Cake Mix Italian Cream Cake Recipe


The Italian Cream Cake is a delightful blend of rich flavors and creamy textures, making it a showstopper at any gathering. With its origins rooted in Southern Italy, this cake has become a beloved classic across the globe. The combination of buttermilk, coconut, and cream cheese frosting creates a moist and decadent dessert that is perfect for any special occasion. Our recipe takes this classic to new heights by using a cake mix for convenience without sacrificing the homemade taste.


For the Cake:

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

For the Frosting:

  • 8 ounces of cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut


1. Preparing the Cake Batter

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans to ensure the cakes come out smoothly.
  2. In a small bowl, dissolve the baking soda in the buttermilk and set aside. This step ensures your cake will rise perfectly and have a tender crumb.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together 1/2 cup butter, shortening, and white sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. This should take about 3-5 minutes with an electric mixer on medium speed.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. This ensures that the eggs are thoroughly incorporated and the batter remains smooth.
  5. Stir in the buttermilk mixture and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract until well combined.
  6. Gradually add the flour, baking powder, and flaked coconut to the batter, mixing until just combined. Be careful not to overmix, as this can make the cake dense.

2. Baking the Cakes

  1. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cake pans, smoothing the tops with a spatula.
  2. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. The cakes should be golden brown and spring back when lightly touched.
  3. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before transferring them to wire racks to cool completely. This prevents the cakes from breaking apart.

3. Making the Frosting

  1. In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese, 1/2 cup of butter, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract until smooth and creamy.
  2. Gradually add the icing sugar, beating until the frosting is light and fluffy. This should take about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add the light cream, a little at a time, until the frosting reaches your desired consistency. It should be thick enough to hold its shape, but smooth enough to spread easily.
  4. Stir in the chopped walnuts and the remaining sweetened coconut. These add a delightful crunch and texture to the frosting.

4. Assembling the Cake

  1. Place one cake layer on a serving plate and spread a generous amount of frosting over the top. Repeat with the second and third layers.
  2. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake, smoothing it with a spatula for a professional finish.
  3. Garnish the cake with additional chopped walnuts and flaked coconut, if desired.

Nutritional Information

Per serving (based on 12 servings):

  • Calories: 810
  • Total Fat: 45g
  • Saturated Fat: 27g
  • Cholesterol: 155mg
  • Sodium: 410mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 95g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2g
  • Sugars: 76g
  • Protein: 7g

History of the Italian Cream Cake

The Italian Cream Cake has a storied history, originating from Southern Italy and making its way to the United States, where it gained popularity, particularly in the South. This cake is a staple at celebrations and special occasions, known for its rich, moist texture and the delightful combination of coconut and cream cheese frosting. The use of buttermilk and the unique addition of shortening in the batter set it apart from other cakes, giving it a distinctive crumb and flavor.

Tips for the Perfect Italian Cream Cake

  • Use room temperature ingredients: Ensuring that your butter, eggs, and buttermilk are at room temperature will help them blend more easily and create a smoother batter.
  • Don’t overmix the batter: Overmixing can lead to a dense cake. Mix until the ingredients are just combined.
  • Cool the cakes completely before frosting: This prevents the frosting from melting and ensures a beautiful finish.
  • Chill the cake for about an hour before serving: This helps the flavors to meld together and makes slicing easier.


This Cake Mix Italian Cream Cake is a testament to the timeless appeal of classic recipes with a modern twist. Perfect for birthdays, anniversaries, or any special occasion, this cake is sure to impress your guests and leave them asking for seconds.

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