Italian Cream Cake

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Italian Cream Cake
 
Italian Cream Cake recipes are basically the same, and true to form. Traditional Italian cream cake recipes often call for shortening in the batter. However, I prefer using all butter in my cream cake. I also like the depth of flavor you gain by adding brown sugar to the batter and a touch of almond extract. Take the time to toast the coconut to use as a garnish for the sides of the cake not only making it pretty, but adding spectacular flavor as well. It's a special cake for a special occasion.
Ingredients
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup 2 sticks salted butter, softened
  • 1½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp pure almond extract
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole buttermilk
  • 14 oz package sweetened flaked coconut, divided
  • 1½ cup pecan pieces toasted, divided
  • Frosting:
  • 2 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2 lb powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp pure almond extract
  • reserved coconut, toasted
  • ½ cup reserved toasted pecans
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 3 9 inch round cake pans or spray with baking spray. Set aside. Sift the flour, baking soda and baking powder together. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the softened butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, pure vanilla and almond extract. Beat until creamy and light beige in color, around 3-4 minutes Add the eggs 1 at a time beating well after each addition.
  2. Add the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk. After all has been added, increase the mixer speed and beat until fully combined.
  3. Mix in ½ of the coconut and 1 cup of toasted pecans by hand.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes back clean. Cool completely on a cooling rack.
  5. To make the frosting:
  6. Cream together the cream cheese and butter until light, fluffy and pale yellow in color. Add the vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating until creamy and smooth.
  7. Line the edge of the cake plate with wax paper strips. Tip: If storing the cake, place onto a cake round to make it easier to move from fridge to cake plate for serving Frost the cake between the layers sprinkling each with reserved toasted pecan pieces.
  8. Add the final layer and frost the top and sides. Finish the sides with toasted coconut. Decorate the top as desired with the remaining chopped pecans. Store chilled. Yield: 12 pieces

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