An easy Neapolitan Cake made using just one cake batter! Three layers of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry combine to make one stunning layer cake covered in creamy vanilla buttercream.
I’ve had Neapolitan Cake on my mind for the longest time.
Three colourful layers of soft, tender cake, combining the flavour of vanilla, strawberry and chocolate. Covered in vanilla buttercream and decorated with a boatload of candy, this Neapolitan Cake has ‘party’ written all over it.
If you want a stunning cake for your next celebration, this one’s for you!
When I started working on this Neapolitan Cake, I knew exactly what I wanted. For me, it was ALL about those gorgeous layers of chocolate, vanilla and hot pink..err..I mean strawberry.
I also wanted to make sure this cake recipe was e-a-s-y. Nobody wants to bake three different cakes and pile them together – can you imagine the dishes?
So this Neapolitan Cake is made using the ONE cake batter 💕
The perfect spin-off of my favourite Chocolate Chip Cake, this three layer beauty is essentially a vanilla cake made with butter, sugar, flour – and a little sour cream.
The cake batter is then divided into three. One stays as it is. That’s the vanilla layer, obvs. One layer gets a dash of strawberry extract and a little pink food colouring. And the final one, a touch of cocoa powder with a little extra milk.
What do you get? The ultimate Neapolitan Cake.
Because this cake has so much deliciousness ‘on top’ I wanted to make a simple vanilla buttercream. Of course, you could cover this beauty with chocolate frosting, but the vanilla is just perfect in my books.
It’s softly sweet and lets the cake shine. Plus I added a little bit of extra pizazz with all the candy that’s shoved on top.
I meant to decorate the cake nicely but I got SO excited by all the candy I bought, that I sort of just dived head-first into the cake, candy in hand. #storyofmylife
I covered the top of the cake in pieces of milk chocolate, white chocolate, Smarties, mini M&M’s and chocolate freckles. You, of course, can use whatever candy or chocolate you prefer.
My motto is more is more when it comes to candy and chocolate. #sorrynotsorry
So if you want a deliciously easy but totally stunning cake for your next celebration, birthday or family dinner, I’ve got you covered. Everyone will love this three layer Neapolitan Cake.
What is Neapolitan Cake?
- Neapolitan is a combination of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. My version uses one vanilla cake batter, that is then divided into three and flavoured to be vanilla, strawberry and chocolate.
Tips for making Neapolitan Cake
- My best tip for making a soft and tender cake is making sure your butter is at the right temperature. Start with room temperature butter – not fridge cold, and not melty by any means.
- When it comes to adding your milk to the cake batter, try not to overmix your batter. At this point, all you need to do is mix the cake batter on a low speed until all your ingredients are incorporated.
- It can be tricky to divide your cake batter into three. My advice? Weigh out the cake batter using a kitchen scale. This will ensure your layers are as even as possible.
- The key to perfect buttercream is also your butter temperature. If its too hard, it’ll be difficult to combine with your sugar. Room temperature will be perfect.
- My final tip is go crazy with the candy topping! #yolo
More layer cake recipes to try
- Chocolate Chip Cake
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Layer Cake
- White Chocolate Mud Cake
- Death By Chocolate Layer Cake
- Black Forest Cake
A three layer Neapolitan Cake covered in vanilla buttercream.
- 230 grams (1 cup or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 200 grams (1 cup) caster sugar or granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 315 grams (2 and 1/4 cups) plain flour or all purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 240 ml (1 cup) full fat or whole milk
- 2 tablespoons full fat sour cream
- 1 teaspoon strawberry extract
- Pink food gel or food colouring
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 230 grams (1 cup or 2 sticks) butter, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 625 grams (5 cups) icing sugar or powdered sugar
- 3–4 tablespoons full fat or whole milk, room temperature
- Assorted candy and chocolate*
- Grease and line three 6-inch round baking pans. Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F) standard / 160 C (320 F) fan-forced. In a large mixing bowl, add the butter, sugar and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Sift in flour, baking powder and salt. Add milk and sour cream and beat on a low speed until just combined. Don’t overmix.
- Divide batter evenly into three. To one batter, add strawberry extract and a few drops of pink food gel and stir. To another, add the cocoa powder and extra milk and stir until smooth. Leave the final batter as is (that’s the vanilla layer).
- Pour each batter into your three prepared cake tins. Bake cakes in the oven for approximately 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Carefully remove the cakes and set on a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make frosting, beat butter with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, then add the vanilla. Add icing sugar, one cup at a time. Add a tablespoon of milk as needed. Continue until you have used all the icing sugar and milk and the frosting is smooth and creamy.
- Use a serrated knife or a cake trimmer to even the top of both cakes. Place one cake on a small cake board, then cover the top with buttercream. Place the second cake on top. Cover top with buttercream.
- Add third cake on top. Cover the entire cake, top and sides, with remaining buttercream. Use a cake scraper to remove excess buttercream on the sides.
- Cover the top of the cake with your favourite candy and chocolates.
*I used pieces of milk chocolate, white chocolate, Smarties, mini M&M’s and Freckles.