Italian Cream Cake

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I have never been able to cook or bake.

I remember as a kid and even into my teenage years, when my mother would be cooking for a huge family get together, she would give out jobs to all five of us. One sister would be in charge of appetizers, one salads, one deserts and my brother would get to do the jobs no one else wanted like peeling potatoes.

I’d eagerly wait to see what I’d be assigned to.

And year after year, I was assigned to stay out of the way.

Once I was married, I had to start cooking for my husband. After a some disappointing meals I learned a few things:

1) You can do more with chicken than boil it into a hard lump

2) Cooking everything on “HIGH” does not speed along the cooking times


3) The smoke alarm does not signify that the meal is done.

After learning helpful hints things started to improve.

Since then, I still can’t bake fluffy cookies, I overbake EVERYTHING, and I refuse to touch raw meat with my bare hands.

But I did learn how to make one delicious cake. My mother-in-law took the time to share a favorite recipe with me. After that, I’ve been requested to bring it to family events and have sold some to friends during the holiday season for them to share with their families.

Now, at family gatherings even I get complements on my contribution to the family dinner.

Apparently this recipe is fool-proof.

I won’t share it with my family or I’ll be back to “staying out of the way,” but since they are out of state, I can share it here.

It may seem very complicated but it honestly is very easy and looks impressive.




  1. Beat egg whites until stiff.
  2. Cream butter and shortening.
  3. Add beaten egg yolks, vanilla, baking soda, flour, sugar and buttermilk. Stir.
  4. Add coconut and pecans, mix.
  5. Fold in egg whites.
  6. Bake in three round layer cake pans at 350 degrees until done (20-25 minutes).


  1. Cream butter and cream cheese. Add vanilla and sugar. Mix.
  2. Spread on cooled layers and stack them on top of each other.
  3. Frost the entire outside of the cake with remaining frosting.
  4. Sprinkle the top and sides with the chopped pecans and coconut.
Let stand or chill in the refrigerator to help set the frosting if you plan to travel with it.
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