Italian Dream Cream Cake
From The Looneyspoons Collection
Frosting and Filling
12 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp grated orange zest
4 cups icing sugar
¾ cups each sweetened shredded coconut and finely chopped pecans
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
¾ cup shredded coconut
Toasted coconut and chopped pecans for decorating cake
1. To make frosting, beat together cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and orange zest in a large bowl using high speed of electric mixer. Gradually add icing sugar and beat until smooth. Divide frosting in half. Stir coconut and pecans into one half and mix well. This will be used as filling. Other half will be used to frost outside of cake. Cover and refrigerate both until ready to use.
2. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease bottom and sides of three 8-inch round cake pans. Do not use 9-inch pans for this cake – they are too big. Cut circles of wax paper or parchment paper to fit bottom of pans and place in pans. Lightly grease paper. Set pans aside.
3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking power, and baking soda. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar on high speed of electric mixer until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolks and vanilla. Beat again until well blended. Gradually add flour mixture and buttermilk in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in coconut.
4. Clean and dry beaters thoroughly. Beat egg whites in a deep stainless steel or glass mixing bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold beaten whites into batter. Divide batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted into the center of cakes comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of cakes to loosen from sides. Invert cakes onto cooling rack, remove paper, and cool completely before frosting.
5. To frost cake, place on later on pretty cake plate. Spoon ½ the coconut-pecan filling over top and spread to edges. Repeat with next layer. Place final layer on top. Ice top and sides of cake with reserved frosting. Sprinkle toasted coconut evenly over top of cake and press chopped pecans into sides. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Keep cake stored in refrigerator.