecan nuts

For the Cream Frosting

16 tbsp cream cheese
100 g butter
2 tsp fresh cream
240g confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method For the cake

Preheat an oven to 175 degrees C. Sift the flour and baking powder together and set aside. Chop the walnuts and pecan nuts finely. Shred the coconut using a grater or food processor to obtain coconut flakes. Squeeze out the milk from the coconut flakes.  Coat the moist coconut flakes with three tablespoons of white sugar.

Nuts and coconut flakes added to the batter will settle down to the bottom of the baked cake. To prevent this, combine the chopped nuts and coconut flakes with sifted flour mixture. Separate the egg whites and yolks and add them into two separate bowls.  Add vanilla extract to the egg whites. Using an electric beater, whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Beat the egg yolks until fluffy.

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In a large bowl, combine the white sugar and softened butter together until light and fluffy. Add the beaten egg yolks into the bowl and mix well. The egg whites must be beaten to stiff peaks to make the cake moist, airy and fluffy. It is, therefore, crucial to separate the yolk from the egg whites.

Next add the flour, nuts and coconut flakes blend to the bowl containing sugar-butter mixture. Combine the ingredients using a spatula and add butter milk. Gently fold in the beaten eggs into the batter and combine until you get a smooth cake mix.

Grease three 9 inches round baking pans.  Spoon the batter equally into the three pans. Place the pans in the oven and bake until the sides and top of  all the cakes turn light brown in colour. This will take about 35-40 minutes. If a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, then you have baked the perfect cake.

Allow the cakes to cool down slightly. Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake and invert it onto a plate. Follow the same procedure for the remaining two cakes. Now place the cakes on a parchment paper and dust off the crumbs using a brush. Allow the cakes to cool completely.

For the Cream Frosting

To prepare the cream frosting, place the cream cheese in a large bowl. Add butter, vanilla extract and confectioners’ sugar into the bowl. Add fresh cream and combine all ingredients together. If necessary, chill the frosting for half an hour to get the desired consistency.

Assemble the Cream Cake

Level the top surface of all the cakes using a knife. Place strips of parchment on all the four sides of a serving platter or serving board. Use one of the cakes as your base and place it on the platter. Spread a thin layer of the prepared icing on the top of the cake using an offset spatula.

Carefully place the second layer of cake on top the frosting. Spread a thin layer of icing on top of the cake. Now place the third cake on top the second layer. Spread the icing on the sides and top of the cake to seal in and hide the crumbs. This is called crumb frosting. Place the layered cake in the refrigerator for half an hour or until the crumb frosting sets completely.

Apply a thicker, second layer of frosting over the set cake.  Smooth the frosting on the cake with the help of a narrow metal spatula. Remove the parchment strips. Place the Italian cream cake in the refrigerator until the frosting sets.

Useful Tips

You can replace half of the butter in the recipe with olive or soybean oil.

If you are allergic to coconut or nuts, use chopped dried fruits in the above recipe.

You can use sweetened coconut flakes available in the grocery stores instead of  fresh coconut flakes.