Italian Wedding Cake









Soooo, actually, this Italian Wedding Cake was my sister's birthday cake. You'll see my birthday cake in a few days. Hannah requested an Italian wedding cake, so I searched and searched for recipes. There are not a lot of Italian wedding cake recipes out there. I wasn't even sure what it was exactly, but it's white cake with pineapple, pecans and coconut in it, topped with cream cheese ? frosting. When my sister has had it at restaurants, they usually pour some sort of custard-based sauce on top.




Italian Wedding Cake 

2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, plus an additional 7 tablespoons for topping
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted
2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
1/2 teaspoon almond extract, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 13x9-inch baking dish/pan.

In a medium sized bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together butter and 1 1/4 cups sugar untii creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Beat in 2 eggs and 2 egg whites (reserving 2 yolks for custard topping) and vanilla, until well combined, about 2 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually beat in flour mixture, alternating with milk, until combined - about 2-3 minutes. Beat in pineapple, coconut and nuts until just combined.

Spread cake batter into prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until set, golden brown around edges, and a toothpick inserted into middle of cake comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the whipped topping, place 1 cup cream in a medium sized mixing bowl, along with 4 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract. Beat together using a mixer on high speed, until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes; spread on cake, cover, and chill in the refrigerator until serving.

To make the custard topping, whisk 2 additional egg yolks in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, whisk together additional 3 tablespoons sugar and additional 1 cup cream; bring to a simmer. Whisk half of cream into eggs, then whisk eggs back into saucepan. Cook mixture, stirring frequently, until custard thickens up, starts to bubble, and coats the back of a spoon. Strain into a medium bowl, whisk in additional 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, and chill, covered, in the refrigerator completely.

For serving, slice cake and ladle a little bit of the custard on top.

Makes 15 servings

70 comments:

  1. Best wishes for you! =)
    That's beautiful! This cake looks delicious! I'll be waiting for your b-day cake!

    ReplyDelete
  2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Emily :D :D
    I wish you are able to go to pastry school soon. I hope to go sometime as well! And the cake looks great, I'm surprised that there are only a few recipes out for it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Happy happy birthday! This recipe looks great although I'm not a fan of coconut or pineapples....hmmm....

    ReplyDelete
  4. Cake looks good! I can't wait to see your birthday cake. I read about it on facebook...sounds AMAZING!

    ReplyDelete
  5. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm praying that your culinary school dreams come true - you deserve to go and showcase your talents!!

    And I love your recipe for this cake!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Happy Birthday to you!! I hope you have a fabulous day. The cakes looks delicious...as always.

    ReplyDelete
  7. i hope you have a wonderful celebration of your exit from the womb, emily! meanwhile, this is unlike (and far superior to) any italian wedding cake i've seen. excellent work!

    ReplyDelete
  8. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Have a great day! Eat lots of cake :-D

    ReplyDelete
  9. Happy Birthday! You are still a young chick!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Happy, happy birthday to you! I forgot you were an Independence Day baby! Your sister's cake looks soooo good. I can't see wait to see what your cake looks like this year. I hope that your piggy bank is filled with that last $30,000 real soon so you can start your journey. Have a great day!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Happy Birthday! This cake looks delicious and so do you.

    ReplyDelete
  12. happy birthday, emily! your italian wedding cake looks sooo good :P my grandmother is italian and has a really awesome recipe for an italian wedding cake i'll have to share.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Happy Birthday! Hope you have a wonderful day. This cake looks delicious! Have to try it since it s got everything I love :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. HAPPY Birthday Emily! Wow, you are certainly gorgeous and very young looking 24 years old woman. May you have many many more ...

    Congratulation on your getting married too, LOL Kidding, kidding ... although getting married at 24 doesn't hurt either. I have my son when I was 25, and now I am almost 44, and I think I am the coolest mom according to my son. Anyway, your wedding cake for your sis's birthday sounds perfect and delicious. Can't wait for yours.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Happy Birthday, Emily!
    Italian Wedding cake is one of our favourites, too and was the biggest tier in our wedding cake!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Happy Birthday to You! What a great day to have #24! I cannot wait to try your cake recipe. It looks absolutely fantastic. Don't give up your dream ever..you were meant to bake!

    Enjoy your special day,
    deb

    ReplyDelete
  17. happy birthday and 4th of july, emily!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Happy Birthday! Can I have a slice of cake?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday, Young'in!!!

    You had me...just for a second there... with your getting married line.

    They should be waiting in line to beg to you to come to their cooking school.

    Your sister is sooo lucky to have a baker like you in-house. I can't wait to see your cake.

    Happy 4th too!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Happy Birthday! And, yum! This looks exactly like what I need to eat today, along with everything else I'm going to stuff in my face. And I'm already wondering how nicely this cake might convert to a chocolate version . . .

    ReplyDelete
  21. If something happens to Hannah (not that I'm saying anything will) I'm next in line to be your sister. BOOYA!

    And a very Happy Birthday to you, Em!!! In the words of Consey, keep cool!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Happy 4th and happy birthday!

    I've had Italian Wedding cake before but I've heard it's good. Yours looks even better than I've heard.
    ~ingrid

    ReplyDelete
  23. Happy Birthday- I think it would be nice to have the 4th of July as your birthday- you can pretend all the fireworks and parades are really for you.

    The cake looks soo good btw!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. So are you telling us you're engaged??

    Happy birthday!!
    Enjoy your national holiday; sounds like a wicked menu.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Happy Birthday!!!!
    Twenty Four is a special number, it carries a lot of spiritual meaning and symbolizes a lot of good and harmony. It'll be a good year for you, I'm sure! And I've got all my fingers crossed that you'll be able to accomplish your dream of going to culinary school quick, so you can start living out your passion!
    This cake looks delicious and moist, can't wait to see your own!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Happy BD! This cake looks decadent!

    ReplyDelete
  27. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    Looks like a big piece of that cake would be an awesome way to celebrate :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Emily,
    Happy Birthday. I just took the most amazing course at French Pastry school. You really need to check out their FT programs. World Class. The cake looks scrumtious.here's to your dream. I posted about the course if you want to check out.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Happy Birthday to you! Love this cake and can't wait to see yours.Hope you had a fun day celebrating!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Happy Birthday!
    Wow!
    That cake looks flipping awesome. When I get moved into my new place, I am so baking that cake! I have never been disappointed by any of your recipes. I have a feeling this one will blow my mind!

    ReplyDelete
  31. That cake looks fabulously rich and decadent! Great job! I agree that almond extract can be very good in small doses. VERY small doses, otherwise it dominates. I can't wait til the weather cools off a bit so I can try this cake.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Happy Birthday! It's my brother's birthday as well. What a great day for a party, eh? I hope you do get to realize your dream of culinary school soon. That's what I wish you for your b-day. The cake does look delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Happy birthday to you Em!!! Hope you had a marvellous birthday and 4th of July. A gorgopues cake also; your sister is a lucky gal.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Happy birthday to you Emily. Hope you had a great day and I hope that your dream of culinary school happens for you this year!!! The cake looks so good. It's the kind that I want to try and bake RIGHT NOW! I'm like you.....I love baking. Cooking is ok, but baking is it for me. I think it's because I love to eat cookies and cakes so much!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Happy Birthday! You crack me up with all your little jokes.
    The cake--um, YUM!
    Can you not get school loans/grants for culinary school? Just wondering.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Happy Birthday!

    Now I feel old.

    You are very talented, I hope that your pastry school dreams come true!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Man, your sis gets all the good stuff :)

    Can't wait to see what you did for your own day... last year was great, so I'm excited for this year.

    And 30 grand isn't too bad. That's only 1,000 cakes at $30 :)

    ReplyDelete
  38. Happy Birthday, Emily. I hope this is the year to enter culinary school and your dream comes true.

    Love the birthday cake!

    ReplyDelete
  39. whaou waht a cake! Some here would just love that (like me) Good luck for the culinary school!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Italian Wedding? Wheres all the sausage and pasta and vegetables like the soup?

    Happy Birthday!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Happy birthday, and thanks for this delicious looking recipe :) I think I'll be making it for my mother's birthday, these ingredients are some of her favorites. I just wanted to double check (perhaps I am missing something in the directions), but do you want the egg yolks to be tempered and added in to the cream/sugar for the custard (the last paragraph)? Or, if not, what should we do w/ the two egg yolks?

    ReplyDelete
  42. Happy Birthday! What a fun cake to celebrate!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Happy Birthday Emily. Can't wait to see your cake as well:D

    ReplyDelete
  44. Happy birthday!!! I hope you make it to culinary school this year - you are so talented!!!! Another beautiful cake...

    ReplyDelete
  45. Happy Birthday Emily!! Can't wait to see your cake :)

    ReplyDelete
  46. Happy birthday! Wow -stunner of a cake you've made there!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Thanks everyone!

    Sarah, thank you so much for catching that. I fixed it.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Yum! This almost seems healthy (well, the pineapple anyway). You are so talented now, I can't even imagine how great your food will be when you are finished school.

    Perhaps, you should have a fundraiser... similar to a "stag & doe" but for your one true love... culinary school (people make a killing at these things).

    Hey, I'm only half kidding (my other suggestion would be a "sugar" daddy ;)

    Happy birthday beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Hope you had an awesome b-day :)! Don't give up on your dream of becoming a pastry chef, it sounds like the perfect idea and I can't wait to read the post that tells us all about your first day at pastry school :)!

    That said, this cake looks awesome! I am a huge cake fan, I think it's one of my favorite sweets :) - but then again, I say that almost every time I see a tasty dessert :P.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Happy Birthday!! This cake looks so yummy! Your one from last year is really cute too :)

    ReplyDelete
  51. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Your married and kids comment totally had me stop and go "wow... she's a planner" hahaha

    ReplyDelete
  52. Happy belated birthday! I hope you had a great day!

    That cake looks tasty! I can't wait to try making it. Thanks for all of the great recipes!

    ReplyDelete
  53. With the determination you demonstrate on this blog, you will totally make it to culinary school! I did it at age 37 and had a fantastic time/worked my butt off. So, best of luck to you!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Makes me want to have an Italian Wedding just for the cake!!!
    I will definitely try this one...
    Maybe I'll make it for my Italian mother's birthday coming up next month!!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Happy Belated Birthday sweetheart!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Happy late birthday!!

    This wedding cake looks stunning!

    I hope that you soon reachnyour goal for culinary scool!!

    ReplyDelete
  57. I'm back! You take the best pictures of the goodies you make. You get them to look even more appetizing than they normally would. Thanks for sharing these wonderful recipes with us! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  58. Happy birthday! I have to disagree with you and Oprah 25 is the new 23... :)
    Hope you celebrated all day!

    ReplyDelete
  59. HAPPY BIRTHDAY EMILY!!!!

    This cake is seriously drool-worthy. Anything with custard, and I am there!

    ReplyDelete
  60. A belated happy birthday Emily! hope you had a fabulous day :) and that cake? food porn ;)

    ReplyDelete
  61. This is such an elegant cake! Happy birthday!!

    ReplyDelete
  62. Happy belated b'day to the little sister! You gals have really close b'days! Cool, more cake! That one sounds awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  63. Happy belated birthday! I can't wait to see your cake - if it's anything like this, I'm sure it was amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  64. Emily, Happy Birthday and I do hope that you'll juggle the blog, continue to virtually feed us all the while attending culinary school. I will happen.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Boy you two are born close to one another. I think you will so get into culinary school, if anyone deserves it you do. You are fantastic! Happy Birthday to Hannah as well! This cake looks equally divine! I am partial to chocolate so I vote your cake rocked!

    ReplyDelete
  66. Sometimes I think I get fatter just reading your blog...but it is absolutely worth it.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Hopefully this will be your year to go to culinary school. You are such a good baker!!! Everything you make I want to eat :)

    ReplyDelete
  68. wow, lady! this looks BEYOND delicious. I love it.

    ReplyDelete

Sup?