Snow-inspired cake

This past weekend, we had a snow storm, well, sort of. It was more like an ice storm with a thin layer of sleet and snow. I left work early on Friday and we spent the next few days bundled up watching the entire first season of Dexter.
Saturday, Brad declared he wanted cake. But not just any cake. He wanted an Italian Creme Cake. (My aunt brought one to Christmas and it was the first time he had tried it.) I said, OK, but I need a few ingredients- namely, powdered sugar (I used all mine making petit fours the day before). So, out we went, into the snow and ice. 3 miles up the road to a small grocery store.
They wouldn't let us in. They closed at 5.
It was 5:04.
On the way back to the house, we see the new dollar general. Powdered sugar? That's possible. We park, get out, and a nice guy at the door informs us they are closed.
Again, at 5.
It was now 5:08.
Brad was just not going to get his cake.
Once we got home, I dug through the cabinet once more, just to check to see if some powdered sugar wasn't hiding somewhere.
It wasn't, but I did find brown sugar. Surely someone has made frosting with brown sugar.
To the internet!
Yes. I found a brown sugar meringue recipe. There were several, but I used the one I linked to. Because of the egg whites involved, I had to whip it for what felt like forever, but it was probably about 10 minutes. But I cheated. The recipe tells you to use a hand mixer, I used my stand mixer and occasionally set it on the stove in a double boiler and whisked it by hand.
Again, cheating, but I guess I threw away my hand mixer a long time ago, because I couldn't find it.
For the cake, I cheated again and took a regular white cake mix and added 1 cup of chopped pecans and 1 cup of coconut.
I was amazed by the flavor. Typically this kind of cake has a cream cheese frosting, but the flavor of the brown sugar mixed with the pecans was TO DIE FOR! I don't think I could ever make the cake with the intended frosting.
(There's a thin layer of frosting in the middle, but the cake absorbed it. This might work better on a sheet cake.)

If you've never had a brown sugar frosting, you are in for a pleasant surprise. The flavor was rich and complex, deeper, if you will. But being a meringue, the overall texture was light and fluffy.
It was divine. And I really liked the way the thick layer of frosting reminded me of the snow that surrounded us.


  1. Well, you know I am going to have to try this now!! Looks awesome!! Italian Creme is one of my very favorite cakes... and I adore brown sugar. My "eating healthier" things isn't going that well anyway...

  2. You are so talented! (I feel like I write that every time I comment on your posts, but you are!) I love the idea of adding ingredients to cake mix to make it more special. And that icing sounds delicious! I may have to try to make it, despite all the work it took.

  3. that looks so so good. My FIL (who owned a bakery for 20 years) loves brown sugar frosting. He does a darn good one too!

  4. You didn't mention it, but I'm sure Brad loved it as much as you did. I just printed off the recipe and will be making it this weekend - thanks for ruining my "no excuses" approach to losing weight :)

  5. You didn't mention it, but I'm sure Brad loved the cake as much as you did. I printed the recipe and will be making it this weekend - thanks for ruining my "no excuses" approach to losing weight :)