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Full Italian Cream Cake on a cake stand

Italian Cream Cake

  • Author: Deborah Harroun
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 16 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American


This Italian Cream Cake is a tender buttermilk and coconut cake, topped with a cream cheese icing, pecans, and more coconut.




  • 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups (396 g) sugar
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups (240 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut


  • 12 oz (224 g) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup (170 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 cups (681 g) powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup (114 g) pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (43 g) sweetened, shredded coconut


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease 3 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, if desired.
  2. In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg yolks, vanilla, and almond extract.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Mix one-third of the buttermilk into the batter. Then add half of the flour mixture and mix to combined. Repeat with one-half of the remaining buttermilk, all of the remaining flour mixture, then the remaining buttermilk. Stir in the coconut.
  5. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until they have stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the 3 prepared pans. Bake in the preheated oven until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes. Let the cakes cool for about 15 minutes, then remove from the pans and let cool completely.
  7. To make the frosting: Cream the cream cheese and the butter until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla, almond extract, and a pinch of salt.
  8. Start adding in the powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time. Beat until smooth and combined. Add the cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach a spreading consistency. (You may not need all of the cream.)
  9. Spread the frosting between the cake layers, then make a thin crumb coat on the exterior. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then add another layer of frosting on the sides and the top of the cake.
  10. Press the pecans onto the sides of the cake, and sprinkle the coconut over the top.

Recipe Notes:

Reference the post above for substitutions and storing.

Nutrition information provided as an estimate only. Various brands and products can change the counts. Any nutritional information should be used as a general guide.


  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 715
  • Sugar: 73 g
  • Sodium: 246 g
  • Fat: 37 g
  • Saturated Fat: 18 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 9 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 88 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Cholesterol: 136 mg

Keywords: italian cream cake, italian cream cake recipe