She loves a story that ends in CUPCAKES!

italian wedding cupcakeA few weeks ago, a friend shared a story with me.  I always love it when people share stories!  Stories of traditions, family and friends are extra special. Telling a story makes the world slow down, connect and listen.  My friend (Jenny) wanted to do something special for her sister (Michelle) on her birthday.  Every year for what seems like forever, Jenny’s mom would make an Italian Cream Cake/Italian Wedding Cake for Michelle’s birthday. I am sure they can remember just how it smelled, looked and tasted.  You see, their mom passed away recently.  So as Michelle’s birthday drew near, my friend pulled me aside and asked if I could recreate the cake.  I must tell you, I am always honored when I get asked to bake.  Well, I didn’t do a cake but created a cupcake version and it passed Jenny’s taste test with just a few tweaks.  So in honor of their mom and with a special happy birthday to my friends sister, here is the cupcake version of an Italian Cream Cake.  Enjoy it with friends and family as you share a story or two.

Ingredients

3/4 cup butter softened

2 cups sugar

3 eggs separated

1 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cups shredded coconut

1 cup (or so) chopped pecans (toasted)

Directions (makes about 20-24 cupcakes)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Cream butter, shortening and sugar

Add egg yolk one at a time, beating after each addition. (Yes, beating after each addition is a must!)

Stir in baking soda and buttermilk.

Add sifted flour into batter, alternating with the buttermilk mixture

Add vanilla, coconut and chopped pecans.

Beat egg whites and fold into batter.

Scoop into cupcake tin lined with papers

Bake for 12-14 minutes

Allow to cool completely before frosting

Frosting

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1/4 1b butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

6 cups (or so) powdered sugar

Directions

Beat cream cheese and butter

Add vanilla, powdered sugar (one cup at a time) and continue to beat until desired consistency

Spread or pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and top with toasted coconut and pecans.

Toasted coconut directions are usually found on the bag of coconut.

If you are pressed for time, here is the cheater version (cake):

  • 1 (16.25-ounce) package white cake mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 (3 1/2-ounce) can flaked coconut
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  1. Beat first 4 ingredients. Stir in coconut and pecans. Scoop into cupcake tins and follow the above recipe for frosting.
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