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a slice of neapolitan cake on a plate
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Neapolitan Cake

This classic Neapolitan Cake features layers of tender chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry cake as well as matching buttercream frostings!
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes

Ingredients

Strawberry Reduction:

  • 2 cups diced strawberries

Vanilla Cake Layer:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 large egg whites
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup whole milk

Chocolate Cake Layer:

  • cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cups sugar
  • cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup whole milk

Strawberry Cake Layer:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ cups sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup strawberry reduction
  • 1 - 1 ½ tsp strawberry emulsion

Vanilla Bean Frosting:

  • ½ cup butter room temperature
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Chocolate Frosting:

  • ½ cup butter room temperature
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 ¾ cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder

Strawberry Frosting:

  • ½ cup butter room temperature
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream
  • 2-3 tbsp strawberry reduction
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

To make the strawberry reduction:

  • Place strawberries in a blender (I used the single serve cup option with my blender) and blend until smooth. You should have about 1 ½ cups of puree. Pour puree in a small saucepan over medium to medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer; reduce heat to medium/medium-low and cook until mixture is reduced to ½ cup, about 20 to 30 minutes stirring every five minutes or so, especially toward the end, to make sure the mixture isn’t sticking to the bottom.
  • Remove from heat and allow reduction to cool completely. Store covered in the refrigerator.

To make the cake layers:

  • For each cake layer you can follow this method: Preheat oven to 350°F, and butter and flour three 8-inch cake pans.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. (For the chocolate layer, whisk in the cocoa powder here as well.)
  • Add the egg whites for the vanilla and strawberry layers OR the whole egg for the chocolate layer. Add oil, vanilla, and milk. (For the strawberry layer, add the strawberry reduction and emulsion here too.) Mix until well blended and no lumps remain.
  • Pour batter into one of the three cake pans.

To bake the cake layers:

  • You can bake all three cake layers at the same time on 350°F for about 25 minutes, or until set in the center and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • You can also bake them one at a time for 23 to 25 minutes. Mix together the batter for the next layer while the other is baking, etc.
  • Let cake layers cool completely before frosting.

To make the frostings:

  • For each of the frostings, you can follow this method: In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and shortening until combined and smooth. Add vanilla, cream, and powdered sugar. (Add chocolate here for the chocolate frosting, and add strawberry reduction and emulsion here for the strawberry frosting.)
  • Mix on low speed until mostly combined, and then high speed until completely combined. Whip on medium/medium-high speed for 1 additional minute.

Assembly:

  • Once cake layers are cool, use a cake saw or serrated knife to level each layer.
  • Place the chocolate cake layer on a cake plate or stand. Spread about ⅓ to ½ of the chocolate frosting over the cake.
  • Next, add the vanilla cake layer. Top with about ⅓ to ½ of the strawberry frosting.
  • Finally, add the strawberry layer. Crumb coat the cake with about half of the vanilla frosting.
  • Chill cake in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes. (This step is optional, but I find a cold cake easier to decorate, especially in the Alabama heat.)
  • To decorate the cake, use offset spatulas to add swipes of each frosting all over the cake. You can also pipe some around the top and garnish with strawberries if you’d like!

Storage:

  • This cake is okay at room temperature for a couple of hours, but I recommend storing in the refrigerator overnight/long term.

Notes

All images and text ©Bethcakes.