Italian Cream Cake

I stole this one from one of my brothers neighbors in Madison...
Oh, here's a recipe that will KILL if you don't have any of those bizarre nut/coconut haters in the crowd. It seems like a lot of work, but it is actually a pretty easy, from scratch cake:

1 stick butter
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
5 egg olks
2 cups cake flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
3 1/2 oz toasted coconut
1 cup chopped fine pecans, toasted
5 egg whites, beaten to stiff peaks

1. Cream butter and shortening until fluffy, add sugar and continue creaming until sugar is dissolved and very fluffy and smooth. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
2. Sift flour. Add baking soda and salt to flour and sift again.
3. Beating slowly, alternately add flour and buttermilk. Stir in vanilla, coconut, and pecans.
4. Fold in the beaten egg whites.
5. Pour mixture into THREE-8" or 9" cake pans (greased and floured, or generously sprayed with my fave, Baker's Joy). Bake at 350-degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool.
Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8 oz. package of cream cheese (room temp.)
1/2 stick of butter
1 lb. box of powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

1. Beat cream cheese and butter together. Add sugar and mix well. Add vanilla.
2. Whip for a couple minutes.

To assemble Cake:

1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
3/4 cup toasted coconut

1. Place first layer on cake stand, spread frosting on top and then sprinkle with some of the pecans.
2. Repeat for second layer.
3. Place top layer on and then frost the entire cake (top and sides).
4. Sprinkle remaining pecans on top.
5. Press coconut onto the sides of the cake.

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