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Italian Christmas coconut cake recipe

Italian Christmas coconut cake recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Cake decorating
  • Icing
  • Cream cheese icing

An Italian-style coconut cake with pecans is topped with a cream cheese and coconut icing for a gorgeous alternative to traditional Christmas cake.

1 person made this

IngredientsServes: 12

  • 120g desiccated coconut
  • 240ml buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 350g self-raising flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 350g caster sugar
  • 400g butter, softened
  • 5 eggs
  • 100g pecans, chopped
  • Icing
  • 275g icing sugar
  • 120g butter, softened
  • 120ml creamed coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 500g cream cheese
  • 125g pecans, chopped

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:30min ›Extra time:30min › Ready in:1hr20min

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease two 23cm round cake tins and line with baking paper.
  2. Spread desiccated coconut thinly over a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high until lightly browned, stirring every 30 seconds, 2 to 3 minutes total. (Note: The coconut can also be toasted in a dry pan or in the oven).
  3. Place coconut in a blender and grind into a fine powder.
  4. Combine coconut powder, buttermilk and vanilla extract in a bowl. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and bicarbonate of soda in a separate bowl.
  5. Beat sugar and butter together with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Add flour mixture alternately with coconut-buttermilk mixture, mixing between additions. Mix in pecans. Divide cake mixture between the tins.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven until a skewer inserted into the centre of cakes comes out clean, 28 to 32 minutes. Cool cakes in tins for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from tins and cool on wire racks, at least 20 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, beat icing sugar and butter until fluffy. Mix in creamed coconut, vanilla extract and salt. Add cream cheese; beat until well combined. Place 1 cooled cake on a serving platter and spread icing all over. Place the other cake on top; coat with remaining icing.
  8. Press remaining pecans around and on top of the cake to garnish.

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Classic Coconut Cake

Room temperature ingredients make all the difference in this cake. You can get more loft from non-chilled egg whites, and room-temperature butter is easier to cream (beat together) with sugar than the straight- from-the-fridge stuff. The fluffy egg whites and properly creamed butter and sugar mean tender, light cake. And room-temp butter and cream cheese will translate to creamy, smooth frosting instead of a sticky mess filled with lumps.

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Jane Radford's Italian Coconut Cream Cake

This rich, sweet cake won Jane Radford of Clarksville the best in show award in this year's Howard County Fair.

Servings: 12 - 16
Related Recipes

For the cake: In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar, egg yolks, butter and vegetable shortening. Beat until light and fluffy. Add the flour, cornstarch and baking soda and mix well then add the buttermilk, coconut, vanilla extract and chopped pecans, mixing until combined.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites just until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into the batter and thoroughly combine. Divide the batter equally among the pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool the layers in their pans for 15 minutes before inverting them onto racks to cool completely.

For the frosting: In a large bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract until smooth. Reduce speed to low, add the confectioners' sugar and beat to combine.

To assemble, place the bottom layer on a plate and cover with about 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of frosting. Add the second layer and frost. Finish by adding the third layer and frosting the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle with toasted coconut, if desired.

Recipe Source

Adapted from a recipe Jane Radford found in a Montgomery County Fair cookbook from 1981.

Cake Flour Substitute

It’s easy to make your own cake flour! Measure out 1 cup of flour. Remove 2 tablespoons from the cup. Replace with cornstarch. Sift together. You now have 1 cup of cake flour!

Check out my other amazing cake recipes:

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

The Best Coconut Cake Recipe Ever

Best Coconut Cake Recipe – Coconut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting with step wise pictures.

One of the best coconut cake i ever baked. It has full of coconut aroma and goodness. The cake turned out so light and the frosting is a delicious addition to the cake.

I have been wanting to bake a coconut cake for a very long time, finally i did it two days back and it was so delicious. I cannot tell you how good this cake was. It is full of coconut goodness. If you are coconut lover like me, you will love this cake for sure.

Now i have two more cakes to bake, it is a ferrero rocher cake and raffaello cake. So stay tuned for that.

This is the cream cheese frosting which i used. It is a delicious frosting, i added some coconut extract in that for more coconuty goodness.

At first i thought of trying out ina garten’s coconut cake but somehow i ended up creating my own recipe. And this coconut cake is a bomb. If you want you can add some coconut extract in the cake too. And don’t substitute the coconut milk added in the cake with milk, you can ofcourse use milk but coconut milk add more coconut flavour and keeps the cake so moist.


Step 1

Beat the first 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes. Stir in coconut and pecans.

Pour into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. Bake at 350°F for 15 to 17 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

Sprinkle each cake layer evenly with rum, if desired let stand 10 minutes.

Spread cream cheese frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Chill 2 hours before slicing.

Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla and pecans. Frost cake when completely cooled.


Step 1

Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add vanilla, beating until blended.

Combine flour and soda add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in coconut.

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, and fold into batter. Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cakepans.

Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

Nutty Cream Cheese Frosting

Bake chopped pecans in a shallow baking pan at 350°, stirring occasionally, 5 to 10 minutes or until toasted. Cool.

Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Beat frosting at high speed until smooth stir in pecans.

Spread Nutty Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish, if desired.

Billie&rsquos Italian Cream Cake Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans.

Beat egg whites until stiff. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together butter, oil, and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg yolks, vanilla, and coconut.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and baking powder.

Alternate adding buttermilk and dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix until just combined, then fold in egg whites.

Pour evenly into the three prepared pans, then sprinkle the top of each pan with 1 (at least) tablespoon sugar.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto cooling racks and allow to cool completely.

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Stir in chopped walnuts and sugared coconut. Spread between layers and serve.

Note: cream cheese frosting will soften at room temperature, so refrigerate if you won&rsquot use it right away.

Dear Sweet Billie From My Church kindly shared her Italian Cream Cake recipe with me today.

And now, because you&rsquore equally dear and sweet, I&rsquom sharing it with you.

If you&rsquove never listened to me before, and I wouldn&rsquot blame you if you haven&rsquot, please listen to me now:

You want to make this cake.

And I really love your cake.

That crazy woman with the ponytail and the four kids with mismatched shoes who sits in the fifth pew back

Southern With A Twist

Cream butter and Crisco. Add sugar, beat well. Add egg yolks and beat. Add flour and soda. Alternate with buttermilk. Stir in vanilla. Add coconut & nuts. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites 2 Tablespoons at a time. Pour into greased and floured 9 in cake pans and bake at 350 for 20 – 25 min or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool and frost with cream cheese frosting.

1 – 8oz Cream Cheese, softened
½ stick Butter, softened
1 box 10x Sugar (1 pound of powdered sugar)
1 tsp Vanilla
Chopped Nuts, optional

Mix cheese and butter, add sugar and vanilla. Frost Cake and sprinkle nuts on cake.

*** This recipe was featured on Recipes For My Boys


What does the frosting recipe mean by "1 box 10 x Sugar?" Thanks!

10X sugar is a type of powdered sugar. Sometimes it is called 'confectioner's sugar'. Usually, the boxes are 1 lb (16oz) boxes.

Just one 9" pan? Or three? Or two [with cake split in half?]?

I make this cake all the time. You need 3 pans Also if you want chocolate Italian cream add 1/2 cut cocoa powder

Chocolate sounds great! I will have to try it.

Can this be made in a 9x13 pan? I want to take it to a potluck dinner but a 3 layer cake would be hard to transport.

Great! Thank you! I will be making it this weekend for my sorority's Italian themed Christmas party. :-)

do you have to use Crisco? would Butter be better?

I'd also like to know if it can be made without Crisco (replace it with butter?). This looks delicious!

Just a little comparisons.

Butter and stick margarine deliver approximately 100 calories, tub margarine roughly 60 calories and shortening 110 calories. All three options are quite high in fat, ranging from 10 to 15 fat calories per tablespoon. Butter is highest in saturated fat and cholesterol, which can clog the body's arteries. On the other hand, margarine has both saturated fat and transsaturated fat. Trans fats raise LDL cholesterol levels and lower HDL cholesterol levels, making them even more dangerous than saturated fat. Although shortening does contain saturated fat, it does not have any cholesterol. In regards to the nutritional aspect of the comparison process, all three options have advantages and disadvantages when baking cookies. Although it might be nutritionally beneficial to choose the option with the lowest fat content, taste and texture will be impacted.

That is why I follow the directions on baking, and the fact that I am not a baker. I usually don't chance it. You can make the substitution. It's your call :-)

Coconut Layer Cake

Ingredients US Metric

  • For the cake
  • 2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the filling
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • One (7-ounce) package sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the frosting
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • For the garnish
  • Sweetened shredded coconut, for sprinkling


Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter and lightly flour three 9-by-2-inch round cake pans, then line the bottoms with waxed paper.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a medium bowl, combine the flours and then add them to the batter in 4 additions, alternating with the milk and the vanilla extract, beating well after each addition. Divide the batter among the cake pans.

Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Remove from the pans and cool completely on wire rack.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean.

In a medium-size saucepan, whisk the milk with the sugar and the flour until thoroughly combined. Cook and stir constantly over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the coconut and then stir in the vanilla extract. Cool to room temperature.

When the coconut cake has cooled, spread half the filling between the first 2 layers of cake, then the other half between the second and third layers. There. You’ve assembled the cake. Now make the frosting, which needs to be used immediately after it’s mixed.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the egg whites and the vanilla extract.

In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine the water with the sugar and the cream of tartar. As the mixture begins to bubble at the edges, stir once to make sure the sugar is dissolved completely, then let it come to a rolling boll, which will take 2 to 3 minutes. Immediately remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, beat the egg whites and the vanilla extract on medium-high speed until foamy, about 1 minute.

Without turning off the mixer, pour the sugar syrup into the beaten egg whites in a thin, steady stream. Continue beating constantly on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes or until stiff peaks form but the frosting is still creamy. Frost top and sides of cake immediately, being generous with your swoops and swirls and flourishes. Generously sprinkle the top of the cake with shredded coconut. Originally published April 21, 1999.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

It’s hard to put into words just how wonderful this cake is. It’s moist, sweet, rich, and just pure decadence. I shared a slice with my goddaughter, and she said, “It’s so good that it doesn’t make sense!” It really is!

The filling was amazing and the frosting tastes SO good. (And I will admit that I sampled quite a bit of the frosting before it made it on the cake!) You make the frosting like you would an Italian meringue, except you don’t add any butter. It tastes like the best marshmallow you have ever tasted! The recipe was spot on as written the only deviation I made was to toast the coconut before putting it on the cake, which gave it a somewhat nutty taste that was really well received.

I always use a little of the batter to make a single cupcake so that I can taste the cake without having to cut into it, and I can tell you this recipe makes a really nice cupcake, too. I added a small layer of the filling to the top of the cupcake, then I added the frosting and the toasted coconut, and it turned out really cute! I can’t wait for another reason to make this cake again, as this is the kind of cake you need to make with an intent to share, otherwise you could definitely eat this entire cake by yourself.


#LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


Sorry if this is a silly question, but why doesn’t the cake ingredients not include Baking soda or baking powder or both?
Every other coconut cake recipe has those as apart of the ingredients.

It’s not a silly question, Hyedi. Self rising flour has baking powder in it, so that’s where it’s hiding in the ingredients list.

This coconut cake is delightfully delicious. The frosting is fantastic!
I made it last December for my 50th Birthday celebration and my family and friends loved it.

That is absolutely gorgeous, Sylvia! Thank you for taking the time to share your photo and experience with us.

Watch the video: Χριστουγεννιάτικο γλυκό με ινδική καρύδα (September 2022).


  1. Heathdene

    yes ... such a thing would not hurt me)))

  2. Rainor

    the information very entertaining

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