Granny White’s Italian Cream Cake

My mother flew in for a visit this weekend! We had so much fun going to antique shops, restaurants, Ikea, and even a trade fair! Apart from the shopping and eating (of which there was a lot), we decided that my weekend baking project should come from the family cookbook that had been put together by my mother and contained a number of recipes from Great-Grandmother White, Nana, and my great-aunts.We chose my Granny’s Italian Cream Cake recipe. Mom said that Granny would always make this cake for family get-togethers, which made making it extra special. It almost felt like I was getting to know Granny a little better while making the cake. She passed away almost a year ago, at 102.

I did decide to update the recipe a little bit, as I had to ask my mother what the heck Oleo was and then decided I didn’t want to use that or shortening for the cake. Since Granny was a no-nonsense country lady, it feels like the simple spatula and pink sugar decoration is appropriate. Granny loved pink! My updated recipe for the cake and the frosting can be found after the photo strip.

I saw a craft a while back where paper plates were turned into open baskets. I thought I’d give it a try and made some little gift baskets for handing out cake. They turned out pretty well!

Granny White’s Italian Cream Cake

2 sticks of unsalted butter

2 cups sugar

5 egg yolks

2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 cup buttermilk

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup chopped pecans

5 egg white, beaten until stiff

1 cup sweetened coconut

 Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg yolks and beat well. Combine flour & soda to creamed mixture. Alternate with buttermilk. Add remaining flour last. Stir in vanilla. Add nuts and coconut. Fold in stiffly beaten egg white. Pour into two greased and powdered-sugared pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minuts or until your cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely before icing.

Italian Cream Icing

1 – 8 oz. pkg cream cheese, softened

1 stick of butter, softened

3-5 cups of powdered sugar, depending on desired texture

1 tsp. vanilla

A pinch of salt


4 responses

  1. Bethany, I loved reading this!! Thank you so much for sharing it… I cant wait to make it with my girls and continue a tradition!!

  2. Thanks for sharing, Bethany. I really enjoyed reading this and your pictures, too. I am not much of a cook, but i might try this since you and your mom enjoyed it so much. McKenzie might be brave enough to try it with me!

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