Classic Italian Cream Cake goes low carb and keto! This rich layer cake is a truly special dessert recipe, and it’s worth the time and effort.
Some recipes make me do the happy dance. And this keto Italian Cream Cake is one of those recipes. I really am quite excited to bring this one to you today as it is seriously fantastic. I rank it up there among my best cake recipes, easily.
So here’s the deal. As most of you know, I’ve been hard at work on a keto dessert cookbook. Easy Keto Desserts will be coming out on July 3rd and I am so excited about that one. Because let’s be honest, that’s where my heart lies. Creating healthy low carb desserts just makes me happy. And apparently it makes a lot of you happy too. But the recipes in that book are, obviously, on the “easier” side of things. They are delicious treats you can whip up without a whole lot of effort and without getting out every pan and whisk in your kitchen. They are still creative and innovative, but they aren’t overly complicated.
And while I know many of you will appreciate that, I actually have a bit of a thing for more complicated desserts – the kind that really do have you getting out multiple bowls and beaters and whisks. The sort that has every cupboard open and every spare surface of kitchen counter covered. When I have the time for them, I really love those recipes…just burrowing into my kitchen and losing myself in the creation of something delicious.
I’d never heard of Italian Cream Cake before I moved to the US. It’s just not a Canadian thing…and with good reason. It’s actually not really Italian at all, but instead a kind of vintage southern cake recipe. But regardless of origins, it’s an astonishingly good cake and makes for a perfect low carb makeover. I realized it was perfect as a recipe to showcase Bob’s Red Mill products, because I would not only be using almond flour, but also their unsweetened shredded coconut and a little coconut flour as well. I always rely on their low carb flours and meals, as I know they will produce excellent results. And they came through for me as always!
How to Make Keto Italian Cream Cake
One thing I would do differently for this cake, however, is use smaller 8 inch pans. At the time of creation, I only had 9 inch round pans. They worked just fine but the layers weren’t as high and impressive looking as I would have liked – the cake was rather wide and squat-looking…but the amazing flavour more than made up for it. If you choose to use 8 inch pans, the baking time will be longer, of course. My guess is anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes longer. This is a big, rich cake, so whether you bake it in 9 inch pans or 8 inch pans, it serves about 16 people.
So here’s to easy desserts and here’s to complicated desserts. They both have a place in my heart!
Want more amazing keto cake recipes? Check out my new Keto Desserts page. All recipes under 7g TOTAL carbs!
Love to bake? You need this cookbook!
Low Carb Italian Cream Cake
- ½ cup butter softened
- 1 cup Swerve Sweetener
- 4 large eggs room temperature, separated
- ½ cup heavy cream room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups almond flour
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- ½ cup butter softened
- 1 cup powdered Swerve Sweetener
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream room temperature
- 2 tablespoon shredded coconut lightly toasted
- 2 tablespoon chopped pecans lightly toasted
- Preheat the oven to 325F and grease two 8 inch or 9 inch round cake pans very well (the 8 inch pans will take a little longer to cook but the layers will be higher and I think they will look better). Line the pans with parchment paper and grease the paper.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter with the sweetener until well combined. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Beat in the heavy cream and vanilla extract.
- In another bowl, whisk together the almond flour, shredded coconut, chopped pecans, coconut flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat into the butter mixture until just combined.
- In another large bowl, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until they hold stiff peaks. Gently fold into the cake batter.
- Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans and spread to the edges. Bake 35 to 45 minutes (or longer, depending on your pans), until the cakes are golden on the edges and firm to the touch in the middle.
- Remove and let cool completely in the pans, then flip out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Remove the parchment from the layers if it comes out with them.
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Beat in the sweetener and vanilla extract until well combined.
- Slowly add the heavy whipping cream until a spreadable consistency is achieved.
- Place the bottom layer on a serving plate and cover the top with about ⅓ of the frosting. Add the next layer and frost the top and the sides.
- Sprinkle the top with the toasted coconut and pecans. Refrigerate at least half an hour to let set.
Oh My Gosh! This is one of the best keto deserts I have made. A little time consuming but more than worth it.
Scrumptious!! I think this is my favorite keto/low carb cake recipe so far. My husband who can eat anything – has no diet restrictions – loves this cake!!!
I’m about to make this for about the 20th time. It’s the most “real” tasting cake I’ve had on keto. I appreciate all the recipes here!
Carolyn Miller says
Can you use garden of life pea protein in place of whey?
Probably… I don’t use it myself. Make sure it’s not green in colour.
Can you use cashew flour instead?
See my response to your other comment! 🙂
Keith Lucas says
Hi Carolyn thank you so much for this excellent cake recipe. I have made twice. The first one was nice but the second cake came out even better. Regards Keith Lucas from George Western Cape South Africa
Linda Wolff says
I made this just this week for my birthday cake! Instead of using a 9” or 8” cake pan, I used a six” and got two nicely sized two layers. I also made a traditional Italian Crème cake for the rest of the guests. I used to do a lot of cake decorating back in my younger years and this one came out beautifully! Even though it ended up being a six inch cake, I still cut it up into 16 slices, had one for myself, and wrapped the remainder in parchment paper and ziplock bags and put them in the freezer. I just didn’t want to be tempted. Ha ha! Thank you for the recipe! It turned out great, and I would challenge anyone to distinguish it from a traditional Italian Crème cake.
So glad it worked out!
This was amazing! Even hubby said 3x, “this is so good”! Thank you so much and Merry Christmas!
Hi I think this looks delicious but I am a little afraid of all the swerve sugar. my husband and I got horrible diarrhea from monk fruit dessert. Any suggestions? Emma
Swerve doesn’t contain monk fruit.
This sounds wonderful but I am not a fan of coconut. Is it possible to just leave it out of the recipe?
It adds structure so no, I don’t recommend leaving it out.
Marian Morgan says
Would this work subbing the 3 or 4 dairy ingredients with comparable non dairy ie the whipping cream, heavy cream, cream cheese and butter ??
I don’t know, I think you will need to experiment!
I have a huge bag of lupine flour. I was wondering if I could substitute the almond flour with this lupine flour or maybe half-and-half? Thanks for the recipe. I absolutely love Italian cream cake, it’s one of my favorites.
THey really do not bake the same way at all so you will need to experiment. I suspect it will be very dry if you swap in 100%
It fell apart taking it from greased and parchment paper greased pan as well as cutting it. . 🥲. I followed the recipe to the letter. It was delicious, though.
Sounds like you over-baked it a little bit.