My Italian Wedding Cake Recipe

Italian Wedding Cake is a spectacular cake, no doubt about it. It’s one of those cakes that are ideal for special occasions. For example my sister and I made it in celebration of me graduating high school which was GREAT by the way. You have no idea how happy I am to have school out of the way FOREVER!!!!

! Because of the coconut, nuts, and buttermilk in the cake it is out of this world moist and DELICIOUS ✨❤️!! It kind of gives off that German Chocolate cake vibe huh?

An original Italian Wedding cake recipe  calls for shortening but me, I really enjoy butter so I also changed that when I made this. Please take the time to toast the coconut and candy your nuts because really it adds a whole new flavor to your cake 😍. Now I didnt have enough cake tins so here is a recipe for 3 layers. I do reccomend doubling it though if you want to go all out!(-:

Please note: I used 1 8 in, 1 10 in, & 1 4 in by 1/2 in(not pictured because we ate it) for my cake. but this recipe will work swimmingly for up to 3 9in cake pans.(which ideally is the way it should be) 

Ingredients you’ll need:(for a 3 layer 9 in cake tins) 

  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tsp pure almond extract
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole buttermilk
  • 14 oz package sweetened flaked coconut(7 oz for the batter, & 7 oz for the decorations)
  • 1 1/2 cup of pecans (roughly chopped)

Frosting:(I had maybe 8 oz of frosting left, but that didnt bother me!(-:

  • 2, 8 oz neufashel cream cheese, softened(or the one with 1/3 less fat!
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 lb powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of vanilla bean paste!
  • 1 tsp of almond extract
  • 7 oz sweetened flaked coconut… You BETTER toast it!
  • 1/2 cup of pecans… you better candy them!


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter  3  9inch round cake pans or spray with baking spray.(but what I reccomend if cutting parchment paper to the size of the tin and placing it in after swipping a bit of butter, so it sticks, but also for a stress free release of the cake when it comes out of the oven.) Set aside. Sift the flour, baking soda and baking powder together.(this REALLY makes a difference !)  In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the softened butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla bean paste and almond extract. Beat until creamy and light beige in color, around 4 minutes.  

Add the eggs 1 at a time beating well after each addition. Add the sifted dry ingredients alternating with the buttermilk. After all has been added, increase the mixer speed and beat until fully combined.💓 add the coconut and chopped pecans and mix on low!

Divide the batter evenly amongst the cake pans and bake for 25 mins. Add up to 5 minutes if needed. Oh and if you need to check if it is done, use a toothpick . If it comes out clean after being put in middle of baked cake then it is done! Make sure to cool the cakes completely before frosting… Hahaa not a pretty picture🙈.

I just realized I have no pictures of me making the cake😒… Oh well. Just enjoy my master piece.

P.S. My “how to’s” for toasting coconut and making candied nuts is closer to the bottom of the screen if you arent sure on how to do it!

To make the frosting!!:

Cream together the cream cheese and butter until light, fluffy & pale yellow in color. Add the vanilla bean paste and almond extract. Then g radually add the powdered sugar, beating until creamy and smooth.(be careful this is alot of powedered sugar so you need to add it slowly or you will end up with a white kitchen and hair!!!(-;

After your cakes are cooled place the cake on its serving dish(the one I used was my moms that she bought in germany!) begin to frost atop each layer.

Add the final layer to the top and then begin to frost the sides. Finish the sides off with your toasted coconut and top with the candied pecans. Decorate it however you want! This should serve around 12 people but that depends on how big you cut your slices.

Vegan candied pecans:

This is something my sister came up with…we make these when we want a scrumptious yogurt parfait or even a nice little surprise with our ice cream!!!


  • 1 1/2 cups of pecans
  • 1-3tablespoons of water
  • 1/2-1 cup of brown sugar(depending on how coated you want them)


  1. Get a pan, and put it on high. 
  2. Place your water and brown sugar in pan
  3. You want to cook that until it starts to bubble.
  4. Once it starts to bubble add the nuts
  5. Turn off heat
  6. Mix mix mix until they are all coated
  7. Transfer candied nuts to a flat surface lined with parchment paper!

Toasted coconut:


  • You need 7 oz of sweetened & flaked coconut
  • 1 nonstick pan


  1. Pour the coconut into the non stick pan and turn the heat to medium high.🌶
  2. Allow the coconut to sit in the pan until the heat comes up to temperature. You’ll begin to see slight browning and you’ll smell the sugar on the coconut beginning to caramelize. 💘😍😍
  3. Begin to stir the coconut keeping it moving constantly. You should then lower the heat to medium stirring constantly.  
  4. Do this for about 3 minutes until the coconut appears toasted.
  5. Remove from heat
  6. Transfer to a flat surface covered with parchment paper and allow it to lay flat and cool.

I really hope you enjoyed reading this post and I hope you make it! This cake really is tremendous and isnt at all as hard as it sounds!!!

If you are not already follow me on my facebook page and instagram!

  • Facebook: Ciao Bella Elle
  • Instagram: @ciaobellaelle

Until next time 

xoxo Rae

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