Baking Classics: Italian Cream Cake

Baking Tutorials. Italian Cream Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand. Cakes. Classic Italian Cream Cake Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Pastry Chef Writer Modern Southern Socials Baking & pastry tutorialsBaking Classics

The Technique

Italian Cream Cake

My aunt wasn’t much of a cook nor a baker for that matter but she knew other women in the community who were. Staying hungry for the latest trends & donning the most stylish looks didn’t mean my aunt dropped the ball on her duties as hostess. When it was her turn to welcome family into her home for the holidays, the hospitality was always spectacular. As a child, I would spend the entire ride home trying to crack the code for some of the dishes that had been prepared or guess the secret to Nana’s gravy. Nana could whisk anyone under the table with her gravy making skills & would diligently stand watch over the pot stirring until it was perfectly seasoned. The gravy was the last of the preparations for the feast just before we all joined hands to say grace. And the cake. A local church lady made layers upon layers of Italian cream cakes from mid November thru the end of December. Legend has it, you had to get your order in by July or you plum just wouldn’t get one. Learn how to prepare Italian Cream Cake for your own celebration. Follow my pointers & make your best holiday layer cake to date.

Baking Tutorials. Italian Cream Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Cooking & Baking Tutorials Practical Culinary Techniques For Everyday Cooks Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist TV Cooking Personality Game Day Hostess Modern Southern Socials

rebecca gordon buttermilk lipstick Southern Recipes & How To's Easy Tailgate Recipes RebeccaGordon ButtermilkLipstickItalian Cream Cake
makes 16 servings

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
4 eggs, separated
2 1/2 cups ap flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp table salt
1 cup coconut milk, well shaken
Coconut-Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease & flour 3 {8-inch} cake pans. Line the bottom with parchment paper & lightly grease. Cream the butter & the sugar on Medium speed with an electric stand mixer until light & fluffy. Stop the mixer occasionally & scrape down the sides of the bowl. Blend in the egg yolks, the lemon juice & the vanilla just until the yellow disappears. Whisk together the flour, the baking soda & salt in a small bowl. Add to the butter mixture alternately with the coconut milk beginning & ending with the flour blend.

Beat the egg whites with a hand mixer in a medium bowl on High speed until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the prepared batter. Portion the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Lift each pan about an inch from the countertop. Drop it onto the surface. Repeat two additional times. This will level out the batter in the pans so that the cake rises evenly. 

Bake 25 to 27 minutes or until the cake pulls away from the pan edges. A toothpick inserted into the center will test clean. Do not over bake. Cool cake layers in the pans on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove the layers from the pans. Discard the parchment paper. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Prepare the Coconut-Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting & ice the cake layers. Store in the refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving for the best flavor.

Baking Tutorials. Italian Cream Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Cooking & Baking Tutorials Practical Culinary Techniques For Everyday Cooks Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist TV Cooking Personality Game Day Hostess Modern Southern Socials

rebecca gordon buttermilk lipstick Southern Recipes & How To's Easy Tailgate Recipes RebeccaGordon ButtermilkLipstickCoconut-Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting
makes about 6 cups

2 {8-oz} packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
5 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut, packed
1/4 tsp table salt

Beat the cream cheese, the butter & the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, with an electric stand mixer on Medium speed until smooth & fluffy. Add the lemon juice & blend until combined. Toss together the pecans, the coconut & the salt in a small bowl & fold them into the cream cheese mixture until incorporated. Use as directed.

Southern Recipes RebeccaGordon ButtermilkLipstickFROM THE KITCHEN OF BUTTERMILK LIPSTICK 
{testing notes}

Baking Tutorials. Italian Cream Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Cooking & Baking Tutorials Practical Culinary Techniques For Everyday Cooks Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist TV Cooking Personality Game Day Hostess Modern Southern SocialsHow To Make Italian Cream Cake

Sweetened flaked coconut & toasted pecans are what truly make Italian Cream Cake the rich, delightful confection that stands tall with three layers of cake filled with a cream cheese based frosting. The ingredients can either be folded into the cake batter or into the frosting & some recipes have them in both. The cake layers are traditionally prepared with buttermilk but I find coconut milk to be a lovely way to add additional natural flavor to the slice. My recipe forgoes the addition of pecans & coconut in the cake layers as I prefer the cake slices a bit tidier once cut. 

Baking Lessons: How To Make Chocolate Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Practical Culinary Techniques For Everyday Cooks Editorial Director Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Pastry Chef Food Stylist Writer TV Cooking Personality Modern Southern Socials Game Day Entertaining

rebecca gordon buttermilk lipstick Southern Recipes & How To's Easy Tailgate Recipes RebeccaGordon ButtermilkLipstickThe Technique

From properly preparing cake pans for baking to blending the batter, making a layer cake from scratch is not difficult but there are several points to consider when taking on the task. Start by being certain you have several pieces of key equipment, a few valuable tools & the best ingredients available in order to ensure success throughout the process. Here’s what you should know. 

No. 1

The Cake Pan Preparation

Preparing cake pans for batter is ultimately one of the most crucial steps when baking a cake. You can take great care in mixing & blending the batter but it will not be worth your time & effort if the baked cake layers do not release from the pans properly. There are a few methods that I use in order to achieve success when baking that are applied for different flavor profiles. This cake happens to be extremely tender & moist so an extra step has been added to ensure the very bottom of the cake does not stick to the pan.

Begin by coating a generous portion of shortening on the bottom & around the sides of each cake pan. Add a little flour to each pan & pick them up. Turn the pan, tapping lightly while the flour begins to coat & stick to the surface. When it has been coated, remove any excess flour that does not stick.

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Although many traditional southern style layer cakes can be prepared by simply greasing & flouring cake pans, the additional step of adding a round of parchment paper will ensure the cake releases easily. The flour around the sides of the pan will further help rather than by simply relying on a light coating of cooking spray.

Place the cake pan over a piece of parchment paper. Run a very sharp paring knife around the base of the cake pan to create the circles.

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Place the parchment paper circle into the bottom of the cake pan. Gently press it to the bottom for a snug fit. Lightly coat the parchment paper with cooking spray. Set the cake pans aside.

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The Cake Batter Procedure

The Butter

Softened butter is called for often in recipe applications. The key is to begin the mixing process whether for cakes or other baked items with butter that is the proper consistency. It shouldn’t be too firm nor too soft. You should be able to create a rudimentary butter curl with a spoon indicating that it is indeed ready to use.

Begin the mixing procedure by creaming the butter & the sugar together in the work bowl of an electric stand mixer. The creaming process is a standard cake blending procedure in which the butter & the sugar are beaten using a flat beater attachment thus aerating the mixture so that the additional ingredients will blend in well. It will take anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes.

Baking Tutorials. Italian Cream Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Cooking & Baking Tutorials Practical Culinary Techniques For Everyday Cooks Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist TV Cooking Personality Game Day Hostess Modern Southern SocialsThe Egg Preparations 

Eggs provide structure & can add lift to cakes. Sometimes they are separated & added at different stages during the cake batter blending process. Egg yolks provide richness while the egg whites are whipped & folded into the batter at the end of the procedure. Beaten egg whites provide the additional lift & airy texture to the baked cake layers. For additional information on the subject, look to How To Separate Eggs.

Baking Tutorials. Italian Cream Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Cooking & Baking Tutorials Practical Culinary Techniques For Everyday Cooks Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist TV Cooking Personality Game Day Hostess Modern Southern SocialsThe Egg Yolks, The Vanilla & The Lemon Juice

Once the eggs have been separated & the creaming process is complete, ring the work bowl using a rubber spatula to ensure all of the ingredients have been well blended. Add the egg yolks, the vanilla & the lemon juice to the butter mixture at this time. Blend the mixture once again on Low speed just until the yellow of the egg disappears. Be certain to stop the mixer occasionally during the blending process & scrape down the bowl sides for the best results.

Baking Tutorials. Italian Cream Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Cooking & Baking Tutorials Practical Culinary Techniques For Everyday Cooks Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist TV Cooking Personality Game Day Hostess Modern Southern SocialsThe Coconut Milk & The Dry Ingredients

Before portioning the coconut milk, shake the can well as the fat may separate from the liquid as it has a tendency to separate. The coconut milk provides a subtle flavor component the the baked cake layers. Measure the flour, the baking soda & the salt. Place the ingredients in a bowl & be certain to whisk them together in order to disperse the leavening to ensure a level rise when the batter bakes. The dry ingredients & the coconut milk will need to be added to the butter mixture in stages. Always begin & end the process with the dry ingredients. Blend them in on Low speed just until incorporated.

Baking Tutorials. Italian Cream Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Cooking & Baking Tutorials Practical Culinary Techniques For Everyday Cooks Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist TV Cooking Personality Game Day Hostess Modern Southern SocialsThe Egg Whites & The Cake Batter

Add the last bit of the flour mixture remaining & blend the batter well so that it is smooth. Beat the egg whites using a hand held electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold the beaten egg whites into the cake batter a little bit at a time using a rubber spatula. Be certain the white color disappears after each addition. Repeat the process until everything is incorporated & the batter is smooth.

Baking Tutorials. Italian Cream Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Cooking & Baking Tutorials Practical Culinary Techniques For Everyday Cooks Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist TV Cooking Personality Game Day Hostess Modern Southern SocialsNo. 3

The Coconut Cake Batter & The Portioning

Portion & spread the cake batter evenly between the prepared pans. Lift each cake pan about an inch from the countertop & drop it onto the surface a few times. This will settle the batter into the pans to ensure the cake layers rise & bake evenly in the oven. Bubbles will pop over the surface of the batter. The procedure will prevent the need to trim the cake before icing the layers. 

Baking Tutorials. Italian Cream Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Cooking & Baking Tutorials Practical Culinary Techniques For Everyday Cooks Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist TV Cooking Personality Game Day Hostess Modern Southern SocialsNo. 4

The Baking & The Cooling 

Position the oven racks in the center of the oven & always preheat it while preparing cake batter so that it is the proper temperature when the cake pans are added. Place the filled pans on the same center rack & start the timer. When they are ready to be removed from the oven, the cakes will pull away from the pan edges & a toothpick inserted into the center will test clean. Do not over bake them. 

Cool the cake layers in the pans on a wire rack 10 minutes then invert them to remove the layers from the pans. Discard the parchment paper. Flip the cakes over & allow them to cool completely on a wire rack, about 1 hour. 

Baking Tutorials. Italian Cream Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand. Cakes. Classic Italian Cream CakeNo. 5

The Coconut-Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting

The only tool you’ll need to ice the cake layers with the Coconut-Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting is a butter knife or a small icing spatula. Begin the process of preparing the icing by placing ingredients in the work bowl of an electric stand mixer. Beat the cream cheese, the softened butter & the powdered sugar as directed in the recipe instructions provided. Once the ingredients in the bowl have been blended until they are smooth, add the remaining powdered sugar a little at a time & whip the mixture until light & airy.

Baking Tutorials. Italian Cream Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Cooking & Baking Tutorials Practical Culinary Techniques For Everyday Cooks Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist TV Cooking Personality Game Day Hostess Modern Southern Socials5a
Use a rubber spatula to ring the bowl sides & add the pecans, the coconut & the salt. Once prepared, transfer the frosting to a clean bowl before beginning the icing process. Be certain all of the ingredients are well blended to ensure the mixture is smooth.

Baking Tutorials. Italian Cream Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Cooking & Baking Tutorials Practical Culinary Techniques For Everyday Cooks Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist TV Cooking Personality Game Day Hostess Modern Southern SocialsNo. 6

The Cake Assembly

Layer cake frosting techniques vary greatly. The top & the sides can be iced smoothly for a clean, modern look or a simple butter knife will produce a more casual cake style. This particular cake is a little old-fashioned so I prefer the latter method although I have iced the layers both ways for equally stunning presentations. 

Place one of the cooled cake layers with the top side facing up on the plate or cake stand you would like to use for your presentation. Spread about a 1/2 cup or so of the buttercream in the center of the cake layer. Use the butter knife to spread it all the way to the edges being a little generous. When the second layer is added, you want a little bit to press out to ensure that once the cake slices are cut for serving, the frosting on the cake sides meets the frosting in the center of the cake for a cohesive, even look.

Baking Tutorials. Italian Cream Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Cooking & Baking Tutorials Practical Culinary Techniques For Everyday Cooks Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist TV Cooking Personality Game Day Hostess Modern Southern Socials6a

Place the second cake layer over the frosting with the bottom side facing up. Generally, this surface will always be more level. Spread a generous portion of frosting over the cake layer & push it to the edges. Top with the final cake layer placing it bottom side up. Once again, spread a generous portion of frosting over the top of the cake.

Baking Tutorials. Italian Cream Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Cooking & Baking Tutorials Practical Culinary Techniques For Everyday Cooks Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist TV Cooking Personality Game Day Hostess Modern Southern Socials6b

Spread the frosting around the sides a little at a time. I generally start at the plate base & work the knife up to the top layer. Merge the frosting on the sides with that already on top of the cake. Use the knife to ring the cake sides smooth. Once the task is complete, use additional frosting to make decorative swirls on the top & sides of the cake covering any cake that is exposed.

Baking Tutorials. Italian Cream Cake By Rebecca Gordon Editor-In-Chief Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Brand Digital Culinary Photo Journalist Cooking & Baking Tutorials Practical Culinary Techniques For Everyday Cooks Pastry Chef Writer Food Stylist TV Cooking Personality Game Day Hostess Modern Southern SocialsNo. 7 

The Italian Cream Cake

Wipe the plate edges clean with a damp paper towel after icing. Store the cake in the refrigerator until ready to slice. Allow it to stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving guests for a smoother Coconut-Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting texture.

The Tune
“Shake Hands With Santa Clause” Louis Prima

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About Rebecca Gordon

* Southern Born * Southern Bred * Tailgate Queen * Southern College Football Fanatic * SEC Tailgate Strategist * Southern Recipe Writer & Sometimes Novelist * Half-Hour Hostess * Media Personality * Houndstooth Hound Owner * Small Town Dreamer * Big Idea Doer * 3rd Generation Pimiento Cheese Fixer * Casserole Maker * Budweiser Drinker * Bourbon Cocktail Sipper * Peanut Butter Love Affair * Cookie Monster * Calorie Burner * Retainer of Useless Pop Culture One Liners * Terrible Dancer * Even Worse Singer but doesn't care * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Rebecca Gordon shares over 20 years of cooking knowledge in the instructional filled original editorial content on Buttermilk Lipstick as well as the cooking class format videos that can be found on her YouTube channel through regular collaboration with numerous media outlets. Gordon draws from an extensive background in corporate publishing spanning over 13 years on both the business and editorial side focusing on women’s southern lifestyle. She is a classically trained pastry chef and draws from fine dining restaurant experience from a James Beard award winning chef as well as her southern roots upbringing to share cooking, entertaining & style content relevant to today’s modern woman.

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