Italian Cream Cake with a Coconut and Pineapple Icing

Total Time:
1 hr 20 min
30 min
50 min

12 servings

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup ground pecans
  • 2 cups fresh grated frozen coconut
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 pounds powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup crushed fresh pineapple
  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour 3 (8-inch) cake pans. Using an electric mixer, cream the sugar with 1/2 cup of the butter. With the mixer running, add the oil and incorporate thoroughly. Add the egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each yolk. Sift the flour and baking soda together. Add the ground pecans to the flour mixture. Alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the egg mixture. Mix thoroughly. Fold in 1 cup of the coconut. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold the egg whites into the cake batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake the cakes for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the center of each cake is set. Remove the cakes from the oven and cool on a wire cake. After the cakes have cooled, invert each cake onto a piece of parchment paper. Set the cakes aside. Using an electric mixer, cream the remaining butter with the cream cheese. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, milk and pineapple. Mix well. Fold in the pecans. Slice each cake in half, horizontally. Spread a thin layer of the frosting on top of each cake. Place the layers of cake on top of each other. Place the cake on a serving platter. Ice the sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. Sprinkle the top of the cake with the remaining coconut.

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4.5 19
OMG!! Emeril really came through for me this Thanksgiving. This cake was so YUMMY!!! I also made his carrot cake, which in my opinion was even better than this cake. I made a few adjustment, I used canned pineapples 2 crushed and 1 chunky, next time I will use an extra can of chunky, please make sure you drain and squeeze all the juice from the pineapple. I only used the pineapple for the filling, not the outside of cake. Also, I used the liquid to make a simple syrup for drenching the 3 layers of cake prior to frosting, added more pineapple flavor. The cake was so light and fluffy, but if you want a richer flavor, just add another stick of butter, which I will do next time. I also adjusted the vanilla to taste. This cake is a must make recipe!!! Lori, NJ item not reviewed by moderator and published
My sisters favorite cake ever!! I've bought her this cake from a great bakery and she has had the best, so she thought. I decided this year I would bake this cake for her birthday and it was a hit. I can't believe it!! It's her favorite Italian Cream Cake she has ever had. Now I'm giving her the recipe so she can bake him this cake for his birthday. Don't freak out over the steps it takes to make this cake , just make sure the first time you make it you give yourself time to prep , bake , and Ice it the next goround will go so much faster. Awesome cake and so worth the time it takes to make it. Like they say when in Rome This recipe is from a Italian and that's what so great about it. Thank you so much Emeril!! Connie item not reviewed by moderator and published
Thank you Emeril!!! This was the best cake I ever made. Delicious! !! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I loved this cake. A bit time consuming to make but well worth it. I made sure the pineapple was drained very dry and the icing was fine. I took the leftover juice and moistened each of the layers as I put the cake together to give the layers extra moisture. Worked great. Family and friends really raved over it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Yes, this cake was a very good choice for my family supper. The only thing i wonder about is the cream chesse icing. I plan on making the cake again soon, but i am thinking about leaving the pineapple out. It tasted good with it, but i had a little trouble with the icing thinning out. Over all, the cake was a home run. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I think this is the worst cake I've ever eaten. I was taken aback by the amount of fat in this recipe, but usually that means lots of flavor...not so this time. It actually TASTED fat. Not appealing at all. I love the pineapple in the frosting and followed other reviewers suggestion to remove much of the juice, which worked fabulously! I might tweak the frosting recipe a tad and keep that one for another cake, but this cake I will never make again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a wonderful cake. For those having trouble with the frosting being too runny---I have made cream cheese frosting with pineapple in it for carrot cake for many, many years. I use crushed pinepple, drain as much of the juice as possible, and then put the fruit in a bowl lined with paper towels. I then either let it set for a couple of hours to continue to drain, or use the back of a spoon to gently press as much of the juice out as possible. I want the fruit to be pretty dry before adding it to the other ingredients. If you don't do this, the frosting will be very runny. My frosting always comes out thick and never runs down the cake. Taking out that extra juice does not affect the flavor of the frosting at all, and the pineapple adds a wonderful flavor to the cream cheese/powdered sugar mix. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I was commissioned to do the "desserts" for Super Bowl this year. I have never gotten so many praises for a cake in all my years of baking! What a huge touch down this was! I was a little concerned as the cakes began to shrink after removing them from the oven. But it was exactly the way it was supposed to be. I was also a little nervous about letting them cool completely in the pans, but I resisted the urge to flip them out (in fear they would over cook), and saw it through. Success!! Though next time I will use a pachment round in the bottom of my pan. I have always LOVED everything Emeril has done, but this cake is over the top! I do suggest baking it the day before, so the cake has time to set, and you do to. It is a little time consuming. Hey Emeril what about those Saints.........Go New Orleans!!!! Maybe that's why the cake was such a hit! ;o) item not reviewed by moderator and published
I am one for a challenge and never turn down a recipe that requires a bit of time and patience. Yes, this cake might be considered to be a bit complicated but so long as you follow the directions, you will get a masterpiece. I am 24 and now worshiped at work for this cake (made for the monthly Birthday celebration). I have been commissioned to continue baking all Birthday cakes. This cake looked gorgeous when I was done. I ended up doing 6 thin layers. with just a little bit of frosting between each layer. I did make a few improvements to the recipe as the frosting was slightly runny. I added nuts to only the frosting used between the layers and around the sides. The other frosting I did not add nuts to (I didn't want the taste to be overwhelming). I kept the frosting a bit runny between the layers and on the top (for moisture). I added some more powdered sugar to the frosting to thicken it for the sides (to keep it from sliding). Once the cake was covered, I filled my hands with shreaded coconut and thoroughly coated the cake. It looked like a cloud and when served was pretty clean in cutting given its six layers!! I absolutely LOVED the flavor and the consistency. The cake was not dry at all but not too moist either. Perfection. I loved making it and I loved the reaction it brought! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this cake yesterday, thinking it was the Italian Cream cake (from Beth Lott's Mom) which I had made before which everyone loved, It had been about a year since I had made it. So I look up Italian cream cake and said Oh! Emeril Lagasse so I printed. When making it I thought to myself I don't remember using fresh grated coconut and then thought "maybe I was in a hurry and just use the packaged kind" But this time I have time and I will grate my own coconut. That was very time consuming. I only use 1-1/2 cups sugar in the cake batter, because I don't like to sweet of a cake, since it does have icing. When I took the cakes out of the oven, they were all nice and fluffy and then as they cooled they seemed to shrink and kinda compacted I thought what did I do wrong, this didn't happen to me before, maybe its the weather who knows. I continue! I started to make the icing, I thought to myself again I don't remember Pineapple in the icing "It's been a year, maybe I just forgot" I did cut the powder sugar to only 1-lb. I cut the cakes in half and ice in between layers and then all over the cake. The icing was quite runny, so I worked quickly and then put in the refrigerator. The next day I was having people over, so I took the cake out of the rerigerator about 1-hour before serving it, It was amazing. Perfectly sweet, moist and the icing was incrediably delicious. The icing set up perfectly. Everyone asked..." What kind of cake is this? I said italian cream cake" All the women wanted the recipe. I told them I'll go print it for you. That's when I found out I made the wrong Italian Cream Cake! It was a great mistake, and at the end It was 100% worth all the work. I didn't even care at that point that I grated a knuckle in the process, I'll do again! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I get plenty of positive comments about this cake. The only down side is that it's not very attractive - the frosting seems a little runny (not too bad, though) and with the chunky pineapple and nuts it ends up a little funky looking. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I left the pineapple out of this recipe because of my guests and it definitely needed it. I expected the cake to be more fluffy and light and it turned out more a pound cake (and, yes, I creamed everything very well according to the directions, even folded the stiff egg whites). Because the recipe didn't call for vanilla and the frozen coconut isn't sweetened, my guests thought it was a little bland. I think the pineapple would have made a difference in the sweetness. I don't think I'll make this cake again because of the density. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This cake was absolutely delicious, and the icing was amazing. I made this for my husband's birthday, and it turned out perfectly! It is a little time consuming, so don't make this if you don't have time to spare. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this for my hub's b-day since he loves the combo of coconut and pineapple. the cake was VERY moist and yet didn't break.. Very tasty and the ground pecans added such a nice flavor and richness. The frosting was so very yummy. I did 1/2 tsp of vanilla and 1/2 tsp of coconut extract.. I used only 1 lb of powdered sugar (1 box) instead of 2 and it was perfect for our tastebuds. I will definitely make it again. So delicious. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The icing is so good- it is addicting. the cakes are very moist. I had one of the cakes fall apart, I just "glued" it with the icing and used it as a middle layer. I was looking for a cake recipe that my mom(spaniard) use to make and this one came very close. Everyone at the party loved it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very good flavor overall. Honestly, I did not think I would like coconut and pineapple together but to my surprise, it was delicious. I made 2- 10in. cakes instead of 3- 8in. My family all enjoyed it during our Mothers Day BBQ. Make sure to grease the pans VERY WELL! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Although, I have never made this recipe, entirely, I left out the nuts and used a different milk, it is great. Whenever I decide to follow this recipe I know it will be a unexpected treat. The only reason I didnt use the pecans is because then I'll be tempted to add rum and that would take this recipe to another level. Oh yeah and I the coconut and pineapples after I icing the middle and then add some coconut around the edges with a little pineapple on top. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I am just learning to make desserts and found this recipe extremely difficult. The instructions were somewhat out of order; the icing way too sweet; and the work not worth the reward. But, I still love Emeril. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Italian cream is my favorite cake and coconut is my second. Having both togather is great. Love it. item not reviewed by moderator and published

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