This cake went all the way from my home in Beaverton, Oregon, to daughter Mindy’s place in north Seattle, Washington, in my luggage and on the train!! And the only damage was that it slid one inch on the 10 inch cardboard cake circle on which I had built it! Of course, I did take some extra care in packing it to go. As I was assembling the cake, I used some Royal Icing to cement the first layer to the cardboard. Then, after frosting it, I cut 5 bamboo skewers to 5 inches and stuck them through the cake to make certain that the individual layers didn’t move relative to each other. And finally, I put the cake in a 10 x 10 x 5 cake box for transporting; the cake box I placed in my duffle bag and hand carried the duffle keeping it flat. I forgot once, placed the duffle on top of my rolling suitcase and tilted the suitcase to roll; that is probably when the cake slid to the edge of the cake circle.
There is more to this story. I hadn’t planned on making and taking a cake with me. But I talk to Mindy every weekend, and the weekend before I was to go, she mentioned that she had almost bought a KitchenAid mixer so she could make the Coconut Cake- another name for the Italian Cream Cake. So I knew I had to make it for her. After all, I make everybody who asks locally a cake, so I needed to make her favorite cake for her birthday.
This is a darn good tasty cake. I think I have only made two cakes recently that I give those qualifications; the other is the Guinness Gingerbread cake, which I did as cupcakes. Both of these cakes are moist and can easily lead to a-second-piece syndrome. I took the photo in a hurry, and my colors were not quite right so the frosting appears more brown than in real life- it really is white with pieces of nut showing through. Here is the recipe.
Italian Cream Cake
(Coconut Cake — Margaret McBryde 1976)
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup Crisco
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 5 egg – separated
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3 1/2 oz. coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Cream together until light and fluffy the butter, shortening and sugar.
- Add and mix well the egg yolks.
- Into a small bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt.
- Add dry ingredients alternating with buttermilk. Mix all ingredients very well.
- Then add coconut flakes and walnuts.
- Beat the egg whites stiffly with the vanilla, then gently fold them in.
- Grease and flour 3 8-inch cake layer pans. Divide batter evenly between pans.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
- Cool pans on rack before removing the cake layers and icing the cake.
- 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, room temperature
- 16 oz. (2 packages) cream cheese
- 2 lbs. (2 boxes) powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- Mix butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla thoroughly.
- Add the chopped walnuts.
September 12, 2015, NOTE: When I first made this cake last month, I was confused about what size cake pans to use. Then I looked at Marlys’s old cake pans and discovered that the only set of 3 pans she had were the 8 inch pans with the old fashion piece that swivels around the middle of the bottom to loosen the cake bottom from the pan. They worked well, and all I had to do after swiveling that bottom piece around 360 degrees was use a knife around the vertical edges.
Since then, I talked to my friends at the Decorette Shop about using their Real Ease product to grease the pans. They said that because of its composition, it is not necessary to flour the pans after applying it. That will save a mess of bouncing flour all over the sink, so I will be trying it without flour this week.