Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Chocolate Italian Cream Cake

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
5 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 cup powdered cocoa
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 to 1 cup chopped pecans
Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Grease and flour three 8-inch cake pans; set aside.
Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Sift baking soda, flour and cocoa. Add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Stir in coconut, vanilla and nuts. Set aside.

Beat egg whites in a large mixing bowl at high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter.

Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.

When completely cooled, frost with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (1-pound) package powdered sugar
1/4 cup powdered cocoa
1/2 to 1 cup chopped pecans
Pecan halves for garnish

Beat softened cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.

Sift powdered sugar and cocoa. Gradually add to creamed mixture with vanilla extract, beating at low speed until light and fluffy. Stir in 1/2 to 1 cup chopped pecans.

Spread a thin layer of frosting on tops of completely cooled layers. Stack layers and frost sides of cake. Garnish with pecan halves.

The frosting may be barely enough to cover the large cake, so you may want to make 1 1/2 times the frosting recipe; however, it is extremely rich as is.
Melt margarine and milk in small saucepan. Combine powdered sugar and cocoa in a large bowl. Pour melted mixture over sugar mixture. Stir until smooth. Pour over hot cake immediately.

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