Italian Cream Cake

Kitchen Tip: When separating the eggs for this Italian Cream Cake, separate when eggs are cold. They’ll come to room temperature faster when out of their shell.

Italian Cream Cake
Makes 1 (9-inch) 3-layer cake
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  1. 1 cup all-vegetable shortening
  2. 1⁄2 cup butter, softened
  3. 2 cups sugar
  4. 1 tablespoon orange zest
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. 6 large eggs, separated
  7. 2 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
  8. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  9. 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  10. 1 cup whole buttermilk
  11. 1 (7-ounce) package sweetened, flaked coconut
  12. 2 1⁄2 cups chopped walnuts, divided
  13. Orange Cream-Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with nonstick baking spray with flour. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine shortening, butter, sugar, zest, and vanilla. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to shortening mixture in thirds, alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  4. In a large bowl, beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold beaten egg whites into butter-flour mixture. Add coconut and 1 cup walnuts, stirring gently to combine. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans.
  5. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center of layers comes out clean, approximately 20 minutes.
  6. Let layers cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.
  7. Spread Orange Cream-Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Gently press remaining 1 1⁄2 cups walnuts halfway up sides of cake.
Taste of the South
Orange Cream-Cheese Frosting
Makes approximately 5 cups
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  1. 10 ounces cream cheese, softened
  2. 2⁄3 cup butter, softened
  3. 8 teaspoons heavy whipping cream
  4. 1 1⁄2 tablespoons orange zest
  5. 1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  6. 8 3⁄4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, cream, zest, and vanilla at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth.
Taste of the South


  1. My recipe for Italian Cream Cake has chopped maraschino cherries instead of the orange zest and just plain cream cheese frosting.

  2. In Taste of the South Special Collector’s Issue “Southern Cakes” pages 32-32-34 have recipes for Italian Cream Cake, Italian Cream Bundt Cake and Italian Cream Sheet Cake. The Italian Bundt cake does not call for any buttermilk as do the other two recipes. I made it and it was extremely dry. Should this recipe contain buttermilk? I have checked your online recipes, but only found the recipe for the Italian Cream Cake, but not the bundt or sheet cakes.

    • Hi Dot! The recipe is correct that there is not liquid. Because we used so many eggs, butter, and cream cheese, the fat content is high and therefore should result in a moist cake. It could be dry because there was too much flour. We recommend measuring flour by either stirring the flour first and then scooping, or spooning the flour into a measuring cup. It could also be possible that your oven is running hot. To find this out, purchase an oven thermometer.


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