Every great recipe deserves and amazing introduction right? Wrong.
Well, okay this cake is absolutely incredible and it certainly deserves it’s share of talk. However, I’d say it’s reputation precedes it and therefore it doesn’t need too much explaining. On the other hand, I don’t know if I can help myself. I mean, no other cake can boast such classic southern charm.
In my family this is sort of an annual tradition because it’s my mother’s favorite choice on her birthday. I try to make it every year and when I do it’s something that everyone enjoy’s. There’s some quiet elegance to it’s perfect flavor combinations.
I think one of my favorite things about this cake is that it’s very simple to decorate without much hassle. Just cover it in pecans and squiggle on a border of your choice and voilà, it’s ready to be the perfect centerpiece of your next party!
Italian Cream Cake + Cream Cheese Frosting (Vegan)
- 1 cup aquafaba liquid from 2 cans cooked chickpeas
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/2 cup organic vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup coconut oil or organic vegetable shortening ,melted
- 1/4 cup applesauce can sub pumpkin puree if you don't mind a little more golden color
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups flour
- 1 cup chopped pecans toasted
- 1-1/3 cups sweetened shredded coconut
- 6 -7 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup vegan "butter" or organic vegetable shortening room temp
- 1/2 vegan cream cheese softened
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons almond milk
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans toasted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C) and line 3 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper. Pour aquafaba into bowl of stand mixer and beat until its begins to look light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Slowly drizzle in sugar while beating on high and continue until it forms stiff peaks (it should take about 5 more minutes). In separate bowl, stir together the lemon juice, applesauce, melted coconut oil, oil, and vanilla extract.
Now, while continuing to beat the aquafaba mixture, slowly pour in the liquids and beat just until evenly combined (the volume of fluffiness will fall a bit but don't worry, it was still worth it for the end result).
Now in another separate bowl, sift the flour, salt, and baking powder. Remove the mixing bowl from the mixer and add the sifted dry ingredients. Use a large spatula to gently fold in the ingredients just until fairly combined. (It's actually better to leave some small lumps then to overmix and lose volume.) Add the pecans and coconut and fold in well.
Divide batter into the pans as evenly as possible. Bake for 30-40 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and edges are lightly golden. Remove the cakes from oven and cool completely before frosting. (I prefer to cover them and place them in the freezer for at least an hour.)
Beat vegan butter and "cream cheese" in a large mixing bowl until creamed. Add vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar one cup at a time. Add milk beat until light and fluffy. You may need to add more milk as needed for frosting consistency to be light and fluffy.
Once cakes are cooled, use a sharp knife to loosen the sides and gently remove cakes from pans. Peel off the parchment and place one of the layers on your desired plate or tray. Spread a layer of the frosting on top and top with a second layer of cake. Repeat layering cake and frosting for each layer until the top layer is frosted.
Spread a generous amount of frosting on the sides of the cake and use a cake spatula to evenly spread it. You can decorate as desired or leave it simple. Top with pecans.
It's best to store the cake in something such as a cake dome to prevent it drying out and keep in the fridge.