Our Mama and the youngest of the Four Sisters, Erin, have the same birthday. So, as you can imagine, for the years of our childhood Mama’s birthday was always on the back burner (in fact, most things for Mom were on the back burner in favor of us girls). Mom turned 70 just a few days ago and for once, the day was all about her. Dinner at her favorite steak house accompanied by a nice glass of wine, followed by her choice of homemade birthday cake. Her choice – a delicious Italian Cream that is soooo worth chopping pecans and getting out your baking pans! ~ Tracy
Ingredients for the cake:
- ½ c. butter (1 stick)
- ½ c. shortening
- 2 c. sugar
- 5 eggs, separated
- 2 c. flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 c. buttermilk (if you don’t have any see note)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 c. coconut
- 1 c. chopped pecans
Ingredients for the frosting:
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1 stick margarine, softened
- 1 box powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 c. finely chopped pecans
Instructions for the cake:
Cream butter and shortening together, then add sugar. Beat until smooth.
Add the egg yolks one at a time. Beat well.
In separate large bowl, combine flour and baking soda; then add to the butter mixture alternating with buttermilk.
Stir in vanilla, coconut, and pecans.
Beat the egg whites until they begin to form soft peaks.
Fold beaten egg whites into cake mixture.
Pour into 3 greased and floured 9” cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Instructions for the frosting:
Cream together cream cheese and margarine. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until smooth. Thin with one tablespoon of milk at a time, mixing after each milk addition, until frosting becomes the proper consistency to frost the cake. Stir in nuts.
Buttermilk can be made by pouring a scant cup of regular milk and adding approximately a T. of white vinegar to the milk. Allow milk to sit for a few minutes to curdle and use as regular buttermilk.
Cakes frost much more easily when they have been placed in the freezer for a couple of hours. For this cake, I actually left them in the freezer overnight covered in wax paper. Freezing the cakes keeps the cake from crumbling into the frosting.