a 3-layered cake with white cream cheese icing, dusted with chopped pecans
original image copyright © 2020, the author

Italian Wedding Cake

Eric Griggs
5 min readApr 21, 2020


as promised . . .



  • 1 stick (113g) of unsalted butter
  • ½ cup (105g) Coconut Oil, Crisco shortening or . . . if you’re feeling naughty, lard
  • 2 cups (450g) granulated sugar
  • 5 egg whites, beaten
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2 cups (150g) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2g) baking soda
  • 1 cup (240g) buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2g) Penzey’s Double-Strength Vanilla Extract
  • 1 small can (100g) coconut†
  • 1 cup (125g) chopped pecans

† This is an old recipe given to me about 20 years ago by a co-worker; I have adapted it to my own tastes. As neither coconuts nor pecans are native to Italy, it is doubtful the recipe’s origins are truly in that lovely land . . . unless Christopher Columbus pillaged it during one of his many voyages of conquest. I do not believe that baking coconut is available anymore in a can. I use 1 cup (100g) Baker’s Brand Sweetened Coconut, available at regular grocery stores and online at Amazon.com in a 14 oz plastic bag.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350℉ (177℃) and grease three (3) x 8 inch (appx. 20 cm) pans.
  2. Whip the egg whites and set aside.
  3. Beat together the butter, fat, and sugar.
  4. Gradually add the egg yolks.
  5. Sift together the flour and baking soda.
  6. Combine the buttermilk and vanilla.
  7. Gradually add liquid ingredients into the batter, alternating with the flour mixture.
  8. Add the coconut and pecans to the batter.
  9. Gently fold in the egg whites.
  10. Divide batter evenly into the three prepared pans and bake in oven for 35–40 minutes.
  11. Have someone recite the magic words ††.
  12. Remove and cool on wire racks.



  • 1 lb (453.5 g) box Powdered Sugar
  • ½ stick (56g) unsalted butter



Eric Griggs

Juxtaposeur, technical analyst, process engineer, poet wordsmith, INTJ, Anansi, MBTI certified practitioner & team-builder, certifiable fabulist & Uppity Queer™