Easy Italian Cream Cake Recipe

August McLaughlin
- October 20, 2017

A Sweet, Creamy Layer Cake With Pecans

Easy Italian Cream Cake Recipe

Italian cream cake tastes as decadent as it sounds. The soft, crumbly cake is layered up with whipped cream-cheese frosting, and the pecans allow you to spread the frosting on without worrying about “perfection,” which is supposed to have lumps and bumps. All you need is a short list of common ingredients, made especially simple thanks to the inclusion of a basic white cake mix.

Total Time: 210 minutes | Prep Time: 30 minutes | Serves: 10



  • 1 (16-ounce) package white cake mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans  


  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


  1. Heat your oven to 350F, and grease and lightly flour three 9-inch round cake pans.
  2. To prepare the cake, beat the cake mix, eggs, buttermilk and oil together in a large bowl, using a hand mixer or an electric mixer, at medium speed.
  3. Once the batter has a smooth consistency, stir in the coconut and pecans.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pans, and then place them in the oven to bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick or fork inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Cool the cakes in the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes, and then gently empty them out to continue cooling on the wire racks.
  6. To prepare the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter together until they have a smooth consistency.
  7. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating the mixture until it’s light and fluffy.
  8. Stir in the vanilla and pecans.
  9. Once the cakes are completely cool, frost one, and then top it with another cake. Frost that cake, then add the last. Then frost the top and sides of the layers. 


To save time, use 2 standard tubs of of prepared cream cheese frosting. You can also cool the cakes more quickly by placing them in the fridge while you prepare the frosting.

For added flavor, sprinkle a bit of rum on the baked cakes before adding the frosting. Keep in mind that baking does't remove the effects of alcohol as much as many people think, so you may want to use this option for an adults-only cake.

If you don’t have three round cake pans, use one large, rectangular casserole dish or two standard loaf pans. Either option may require a bit more baking time, but start checking the center of the cakes for doneness as directed. You can then slice the cake or loaves horizontally down the middle once they've cooled to add a filling layer, or simply frost the top(s).

About the Author

August McLaughlin is a health and sexuality writer and author of "Girl Boner: The Good Girl's Guide to Sexual Empowerment." Her work appears in Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, DAME Magazine, LIVESTRONG.com and more. augustmclaughlin.com