Photo: Southern Living
Makes 12 to 16 servings

This Italian cream cake recipe is enhanced with a pecan and cream cheese frosting and sweet, tangy orange curd between the cake layers.  Garnish with glazed pecans and a boxwood garland to make it special for the holidays. You'll need to start this cake a day ahead because the Fresh Orange Curd must chill for 8 hours.

How to Make It

Step 1

Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add vanilla; beat until blended.

Step 2

Combine flour and soda; add to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in 1 cup flaked coconut.

Step 3

Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cakepans.

Step 4

Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

Step 5

Spread 3/4 cup chilled Fresh Orange Curd between layers; spread remaining Fresh Orange Curd on top of cake. (The Fresh Orange Curd layer on top of cake will be very thick.) If desired, loosely cover cake, and chill 8 hours. (Chilling the cake with the curd between the layers helps keep the layers in place and makes it much easier to spread the frosting.) Spread 3 cups Pecan-Cream Cheese Frosting on sides of cake, reserving remaining frosting for another use. Sprinkle 1/2 cup toasted coconut over top of cake, if desired. Arrange Glazed Pecan Halves around top edge of cake, if desired. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Arrange Boxwood Garland around bottom edge of cake before serving, if desired.

Step 6

Note: Cake may be frosted with Pecan-Cream Cheese Frosting immediately after adding the Fresh Orange Curd, but the cake layers will not be as steady.

Chef's Notes

You'll need to start this cake a day ahead because the Fresh Orange Curd must chill for 8 hours.

Ratings & Reviews

jennben's Review

May 06, 2010
very good, few suggestions. Make the curd the day before, use the zest of the orange also in the batter, and use very thin slices of orange in between the tiers of the cake. I also used the zest of a lemon in the batter, it gave it wonderful flavor. Always use the fresh squeezed juice from the orange. Lot of work, but well worth it.

KatieT1's Review

August 31, 2009
As I was making this cake, I thought that there was no way that it would be good enough to justify the time (as I was on the second 8-hr chilling period)...but oh, my gosh, it was! The only change I made was to use walnuts in the icing instead of pecans, since I was making it for my mom. I definitely recommend the two chilling periods - the cake was super-wobbly after doing the filling step. Turned out so good - and yes, I did juice the oranges. Since I bought the oranges for the zest, it seemed wasteful not to. So good! Thanks, SL!

mamadub's Review

March 29, 2011
This cake is amazing! It is well worth the time and effort, especially squeezing the fresh orange juice and chilling the curd and cake layers for stability. I also chilled the icing before spreading to make it less runny and easier to spread. I made this for a dinner party of great cooks and everybody raved about it.

Milady82's Review

November 24, 2013
This cake is not only beautiful but tastes wonderful! I bake the cake layers two days in advance, then freeze, then thaw overnight the night before serving day. I took this cake to a fundraiser cake wheel at our school and it was the first one gone:) Wonderful for holidays and other special occasions.

sarahksharpe's Review

December 25, 2010
I made this cake for my family to enjoy along with our Christmas meal. It was amazing! It was moist, beautiful, and all the flavors blended together perfectly. It was a show stopper and I will make it again!

PlumPudding's Review

December 01, 2010
Made this for Thanksgiving this year and it came out like a dream. Didn't have shortening on hand, so used all butter. The layers are moist and light. I feared it would be overly sweet, but the orange makes a great contrast to the icing and cake.

LadyPisces's Review

December 07, 2011
I have nade this cake several times. It is admired for its appearance and enjoyed by all of my guests who have eaten it . It is moist and flavorful. Overall, "A Great Cake"!

Kimm00's Review

May 29, 2013

fyitm50's Review

March 04, 2010
this cake is well worth the time it takes to make it. my family loves it. i'm asked every christmas to bring this cake. my sister in law even asked me to make this cake for her birthday.

willsmom7's Review

October 29, 2013