Vegan Italian cream cake is perfect paired with an easy vegan cream cheese frosting! Contains nuts and coconut, perfect for breakfast or dessert.

Italian Cream Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting When I was growing up and first exploring baking, my mom would always say ‘I smell something, you better check it!’ when I was waiting for a cake or a batch of cookies to bake. In typical ‘Oh mom’ fashion, I would always say ‘No way, it has a ways to go!’, pop open the oven, and sure enough it would be done. Moms always know best, don’t they?

This was the exact case for this vegan Italian cream cake recipe that I’ve been wanting to conquer for a while. I made a non-vegan version of this cake several times in high school and college, fondly baking the layer cake and bringing it to any friend functions or get togethers that might be taking place over the weekend. The kicker was always the cream cheese frosting, piled high and layered in between three cakes that were chock full of coconut and toasted nuts.

bags of spiced nuts

This vegan version of Italian cream cake has a few variations, from the choice to make it in a bundt pan to making a vegan cream cheese frosting that I think comes pretty dang close to the real thing. Another change was that I used Lush Nuts inside and on top of the cake, because why use plain ol’ nuts when you can use coffee and spiced ones?!

Lush graciously sent me their coffee peanuts and cinnamon spiced nuts to try and I was instantly HOOKED. I had to pull back from ‘trying’ them every few minutes in order to have enough to make this cake, but after the cake was made, all bets were off. I’m sorry/not sorry to say that I’ve polished off both of the bags and am now eyeing the minis to keep in constant rotation.

Italian Cream Cake on wire rack

How to make Italian cream cake

Italian cream cake is a total show stopper, but it’s secretly super easy to make. To make this vegan cake recipe, simply combine the wet ingredients in one bowl and the dry ingredients in another. Slowly mix the wet ingredients into the dry, using a whisk to make sure no clumps of flour remain. Transfer the batter to a greased bundt pan and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the top of the cake is a lovely golden brown. (You can also insert a knife into the center of the cake to test for doneness!).

While the cake is cooling, make the vegan cream cheese frosting. To make the frosting, add all the ingredients into a blender and blend until you’re left with a thick, but spreadable frosting. If the frosting looks too thick to you, add in another tablespoon of almond milk to loosen it up a bit.

Word to the wise: let the Italian cream cake cool completely before frosting it. If you don’t, the frosting will run everywhere and your cake will be a an absolute mess.

Italian Cream Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting on wire rack

More vegan cake recipes on Heart of a Baker:

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Italian Cream Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (Vegan)

Italian Cream Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Author: Abby Bayatpour
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 75 minutes
  • Yield: 8 -10
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

Vegan Italian cream cake is perfect paired with an easy vegan cream cheese frosting! Contains nuts and coconut, perfect for breakfast or dessert.


Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour (we are going to make our own self rising flour!, minus 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 1/3 cups almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts (I used Lush Nuts)

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 1 small can coconut cream (5.4 oz.)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons cashews
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • Extra chopped nuts for topping

Instructions

For the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a bundt pan and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking powder, baking soda and sugars. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the melted coconut oil, vanilla extract, almond extract, milk, and apple cider vinegar.
  4. Start to add the milk mixture into the dry mixture, whisking together until smooth and no streaks of flour remain. Fold in the shredded coconut and chopped nuts, then transfer the batter into the greased bundt pan.
  5. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. Set aside and allow to cool while making the cream cheese frosting.

To make the frosting:

  1. In a high powdered blender, combine all the frosting ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. If necessary, add an extra splash of almond milk to keep the mixture going. Transfer to a small container and use when ready to top the cooled cake. Top with extra nuts.

Notes

Cake recipe adapted from the brilliant Oh, Ladycakes

Keywords: italian cream cake