Saturday, May 07, 2011

Happy Easter...Italian Style

At Easter, one of my PBGV/Facebook friends made an amazing-looking Italian Creme Cake. She kindly shared the recipe with me, and I thought I might try to make them into cupcakes instead of a layer cake. EPIC FAIL! To be sure, this recipe is decadent and DELISH! The little cakes flavored with the coconut and pecans don't really even need frosting. However, the batter is so light that it makes cupcakes that are TOO tender and not structurally sound. They bake up with flat tops, and as they cool, they sink in and break away from the edges. So it was a tasty experiment, but lesson learned--stick with baking this cake in layers. Therefore, I only have the picture of the cake that my friend Beth made to give you an idea of what it looks like:

Beth's Italian Creme Layer Cake

1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon soda
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup shortening
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 egg whites
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup coconut*
1 cup finely chopped pecans*

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans.

Combine soda and buttermilk and let stand while you work on the rest of the cake. In large bowl cream sugar, butter, oil and shortening. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating after each addition. Alternate buttermilk and flour into mixture. Stir in vanilla.

In mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites into the batter. Gently fold in the remaining whites until there are no streaks. Gently fold in pecans and coconut. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until done. Cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8oz pkg cream cheese- softened
1/2 cup softened butter
4 cups sifted powered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat cream cheese and butter together add in vanilla and the powdered sugar. You can add nuts and coconut to the icing, or use to decorate the top.

*Because I hate coconut (mostly a textural thing), I decided to toast it first and then chop it up in the food processor. This yielded some extra coconut flavor, but the texture was similar to the nuts (oh, and I toasted those, too).

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