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.
Emily Medina says
Just made this cake awesomely fantastic toasted coconut pecans, bf couldn’t believe keto!???? how do I store ? I made this in past as non keto, pretty close I can’t tell difference frosting amazing.
Store it in the fridge, and cover the cut sides with plastic wrap/waxed paper to keep it from drying out.
Laura Ann Chaney says
Help. I Made this cake and built the Recipe in My Fitness Pal. This doesn’t have only 5.7 Carbs. I have checked it multiple times to be sure I got everything in right. The Swerve seems to add a lot of carbs per packaging.? Please advise. I haven’t tasted it yet, but planning it for Turkey Day!
Hi Laura… you need to do some research on erythritol sweeteners. Erythritol technically has carbs but they have zero impact on blood sugar so they don’t behave like carbs. Thus, they should be entirely subtracted. MFP sometimes does this and sometimes doesn’t. It’s not very reliable. So I stand by my calculations (also please see the nutritional disclaimer at the bottom of every post). It explains this fully.
Just made this cake and it turned out great for a keto Italian cream cake with just a little over 3 carb for 16 slices. Will definitely make again.
My family really liked this one a lot.
I don’t know what I did wrong, I followed the recipe exactly, but it was extremely dry . I looked over the recipe, directions several times, but couldn’t figure out what I did wrong? I noticed that in the reviews, someone asked about protein powder? I didn’t see it listed for the Italian Cream cake recipe. If anyone could help me with what I could do , it would be so wonderful. I would love to make this for my anniversary ( 43 years!) Maybe my eggs, even though they are large, aren’t truly large? I don’t know, it’s just frustrating that such a wonderful sounding cake didn’t work for me. It was dry and crumbled when removed from the pans. The crumbs tasted good ????
If it was dry, it got over-baked. YOu don’t want protein powder in this recipe, the whipped egg whites give it structure, and the protein powder would dry it out even more. What sweetener did you use?
Hi, I can’t use proteins powder, is there any substitution?
This cake really needs it but you can use egg white protein powder instead (really just powdered egg white).
I love this cake so much. It does take some time to make it but the end result is amazing! Everyone should try this recipe, you won’t regret making it!
This looks wonderful. I’m allergic to almonds, though. Is there something that I can replace the almond flour with?
You can try sunflower seed flour.
I do not see egg whites in the ingredients anywhere
They are part of the whole eggs. You separate them… please read the instructions carefully, step by step.
Hi Shannon I saw your comment about not seeing egg whites anywhere in the ingredients list. I’m assuming when it said four eggs separated that would be where you get your egg whites from. I hope this helps.
Can this be made as cupcakes?
All cakes can be made as cupcakes but I don’t know the bake time since I didn’t make mine that way. Just watch them carefully!
Carolyn – this looks delicious! All your desserts that you post and that I have made are delicious! Have you ever thought of having a dessert party and inviting your closest 300 followers to sample all your goodies?? Just something to think about! You know, have it in your spare time!! Seriously, thank you for all your fabulous recipes! BTW, I know you have more than 300 followers, but I’m sure you couldn’t feed all of us! Or, could you?????????
Hi Carolyn. My cake came out delicious. I just have a question on the frosting. Mine seemed too soft to spread, especially on the sides of the cake. It slid down the sides and I had a difficult time spreading evenly. Should I have worked faster frosting the cake or put the frosting in the fridge for about 15-20 mins before frosting the cake? Thanks.
Was your cake still warm, by chance? Also… what sweetener did you use?
hello, I have a question about this cake… can I change the grated coconut for protein without flavor?
Coconut and protein powder are not good replacements for each other.
Fonda Carver says
What do you grease your pans and parchment paper with?
Butter, coconut oil, or avocado oil.
Vinatda Lo says
Awesome cake! I’ve already made it twice. The first time with Allulose bc it’s what I had on hand, and the second time with erythritol monkfeuit sweetener. I have to say I liked it with Allulose better bc the crumb was softer and it kind of had a caramel flavor which was sooo yummy with the pecans. It was also less sweet which is how I like it. It was good the second time with the erythitol monk fruit sweetener but it was a little too sweet for me and the cake crumb wasn’t as soft. Still great and my husband who doesn’t really like textures of keto cakes I’ve made, likes it! So does my toddler! It is a delicious cake. Thanks for sharing.
Made this cake for Easter and it was delicious! Everyone who ate the cake thought it was good, definitely will be making this one again. Thank you for the wonderful recipes!
Glad to hear it!
Amy Cronin says
Do you ever bake with Allulose? Both my husband and I are very sensitive to the cooling effect of erythritol. We were wondering if you think Allulose would sub well in this cake. Thanks for your time!
I use it all the time… but not in cakes like this. It browns VERY fast and your cake would look and possibly taste slightly burned. Please read my guide on Keto Sweeteners: https://alldayidreamaboutfood.com/best-keto-sweeteners/
Holly Vaughn says
My husband is very sensitive to coconut. He could handle the flour but not the shredded. Would I need to add more of either flour to make up the difference ?
You do need to make up the bulk so use the same amount more almond flour…
Jacqueline Dobson says
Looks delicious ! Is the shredded coconut sweetened or unsweetened?
Can’t wait to try this
Always unsweetened… this is a keto food blog! 🙂
Hi I love all your deserts and have made quit a few, just made the Lemon Cookie Cups and they were delicious. On this is there a replacement for the Coconut, not a fan, can I increase the Almond or coconut flour instead? Thank you and plz keep the sweets coming ????????
Recipe looks easy enough to try but I don’t need a full 2layer cake in my life. If I cut the recipe in half would it work? And would i just use one (square) cake pan? ( i don’t need it to be layered). Lastly does your carb count include the frosting? Thanks!
One pan would be fine. Yes the carb count includes frosting.
Katherine Damiano says
We made this today for my husband’s birthday and the only suggestion would be to give recipe measurements in metric instead of cup measurement. We enjoy your recipes as we have several in our low carb file. Your peanut butter bars are so good.