Jyl’s Italian Cream Cake is the absolute best Italian Cream Cake I’ve ever tasted!
If you wanna hop right to the recipe, just click the red “jump to recipe” button at the top of this post, or scroll on down until you see the pictures start to see the prep.
Italian Cream Cake is one of my favorite cakes in the world. I have my recipe here and my Mama and her friends swear by it, saying it is the best they have ever had. It’s from scratch, pretty easy, and really so so good. BUT, my own recipe was dethroned the moment I tasted Jyl’s.
Right after I swallowed that first bite, Jyl and I started making plans. I immediately announced that I wanted her to make this cake for my fiftieth birthday. “Okay” she responded. I added, “But you’ll have to deliver it.” She agreed to that as well and asked, “So where are we having this party?”. I smiled big as a Cheshire Cat because all of this had been decided just the day before!
As it turns out, just the day before I had visited the new Cook Museum of Natural Science in Decatur, Alabama. We had waited for a couple of years for this to open and the beautiful museum did not disappoint. I immediately declared to my friend, Stacey, that I wanted to have my fiftieth birthday party there. However, since the museum was SO beautiful, wonderful, and every other complimentary adjective I can think of, there is no way we could pay whatever the fee would be to have a party there so I decided that I’d just have my friends meet me there and we’d get together and have a mini party in the largest bathroom stall.
Stacey said that would be awkward for Him but, he would bring some decorations and hang around outside as the lookout during what we figure will be a ten minute affair, just long enough to sing a song, take some selfies, and cut a cake. (Obviously, we’ll want to do this first thing in the morning so the bathroom is at it’s most sanitary). So just the day before, we decided on a venue and decorations and here we are, the very next day and my cake is already ordered from an exclusive private cake baker! And to think, some folks say event planning is hard.
And now for this cake – not only is it the best Italian Cream Cake I’ve EVER tasted, but it is also HUGE. If you are making it for a big family gathering, go with the recipe as written. If you’re feeding slightly less than an army, feel free to divide the recipe in half. Just don’t ask me how many it serves. It serves however many a cake serves in your family. If you need to serve more, cut smaller pieces. 😉My daughter can cut a cake slice so thin you could read a newspaper through it. We’re more wedge folks in my family, especially when it comes to this cake.
This recipe is for a 9 inch, 3 layer cake and it feeds a crowd!
For the cake, you’ll need: 2 white cake mixes, Vanilla Pudding Mix, eggs, oil (amount called for on cake mix box), buttermilk, cream of coconut*, shredded sweetened coconut, and pecans.
*Cream of Coconut can be found near the mixed drinks area of your grocery store, it is non alcoholic.
Place all cake ingredients except pecans and coconut in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until well combined and fully incorporated, scraping down the sides as needed.
Once well combined, beat one minute more.
Add in pecans and coconut and mix until just incorporated.
Divide batter evenly among three, well greased, 9″ cake pans. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Once done, allow to cool ten minutes in the pan before turning out.
Y’all, don’t try this with smaller pans, it’s a LOT of batter and that will not end well. If you have smaller pans or if you only want two layers, half the recipe. Trust me. And half a recipe is still a lot of cake!
Once done, remove from oven and allow to sit for ten minutes in the cake pan before turning out. You can turn them out onto cooling racks but I usually just put a clean dish towel on the counter and some waxed paper on top and turn them out onto that. Allow to cool completely before icing.
For the icing, you’ll need: cream cheese (check out our easy recipe for homemade cream cheese here), marshmallow cream, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and almond flavoring.
Note: If you want to simply ice the cake, one recipe is enough. If you want to decorate it with swirls on top and a border on the bottom, doubling this is recommended.
Tip for the best icing: Make sure your butter and cream cheese are at room temp. I put mine on the counter before I go to bed and then make the cake in the morning. You don’t want to shortcut this by heating them in the microwave. We don’t want it warm, just room temp.
To make icing: Cream butter and cream cheese together with an electric mixer.
Add a cup of powdered sugar and beat that in as well.
Add marshmallow cream and another cup of powdered sugar, vanilla, and almond extract. Mix again, adding in powdered sugar a cup at a time until fully incorporated, scraping down sides as needed. Mix in just enough powdered sugar until it tastes how you want and the peaks will stand up to make a good piping consistency.
*Amount of powdered sugar is going to vary based on your taste. I tend to use the lower amount called for in the recipe but you may prefer the higher amount. You can taste as you add it, bit by bit, and decide.
Toast the remaining shredded coconut by spreading it out on a baking sheet and placing in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes, keeping an eye on it to prevent burning. Allow to cool.
Our delicious finished icing!
Ice cake layers as you normally would.
This is pretty just like this! But let me show you how Jyl decorates hers so you can take it up a notch if you like.
Using clean hands, gently press toasted coconut into the bottom sides of the cake.
Fill an icing bag with icing. You can use a freezer grade zipper seal bag with the bottom corner cut off in a pinch if need be.
Pipe dollops all around the top and press a pecan half into each, ending with a large dollop in the center of the cake.
See how pretty? This is a beautiful cake for birthdays, special gatherings, and even weddings!
I like to refrigerate mine to get it chilled before serving but you don’t have to.
Now that is a slice of cake!
- 2 pkgs white cake mix each enough to make a 9x13 cake
- 3.4 ounce instant vanilla pudding mix
- 8 large eggs
- Vegetable oil amount called for on both cake mix packages
- 2 cups whole buttermilk low fat is fine
- 1/2 cup cream of coconut
- 12-14 ounce bag shredded sweetened coconut, reserve half for decorating
- 1 cup chopped pecans
To make the icing
- 8 ounces cream cheese room temp
- 1 cup butter room temp
- 8 ounce marshmallow cream
- 7-8 cups powdered sugar more may be needed, see note.
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/8 teaspoon almond flavoring
- 1 cup pecan halves, for decorating optional
To make cake
- Place all ingredients except pecans and coconut in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until well combined and fully incorporated, scraping down the sides as needed. Once well combined, beat one minute more.
- Add in pecans and coconut and mix until just incorporated. Divide batter evenly among three, well greased, 9" cake pans. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Once done, allow to cool ten minutes in the pan before turning out. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
To make icing
- Cream room temp butter and room temp cream cheese together with an electric mixer. Add a cup of powdered sugar and beat that in as well.
- Add marshmallow cream and another cup of powdered sugar, vanilla, and almond extract. Mix again, adding in powdered sugar a cup at a time until fully incorporated, scraping down sides as needed. Mix in just enough until icing pulls from the side and stiff peaks form when the mixer paddle/beater is pulled up.
- Toast the remaining shredded coconut by spreading it out on a baking sheet and placing in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes, keeping an eye on it to prevent burning. Allow to cool.
- Ice cake layers as you normally would. Using clean hands, gently press toasted coconut into the bottom sides of the cake.
- Fill an icing bag with icing. Pipe dollops all around the top and press a pecan half into each, ending with a large dollop in the center of the cake. I like to refrigerate mine to get it chilled before serving but you don't have to.
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Stupid question, Christy do I use the amount of oil for one cake mix or double the amount listed on one of the boxes. My favorite cake which I make from scratch and cannot wait to try this recipe
Hey! If you are making a full recipe, using two boxes of mix, use the amount called for on both boxes together. 🙂 No stupid questions here, sis!
One of my all time favorites, but I have never made one. Now I need a large group to try it out on!
I sure hope you eat the chance to soon Jan, it is so good!
Italian Cream Cake is one of my Fav cakes, the other fav is your Cappuccino Cake. Li love yor version of this cake but I’m like you Jyl’s cake looks and sounds perfect. I can’t wait to make it.
I hope you get the opportunity to make it Barbara, you are going to love it!