“Happiness is knowing there is cake in the oven.”
There are many things that are good for the soul and I would like to submit, cake. One of the things that I found that do great for the mind, body and soul is a good meal and an awesome dessert. There is nothing that can’t be cured by a happy tummy. As the owner of a sweet tooth, nothing turns my day around or keeps me quite content as a fabulous dessert. Throw in a love for baking, my self-care cure generally reverts back to the kitchen or somewhere where I can get food.
When I am in the kitchen, I love experimenting and building on recipes that I have already mastered. My latest creation from Christmas was this lovely Ultimate Italian Cream Cheese Cake. Covered in coconut flakes and topped with seasonal fruits, it requires a lot of love and focus to bring to plate. I particularly like this cake for its tropical flair and “good ole” southern baking from scratch. No… this is not a quick fix, but a cake that requires time. So block out your morning or afternoon before getting started.
Before I share the “how-to’s”, I do want to insert that the design of the cake is made by whim. I decorate this cake differently each time and love the liberty in doing so. Overall, though, the bread and icing stay the same, and I use fruit that generally is in season. Aside from that, the cake is free to build off of.
- 8 tbsp margarine
- ½ cup vegetable shortening
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 5 egg yolks
- 5 egg whites
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup butter milk
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 4-5 tsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 cans (8 1/4 oz) crushed pineapple in heavy syrup
- Frosting (Cream Cheese Frosting)
- 1 8oz pckg cream cheese
- 1 1/2 box of powder sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 tbsp margarine
- 1 small pckg of coconut flakes
- Seasonal fruit
Preparation: Soften butter. Separate egg yolks and egg whites. Chop pecans. Measure ingredients. Prepare two 9 ⅜ in. pans. Preheat oven to 350°
Let’s Get to the Baking!
Bread. Cream butter and vegetable shortening. Add sugar and beat until smooth. Add egg yolks and beat well. Combine flour and baking soda. Add flour mixture alternatively with buttermilk. Stir in vanilla extract. Stir in pecans. Stiffly beat egg whites and fold them in. Pour into prepared pans and let bake for 25 minutes. Test cakes before taking out. If inside is dewy, keep pans in the oven in increments of five minutes until done. When fully baked, take pans out and allow to cool.
Filling. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in remaining ingredients. Stir to boil and thickened. (Can add more cornstarch until desired thickness). Once thickened, set aside to cool. Intermittently place in freezer, take out and stir until cool and holds shape.
Frosting. Cream cheese and margarine. Add vanilla extract. Add powdered sugar alternatively, mixing after each addition. Keep cool in refrigerator until ready to frost cake. (Remember to take out prior to frosting so frosting isn’t rigid.)
Time to Build the Cake!
Make sure cake layers are even before frosting. Apply filling. Frost cake and lightly coat with coconut flakes. Cut the fruit of your choice and design as desired.
Am I leaving out something? Of course! I always add a personal touch to my cakes. It’s up to you how to add that finishing touch and make the cake your own.