Dark Italian Creme Cake

My friend, Southern Fried Momma, lives in a wonderful old house that used to belong to her husband's grandparents. One of the best parts for her is the collection of items that were left in the house. Everything from furniture, to holiday decorations, to cookbooks have been found in the nooks and crannies of her home. A couple of weeks ago she passed along a cookbook that she found. It is from the early 1970's and has an excellent collection of recipes in it. And yes, it is a, "church lady", cookbook. They are the finest, you know.

I already have several recipes marked that I will be trying, but this was is my first. I have had your standard Italian Creme Cake, but never the, "dark", variety. So, let's get started, shall we?

Judging from my cock-eyed, ariel view of the ingredients you will need the following:

2 cups brown sugar
1 cup butter
5 eggs, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
5 tbsp cocoa
1 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup raisins (I used golden raisins that I soaked for 20 minutes, and drained before using)
1/2 cup finely chopped nuts

Cream sugar and butter together until light. Add eggs and beat thoroughly. Sift together flour, cocoa, and cinnamon. Blend the buttermilk with the egg mixture, alternating with the flour. Beat well with each addition. Blend in the vanilla. Add the coconut, raisins, and nuts. Mix lightly, but thoroughly.

At this point I am going to go all Pioneer Woman on you and show you how it really goes down in my kitchen.....it's a mess when I bake.

Turn batter into two 9-inch layer pans which have been greased and floured. **I greased my pans and then dusted them with cocoa. Something I usually do when baking dark and/or chocolate cakes. ** Place in a cold oven, then turn on the oven, set at 325 degrees and bake for 35-40 minutes.
I misread this last step and preheated my oven. However, they baked just fine for 35 minutes.

Caramel Icing
1 stick butter
1/4 tsp salt
2tbsp evaporated milk
1 cup brown sugar
powdered sugar
Mix all ingredients in saucepan, except for the powdered sugar. Heat just to melt butter and dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and add enough powdered sugar to obtain the desired spreading consistency. Spread on cooled cake.
I preferred to make a thinner icing, almost achieving a glaze-like consistency for my cake. You should also take this to mean that when I reached in the cabinet for the powdered sugar I realized that I wouldn't have quite enough to achieve spreading consistency. Not to worry, the flavor was unaffected and it still turned out great.
*This is a great/easy/flavorful icing recipe that I will definitely use again.

A few hours after the cake was complete, it was quickly disappearing. Hope you try this recipe....good luck!


  1. I have an old tried and true recipe for the light variety, but I just might have to try this dark one! Looks rich and wonderful.

    (we have the same black mixer, btw)

  2. "Dark Italian" makes me think of "tall, dark Italian". :)

  3. oooh, church lady cookbooks are DEFINITELY the best, as are fundraiser schoolmum cookbooks! i have many of both :)

    PS This is actually Nin from PeachyHollow. I changed to a new blog, too many people I actually know were reading the old one and I felt stifled. Here's the new link: www.virginiapeachblog.com :)

  4. Yummy! I'm adding this to my list to make for Christmas : )

  5. I'm so glad you enjoyed the cookbook. My grandmother gave me a copy years ago and I have used it so much the cover is about to fall off. One of my favorites is Country Style Porkchops and Gravy which are baked in a cast iron skillet.
    Wonderful, fattening pork chops...yum!

  6. That sounds absolutely delicious. And that carmel icing...sinful!
    I'm definitely trying this. Thanks!


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