Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Rhondalyn's Italian Cream Cake

Rhondalyn's Italian Cream Cake - made March 2, 2010 from Rhondalyn (pugw)

One of my fitness friends, Rhondalyn, shared this recipe with me for Italian Cream Cake. The traditional Italian Cream Cake is apparently generally a three-layer cake with cream cheese frosting, unlike the version I posted earlier baked in a Bundt pan. I still don’t know what the difference is between an Italian Cream Cake and a coconut layer cake with cream cheese frosting. Perhaps it’s a regional nomenclature thing?

In any case, I tried out Rhondalyn’s recipe and it came out pretty well. The cake itself has a nice texture – more dense than a sponge cake but not as dense as a pound cake. I adore coconut so I loved the taste.

I made this on a day I was heavily distracted by my uncle’s situation (this was after we’d been told by the doctors that he was likely so brain damaged that he wouldn’t wake up or respond to anything and would need life support and before he woke up when they took him off life support later that same day). So I can be excused for mixing up this batter and was about to pour it into the pans when I realized I’d forgotten to add the coconut. Sigh. I did leave out the nuts but that was deliberate. I also did a bit of a whack job on the frosting as you can tell from the picture so I didn’t make this on a good baking day. Despite my neglect though, this came out well.

Note that Rhondalyn’s ingredient list calls for oil but the directions mention shortening, not oil. I asked her which one it was supposed to be and she said it could be either but that she prefers the shortening version. I made this one with shortening but am interested in trying it with oil to see if/how that would affect the taste and texture. This is actually similar to my Coconut Cake recipe from the Mrs. Fields' baking book.

½ cup butter, softened
½ cup oil
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, separated
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup nuts

8 oz cream cheese
½ cup butter, softened
1 Tbsp vanilla
16 oz powdered sugar

1. Beat butter and shortening on medium until fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add vanilla, beating until blended.
2. Combine flour and soda. Add to mixture alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat on low until blended and stir in coconut and nuts.
3. Beat egg whites until stiff peak forms and fold in batter.
4. Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9 inch round cake pans. Bake at 350˚F for 25 minutes.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1. Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla a medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.
2. Add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Beat frosting at high speed until smooth.

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