For the cake:
- 1 (15.25 ounce) package white cake mix; I prefer Pillsbury*
- 1/2 cup all purpose cake flour
- 1 (3.4 ounce) instant vanilla pudding mix
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cups buttermilk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons rum extract (or to taste, if you don’t like rum, don’t add this much!)
- 1 loose cup flaked coconut
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
For the frosting**
- 2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 2 sticks of real butter, softened
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1 teaspoon rum extract, optional
- 2 lb. sifted confectioners’ sugar (must be sifted)
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, as needed
- 1/2 cup soft sweetened flaked coconut, for garnish
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans, for garnish
- *Please see this post about the adjusting recipes for smaller cake mixes.
- **This amount can be cut in half if you don’t like a lot of frosting, but who doesn’t like ALOT of frosting? This stuff is to die for… you will eat at least half of it with a spoon anyway 😉
- Preheat oven to 325°. Line 30 muffin cups with cupcake liners.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the cake mix, flour, pudding, eggs, buttermilk, oil and extracts. Mix for 3-4 minutes until very well combined.
- Gently fold in the coconut and pecans.
- Fill the cupcake liners approximately 2/3 full of batter. I love to use a cookie scoop to do this… you get the perfect amount for each cupcake!
- Bake for 17-18 minutes, until the cupcakes are very lightly browned and spring back when touched in the center.
- While the cupcakes are baking, combine the butter, cream cheese, and extracts in a mixing bowl. Beat until very smooth.
- Add in the sifted powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add heavy cream as needed to thin the frosting for spreading.
- At this point, some people mix in the coconut and pecans. I don’t. I don’t like the texture of chunky frosting, plus it’s really hard to pipe that way. So I frost the cupcakes, then garnish with coconut and pecans!
Keywords: Italian, Cream, Cake, Cupcakes, Cream Cheese, Italian Cream Cake, Cupcakes