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Italian Raspberry Cream Cake

3 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sugar
5 eggs, separated
2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans

2 – 8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
12 ounces confectioners’ sugar
1 – 8-ounce jar seedless raspberry preserves

To make cake:
Heat oven to 325F.
Spray 3 8-inch cake pans with non-stick vegetable spray.
Dust with flour.
Spread coconut out on a cookie pan and bake about 3 minutes, toss and bake another 3 minutes, until coconut is lightly toasted. Set aside.

Cream butter, shortening and sugar together until fluffy.
Beat in egg yolks, 1 at a time.
Sift together flour and baking soda.
Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to the creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour.
Stir in vanilla, 1/2 cup coconut and pecans.
Beat egg whites until stiff.
Fold into cake mixture.

Divide batter between prepared pans.
Bake in hot oven 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.
Invert on cooling racks until cool.

To make frosting:
Whip together cream cheese, butter and vanilla.
Gradually whip in the confectioners’ sugar.
When frosting the cake, spread frosting on top of bottom layer and middle layer.
Spread raspberry on the bottom of middle layer and top layer. Stack layers.
Frost top and sides.
Press the remaining coconut on outside of cake.


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