Carino's Italian is a United States-based chain of Italian food casual dining restaurants. It has more than 170 restaurants with branches in about 30 states. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, the concept is owned by Fired Up, Inc., which was founded in 1997 by partners and former Brinker International executives Norman Abdallah and Creed Ford. Prior to 2006, restaurants were called Johnny Carino's Country Italian, Johnny Carino's Italian then changed to Carino's Italian Grill.

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Chocolate Cake


Carino's Chocolate Cake
Copycat Recipe

Makes 10 to 12 servings

This wonderful cake is a chocolate version of the classic Italian Cream Cake.

5 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
2/3 cup finely chopped pecans
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
pecan halves (for garnish)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour 3 (8-inch) round cake pans. Beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form;set aside. Beat butter and shortening until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Combine flour, cocoa, and baking soda; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in coconut, chopped pecans, and vanilla. Fold in egg whites. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake at 325 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove cake layers to wire racks, and cool completely. Spread Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish, if desired.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup finely chopped pecans

Beat together cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and cinnamon at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Combine powdered sugar and cocoa; gradually add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk,
beginning and ending with powdered sugar mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in pecans. Makes 4 cups

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