July 20, 2010

She had her cake!

Each year The Heller family takes a trip to the Colorado river. We have done this annually longer than I have been alive. I have blogged about it several times. Last year my mom told me the only thing she wanted for her birthday, which we generally celebrate at the river, was an Italian Cream Cake. While, I am not a huge baker, I wanted to give her the one thing she asked for. And with only a few bumps in the baking process, I succeeded. Even some of the picky eaters in the family enjoyed!
I am baking this cake again this week to take to our 2010 river weekend....just as I did for her last year. I do not recall a year of river weekend that I went and she was not there. I will miss her dearly. But I know she would want us to carry on a tradition that has been going on longer than my lifetime......And we will all eat cake!


1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups white sugar
5 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flaked coconut
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups all-purpose flour

8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons light cream
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease three 9 inch round cake pans. In a small bowl, dissolve the baking soda in the buttermilk; set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together 1/2 cup butter, shortening and white sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs, buttermilk mixture, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 cup coconut, baking powder and flour. Stir until just combined. Pour batter into the prepared pans.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

To Make Frosting: In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, 1/2 cup butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla and confectioners' sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Mix in a small amount of cream to attain the desired consistency. Stir in chopped nuts and remaining flaked coconut. Spread between layers and on top and sides of cooled cake.

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