Neapolitan Cake

This Neapolitan Cake is a delicious twist on the iconic neapolitan ice cream! You’ll fall in love with the yummy flavors all over again – they taste even better in cake form. You’re welcome!

slice of Neapolitan Cake on white plate

Neapolitan Cake

It’s our 4 year wedding anniversary! So I made a cake! But first, a few words about that wonderful day. 🙂

I know everyone says this about their wedding day, but this was seriously the best day ever! I married a wonderful man, we had all of the most important people in our lives in one room and had a blast with them all and I got to see the fruits of my mom and I’s labor all come together to create a beautiful day! I want to go back and relive it all. Not everyone feels this way, but I would totally do it all again. It was all worth it. Fortunately I have awesome pictures and an amazing wedding video that the hubs has to watch with me every year. 🙂

Probably the most important part was all the people we had with us. I know that was what my husband loved the most. He is originally from South Africa, so most of his family still lives there and he doesn’t see many of them often, if at all. He had a number of relatives come all the way here for the wedding and it meant so much to both of us. I know he worries that he will never have the chance to see his grandparents together like that again. We desperately want to get to South Africa for a trip, but have yet to do it.

inside view of Neapolitan Cake

On top of that, having so many people who have influenced us over the years in so many ways all celebrate with us was such an honor. So many great people and amazing friends! I know some people look back at their wedding party and haven’t kept in touch with many people, but the lovely ladies in my wedding were family. Technically 4 of them are friends and 1 is my cousin, but all of them are my sisters. For life. And sharing that day with my parents and grandmother was exceptionally awesome as well. They are all my best friends.

And after just over a year a half of planning with my mom (no wedding planner!), it was awesome to see everything come together. I am a person that is very into the details. There was a lot of DIY too. Seeing it the day of the wedding was special for my mom and I. Not only was it beautiful, but people still tell us how much fun it was! Again, I’d go back and do it all again and so would she.

side by side images of original wedding cake and anniversary Neapolitan Cake
Wedding cake on left, my cake on right

One of the details that I naturally love is the cake. Of course. I searched high and low for just the right design and Gail from Cheesecake etc did an amazing job of creating it. That cake is actually the inspiration for this recipe and post.

Last year I really wanted to make a replica of one of the tiers of our cake but wasn’t able to. This year I went for it! And not just the look of the outside of the cake, but the inside too. We had a few different types of cake, but the layer we cut into and the topper both were chocolate cake on the bottom and pink tinted vanilla pound cake on top with Baileys buttercream in the middle.

I decided not to do the same flavor combo, but still wanted the colors. You can tell from the picture below how much I loved the inside of the cake. I had actually forgotten she was going to color it and when I saw it I got really excited. Clearly I have a cake problem. 🙂

wedding photo of Lindsay and Ian cutting wedding cake
Photo by Fort Mill Photography

So for the chocolate cake I used my favorite recipe. It is the moistest chocolate cake you will EVER have. Really. Really really. I’ve used it before in other recipes on the blog and if you haven’t made it before, you desperately need to.

I tried a new recipe for the pink layer. I figured strawberry made perfect sense for a pink cake, so I decided on vanilla icing and the neapolitan cake was born.

I spent forever looking for the right recipe. I didn’t want to use jello. I really wanted to use actual strawberries. I also wanted a cake with whole eggs. I hate throwing away parts of eggs. I know I could use them for something, but when I have a whole cake to decorate, the last thing I want to do is try to bake something additional.

side by side images of the full Neapolitan Cake and inside of the Neapolitan Cake

I found this recipe from Confections of a Foodie Bride. It’s a great recipe! Denser than I expected, but the strawberry flavor is awesome! I definitely had to add some red food coloring to get it as pink as I wanted but that’s fine by me.

And to finish it off – vanilla buttercream. Even though the outside of the cake is pink, it’s vanilla flavored. It’s a beauty isn’t it? A Happy Anniversary dessert to the hubs and I! Thanks for hanging in there with me friends. Here is your recipe! 🙂

Print
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Side view of of Neapolitan Cake with a slice removed
Recipe

Neapolitan Cake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 Slices 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Neapolitan Cake is made with a layer of chocolate cake and strawberry cake and filled with vanilla frosting! It’s the iconic ice cream flavor in cake form!


Scale

Ingredients

CHOCOLATE CAKE

  • 1 cups cake flour
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 1/4 + 1/8 cup Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

STRAWBERRY CAKE

  • 24 oz fresh, very ripe strawberries, hulled
  • 12 tsp sugar, optional
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk, room temperature
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), room temperature
  • red food color, optional

VANILLA BUTTERCREAM

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 35 tbsp water

Instructions

CHOCOLATE CAKE:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees
1. Put all dry ingredients in a large bowl and combine.
2. Add eggs, buttermilk and vegetable oil to the dry ingredients.
3. Add vanilla to boiling water and add to mixture.
4. Mix at medium speed.
5. Pour into an 8-inch pan and bake about 50-55 minutes or until done.

STRAWBERRY CAKE:

NOTE: You can also make this cake without cooking down the strawberries or using frozen strawberries. For those instructions, look at the original recipe.
1. Toss hulled and slice strawberries with sugar (if using) and set aside at room temperature for an hour or two, until nice and juicy.
2. Put strawberries and water in a small sauce pan and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until the strawberries are very soft.
3. Pour strawberry mix into a fine strainer over a bowl. With a rubber spatula, press the strawberries through the strainer until you have all the juice. Discard the pulp.
4. Pour juice back into the saucepan and simmer to reduce liquid down to 1/2 cup.
5. Combine strawberry juice, milk, eggs and vanilla in a small bowl and mix well.
6. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and mix well.
7. Add butter to dry mixture and mix until combined into moist crumbs.
8. Add wet ingredients and mix until full combined.
9. Add food coloring, if desired. To get my shade of pink, I used about 15 drops.
10. Pour into an 8-inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes, or until done.

VANILLA BUTTERCREAM:

1. Beat the shortening and butter until smooth.
2. Slowly add half the powdered sugar. Mix until combined.
3. Mix in the vanilla extract and 3 tbsp water.
4. Add the rest of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add more water to get the right consistency.

TO ASSEMBLE:

1. Level both cakes so that they are flat on top and bottom.
2. Start with chocolate cake on the bottom and spread about 1/4 of the icing onto it.
3. Place the strawberry cake on top of the icing.
4. Using an offset spatula, fill in any gaps in the icing around the center.
5. Ice the outside of the cake with the remaining icing.

Keywords: neapolitan cake, the best chocolate cake recipe, moist chocolate cake recipe, homemade chocolate cake recipe, strawberry cake recipe, strawberry cake recipe from scratch, strawberry chocolate cake, vanilla buttercream recipe, vanilla buttercream

Enjoy!

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Recipe rating

20 Comments
  1. Zoe

    Hi Lindsay,
    I’m wanting to bake this cake for my daughters birthday coming up but am a little confused by the measurements for the strawberry cake. Judging by a couple of the comments (and the larger amount of flour in the strawberry cake) the strawberry cake turns out to be larger. Wondering if I should double the chocolate cake recipe (and do two 8inch rounds) and leave strawberry as is (but do two 8inch rounds)? I’d just need to bake for less time, right?

    1. Lindsay

      It has honestly been a long time since I made this recipe, but I believe the cake layers turn out as you see in the photos. I mention baking the strawberry cake in one 8 inch pan, which implies that what you see in the photos is how it turns out. If other people are getting a different result, I’m not sure. You can certainly play with it and adjust it if you like.

  2. Gretchelle A Kessler

    I was wondering do you have an video how to make this cake? I’m curious how it looks coming all together.

  3. Sandy

    Wow Lindsay, Your cake looks absolutely stunning! Seriously, it looks like it belongs in an upscale Parisian Bakery. This may be a stupid question, but how in the world did you make the lacy chocolate design on the white frosting, on the sides of the cake? Did you use some kind of stencil? If so who makes it and where can I buy it? Also how did you defy gravity and get it to stick to the sides? Just dusting over a stencil doesn’t seem like it would work. The pattern density looks very nice and uniform too. It looks like you’d need some kind of a frosting air-brush ( if such a thing exists? ) and a lot of artistic ability. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Detailed Instructions on how to create the lace effect would be fabulous.

    Thank You for sharing this beautiful cake! It sounds delicious too! I can hardly wait to try my hand at making it, but would love to be able to try to do the lace effect. Thanks & Aloha from Hawaii 😉

    1. Lindsay

      Thank you Sandy! The orignal design on the wedding cake used a stencil from here. For my version, I basically created my own stencil with a pattern and a piece of patter. I used an exacto knife to cut the pieces out. Then I used some black icing color with vodka to paint it onto the white fondant before adding it to the sides of the cake. The fondant sticks onto the buttercream cake with a little sugar water.

  4. Brooke

    Hi! I had the same problem as Shelley! My strawberry cake is the oven now and it is HUGE! I should have split it into 2- 8in pans. I was worrisome when the recipe for chocolate only needed 1 cup of flour and sugar and the strawberry needed 2 1/4 and 1 3/4. I’m hoping it will bake okay and I can cut it in half to put on top of the chocolate.

  5. Shelley

    I baked these cakes for my fathers birthday. The chocolate cake is 1/2 the thickness of the strawberry cake. I was disappointed as the chocolate cake was too thin for a layer so I had to find another recipe to bake another chocolate cake and I was under time constraints.
    Otherwise the taste is deliscious

    1. Life, Love and Sugar

      That’s strange that the chocolate cake was so thin. After looking the recipe, I realize I actually have the full strawberry cake recipe listed and it should be half. That would explain why the chocolate cake was 1/2 the thickness. I’m SO sorry! Would the chocolate layer have worked with the strawberry if the strawberry was half as thick as it was?

      1. Life, Love and Sugar

        Actually no, I’m sorry. The recipe is correct as posted. I’m not sure why your chocolate layer didn’t come out right. It’s a cake I use all the time and love. No matter the reason, I’m sorry it didn’t work out as expected. I hope it all worked out in the end and your dad had a great birthday!

      2. Shelley

        I didn’t give up! I rebuked the chocolate cake and it was still slightly thinner than the strawberry cake …Im a bit weird in the way I want them to be the same . anyways no one but me noticed once frosted and decorated. It was a hit! Thank you

  6. Nicole @ Daily Dish Recipes

    Oh my goodness, just beautiful. Happy Anniversary! Your wedding cake was gorgeous, but I love your cake better. So pretty!!

  7. Carrie

    how fun! happy anniversary! i love to reminisce back to my day too. there were a few things we would have changed if we could go back, but all in all it was an amazing day and so worth all the work!

  8. Jess @ On Sugar Mountain

    Congratulations!! that’s so romantic and exciting, and what a better way to celebrate than with this gorgeous cake! 😀

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12