Italian Cream Cake

Italian Cream Cake

Cream Cheese Icing
Vegetable cooking spray
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light butter
2 egg yolks
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon butter extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 egg whites (at room temperature)
Sugared kumquats (optional)
Orange rind strips (optional)
Kumquat leaves (optional)

Prepare Cream Cheese Icing; cover and chill. Coat bottoms of 3 (9-inch)
round cake pans with cooking spray (do not coat sides of pans); line bottoms
of pans with wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray, and dust with
flour; set aside.

Combine sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat at medium speed of a mixer
until well-blended. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each
addition. Combine 2 cups flour and baking soda; stir well. Add flour mixture
to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with
flour mixture. Stir in pecans and extracts.

Beat egg whites at high speed of a mixer until stiff peaks form (do not
overbeat). Fold egg whites into batter; pour batter into prepared pans. Bake
at 350° for 23 minutes. Let cool in pans 5 minutes on a wire rack. Loosen
cake layers from sides of pans using a narrow metal spatula, and turn out
onto wire racks. Peel off wax paper, and let cool completely.

Place 1 cake layer on a plate, and spread with 2/3 cup Cream Cheese Icing;
top with another cake layer. Repeat with 2/3 cup icing and remaining layer,
ending with cake. Spread remaining icing over cake. Garnish with kumquats,
orange rind, and kumquat leaves, if desired.

Note: To make sugared kumquats, dip kumquats into lightly beaten egg whites, and drain; roll in sugar.

Yield 20 servings