Italian Cream Cupcakes

          My mom’s favorite dessert from Desiderio Italian Restaurant is their Italian Cream Cake.   I’ve tried it, and it is amazing!  I thought I’d try to recreate it at home, but  I made a few “Linda changes”.  I decided to make cupcakes, of course! And make some maple pecans to pile up on top. Most Italian Cream Cakes have nuts- usually walnuts in the cake and in the frosting- usually a cream cheese frosting. This is my twist on a classic. Excited for you to try these Momma!  3  

My favorite part about this cupcake is actually the cake. It is very moist and flavorful. I think one of the secrets to it’s moistness is the process of separating the eggs. The yolks give the cake a nice richness, while the whipped egg whites give it a light and fluffy texture.  The wet ingredients include butter, shortening, sugar, 5 egg yolks (make sure to reserve your egg whites), and vanilla.  Cream the butter and sugar together, add the egg yolks- one at a time if possible, mixing well after each addition. Then add vanilla extract. 
wet ingredients 

Next combine the dry ingredients.  Flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients alternating with buttermilk. After all ingredients are well mixed, add in your coconut. I love the way the coconut tastes in this cake! It gives it such a great flavor and another factor that adds moistness! dry ingredients 

Next take your reserved egg whites and whip until stiff peaks form. I must tell you a little secret… I’m sure it was quite a sight to watch me whip these eggs with one hand and take a picture with the other hand. I’m so glad I was able to snap this picture before the beater on the left flew out of the bowl…. great times! Even with ONE beater I was able to get these egg whites whipped into  beautiful, foamy peaks. Next mix your egg whites gently into your batter. Fill prepared cupcake tin 3/4 full with batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. egg whites 

So pretty! Very moist with flecks of coconut! yum!cupcake

  Next, I made the frosting. Easiest, creamiest frosting I’ve ever made!  1 brick cream cheese, 1 stick butter, and a 16 oz package of powdered sugar, sifted. I added about a 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon of maple syrup to compliment the pecans.frosting   

Next, I made the maple pecans. I eyeballed this recipe…. so when you are making it at home, feel free to change up the ingredient amounts to suit your tastes. I melted 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan, added 2 teaspoons maple syrup, and 1 teaspoon brown sugar. mix together over low heat until smooth. Add 1 cup pecans and stir until all nuts have been coated. I let nuts simmer in the yummy sauce for about 5 minutes. Once pecans are thoroughly coated, pour pecans onto wax paper to set up.maple pecans 

Put your cupcakes together! The perfect combination of sweet and salty!cupcake1   

These are wonderful with or without the maple pecans! They would also be very good with a drizzle of homemade caramel! Go HERE to see my favorite recipe! Love that Ree Drummond!!cupcake storage       

Although this recipe is very different from Desidario’s luscious cake it is still a heavenly sweet cupcake. Enjoy!

Italian Cream Cupcakes
Yields 2
A soft and flavorful cupcake with creamy, sweet frosting piled high with maple pecans.
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For Cake
  1. 1/2 cup butter, softened
  2. 1/2 shortening
  3. 2 cups sugar
  4. 5 large eggs, separated
  5. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  6. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  7. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  8. 1 cup buttermilk
  9. 1 cup sweetened coconut
For Frosting
  1. 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  2. 1/2 cup butter, softened
  3. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  4. 2 teaspoons maple syrup (optional)
  5. 1 (16 oz) package powdered sugar, sifted
For the maple pecans
  1. 1 cup chopped pecans
  2. 1 tablespoon butter
  3. 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  4. 1 teaspoon brown sugar
For the cake
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and shortening in a large mixing bowl at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. . Add vanilla; beat just until blended.
  2. 2. Combine flour and baking soda; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in coconut.
  3. 3. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Pour batter into prepared cupcake tins.
  4. 4. Bake at 350 degrees for 15- 19 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks, and cool completely.
  5. For frosting: Beat cream cheese, butter, maple syrup, and vanilla at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Beat frosting at high speed until smooth.
For pecans
  1. Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add maple syrup and brown sugar. Stir until incorporated. Stir in pecans, stir until thoroughly covered. Heat mixture for 5 minutes. Allow maple pecans to cool and set up on wax paper.
Adapted from Southern Living
Adapted from Southern Living
Sweets & Whimsy http://sweetsandwhimsy.com/

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