Italian Wedding Cake

Total Time:
1 hr 6 min
15 min
20 min
31 min

12 servings

  • 1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix (recommended: Betty Crocker)
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (recommended: McCormick)
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (recommended: McCormick)
  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained (recommended: Dole)
  • 1/2 cup sweetened flake coconut (recommended: Baker's)
  • 2 cups chopped pecans, divided (recommended: Diamond)
  • 2 (16-ounce) cans cream cheese frosting (recommended: Betty Crocker)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly coat 2 (8-inch) cake pans with cooking spray; set aside. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, butter, buttermilk, egg whites, and extracts. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Fold in crushed pineapple, coconut, and 1 cup pecans. Divide batter into 2 prepared cake pans. Bake in preheated oven for 31 to 36 minutes or until tester inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes then turn out on to wire racks to cool completely.

In a small bowl, stir together remaining 1 cup pecans and frosting. With a serrated knife, cut both cakes horizontally to make 4 layers. Frost the top of each layer with 1/2 cup of frosting and stack on top of the next layer. Use remaining frosting to frost the entire outside of cake. Slice and serve.

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    84 Reviews
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    My family, including four kids, loved this cake! I'm not a fan of coconut or fruit in cakes, but this completely works. I also had some of the layers come apart when I cut them (like the three-pan idea jdt928), but I glued them in with frosting. Like someone else mentioned below, I almost didn't have enough frosting.
    This cake is a definite 5 star once I made a few adjustments. I increased the almond extract to 1/2 teaspoon, replace 1/2 of the coconut with unsweetened coconut and did not drain the pineapple. I put into 3 pan so I didn't need to cut the cake (I think just leaving it as 2 layers would be great too. I also made my own cream cheese frosting and did not put the pecans in the frosting, instead pressing it on the sides of the cake for decoration. This cake tastes so much better refrigerated. The cake was tasty and even the people who didn't like coconut enjoyed it. It was moist, rich and tasty as well as easy to make.
    Tasted great, but it did fall apart when cut. Beating it for a less amount of time at a lower speed helped.
    AWFUL!! This cake fell apart completely, I'm not a rookie baker but my daughter wanted this for her birthday...well off to Publix for me. I have no idea what I did wrong!
    I have made this several times and have found these tips to be very helpful: 1 I make it with 2 layers or in a 9x13 if I'm in a hurry 2 Chop the pecans up very fine, otherwise it is hard to cut the cake, if you don't like them in the cake - put them between the layers and in the frosting only 3 Adding a 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract to the store bought frosting gives it more of a home made flavor 4 line the bottom of pans with parchment paper 5 replace pineapple juice with coconut milk (still add pineapple though 6 Add coconut between the layers of the cake as well as on the outside. 7 Definitely cut cake with a serrated knife. 
    This was the most HORRIBLE cake I have ever made! I followed the recipe to the "T" but it fell all to pieces when I tried to remove it from the pans which I sprayed with cooking spray the cake just fell completely apart!!! I cannot understand what went wrong?? I tried to glue the crumbs and pieces together for dinner tonight, but it really looks horrible!! won't try this again.
    This is a GREAT cake made it for my sons 27th birthday and it was a hit.... Not The same old cake but loaded with flavor and pleasing to the palet..... Nice!
    I love this cake!! Every time my co-workers have a birthday they ask me to bring this cake. Ive even added lemons, oranges, peaches, and limes for decoration. It is super moist and has good flavor, but its very rich so only small portions. I love it. Too bad its made with a box recipe though. Oh well it still has become a family favorite.
    This cake is amazing! Full of flavor, super moist, and tastes like a million bucks. Will definitely make this again!
    This cake was easy, supermoist and a hit with my family. I did it for Mother's Day and everybody
    really enjoyed it.
    Thank you Sandra
    has anyone tried this for cupcakes? does it work? how long do you bake them?

    Plus, if you post one review at 1 star it is not necessary to do it a 2nd and 3rd time. The duplicate posting's should be removed!
    Amazing!!None of us like coconut so we left it out. The cake is VERY moist and sweeet but AMAZING!! Will make again!
    This cake was delicious!
    as much as i hate watching ur show and think ur insane this cake is amazing i've made it numerous times it's a favorite in our household very rich very mist and oh so good
    When I realized how dense the cake was,I knew it would be a problem so I didn't separate the layers. It worked out just fine. Got rave reviews from co workers and family.
    i thought this was a site just for chefs. i guess there isnt many recipe's on here for cake from scratch. everything ive seen so far starts with a cake mix.
    This is simple to make and tastes great. I have made it on at least 3-4 occasions and it's been a hit.
    Just got the recipe for this cake. Plan to make it Sunday for my sons birthday dinner. Confused. I only saw 2 layers of cake on the show......

    Belmont, NC
    Sandra made it a two layer cake on the show, not 4 as indicated in the recipe. I'm just saying....
    You might also try a yellow Duncan Hines cake mix. It works well also.
    This cake is the best! My husband is Italian, and he and all his Italian relatives say that it is better than any Italian Creme Cake any Italian has EVER made! It isn't one bit crumbly, and those people who say it was probably couldn't follow directions. It was a sweet cake, but cake is supposed to be sweet. Adding flavoring to the icing really does make it taste like homemade. I used 3 cans of frosting and adjusted the flavoring accordingly. Be sure to use waxed paper in the pans and they will not stick. I am in the process of printing out this recipe for as all my Italian relatives are clamoring for it right now.
    I first made this for a friend's birthday and everyone went crazy over it. People that swore they weren't cake eaters tried it and said they fell in love :) I made it a second time just for fun (since my family loves sweets and I love to bake) and got the same reactions. I love this recipe and think everyone should try it! :)
    Has anyone tried this cake with a different frosting?
    Mary Ann - Buttermilk comes in a liquid form...I used that and it turned out great! I don't know how the powder form would work.
    Made this cake for my co-workers and they loved it
    Today is my Mom's 71st birthday, so I made this cake for her. She loved it!! It was decadently delicious. I will be making this one often. I did two layer and let it cool on a cooling rack for about 30 min. I also added 1/2 tsp. vanilla to the frosting. Thanks, Sandra you put a huge smile on my Mom's face.






    Note the comments from those who said they watched Sandra prepare the cake on the show. When making this type of cake (carrot cake category) I always make my own cream cheese frosting and I simply use 3 cake pans for a taller cake.
    Do I use buttermilk powder? Or do I mix the powder up with something. Pls. help I want to make it. Looks great.
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