Italian Cream Cake
from: The Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook
For the Cake
1/2 cup butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk
1 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
Separate eggs. Allow egg yolks, egg whites, and butter to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Grease and flour three 8 inch or 9 inch cake pans; set aside. In a medium mixing bowl combine flour and baking soda; set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In an extra-large mixing bowl (or electric mixer) beat butter and shortening on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add sugar; beat until well combined. Add the egg yolks and vanilla; beat on medium speed until well combined. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to butter mixture, beating on low after each addition just until combined. Fold in coconut and pecans.
Thoroughly wash the beater[s]. In a medium bowl (or your electric mixer, just pour the batter into another bowl) beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold about one-third of the egg whites into the cake batter. Fold in remaining egg whites. Spread batter evenly into prepared pans.
Bake about 25 minutes for 9 inch pans, about 35 minutes for 8 inch pans, or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool cake layers in pans on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Remove cake layers from pans. Cool thoroughly on wire racks.
For the Frosting
1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 1/2 - 6 cups powdered sugar
In a large mixing bowl (or electric mixer) beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar to reach spreading consistency.
Lay the first cake layer on your cake stand or plate. Spread about 1/2 cup frosting, then sprinkle 1/4 chopped pecans. Add another cake layer, spread with 1/2 cup frosting, sprinkle with 1/4 nuts. Add the last cake layer. Frost the top and sides of cake. Sprinkle additional pecans on top if desired.