Italian Cream Cake and the Genesis of Baking

December 29th, 2010

I wonder how many girls began their love of baking with Hasbro’s Easy Bake Oven.  They have been around since 1963 and make it easy and safe for young people to experiment in the kitchen.  There are even myriads of recipes on the internet if you run out of the mixes that come with the oven.

Rachel’s cousin Keenan got an Easy Bake Oven from her Aunt Kristen this year and because we were all snowed in, they spent some time making cookies together.

I predict that it will not be long until she is making cakes like this in the real oven.  This Italian Cream Cake was both beautiful to look at and delicious to eat.  The top was sprinkled with coconut and studded with pecans.  Keenan’s Grandmother, Becky, brought the cake to our Christmas dinner and was kind enough to share the recipe with me.  She is a great cook.  I remember one year she brought the most beautiful salad in the shape of a wreath.  The greens were sprinkled with cherry tomatoes and other edible decorations that made it very festive.

You had to be quick with your camera to get a picture of this cake.  Slices kept disappearing in a blink of an eye.  Because it is a three layer cake, it looks impressive.  The cream cheese frosting is easy to spread and I think even I, the reluctant baker, could make a cake like this.  Thank you for the recipe Becky.


1 stick of margarine (or butter)
2 cups sugar
2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup buttermilk
1 small can of coconut
5 egg whites, stiffly beaten
1/2 cup crisco shortening
5 egg yolks
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts

Cream butter, crisco and sugar.  Beat until mixture is smooth.  Add egg yolks and beat well.  Combine flour and baking soda and add alternately with buttermilk.  Stir in vanilla.  Add coconut and nuts.  Fold in egg whites.  Bake in 3 (8 inch) greased and floured cake pans in 350 degree F. oven until done.

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 stick butter, softened
1 box of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
shredded coconut for top
pecan halves for top

Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Add sugar and vanilla and beat until well combined.  You may have to add a little milk to make the right consistancy to spread.  Assemble and frost cake.  Decorate top with coconut and pecan halves.

Printable recipe

11 responses to “Italian Cream Cake and the Genesis of Baking”

  1. Rita says:

    That cake looks fabulous; dodn’t see too many recipes with crisco anymore. I was cookiing with my grandchidren; what a joy.

  2. When I was a little girl I had 3 Easy Bake ovens. Funny story … although my brother may differ …
    I was probably almost five years old when I recieved my first oven. The mixes ran out fast. So being the clever little baker that I was I substituted ingredients. For chocolate I thought my mother’s potting soil would would work just fine. I mixed it with water and used it to “ice” the cake. My older brother asked if he could try some. He did. LOL. He also later got me back. More on that story later.
    I will be trying the cake recipe above soon of course there will be no substitutions.

  3. Donnie says:

    That’s a very impressive cake and I love the Easy Bake Oven. Is it new or vintage? I’d love to look for one for the granddaughter when she’s a bit older. I remember them fondly. Take care.

  4. My sister got & Easy Bake oven in 1963! I remember the 1st cake we made! What a fond memory!

  5. Kristen says:

    What a great way to spend “snowed in” time. Baking together makes such lasting memories. I never had an easy bake oven, but for some reason, I was given a bunch of the mixes one year. My mom helped me make them and use the grown up oven that year. It was a great beginning to a life long love affair with baking.

  6. Big Dude says:

    Looks like a nice Christmas is being had with the little ones and some good eats are happening as well. I commented on the BBQ and Italian sandwich, but must have forgot to back and enter the secret code.

  7. racheld says:

    Just the words on the stack of boxes in Target last month gave me a little pang of longing. I was a bit too old for those—was already using the real oven when they came out.

    That is one of my very favorite cakes, and we find them occasionally at a local bakery, and even got one for Daddy’s birthday years ago in San Antonio. The frosting on the ones we’ve had is very shiny-smooth, almost like a poured fondant, and will break off like soft candy when the cake gets several days old. I don’t think a cream cheese frosting would get that solid.

    I’m gonna try this SOON. I’ve just never been any good at those “fold in the egg whites” recipes—maybe my folding hand is like my piecrust hand—just can’t get it right.

    Have a wonderful warm time-between-years with all your Lovies!!


  8. Pam says:

    Awesome Easy Bake oven! Your cake looks delicious! I have made the same exact cake many times since I saw it as a blue ribbon winner at the KY State Fair back in the 1970’s. It’s always a hit and disappears fast as you well know.

  9. How wonderful to cook with children. Love the little oven.

    Hope you have a very happy new year Penny.

  10. Toni says:

    Someone I know gave her daughter an Easy Bake oven this year for Christmas. That was the first I knew that they were still around!

    The cake looks yummy – can I have a slice?

  11. Karen says:

    I used to have an Easy Bake oven – so much fun! My granddaughter got one for her birthday last year and my daughter found out quickly how expensive the mixes are for the tiny pans. I found recipes on the internet and made a cookbook for her.

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