Print Recipe

Fresh Orange Italian Cream Cake

You'll need to start this cake a day ahead because the Fresh Orange curd must chill for 8 hours.



  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • Fresh Orange Curd
  • 3 cups Pecan-Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, lightly toasted (optional)
  • Glazed Pecan Halves (optional)

Fresh Orange Curd

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups fresh orange juice (about 4 pounds navel oranges)*
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange rind

* You can substitute reconstituted orange juice for fresh; however squeezing navel oranges only takes about 15 minutes and can make all the differences in this cake's fresh flavor.

Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (16 ounce) package confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Glazed Pecan Halves

  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • Vegetable cooking spray


  1. Cake: Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add sugar, beating well.
  2. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
  3. Add vanilla extract; beat until blended.
  4. Combine flour and baking soda; add to sugar mixture alternatively with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition.
  5. Stir in 1 cup flaked coconut.
  6. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter.
  7. Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  9. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
  10. Spread 3/4 cup chilled Fresh Orange Curd between layers; spread remaining Fresh Orange Curd on top of cake. (The Fresh Orange Curd layer on top of cake will be very thick.) If desired, loosely cover cake and chill 8 hours. (Chilling the cake with the curd between the layers helps keep the layers in place and makes it much easier to spread the frosting.)
  11. Spread 3 cups Pecan-Cream Cheese Frosting on sides of cake, reserving remaining frosting for another use.
  12. Sprinkle 1/2 cup toasted coconut over top of cake, if desired.
  13. Arrange Glazed Pecan Halves around top edge of cake, if desired. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
  14. Arrange Boxwood Garland around bottom edge of cake before serving, if desired.
  15. Fresh Orange Curd: Combine sugar and cornstarch in 3-quart saucepan; gradually whisk in fresh orange juice.
  16. Whisk in lightly beaten eggs. Bring to a boil (5 to 6 minutes) over medium heat, whisking constantly.
  17. Cook, whisking constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until mixture reaches a pudding-like thickness. Remove from heat, and whisk in butter and grated orange rind. Cover, placing plastic wrap directly on curd, and chill 8 hours.
  18. Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting: Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add confectioners' sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Beat at high speed until smooth; stir in pecans.
  19. Glazed Pecan Halves: Combine pecan halves and corn syrup, stirring to coat pecans. Line at 15 x 20-inch jellyroll pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil; coat with cooking spray. Arrange pecan halves in an even layer in pan.
  20. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 minutes; stir using a rubber spatula.
  21. Bake 8 more minutes.
  22. Remove from oven, and stir; arrange in an even layer on wax paper, and let cool completely.

Yield: about 4 cups Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting; 2 cups Glazed Pecan Halves

Cake may be frosted with Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting immediately after adding the Fresh Orange Curd, but the cake layers will not be as steady.

Source: Southern Living