My cousin Joey's wife, Pat, who lived in Huntington Station, Long Island, New York, game me this recipe almost 20 years ago. She was truly a fabulous Italian cook. Even though she has been gone almost 15 years, she lives on through her recipes. She also made a fabulous cheesecake that is our family's favorite.
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (I prefer Crisco)
2 cups granulated sugar
5 eggs, separated
2 cups cake flour + 4 tablespoons
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1-2 teaspoons vanilla
1 (3 1/2 ounce) can angel flake coconut, minus 4 tablespoons
1 cup toasted pecans or walnuts, chopped
Heat over 350 degrees F. Cream butter and shortening. Add sugar and beat until mixture is smooth. Add egg yolks and beat well. Beat egg whites and set aside. Sift together flour and baking soda and add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Stir in vanilla. Add coconut and toasted nuts. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Pour batter into three greased and floured 8" cake pans or one 9"x13"x2" cake pan or one angel food or bundt cake pan. Bake 30-35 minutes if you are using the 8" cake, or approximately one hour if using the other cake pans. Check after 25 minutes if using the 8" cake pan and after 45 minutes if using the other cake pans. Remove from over if cake tests done. Cool. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting. Serves 12-16.
The Italian Cream Cake keeps for several days in a covered cake pan or under plastic wrap. This icing gets better with age, just like the rest of us!
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons angel flake coconut
toasted chopped pecans or walnuts, optional
Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar and mix well. Add vanilla and beat until smooth. Divide into approximately three parts if you are frosting the three layers and use one part for each layer if you have made the 3 layer cake. Top with nuts and coconut, if desired.
Note: if frosting is too thick, add a tablespoon or two of milk to mixture and continue beating.