We went with another couple (our good friends) who live in Boulder, and met them for dinner before the dance. I was in charge of dessert- my favorite. In an effort to make something other than cookies, I decided to make cake. Italian Cream Cake to be exact. But unfortunately, this cake will fall under the category of "failure." It tasted much like a bran muffin with cream cheese frosting.
I am pretty sure I failed for three reasons.
Number one: I did not have the coconut extract or pecans the recipe called for, so I left them out and ended up with bran muffin. I should have added something else, like raisins or cinnamon, something to give it flavor.
Number two: My eggs did not whip up to stiff peaks. I know why I failed at this too. After my mixer's motor started to get hot and smell of burning, I decided to look online for tips about whipping egg whites and I discovered that egg whites will not whip up if they have touched fat. I had put my egg whites into the dirty bowl that had just mixed the batter. opps. I added the flat egg whites to the cake anyway.
Number three: It is Cooking Light. Don't get me wrong- I love Cooking Light, I continue to try their stuff, but come on people, when you cut out most of the fat my margin for mistakes disappears.
Despite these failures, the cake did get eaten in its entirety, and I learned that I can make some pretty good cream cheese frosting.
And on that note, here is the recipe that I followed, with the additional ingredients at the bottom. (Also, I halved the recipe so I did not have layers like the directions indicate.)
Italian Cream Cake
- 1 tablespoon light butter
- 1 (8-ounce) package Neufchâtel cheese
- 1 (1-pound) package powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Vegetable cooking spray
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup light butter
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 egg whites (at room temperature)
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
~Coat bottoms of 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray (do not coat sides of pans); line bottoms of pans with wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray, and dust with flour; set aside. (Do this- It makes the cake come out great!)
~Combine sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended.
~Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
~Combine 2 cups flour and baking soda; stir well.
~Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
~Stir in pecans and extracts.
Now move the batter to another bowl. Clean the mixing bowl. Dry it completely.
~Beat egg whites at high speed of a mixer until stiff peaks form (do not overbeat).
~Fold egg whites into batter; pour batter into prepared pans.
~Bake at 350° for 23 minutes.
~Let cool in pans 5 minutes on a wire rack. Loosen cake layers from sides of pans using a narrow metal spatula, and turn out onto wire racks. Peel off wax paper, and let cool completely.
~Cream butter and cheese at high speed of a mixer until fluffy.
~Add sugar; beat at low speed until well-blended.
~Add vanilla; beat well.
Place 1 cake layer on a plate, and spread with 2/3 cup Cream Cheese Icing; top with another cake layer. Repeat with 2/3 cup icing and remaining layer, ending with cake. Spread remaining icing over cake.
P.S. It was so nice here that day, I actually opened the window and set the cake in the sill to cool. How crazy is that?