Chocolate Italian Cream Cake - a classic Southern chocolate cake loaded with coconut and pecans and frosted with chocolate cream cheese frosting. O-M-YUM! This cake is to-die-for! From scratch buttermilk cake batter with egg whites folded in the batter. SO moist and decadent! This cake is great for the holidays and birthday celebrations! This cake is the BEST! #cake #dessert #chocolate #coconut #pecans #buttermilk
Preheat oven to 325ºF. Grease and flour three 8-inch round cake pans.
Beat egg whites at high speed of an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
Beat butter and shortening until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating until well blended after each addition.
Combine flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
Stir in coconut, pecans, and vanilla. Fold in egg whites.
Divide batter between cake pans.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool cake in pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on wire racks.
Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Beat together cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and cinnamon with an electric mixer until creamy.
Combine powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Gradually add sugar to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk. Stir in pecans.
Spread frosting between layers and on top and sides of the cake. Garnish with extra chopped pecans and coconut, if desired.
Store cake in the refrigerator.
If you don't like coconut, you can omit it.
To make Homemade Buttermilk, add 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk. Let the mixture sit until it starts to curdle, about 5 minutes.
I don't like shortening. Can I use all butter? You can omit the shortening if you prefer. It will change the texture of the cake, but it will still be fine.
If you don't like pecans, you can substitute walnuts.
Can Italian Cream Cake be frozen? Yes! You can freeze the cake layers unfrosted or freeze the whole frosted cake.
To freeze the layers to frost later, cool the cake completely and wrap the layers in plastic wrap. Place each one in a freezer bag and freeze. Remove the layers from the freezer a few hours to thaw before frosting.
To freeze the whole frosted cake, place the cake in the freezer for 30 minutes. Remove the cake and wrap in a couple of layers of plastic wrap and place back into the freezer. Thaw the cake for an hour or so before serving.
Do I need to refrigerate Italian Cream Cake? Yes! You should always refrigerate cakes and desserts with cream cheese frosting. Store the cake in an air-tight container. It will keep 3 to 4 days.