20 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

This layered Italian Cream Cake is the perfect dessert for a birthday or dinner party because it is moist and full of flavor from the chopped pecans and cream cheese frosting. The stunning 5-star dessert continues to get rave reviews every time!

How to Make It

Step 1

Prepare Cream Cheese Icing; cover and chill.

Step 2

Coat bottoms of 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray (do not coat sides of pans); line bottoms of pans with wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray, and dust with flour; set aside.

Step 3

Combine sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine 2 cups flour and baking soda; stir well. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in pecans and extracts.

Step 4

Beat egg whites at high speed of a mixer until stiff peaks form (do not overbeat). Fold egg whites into batter; pour batter into prepared pans. Bake at 350° for 23 minutes. Let cool in pans 5 minutes on a wire rack. Loosen cake layers from sides of pans using a narrow metal spatula, and turn out onto wire racks. Peel off wax paper, and let cool completely.

Step 5

Place 1 cake layer on a plate, and spread with 2/3 cup Cream Cheese Icing; top with another cake layer. Repeat with 2/3 cup icing and remaining layer, ending with cake. Spread remaining icing over cake. Garnish with kumquats, orange rind, and kumquat leaves, if desired.

Step 6

Note: To make sugared kumquats, dip kumquats into lightly beaten egg whites, and drain; roll in sugar.

Ratings & Reviews

joan49's Review

October 13, 2012
I would definitely make this cake again! I said I would not earlier but removed that review. This cake was a big hit for my hubby's birthday. I want to make it again for my 50th birthday this year.

RitaRackley's Review

February 04, 2012
I made this for a friends birthday last week-end and it was a HIT ! I did add toasted coconut between the layers and on top with toasted walnuts. I am making it today for a superbowl party. Everyone enjoy this moist yummy cake.

ael5292's Review

January 22, 2011
DELICIOUS! After reading other reviews, thinned down the icing with a bit of greek yogurt, then added large pinch orange & small pinch lemon zests; topped with toasted coconut.Awesome; will definitely make again!

kimmy28168's Review

September 30, 2010
We loved this cake! I found that making the icing while the cakes are cooling works better than chilling the icing. Very little icing is needed between the layers if you sprinkle a little coconut between the layers. I toasted some coconut and pressed onto the sides and top of the iced cake, then sprinkled a few chopped pecans on top. The whole cake went into the fridge, to be served at room temperature the next day. It was pretty enough to be on a magazine cover and gets better each day. I only had regular buttermilk and it worked just fine. I had icing left over and the cake isn't "Too" sweet like a lot of cakes are. It's our new family favorite!

Marcijo's Review

September 04, 2010
This has been a favorite in my family since I first made it several years ago! The only thing I have ever changed is that I double the frosting. This does leave some left over, but I find that the original amount is messy to spread because there is never quite enough.

mayams's Review

November 28, 2009
this recipe is a new favorite-- i've made it 3 times for friends' birthdays (by request of course!) very moist, perfect. add this cake to your repertoire. it's worth it!

Runnergal's Review

April 13, 2009
This cake got rave reviews when I served at a recent get together. Everyone loved the flavors! After reading the other reviews I was conflicted about what to do with the frosting. I agreed that a standard cream cheese frosting seemed too heavy for the cake. As an alternative, I made a whip cream frosting (heavy cream, powdered sugar, gelatin), but that seemed too light. In the end I found that a compromise worked perfect: I took the whip cream frosting I had made and added in about 6oz of cream cheese! It ended up giving hint of the cream cheese flavor, but the frosting stayed light. This is my new "go-to-wow-their-socks-off" cake!

DellaMarie's Review

February 26, 2009

aubiechic's Review

December 30, 2008
This recipe was loved by all! Since the original recipe with the cake has bad ratings, I did not use the cream cheese frosting recipe that came with it; Instead, I made cream cheese frosting with 8 oz low-fat cheese (1 block), 1 sticks of butter (1/2 cup), 1/2 cup of pecans (chopped and toasted), 5-6 cups of powdered sugar and 2 Tbsp. vanilla extract