Chocolate Italian Cream Cake Recipe

This homemade Chocolate Italian Cream Cake is a spin on the classic favorite that we all know and love.

For years I have adored Italian Cream Cake, flavored with finely chopped pecans, coconut and a slathering of cream cheese frosting. It’s one of those tried and true southern favorites that belongs in everyone’s recipe box.

I had never heard of Chocolate Italian Cream Cake until recently, and boy have we been missing out on some serious deliciousness!

Our Chocolate Italian Cream Cake recipe is just as you might imagine, a moist chocolate cake with the familiar flavor and texture from coconut and pecans. When chocolate, coconut, and pecans are involved, you know it’s going to be a good recipe!

Every amazing Italian Cream Cake recipe calls for a good old fashioned cream cheese frosting. Our Chocolate Italian Cream cake is no different, only we decided to go with a Chocolate Cream Cheese frosting this time. The end result is out of this world!

We hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as we have! It is sturdy enough to hold up to fondant, and also works well for cupcakes (little to no dome).

Print Recipe

Chocolate Italian Cream Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) (226g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups (400g) sugar
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 2 cups (242g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (40g) unsweeted cocoa, lightly spooned into cup and leveled with back of knife
  • 1 tsp (5g) baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (363g) *No buttermilk? See substitution below
  • 1 tsp (4g) vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (85g) chopped pecans
  • 1 cup (75g) flaked sweetened coconut

For the Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) (226g) unsalted butter - Let the butter sit out for approximately 10 minutes. It should feel cool to the touch
  • 2( 8oz.) packages cream cheese (total weight 452g) Softened slightly, I used full fat cream cheese. Using reduced fat or the spreadable cream cheese will cause the frosting to be too soft. If using a hand mixer you may need to soften slightly. If using a kitchen aid or strong mixer, do not soften the cream cheese, just cut into pieces when adding to bowl.
  • 2 teaspoons (8g) vanilla extract
  • 6 to 6 1/2 cups (690g to 747g) powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup (20g) cocoa lightly spoon into cup and level
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted - We did not add the pecans to the frosting mix, though you could. We sprinkled pecans between the layers on top of the filling and pressed on the outside of the frosted cake.

Directions

Instructions for the Cake

  • Beat butter at medium speed until softened and smooth.
  • Gradually add sugar, beating on medium speed 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition until the yellow of the yolk has disappeared. Add Vanilla extract.
  • In a separate bowl, add flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt,
  • whisk at least 30 seconds to blend. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture (that is 3 additions of dry ingredients and 2 additions of buttermilk)
  • Mix at low to medium speed after each addition until blended. Add pecans and coconut; using a spoon, stir well.
  • Beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form. Using a spatula or spoon, gently fold into batter. Spoon batter into three 8 or 9″ round cake pans.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove and cool on wire racks.
  • ***No Buttermilk? Here is a substitution: Measure out 1 1/2 cups milk, add 1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons vinegar, let sit for 5 to 10 minutes, it will begin to look slightly curdled.

For the Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Cut the butter into slices and add to the bowl of your mixer. Beat on low to medium speed until the butter is softened and smooth.
  • Add cocoa and mix until blended.
  • Cut the cream cheese into pieces and add to the butter, beating at low to medium speed until incorporated.
  • Add the vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar beating on low speed until blended.
  • Increase mixing speed and beat until fluffy, approximately 1 minute, don't over beat. If beaten too long it will become very soft. If this happens, just refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • This frosting will pipe best if used while still very cool. You can make it in advance, refrigerate and when ready to use let it soften slightly (do not microwave) and remix.
  • Will frost a 3 layer 8 or 9 inch cake.
  • *For the filling, we spread the frosting between the layers then pressed in some of the chopped pecans (optional).
  • After the cake was completely frosted, we pressed the remaining chopped pecans around the bottom half of the cake. The traditional way to frost this cake is to stir all the pecans into the cream cheese frosting then frost the cake, but if you are wanting a smooth finish, I would recommend pressing the pecans in afterwards.

Thanks for stopping by! We hope you’ll check out our other tried and true classic cake and frosting recipes in our Recipes Section! If you are interested in cake tutorials also, don’t miss our Free Cake Tutorials Section.

Finally, if you would like to have access to our entire online cake video tutorial section, you should consider becoming a member of My Cake School!

We’ve made hundreds of cake tutorials over the years for all skill levels of cake decorating. We would love to have you! Find all of the details here: Membership Details for MyCakeSchool.com

Looking for our Classic Italian Cream Cake Recipe? You can find it here!: Italian Cream Cake from Scratch

Chocolate Italian Cream Cake (Find the Printable Version of this recipe above)

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) (226g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups (400g) sugar
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 2 cups (242g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (40g) unsweeted cocoa, lightly spooned into cup and leveled with back of knife
  • 1 tsp (5g) baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (363g) *No buttermilk? See substitution below
  • 1 tsp (4g) vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (85g) chopped pecans
  • 1 cup (75g) flaked sweetened coconut

For the Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) (226g) unsalted butter – Slightly softened
  • 2( 8oz.) packages cream cheese (total weight 452g)- Softened slightly, I used full fat cream cheese. Using reduced fat or the spreadable cream cheese will cause the frosting to be too soft.
  • 2 teaspoons (8g) vanilla extract
  • 6 to 6 1/2 cups (690g to 747g) powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup (20g) cocoa, lightly spoon into cup and level
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Directions for the Cake

  • Beat butter at medium speed until softened and smooth. Gradually add sugar, beating on medium speed 4 to 5 minutes. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition until the yellow of the yolk has disappeared. Add Vanilla extract.
  • In a separate bowl, add flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt, whisk at least 30 seconds to blend. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture (that is 3 additions of dry ingredients and 2 additions of buttermilk) Mix at low to medium speed after each addition until blended. Add pecans and coconut; using a spoon, stir well. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites.
  • Beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form. Using a spatula or spoon, gently fold into batter. Spoon batter into three 8 or 9″ round cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove and cool on wire racks.
  • Substitution for buttermilk. Measure out 1 1/2 cups milk, add 1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons vinegar, let sit for 5 to 10 minutes, it will begin to look slightly curdled.

Instructions For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Cut the butter into slices and add to the bowl of your mixer. Beat on low to medium speed until the butter is softened and smooth.
  • Add cocoa and mix until blended.
  • Cut the cream cheese into pieces and add to the butter, beating at low to medium speed until incorporated.
  • Add the vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar beating on low speed until blended.
  • Increase mixing speed and beat until fluffy, approximately 1 minute, don’t over beat. If beaten too long it will become very soft. If this happens, just refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • This frosting will pipe best if used while still very cool. You can make it in advance, refrigerate and when ready to use let it soften slightly and remix. Do Not Microwave
  • Will frost a 3 layer 8 or 9 inch cake.
  • *For the filling, we spread the frosting between the layers then pressed in some of the chopped pecans. After the cake was completely frosted, we pressed the remaining chopped pecans around the bottom half of the cake.

If you’d like, you can stir your crushed pecans into your cream cheese frosting. We decided to go with a cleaner look today by just pressing the finely chopped pecans around the sides, but you can’t go wrong either way.

­

Chocolate Italian Cream Cake Recipe Chocolate Italian Cream Cake Recipe Reviewed by Cake Lover on February 22, 2018 Rating: 5
Powered by Blogger.