When we were in need of a real showstopper of a dessert this fall, we knew that the fantastically-talented Janine Waite from Happy Happy Nester would know exactly what to make. Her pick: Italian Coconut Cream Cake with Spiced Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting. It’s a new twist on a classic, and it’ll be refreshingly unexpected when your guests arrive this season, whether it’s for a grand event like Thanksgiving, or a casual catch-up with tea and cake on a blustery Sunday.
There’s something about a classic cake recipe that brings back memories of baking alongside Grandma in the kitchen as a child. Even if this recipe is new to you, the steps will feel familiar, comforting, and nostalgic. Turn on some festive music, preheat the oven, and start making new memories!
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 5 eggs (separate eggs)
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
- ½ cup cooking oil (like coconut or canola)
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 7 ounces of shredded coconut
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with wax paper and grease once again. Sprinkle flour and coat the entire inside of the pans, then tap out the excess.
2. Mix buttermilk and baking soda together and set aside.
3. In another mixing bowl, separate eggs and beat whites until stiff. Set aside.
4. Cream together the butter, cooking oil, and sugar.
5. Add egg yolks one at a time to the cream/butter mixture. Beat well after each addition.
6. In a separate bowl, mix the flour and baking powder together.
7. Add the buttermilk and flour mix to the egg mixture, alternating between the two, starting and ending with the flour mixture.
8. Next, add vanilla and salt to the cake batter.
9. Fold in egg whites and stir in gently, then carefully fold in the pecans and coconut.
10. Pour into prepared cake pans and bake for 25 minutes at 350° F, or until a toothpick comes out of the batter mostly clean.
11. Cool on a rack and remove wax paper.
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
- 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 4 cups powder sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1. Beat butter and cream cheese together, then slowly add powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth.
2. Measure 1 ¾ cups of the frosting and add cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and pumpkin. Beat till smooth.
3. Place bottom cake layer on a cake platter and frost the top with the pumpkin frosting. Place the second layer on top and finish frosting the rest of the cake with the plain cream cheese frosting.
4. Slice, serve, and enjoy!
All photos courtesy Mark Yamamoto from My Photography.