Grandma’s Italian Cream Cake

Yield: 8 to 12 servings Active time: 1 hour Total time: 2 hours April 3, 2016

This white cake made with buttermilk, coconut, pecans, and cream cheese frosting is my mother’s favorite. She recently found Grandma’s hand-written recipe – Grandma always served an Italian Cream Cake at the family’s Thanksgiving feast.

Recipe from my grandmother, Frances.


  • 1 stick oleo
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 cups flour (plain)
  • 1 tsp. soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 egg whites, stiffly beaten
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup pecans


  • 1 box confectioner's sugar
  • 1 8-oz. package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup oleo
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 Tbs. mayonnaise


Preheat oven to 350º. Grease and flour three 8-inch cake pans.

Cream oleo and shortening; add sugar. Add egg yolks and beat well.

Combine flour and soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk and vanilla.

Fold in egg whites, coconut, and pecans. Pour into cake pans and bake for 30 minutes.


Sift confectioner's sugar. Cream together cream cheese and oleo. Add vanilla, coconut, pecans, and mayonnaise. Spread over cooled cake.

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