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Caramel Italian Cream Cake

Caramel Italian Cream Cake is a delicious blend of two favorite southern desserts. It’s a wonderful combination of flavors and makes a great holiday cake. I bake an Italian Cream Cake every Christmas. I love the combination of pecans and coconut.

Caramel Italian Cream Cake


Recently I saw a recipe for a Caramel Italian Cream Cake in a cookbook and knew I had to try it. Southern dessert doesn’t get any better than this.

As far as frosting is concerned, I wanted this cake to have the best of both worlds. A rich, sugary caramel icing and a cream cheese coconut-pecan frosting. Two icings are better than one, aren’t they?

You better hope someone else is nearby to help you lick the frosting bowls. They are both to die for!

Homemade caramel Italian Cream Cake


I spread the caramel icing between the cake layers and on top and covered the sides as well as the top with the cream cheese frosting.

This truly is a spectacular cake that is worthy of being your Christmas dessert!

Caramel Italian Cream Cake with 2 kinds of frosting.


Caramel Italian Cream Cake with 2 kinds of frosting

Try These Other Southern Layer Cakes:

Caramel Italian Cream Cake

Caramel Italian Cream Cake

Caramel Italian Cream Cake is a delicious blend of two favorite southern desserts. It's a wonderful combination of flavors and makes a great holiday cake. 
PREP: 40 minutes
COOK: 25 minutes
TOTAL: 1 hour 5 minutes



  • 1/2 cup butter (salted), softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted

Caramel Frosting

  • 1 cup butter (salted)
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted or whisked to remove clumps
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 6 tablespoons butter (salted), softened
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted

To Decorate Cake

  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut, (You can toast it or use it as is)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour 3 9-inch cake pans.
  • Use an electric mixer to beat butter and shortening until fluffy.
  • Gradually add granulated sugar and dark brown sugar, mixing well.
  • Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until mixed in before adding next one.
  • Beat in vanilla.
  • Whisk together flour and baking soda in a medium bowl and add it to butter mixture alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed between additions.
  • Stir in 1 cup chopped pecans and 1 cup coconut.
  • Beat egg whites with a whisk attachment at high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter in 3 additions. Here are some good instructions for folding egg whites into batter.
  • Divide batter evenly between the 3 prepared cake pans. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
  • To make Caramel Frosting, bring the butter, light brown sugar, and dark brown sugar to a rolling boil in a saucepan. Boil for about 6 to 7 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Stir in heavy cream, whisking until it gets smooth. Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, gradually beat in powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat for 10 minutes at medium speed. Use immediately.
  • Spread half of Caramel frosting between cake layers and the remaining half on top of the cake. Do not use any for the sides of the cake.
  • To make Cream Cheese Frosting,  beat butter and cream cheese ate medium speed. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. Beat in vanilla. Stir in shopped pecans.
  • Spread on sides and top of cake.
  • Press shredded coconut into sides of cake. Store in refrigerator.


You will need 2 cups of toasted finely chopped pecans. Spread them out on a baking sheet and place in a 350 degree oven for 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool before using.


Calories: 718kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: Christmas, layer cake

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Recipe adapted from Recipe Revival

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