Italian Cream Cake

Becky left me an email earlier this month, wanting  my recipe for Italian Cream Cake. Well, as it happens, that’s my favorite birthday cake, and guess what ? My birthday was this week, so I made one. And can I just say. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!  This is layer on layer of  to die for flavor !

Much more Southern in heritage than Italian, this cake’s close cousin is the Hummingbird Cake that I dearly love as well. It’s popularly served at weddings, baptisms, birthdays and holidays. And is so moist, it almost melts in your mouth!

The  recipe itself appeared in Southern Living Magazine somewhere in about 2002. Its one of those I bothered to write onto a recipe card, instead of destroying the magazine (which ultimately took a swim in the gulf thanks to hurricane Ivan). I’m going to have to rewrite that card for my box now, its getting a little tattered.  The addition of brown sugar gives the cake its caramel color and flavor.  Don’t let the ‘steps’ in this one throw you off, it is pretty simple to assemble, you just have to get your ‘ducks in a row’. 

Go ahead, grab a print of this one, and you’ll be the hit of your next holiday party!

5.0 from 3 reviews

Italian Cream Cake
 
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A Favorite Southern Cake For Birthday’s or Christmas. Adapted From Southern Living Holidays 2002 (or thereabouts)
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Southern
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 3 cups shaved coconut
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • Simply Quick Caramel Frosting
  • Simply Quick Cream Cheese Frosting
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Place shaved coconut in a single layer in on a cookie sheet
  3. Place pecans on a second cookie sheet.
  4. Bake coconut and pecans at the same time 5 to 7 minutes or until coconut is toasted and pecans are lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring each halfway through cooking.
  5. Using a heavy stand mixer beat butter and shortening at medium speed until fluffy
  6. gradually add granulated and brown sugars, beating well.
  7. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
  8. Add vanilla, beating until blended.
  9. Combine flour and baking soda
  10. add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  11. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition.
  12. Stir in pecans and 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut.
  13. Using another bowl,beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form, and fold into batter.
  14. Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.
  15. Bake at 350° for 23 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  16. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely (about 1 hour).
  17. Prepare Quick Caramel Frosting. Immediately spread frosting between layers and on top of cake. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting over sides of cake; press 3 cups toasted shaved coconut onto sides of cake.

 By the way, for those of you who have asked,  you can subscribe to  Southern Living (1-year auto-renewal) or get  SOUTHERN LIVING Magazine instantly on your Android device.  

Southern Living Magazine is as much a part of the South as sweet tea, ask any southern woman. Odds are fairly high she’ll have at least the last 6 months of the magazine on her shelf. I love the magazine personally, and I think you will to. They have not sponsored this post or provided me any payment to mention them.

Chick-Fil-A Copy Cow Recipe

We LOVE. I mean  REALLY LOVE  Chick-Fil-A® around here. Somehow the craving hits hardest on Sundays though! And as we all know, Mr. Cathy has made it company policy from the very beginning that  the stores would be closed on Sunday, so that his staff can enjoy worship at their personal houses of worship and with their families. Wonderful policy if you ask me, but I digress.

I’ve always been one to taste all the subtleties of my food and when I’ve found a meal in a restaurant particularly appetizing, I’ve set out to figure out the components so that I could reproduce the same meal at home. Sometimes with less than success and sometimes.. like this one, EUREKA! I’ve become a copy-cow!

Mind you, I have NO connection with the Chick-Fil-A® company, nor do I know their secret recipe (but I think I’ve gotten darned close) Give these ‘nuggets’ a try! The recipe can be used for  strips or boneless chicken breasts as well, with equally good results.   I usually fry them up and toss them into a fresh garden salad and serve up with our favorite ranch or honey mustard dressing. Makes a great week-end meal or a quick and simple week day dinner.

Home Made Fli-A Nuggets
 
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Our version of the Original Chick-Fil A
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Buttermilk (enough to cover and soak chicken pieces)
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized nuggets
  • ¾ cup bread crumbs made from dry, toasted bread
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Lawry’s® season salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup buttermilk (if needed to throroughly cover chicken)
  • 2 eggs, whisked thoroughly
  • vegetable oil, for frying
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, add chicken pieces and buttermilk.
  2. Allow chicken to soak in the buttermilk as long as you can (at least one hour, but preferably overnight).
  3. Place dried bread into a food processor and process until fine.
  4. Pulse in the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, sugar, seasoning salt, pepper and paprika.
  5. In a large dutch oven (or deep fryer if you have one), heat 2 inches of vegetable [or peanut] oil to 350 degrees over medium-high heat.
  6. Transfer flour mixture to a bowl.
  7. Whisk eggs in a separate bowl.
  8. Piece by piece, remove chicken from buttermilk and dredge in bread crumb/flour mixture, then egg wash, then back into bread crumb/flour mixture.
  9. Once all pieces have been coated, you can start putting them into the hot oil.( Be careful not to overload your fryer basket or place too many pieces into your oil, the chicken won’t cook evenly and will take longer to cook)
  10. Cook for about 1½ minutes, then turn chicken pieces over, if necessary, and cook for another 1½- 2 minutes.(look for a golden brown crust, don’t over cook)
  11. Transfer chicken pieces to a paper towel lined plate to absorb any excess oil.
  12. OR place on metal rack with paper toweling below for a crisper nugget.
  13. Repeat with remaining chicken.
Notes
Toss with a fresh salad or serve with fries or as a sandwich. Works equally well with boneless chicken breast or strips.

GranMa’s Skillet Biscuits

Welcome! Its Day 4 of our Birthday Celebration here at Simple Plate. Read on to enter and don’t forget to enter the first three days giveaways here, here and here.

TGIF!!!  I’m looking forward to the weekend! How about you? Weekends in THIS southern home bring all sorts of great breakfast treats. Sundays bring on the biscuits, gravy, bacon and eggs, and occasionally a side of hashbrowns.  And no, as much as I’d like to say someone else gets the joy of whipping this up, a la Waffle House, it is I who brings on the bacon! I bring home a little too!

We’ve changed our eating habits significantly (shhhhhh don’t tell anyone  here).  Uncured bacon, organic eggs  and veggies have replaced the hormel and standard fare we were used to. But the flavors? They’re even more yummy! What has not been replaced are the staples of a southern breakfast.  Biscuits. I have such warm memories of my GranMa making homemade bread and biscuits. And I’ve taken her skillet biscuits recipe and updated it for today’s cook.

I challenge you to make these super easy, homemade biscuits  and to tell me they’re not the BEST you’ve ever tasted.  I promise you’ll not ever reach for the doughboy variety again!  Go Ahead, grab a print and let me know how MUCH you love these!

 

GranMa’s Sunday Biscuits
 
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Deep South Goodness
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 cups organic white wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoons organic sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 2 tablespoons butter (cold)
  • 1 cup buttermilk, chilled
  • 3 tablespoons butter
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Using your fingertips, rub butter and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture looks like crumbs or cornmeal. (The faster the better, you don’t want the fats to melt.)
  3. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the chilled buttermilk. Stir with wooden spoon just until the dough comes together. The dough will be Very sticky.
  4. Turn dough onto floured surface, dust top with flour and gently fold dough over on itself 5 or 6 times.
  5. Press with your floured hands into a 1-inch thick round.
  6. Cut out biscuits with a 2-inch cutter, being sure to push straight down through the dough.
  7. Place scrupulously clean iron skillet into oven and preheat to 450 degrees. Once preheated, melt 3 tablespoons butter in skillet
  8. Place biscuits into hot buttered skillet so that they just touch. (use a potholder or mitt to remove skillet from oven its gonna be HOT)
  9. Reform scrap dough, working it as little as possible and continue cutting if necessary.
  10. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown (they’ll be kinda high) (watch closely so that the bottoms don’t burn!)
  11. Allow biscuits to cool slightly in the skillet then remove with a flat spatula to serving plate or basket.
Notes
I use Bob’s Red Mill Organic Unbleached Flour and Domino Organic Sugar both are available at Fresh Markets, Whole Foods and online. If you need a Gluten Free Biscuit, look at Bobs Red Mill Recipes.

 

 

Guess What I’m giving away today? I love my iron skillets, I’ve begged for a variety of them at Christmas, Mother’s Day and my birthday. I’ve lucked on to a number of them at estate sales, garage sales and flea markets (most in pretty poor condition, I’ll post more about those soon and teach you to clean cast iron) . I want YOU to experience the ONE tool that EVERY southern cook must have in her arsenal. A cast iron skillet! So today I’m giving  away this

The perfect size for scrambled eggs, cornbread or for getting a great sear on a chicken breast or 2. This 6″ preseasoned beauty will be a welcome addition to your cookware. No need for weeks of seasoning, (its already done for you). And this small wonder is from the folks at Lodge Cast Iron Cookware in Tennessee.

So here are the Rules. Yes we have to have rules, ‘yall!

1. Leave A Comment On This Post telling me about your Weekend Breakfast Traditions.

2. See #1

Of course I’d love it if ‘yall would pin this post and folllow me there. And I’d love it even more if you’d tweet and facebook this post and follow me there too! But those aren’t mandatory.

And don’t forget to enter the first three days giveaways here, here and here. Oh and there are some great recipes on those pages too!

This contest will end on April 17, 2012 at midnight and I’ll draw a random comment number and announce the winner on April 18th. Good luck ‘yall!

disclaimer: I have no material relationship with the folks at Bob’s Redmill or at Lodge Cookware (even though I’d love to)  I simply use these products and I want you to fall in love with them as I have.

THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED