Neapolitan Layer Cake

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I promise you this cake tastes as good as it looks and I think it looks pretty amazing! Although it’s a little more time consuming than a “normal” cake, it’s still quick enough to put together in a few hours. I ended up making the vanilla layers of the cake the night before the rest because I was worried about having too much to do the day of serving. Next time I will make it all at once just to make sure it’s nice and fresh. :)



The original recipe called for strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream frosting (which I used on my Valentine’s Day cupcakes) and while I did love it, I really wanted to try it with cream cheese frosting first. I think my biggest hang up about using strawberry frosting was the fact that I didn’t want any of the three flavors – vanilla, chocolate or strawberry – to be too prominent. Cream cheese frosting seemed like the perfect solution! The frosting may yield too much for you, but it was the perfect amount for me to do a crumb coat, a main coat and decoration. There was still enough left if you wanted to do some additional piping on the top of the cake.

Neapolitan Layer Cake

For the chocolate cake:
Ingredients:

3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs flour
6 T dark cocoa powder (I use Hershey’s Special Dark)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 large egg
1/2 cup black coffee
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the over to 350F. Butter and flour an 8 or 9 inch round cake pan and line with a round of parchment paper. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a larger bowl combine sugar, vegetable oil and egg using an electric mixer. Blend in half of the dry ingredient until just incorporated. Add coffee, buttermilk and vanilla and beat just until smooth. Mix in the remaining dry ingredients until just incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then invert onto a wire rack until fully cooled – about 2 hours.

For the white cake:
Ingredients:

2 large egg whites
1 3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
8 Tbs (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup very cold water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract

Preheat the over to 350F. Butter and flour an 8 or 9 inch round cake pan and line with a round of parchment paper. In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In a larger bowl whip egg whites on medium speed until frothy. Increase speed to medium high and beat until egg whites are stiff peaks. In another large bowl cream together butter ad sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in half of the dry ingredients until just incorpated. Mix in the water, vanilla and almond extract. Beat in the remainder of the dry ingredients until just incorporated. With a spatula stir in 1/4 of the egg whites. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites until smooth and no streaks remain. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then invert onto a wire rack until fully cooled – about 2 hours.

For the strawberry cake:
Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups plus 2 Tbs flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 oz strawberry Jell-O
8 Tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup strawberry puree (made by hulling and slicing strawberries and pureeing them in a blender until smooth)

Preheat the over to 350F. Butter and flour an 8 or 9 inch round cake pan and line with a round of parchment paper. In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a larger bowl cream together sugar, Jell-O and butter with an electric mixer. Beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one. Add 1/2 of the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Stir in milk and vanilla. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. With a spatula, blend in strawberry puree. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then invert onto a wire rack until fully cooled – about 2 hours.

For the cream cheese frosting:
Ingredients:

1 lb (2-8 oz bricks) cream cheese
5 Tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tsp vanilla extract
5 cups powdered sugar
In a large bowl, cream together butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer. Mix in vanilla. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until smooth and creamy.

To assemble the cake, torte each of the three cake layers into two by slicing them horizontally. Layer each flavor, as pictured, with a thin layer of frosting in between. Frost and decorate as desired.

Recipe from Annie’s Eats

Comments on “Neapolitan Layer Cake”

  1. Alice says:

    You are so ridiculously talented Allie! That cake looks absolutely flawless.

    • allie says:

      Don’t worry – it became flawed when James moved it from the cake stand to the tupperware and it fell on the table. Tears were definitely shed.

  2. Adriana says:

    Didn’t understand how much for the cocoa in the chocolate cake? 6 T?

  3. Anushka says:

    Omg U can’t believe how easy ur recipe was to follow and the cake turned out ammmmmmazing. Thanks Allie keep it going!:)

  4. Heather says:

    Does this cream cheese frosting set up /harden well for cake decorating & piping? I need it to set firm….

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