Go Back
+ servings

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. 
Course Dessert
Cuisine Southern
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 20
Author Christin Mahrlig



  • 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 cu 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.