Spanish Cream Cake is a delicious moist cake made with a delectable pairing of coconut and pecans. It’s frosted with a dreamy cream cheese frosting and it’s simply perfect in every way.

Spanish Cream Cake is a classic southern favorite and it’s no wonder. It’s super moist and made with lots of coconut and pecans, and it’s finished with a delectable cream cheese frosting. It’s the perfect cake for any special occasion.

Funny thing. This cake recipe has been in our family since I was a teenager. I never knew it as any other name until Pinterest was created. Now I see posts for Italian Cream Cake all over Pinterest, which is pretty much the same cake recipe. Regardless of what it’s called it’s truly delectable!

Spanish Cream Cake.

You’ll be surprised at how many people will love this cake when you serve it. Over the years, I’ve even converted some of my coconut hating friends into fans of this delectable cake. Your guest will be coming back for seconds!

Mixing the cake batter

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a different bowl and set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the same bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar, butter and oil together on medium speed, until fluffy.  Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  4. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry. Once the dry is incorporated, mix in the vanilla, coconut, and pecans on low speed. Gently fold in the whipped egg whites. Don’t mix, just fold. There should be streaks of egg whites throughout the batter. This is normal.

Baking the cake layers

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. You’ll need three 9-inch cake pans. Place a round of waxed or parchment paper in each one. Butter the paper and the insides of each pan. Dust each pan with flour, tapping each pan to remove any excess flour.
  2. Divide the batter evenly between the 3 cake pans. Gently shake the pans to even out the batter and remove air bubbles. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until a toothpick test comes out clean. Allow cake layers to cool in pans for 10 minutes, then run a sharp knife around the edges and invert them onto wire racks to completely cool.

Making the frosting

  1. Add the cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer or use a hand mixer. Beat the cream cheese on high for about 1 minute until it’s very smooth and free of lumps. Add the butter and vanilla and beat on high for about 30 seconds to incorporate.
  2. On medium-low speed, sift the sugar in, one cup at a time, mixing to incorporate each time.  If needed, add a little more sugar for the perfect spreading consistency. Mix on medium speed until smooth. Fold in the pecans.

Pro Tips for this recipe

  • It’s easier to separate eggs when they are cold. It’s best to whip egg whites once they are at room temperature. They will create more volume at room temperature.
  • With any frosting recipe, beat the cream cheese first by itself, until all lumps are removed and it’s smooth and creamy before adding the butter or other ingredients.
  • If you prefer totally flat cake tops, feel free to remove the domed top with a serrated knife. I’m not that fussy, since I’m not making a fancy wedding cake here.
  • Once you transfer the cake batter to the 3 pans, I recommend lightly tapping them on a counter to remove any air bubbles.
  • With any cake recipe, fluff up your flour before measuring it, then spoon it into your measuring cup, and level it off with a knife.
  • Make sure your egg yolks, butter, and buttermilk are at room temperature.
  • Don’t over mix the cake batter. Mix only long enough to incorporate the dry ingredients. Over mixing will result in a dry cake.
  • When folding in the egg whites, don’t mix them with a spoon, or mixer. Cut down through the egg whites and batter with a spatula, turning it inward onto itself. Then repeat. Mixing will deflate the egg whites. You don’t have to thoroughly mix them in. You should still see streaks of the egg whites in the batter.
  • Make sure your baking soda is not expired. If it is, your cake will not rise. Click here to see how to check it.

Frequently asked questions

Can I freeze this cake?

You can freeze the unfrosted cake layers for up to 3 months. Wrap them separately in two layers of plastic wrap, then heavy foil. Place level in your freezer or in a cake container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

How should I store this cake?

This cake needs to be refrigerated, due to the cream cheese in the frosting, unless you’re serving it the same day it’s made. Remove it from the refrigerator about one hour before you plan to serve it for best flavor. The leftovers will stay fresh for up to 5 days if covered and refrigerated.

How do I toast coconut or pecans?

Spread pecans on a shallow baking sheet and bake at 350 for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring halfway through, until they are fragrant and lightly toasted. Remove immediately and cool. For coconut, do the same thing, but stir often and watch carefully. Coconut takes less time.

If you make this recipe please rate it, and leave a comment below on how you liked it. I love hearing from you!

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Italian Cream Cake.

Spanish Cream Cake

  • Author: Cindy @mycountrytable
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 12 Servings 1x
  • Category: Cake/Dessert
  • Method: Bake

Description

Spanish Cream Cake is a classic southern favorite. It’s super moist and made with a delicious pairing of coconut and pecans, and a delectable cream cheese frosting. It’s a perfect cake for any occasion!


Ingredients

Units Scale

CAKE

  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup full-fat buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup pecans coarsely chopped

FROSTING

  • 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 116 ounce package of powdered sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • Optional: Pecan halves for decorating the top
  • Optional: Toasted coconut for decorating the top


Instructions

CAKE

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. You’ll need three 9-inch cake pans. Place a round of waxed or parchment paper in each one. Butter the paper and the insides of each pan. Dust each pan with flour, tapping each pan to remove any excess flour. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a different bowl and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  4. In the same bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar, butter and oil together on medium speed, until fluffy.  Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  5. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry. Once the dry is incorporated, mix in the vanilla, coconut, and pecans on low speed. Gently fold in the whipped egg whites. Don’t mix, just fold. There should be streaks of egg whites throughout the batter. This is normal.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the 3 cake pans. Gently shake the pans to even out the batter and remove air bubbles. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until a toothpick test comes out clean. Allow cake layers to cool in pans for 10 minutes, then run a sharp knife around the edges and invert them onto wire racks to completely cool.

FROSTING

  1. Add the cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer or use a hand mixer. Beat the cream cheese on high for about 1 minute until it’s very smooth and free of lumps. Add the butter and vanilla and beat on high for about 30 seconds to incorporate. On medium-low speed, add the sugar, one cup at a time, mixing to incorporate each time.  If needed, add a little more sugar for the perfect spreading consistency. Fold in the pecans.
  2. Place one cake layer on a dessert plate and spread about 3/4 cup of frosting over it. Place a second layer and repeat. Place the third layer on top and frost the sides and top of the cake.
  3. Optional: Place pecan halves around the top edge of the cake. Place toasted coconut in the center of the top.

Keywords: Spanish cream cake, cake, Italian cream cake, cake recipes, desserts,