{Recipe} Quick Italian Cream Cake

Quick Italian Cream Cake

A slice from the Quick Italian Cream Cake I made.

What Southern girl does not love cream cheese and pecans?

This recipe was shared with me by my Mother-In-Law several years ago and I fell in love!

Several of my friends have asked me for the recipe, so I thought I would share!

I hope you give it a try and enjoy it.

Quick Italian Cream Cake


  • 1 (16.25-ounce) package white cake mix (I used Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 (3 1/2-ounce) can flaked coconut
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 3 T Rum (optional)
  • Cream Cheese Frosting (below)


  1. Beat first 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes. Stir in coconut and pecans. Pour into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cakepans.
  2. Bake at 350° for 15 to 17 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
  3. Sprinkle each cake layer evenly with rum, if desired; let stand 10 minutes.
  4. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Chill 2 hours before slicing.

Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted


  1. Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla and pecans. Frost cake when completely cooled.

This recipe originally appeared here in Southern Living.




130 thoughts on “{Recipe} Quick Italian Cream Cake

    • I had this years ago and it was very good. I’ll probably make it during the holidays and see if it’s as good as I remember.

    • I just made this cake and the layers were a little on the thin side, like under 2 inches. The finished cake doesn’t look bad since the frosting in between seemed to help with the size but now I’m worried the layers were too flat.

      • Ok, just looked and my cake mix was only 15 oz!!! Dang it, that makes me angry that they would make it smaller. Oh well, I really really hope it still tastes good. I sent it as a gift.

      • They loved the cake, some even said it was the best they have ever had! I’m going to make another one today so I can taste it. Thanks for the help!

      • Oh yeah, meant to add that I looked at the store and could not find a cake mix that had 18.5 oz! I did find a 16.25 oz which was a little larger than the last one I bought. This was Betty Crocker and I could not find a pudding in the mix from Duncan Hines.

      • You are so right! When I went to make it this time I used a Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe White Cake mix with no pudding and I think it was even better. I suspect that much like how we used to get a gallon of ice cream, the cake mix brands have down sized the amount of product in the boxes in order to cut costs and not raise the prices. I am going to edit the recipe to reflect the new size.

      • Cake mix manufacturers did us a disservice when they lessened the amount from 18.25 to DH 16.5 or BC 15.25. Hopefully everyone complained to them. They told me it makes the same size cake–not. If you want to get back to the 18.25 size you have to buy 2 mixes and use one full mix and 6 tbls. from the second box of mix and the exact same amount of the other ingredients in this, Kristal’s, recipe. On some of the mixes, they’ve changed to a lesser amount of the other ingredients so be aware if you add, go back to the 18.25 amount of ingredients. That brings it back to the original size–of course the manufacturer wins because we buy more. They also told me they reduced the size so they wouldn’t have to raise the price—both happened in my marketplace.
        Thanks Kristal for sharing this recipe.

    • I made this cake and the layers were very thin, but the taste and finished look were very BIG! My daughter asked me in June to bake it for her December birthday!! What compliment!! )

  1. I just made this cake it was great everyone wants to know when I am going to fix it again .thank you so much

  2. Ran across this when a friend posted it on Facebook. I want this NOW. I am pretty sure I would eat any cake with cream cheese frosting and pecans – but this looks especially DELICIOUS!

    • I spread them on a baking sheet and baked them at 350 degrees for about 5-7 minutes. Watch them very carefully because they burn easily. They should deepen in color and become aromatic, but not burnt.

  3. I’ve tried to mail these recipes to myself but I’m not on the friends list. How do I put myself in that list? I have to copy recepies by hand.

    • You can subscribe to our posts via email at the top right of the page. Also you can highlight the text with your mouse and click control + c to copy the text and control + v to paste them in an email or to your notepad or word document. You can also print the page directly to your printer by right-clicking your mouse button and selecting print. I hope this helps!

      Thank you!

  4. I noticed you can make the cake without the rum, but that isn’t my problem! I absolutely detest coconut, but everything else about this recipe sounds scrumptious!!! Do you foresee any problems with leaving out the coconut?? I know coconut tends to add moisture to a cake, and I don’t want to mess up the overall density of the cake. What do you think??

  5. this looks so good . i have a older lady that works with me that love this cake so im making it for her birthday .. my question is i couldn’t find the cake with pudding i looked for the brand you said but nothing say with pudding.. and all the cakes are 15.5 oz so is my cake going to be any good? or should i add anything else to it ??

  6. Hi Kristal. This recipe looks like a winner. I have DH French Vanilla cake mix, without pudding. Should I add a pkg of instant vanilla pudding to the mix? Plus, can I use coconut oil instead of vegetable? I’d also like to make it in a bundt pan. These are a lot of changes and I’d appreciate your help.

      • Sorry this reply is 2 months late. I made the cake with DH French Vanilla cake mix (without pudding), added a box of instant vanilla pudding, and used the coconut oil instead of vegetable and made it in a bundt pan. My daughter said it was Sooo good. Thanks for this great recipe.

  7. Quick question because I’ve never done this. After I cook in the 3 cake pans and let sit in the cake pans for 10 min… I flip the cakes out of the pans straight onto wire racks (so nervous they’ll fall apart) is that right ? and then begin icing and stacking them??

    • Yes ma’am. I recommend following the baking times and temperatures on the cake mix box and maybe checking the progress periodically. When a toothpick inserted comes out clean its ready. Don’t put all of the batter in the pan. Only fill 2/3 full. This makes 3 layers and the 9×13 is equivalent to 2 layers. Make cupcakes with the rest.

  8. I know this Italian Cream cake would be prettier in layers but could I bake it in a 13x9x2 pan? If so at what temperature and for how long?
    Thanks JoAnn
    Sounds yummy

    • Yes ma’am. I recommend following the baking times and temperatures on the cake mix box and maybe checking the progress periodically. When a toothpick inserted comes out clean its ready. Don’t put all of the batter in the pan. Only fill 2/3 full. This makes 3 layers and the 9×13 is equivalent to 2 layers. Make cupcakes with the rest.

  9. I made this cake for Christmas and it was awesome. Everyone loved the flavor and how moist it was. I made it in a 9x13x2 pan it was perfect all the batter fit and it was perfect. Not as pretty as the layers but it was delicious Thanks for sharing… Happy New Year

    • Thank you so much for coming back to let me know how it turned out. I really appreciate you taking the time. I am so happy you like it. It is one of my favorites. I hope you have a happy, blessed and prosperous New Year!

  10. Hello. I made this cake last night and will serve it today. Do I need to keep it in the refrigerator? If so, do I need to let it sit out a bit before serving? Looks great, hope it turns out. I’m sure it will with all of the reviews I’ve read. Thank you

  11. I’m wondering how this would taste with butter cake mix instead of white cake mix? Are the ingredients added to the batter specifically to make it “butter cake” flavored? (save the coconut, which I would just add)

    • I have made this cake with the ‘butter’ cake mix that didn’t have pudding in the mix. So, I added a box of instant pudding. Plus, instead of vegetable oil I used coconut oil. It was fantastic.

  12. Looks yummy! I plan to make it on Saturday for a family reunion Sunday. Should it be refrigerated overnight, until I get ready to serve it?

  13. so glad to know it may be made in a 9 by 13 in pan–used to make this from scratch,and it took all day! what a great idea to make it like this recipe!!thank you so much for sharing and love the way you answer all those emails–you are so thoughtful!

    • Yes ma’am! Be sure to only full the pan 2/3 full. It will need to cook longer. Be sure to check it periodically to test for doneness. If a toothpick inserted comes out clean it is ready.

  14. Pingback: The First Annual Treading of the Grapes | barbintn

  15. I am making this cake right now in a bundt pan and this definitely needs more time, I lowered the temperature to 325 and am leaving it like for 45 min according to the box. I am also wondering if the cake can be sliced in two layers so as not to lose the layer look.

  16. To add a sugestion about the cake mixes that are now 15 oz I alway’s add 6 TBS of bisquick to the cakes I make…it like a cake extender. I use 3 eggs,1/3 cup of oil, 1 cup of water. Sometimes I use 1cup of milk instead of water.Batter will be thick but it turns out higher.

  17. Pingback: {Recipe} Quick Italian Cream Cake – I must try this! | Pink Cobwebs

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