Why is winter rain so gloomy? Days of dreary skies seem to push the color grey to a whole new sad level. It has been like that for the past week. I look out the window in hopes of seeing a tiny break in the clouds. A little sunshine would be lovely. Weather predictions are showing otherwise. At least there was a vision of tropics in my kitchen. A pack of coconut spurred thoughts of sunny warm days when I was baking this Chocolate Italian Cake.
It’s interesting this cake made me think of the tropics. Why? Because it is more of a holiday cake. In fact, many years ago I made the original version from Southern Living for my family’s Christmas dessert. That version is a decadent 3-layer cake with thick, rich chocolate frosting. It is a stunner and yet oh so much. I knew it was time to get out the recipe and put my own spin on it when I saw coconut as the theme for this month’s Bundt Bakers.
My theory was tested. I’ve always thought pretty much any cake can be baked in a bundt pan. Pound cakes are a breeze. Regular yellow, white, or chocolate cakes work fine too. One I know for sure that would not work is my Glazed Carrot Cake because it would never come out of the pan (way too sticky after the glaze). So I put my theory to the test and baked the 3-layer Chocolate Italian Cake in a bundt pan. It baked marvelously and I could not have been more pleased with the result.
The next challenge was the frosting. Bundts are not really frosted like layer cakes. I think one of the things that makes bundts appeal to some is the more cake/less frosting ratio. My answer was to make a chocolate cream cheese glaze thick enough to give a decent layer and yet not completely cover the whole cake. Mission accomplished!
How does the Chocolate Italian Cake taste? It is German Chocolate Cake meets Italian Cream Cake in a most delicious way. It has a light chocolate flavor and is packed with coconut and pecans. The texture is a lighter crumb and somewhat airy thanks to folding whipped egg whites into the batter. The glaze adds a richness of chocolate cream cheese to the top. You know I saved the glazed bites for the last ones as I am a frosting gal at heart.
Are you ready for a trip to the topics? Or at least feasting on a coconut dessert while thinking about a tropical paradise? Scroll down to find a whole bunch of coconut bundt cake recipes by talented bakers from all over the world. Thanks to Terri of Love and Confections for hosting and challenging us with such a wonderful ingredient to bake with this month.
Chocolate Italian Cake
For the cake:
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 large eggs at room temperature and separated
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup buttermilk at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
- 2/3 cup finely chopped pecans
For the glaze:
- 4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- Pinch of salt
- 2 cups confectioners sugar sifted
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder sifted
- 4 to 6 tablespoons half-and-half plus more if needed
- Sweetened coconut flakes for garnish
For the cake:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly grease and flour a 12-cup bundt cake pan.
Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
Beat egg whites in a large bowl at high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
In a separate large bowl, beat butter and shortening until creamy. Gradually add sugar and beat well to combine.
Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add flour mixture in three additions, alternatively with buttermilk in two additions, mixing on low speed until just combined. Do not over-mix.
Stir in vanilla, coconut, and pecans. Fold in egg whites.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool cake in pan for 12 minutes. Remove cake from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
For the glaze:
Beat cream cheese, butter, and salt until creamy.
Add confectioners sugar, cocoa powder, and 4 tablespoons half-and-half. Beat or stir until combined. Add more half-and-half in 1/2 tablespoon (or less) increments until desired consistency is reached.
Try not to get it too thin as you want a thick layer of glaze on the top of the cake.
Spoon glaze over top of cake. Sprinkle coconut flakes on glaze.
Refrigerate cake when not serving.
Chocolate Italian Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Glaze is German Chocolate Cake meets Italian Cream Cake in a most delicious way. It's a bundt cake too.
Recipe adapted from a layered Chocolate Italian Cake by Southern Living.
Bundt Bakers January 2015 theme is coconut. Take a look at these recipes for beautiful and delicious bundt cakes filled, topped, or flavored with that lovely tropical fruit:
- Almond Joy Bundtlettes from Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Candy Bar Chocolate Coconut Bundt Cake from Love and Confections
- Chocolate Italian Cake from Magnolia Days
- Coconut & Banana Bundt Cake from Just One Bite Baking
- Coconut Banana Bundt Cake from Basic N Delicious
- Coconut Carrot Bundt Cake from Media Racion Doble, Por Favor
- Coconut Cream Bundt Cake from Adventures in All Things Food
- Coconut Hummingbird Bundt Cake from Patty’s Cake
- Coconut Milk Bundt Cake from I Love Bundt Cakes
- Coconut Milk Bundt Cake from Un Mordisco Un Pecado
- Coconut Oil Pound Cake from The Spiced Life
- Coconut Orange Bundt Cake with Coconut Whipped Cream from Cassie’s Kitchen
- Coconut Sugar Banana Cake from A Kingdom for a Cake
- Cranberries and Coconut Bundt Cake from La Cocina de Aisha
- Cranberry, Orange and Coconut Bundt Cake from Kidsandchic
- German Chocolate Bundt Cake from The Freshman Cook
- Glazed Chocolate Macaroon Bundt Cake from Food Lust People Love
- Gizzada Mini Bundts from Passion Kneaded
- Key Lime Coconut Cream Bundt from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Mini Samoa Bundt Cakes from Making Miracles
- Orange & Coconut Bundt from Living the Gourmet
- Oreo Coconut Bundt Cake from Indian Curries/Stew
- Pina Colada Cake from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Rhubarb n Rose Coconut Frosted Bundts from Baking in Pyjamas
- Rum Bundt Cake with Coconut and Lime from Bourbon and Brown Sugar
- Toasted Coconut Sweet Potato Bundt from Tea and Scones
- Toasted Coconut Lime Bundt Cake with Chili Lime Glaze from Brooklyn Homemaker
What is Bundt Bakers? It’s a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bundts with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Bundt Bakers Pinterest board for incredible bundt cake recipes and inspiration. Stacy of Food Lust People Love heads up our group and has a #BundtBakers page where you can find information and links to the recipes for each month.
How is the monthly theme determined? We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.