Neapolitan Millionaire Cake

This Neapolitan Millionaire Cake is a fun mix of flavors and textures! It has chocolate cake on the bottom, strawberry cheesecake in the middle and vanilla bean mousse on top. It’s a beautiful party in your mouth!

Neapolitan Millionaire Cake slice on a white plate

Neapolitan Millionaire Cake

Neapolitan Millionaire Cake Recipe

Well I hope everyone had a great weekend and enjoyed the holiday. The hubs was out of town until late Saturday night, so I actually spent some time baking and catching up on some shows. It’s always nice to get a little time to catch up on my girly shows that the hubs doesn’t watch. 🙂

I did still get together with some friends for dinner and fireworks. I love watching fireworks and the past couple years we’ve had rain, so it was nice to finally see some fireworks this year!

Saturday I spent the third Saturday morning in a row taking Jessie (our black lab) to the vet. She has terrible summer allergies that cause her to scratch a bunch, which she has some medicine for, and it causes her to get ear infections if we don’t stay on top of cleaning them.

I do my best, but sometimes they get infected. She has a lot of skin folds in her ears where the doc says she’s more likely to get infection.

Neapolitan Millionaire Cake with a couple slices removed

The first week they told us it was an infection on the outer part of the ear, then they checked again and it was the inner ear. Finally she got a clean bill of ear health this weekend. And I could tell even before we went that she was better.

She’d started not really being herself – kind of being a loner and not as playful. Finally she was back to being herself and constantly under my feet as I was baking. Of course, now I’m glad to have her there because it means she’s better. Want to sit right under where the mixer is and have powdered sugar rain down on you? Go for it. 🙂

Neapolitan Millionaire Cake slice on a white plate
Neapolitan Millionaire Cake overhead view

So getting back to the cake, I made a funfetti version (Funfetti Millionaire Cake) a while back and it was seriously AMAZING! Like, really. So I knew I needed to do another version at some point.

Neapolitan always reminds me of the neapolitan ice cream sandwiches we’d eat as kids. I always loved them because of the strawberry. I think I’ve said it before, but I’ve always been a strawberry fan. I’d eat the other flavors first and save the strawberry part for last. Plus, it’s pink. 🙂

Neapolitan Millionaire Cake slice on a white plate

How to Make The Best Neapolitan Layer Cake

I used my favorite chocolate cake for the bottom layer. I always use Hershey’d Special Dark Cocoa, so it’s a pretty dark chocolate layer, but you could sub that out for regular cocoa, if you’d prefer.

I went with a strawberry cheesecake center and it is delicious! It took a couple tries to get the flavor just right. Strawberry surprising gets pretty hidden in a baked cheesecake in ways it didn’t when making a no bake version – No Bake Strawberry Milkshake Cheesecake. This one uses strawberry extract and then some food color, and the strawberry flavor is terrific. I could eat that all by itself – being a strawberry kid and all.

And then the vanilla bean mousse – I just love those little speckles! And the whipped vanilla icing on the outside is one of my favorite icings. So light and vanilla-y. Mmmm mmm.

There’s a bit of work required, but it’s really not a hard cake to make. The fun mix of textures make it super unique and totally worth it.

Neapolitan Millionaire Cake slice on a white plate

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Neapolitan Millionaire Cake slice on white plate
Recipe

Neapolitan Millionaire Cake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 slices 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Neapolitan Millionaire Cake is a fun mix of flavors and textures! It has chocolate cake on the bottom, strawberry cheesecake in the middle and vanilla bean mousse on top. It’s a beautiful party in your mouth!


Scale

Ingredients

CHOCOLATE CAKE

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

STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE

  • 24 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tbsp strawberry extract
  • about 20 drops red food color

VANILLA BEAN MOUSSE

  • 1 1/2 tsp powdered gelatin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 2 1/3 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste

WHIPPED VANILLA ICING

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

TO MAKE THE CHOCOLATE CAKE:

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Put all dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together.
3. Add eggs, buttermilk and vegetable oil to the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
4. Add vanilla to boiling water and add to mixture.
5. Mix until smooth.
6. Pour into prepared 9 inch pan and bake 35-38 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes in pan, then remove to cooling rack to finish cooling.
8. Once cooled, cut off cake dome with a long serrated knife.

TO MAKE THE STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE:

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan with parchment paper and grease the sides.
2. In a large bowl, blend the cream cheese, sugar and flour. Use low speed to keep less air from getting into the batter.
3. Add the sour cream and 2 eggs. Beat until just combined.
4. Add other 2 eggs, strawberry extract and red color. Beat until combined.
5. Pour the filling into the pan. Drop onto the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.
6. Wrap bottom of pan in aluminum foil and prepare it for a water bath.
7. Place foil wrapped pan in a another pan large enough for a water bath. Fill water pan with warm water about half way up the sides of the springform pan.
8. Bake for 1 hour and 35 minutes.
9. Turn off heat and leave in oven with door closed for 20 minutes or until set. Center of cheesecake will not look fully cooked, but will continue to cook in the oven.
10. Open oven door halfway and let cool for about 10 minutes.
11. Refrigerate until firm 5-6 hours.
12. Remove cheesecake from springform pan.

TO MAKE THE VANILLA BEAN MOUSSE:

1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the water, let stand for about 5 minutes. Place mixer bowl and whisk attachment into the freezer for about 10 minutes.
2. Take bowl out and whisk out of freezer and whisk 2 cups heavy cream at high speed until it begins to thicken.
3. Add sugar and vanilla bean paste and continue whisking on high until stiff peaks form.
4. Heat remaining heavy cream in the microwave for about 30 seconds, or until warm.
5. Add gelatin to heavy cream and stir to combine. Allow to cool.
6. Add gelatin mixture to whipped cream. Stir to incorporate and whip back to stiff peaks, if needed.

TO BEGIN PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER:

1. Prepare the same springform pan you used to make the cheesecake and cake. Put parchment paper on the bottom and around the edges, sticking up above the top edge of the pan.
2. Place the cheesecake into the cake pan.
3. Pour the vanilla bean mousse on top of the cheesecake and spread evenly.
4. Refrigerate until set, about 2 1/2 hours.

ONCE THE MOUSSE HAS SET, MAKE THE WHIPPED VANILLA ICING:

1. Put mixing bowl and whisk attachment in freezer for about 10 minutes.
2. Remove bowl and whisk from freezer and whip cream on high until it begins to thicken.
3. Add vanilla extract and powdered sugar and whip on high until thick and creamy.

TO FINISH OFF THE CAKE:

1. Get cheesecake/mousse out of refrigerator.
2. Place chocolate cake on a cake board, or the plate you will serve it on.
3. Remove cheesecake and mousse layers from springform pan.
4. Spread a thin layer of icing on top of the chocolate cake. You can add a little cocoa to the icing for that layer if you don’t want to see the white icing between the cake and cheesecake layer.
5. Place the cheesecake and mousse layers on top of the cake, using the cheesecake to lift it. The cheesecake should end up as the middle layer, with the cake on bottom and the mousse on top.
6. Ice the cake with the whipped icing.
7. Separate remaining icing into three bowls and color one brown with cocoa and one pink with food color. Pipe the three different colors onto the top of the cake in a pattern.
7. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

I used the Ateco 849 icing tip for the top of the cake.

Keywords: neapolitan cake, layer cake recipe, layer cake, chocolate strawberry cake, strawberry vanilla cake, strawberry cheesecake, strawberry cheesecake recipe, vanilla mousse

Note: I used the Ateco 849 icing tip for the top of the cake.

Enjoy!

Other Amazing Cake Recipes

Funfetti Millionaire Cake
Funfetti Millionaire Cake - A layer of Funfetti cheesecake, Funfetti cake, and Funfetti mousse!

Neapolitan Cake
Neapolitan Cake Recipe

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes
Strawberry Cupcakes

Recipes From Friends

Neapolitan Cheesecake from I Am Baker
Neapolitan Greek Yogurt Pudding Pops from In Katrina’s Kitchen
Neapolitan Cake From Brown Eyed Baker

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Recipe rating

85 Comments
  1. Rebecca

    Just finding this recipe and it looks and sounds absolutely amazing! Exactly what I was looking for. I’m a baker and maje treats for my coworkers and take to them every Monday. We enjoy all week. My question is, will that mousse and whipped cream icing hold up? Would stabilizing the whipped cream be a goid idea? I would hate for it to start breaking down by Tue-Wed. Thanks so much.

    1. Lindsay

      The mousse and whipped cream hold up very well. The powdered sugar in the whipped cream actually stabilizes and I’ve had it sit perfectly on cakes, etc for at least a week.

      1. Rebecca

        Thank you! That’s great to hear! Heading out to get my supplies now! Can’t wait! Coworkers are always excited to see what I bring each week! Thanks again!😊

  2. Penny Langston

    This is awesome!!Do you think I can freeze this cake, without the frosting, and mirror glaze it?

  3. Heather Griffin

    Looking forward to trying this! Is the icing good for piping? Or would a cream cheese buttercream work okay with the flavors? Also, could the cake support another small cake on top?
    Thank you!

    1. Lindsay

      It’s basically a whipped cream, as it’s what I used for the piping on top of the cake so I’d say it works fine for piping, but it might also depend on what you want to pipe. A cream cheese frosting would also be fine. As for supporting another small cake, this is a fairly heavy cake with all the layers. It should support another small cake, I’d think, but a could dowels might not be a abad idea for support.

  4. Natalie

    The vanilla bean mousse and chocolate cake are fantastic. The cheesecake, made exactly as indicated in the recipe, did not taste good at all. Too little sugar (there must be a mistake in the recipe) and an unpleasant taste from the strawberry flavouring. Some other version of strawberry cheesecake would probably work.

    1. Lindsay

      Hmm, the amount of sugar in the cheesecake is the same that I always use (and I make a lot of cheesecakes) and it’s never seemed not sweet enough, but you could certainly add a little more, if you like. As for the strawberry extract, I used Watkins brand. Perhaps the brand you used had a funny flavor? It should be fine.

  5. Timothy Gibson

    I made this recipe a few years back right before I moved to Chicago to go to Le Cordon Bleu for Baking & Patisserie and it was a big hit!! This recipe actually helped jump start my passion for baking. Thank you. 

  6. Pat

    I am in the process of making cake now. But have a question about the whipped icing…..will it hold up over a couple of days. Would it be a good idea to add a stabilizer?

      1. Pat

        Thank you for your answer! 
        I have had to change the cheese cake to orange flavor as I had it in my kitchen and could not find a strawberry extract……decided I should call it a creamsicle cake! Lol. Hope it tastes alright! Looking forward to serving it to company.

  7. Toni

    Hi there! The cake looks incredible and I can’t wait to try it!

    But I got distracted about your poor Lab’s ear infections. I have two floppy eared dogs (most susceptible to ear infections). Give your pup about a teaspoon (or a bit more if she’s bigger) of yogurt every day (my guys get vanilla low fat yogurt). Dogs love it and the cultures in the yogurt help to keep their ears good. I’ve had my dogs for ten and six years each and they have never had an ear infection.

    1. Lindsay

      I’ve never heard that before – I’ll definitely try it! Thank you! She’s still quite prone to the infections.

  8. Lindsey

    From one Lindse(a)y to another, this cake was amazing! I like to pick a new cake recipe to test out to celebrate and this was a winner! It practically melts in your mouth and is just unbelievable! Thank you for the recipe!!!

  9. susan sanchez

    This cake looks amazing. Do you think if could be frozen for 1 or 2 days before eating. I need it to travel and I thought if I frozen it right after I made it, then traveling would be easier.  Thank you
    Susan

    1. Lindsay

      I think that’d be fine. Just keep in mind that it could make the colors in the outside decorations run from the condensation while it defrosts.

  10. Diane

    Do you think I could make a three tiered wedding cake out of this? Assuming I use proper dowels and rods, will the vanilla bean mousse be a hinderance or do you think it’d hold up fine? 

    1. Lindsay

      I would think the mousse could be a little touchy. You could consider a layer of vanilla cake though. Also keep in mind that it’s a pretty heavy cake with the cheesecake in there.

  11. Janet Welte

    When I put the vanilla into the boiling water, it exploded all over!!!   Hit me in the face and my ceiling, not to mention everything on my counter., was this suppose to happen???
      I started today, and will finish it tomorrow.  Thanks

    1. Lindsay

      It can sometimes bubble up when you add the vanilla to the water, but that seems pretty extreme. I’m sorry it went everywhere! I hope you enjoyed the cake!

  12. Karin

    Could you make the strawberry layer with fresh strawberries instead of the extract?

    If so do you have any suggestions on how to do it?

    1. Lindsay

      I would imagine you could. I’d have to test it to be able to tell you for sure what to do. Strawberry puree is quite thin and not terribly strong in flavor in small amounts, so you’d probably want to use something like strawberry jam that is thicker – or make your own if you really want it “fresh”.

      1. Karin

        Thank you! I wasn’t sure how the extract would taste. I am going to make the recipe as written. It looks wonderful!

  13. Debbie

    I’m making this cake for Mother’s Day.  I’ve never heard of Vanilla Bean Paste and since I don’t have time to find a specialty store that carries it, I was planning on substituting vanilla extract.  However, in my research I have found that vanilla bean paste varies in concentration and each brand has their substituted conversion amounts.  So how much vanilla extract would you add?  Or the conversion amount?

  14. nicolthepickle

    I just wanted to say that I made this minus the top layer. I didn’t have the ingredients for it. And chocolate rossetted the whole thing. It was lovely. Next big occasion I have I’m making it again.  With the top layer. 
    I did add a little salt to the chocolate cake layer as I can’t imagine cake without a pinch of salt. 
    Perfection.

  15. Keith

    Hello, I’m making this cake for the Holiday, but I can’t find vanilla bean past?
    I do have whole bean and extract, can I use the whole bean or do just sub with extract?
    If you culled help I would greatly appreciate it thanks.

  16. Sarah

    Hello this looks great I am making right now but I just noticed you said 8 inch for cake then in another comment you said use the same pan as cheesecake and cake and that pan is 9 inch just want to make sure I make in right size! Thanks so much

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      Thank you for pointing that out. I’m sorry for the mistake. Everything should be in 9 inch pans. I’ve updated the recipe.

  17. Lindsey Boyle

    Hi Lindsay,

    I just discovered your blog (a co-worker emailed it to me) and I LOVE it!

    Do you have any helpful hints for how you transfer your layers when you’re taking them in/out of pans, putting them back in pans or layering them on top of each other? That’s always where I have trouble!

    Thank you!

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      Thank you so much Lindsey!

      I tried to be pretty specific in the instructions to help with all the layering. Using springform pans certainly helps. Just make sure when you add the mousse to the top of the cheesecake that you have parchment paper sticking up above the pan edges all the way around, since it will probably be taller than the pan. When you move the cheesecake/mousse layers to put on top of the cake, the cheesecake should be pretty sturdy to lift it. If you have a cake lifter, you could use that too. They’re easy to find at walmart or Michaels, but I don’t really think it’s necessary. Just let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks! I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

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  19. Wendy

    I made your Neapolitan Millionaire Cake today. Hats off to you. Your instructions were easy to follow and it turned out great. Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      That’s so great to hear! I’m so glad it turned out well and it was easy to follow! 🙂

  20. Mrs. Ball

    This looks amazingly delicious!! I am in love with your blog after that PB Cookie Dough Layer Cake. I’m about to make this cake today for my cousin’s birthday. I hope it comes out as well as yours did! I was curious though, and just wanted to make sure, Is there no baking powder in the Chocolate Cake recipe? I would have asked early but I just noticed it’s absence. Hope to hear from you quickly! Thanks for the beautiful recipe!!

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      It’s so great to hear that you enjoy the blog! 🙂 The chocolate cake actually doesn’t have any baking powder, just baking soda. I know that’s unusual, but it is an amazing chocolate cake. I hope you enjoy the cake! Just let me know if you have any other questions.

  21. Jamie

    At first, I though it was ice cream cake, which is not my favorite dessert. But cake, cheesecake, and mousse? That makes it soooooo much better!

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  23. Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking

    Girl, you make a cake like nobody else! Seriously! Gorgeous! I could each each of the layers by themselves here but together they sound like magic!

  24. Nancy @ gottagetbaked

    Your poor sweet Jessie! I’m glad to hear she’s feeling better but sorry to hear about the bad summer allergies! As for this cake – WOWZA it’s gorgeous! And talk about a labour of love. This is a total stunner. I can’t stop staring at your photos (and wishing I could grab a few slices through my screen, of course).

  25. Julianne @ Beyond Frosting

    This cake is just SO stinking cute! The layers are just amazing!! I wouldn’t tell anyone except my blogging friends how much easier it is when no one is home. You can make a mess in the kitchen and not have to clean up, take out all my food props and watch whatever shows I want. Plus I don’t feel bad if I am baking late at night.

  26. Jess @ On Sugar Mountain

    I just, I just want a slice of this cake RIGHT NOW! That mousse, that pink cheesecake layer, that chocolate cake! AAAGHHHH why aren’t we neighbors?! 😉

  27. Jocelyn @BruCrew Life

    This cake is absolutely amazing looking Lindsay!!!! I love neapolitan in every way, shape, or form!!! Right now I am craving it as a giant awesome cake!!!

  28. Alexis @ Upside Down Pear

    This cake looks almost too delicious to eat! I think I’ll definitely have to make this for someone’s birthday thought. It sounds divine! How can you pass up cake, cheesecake, and mousse all in the same dessert?

  29. Mir

    That is friggin’ gorgeous. Like, the prettiest cake I’ve seen in a while. And there’s cheesecake in it! And vanilla bean flecks! I’m not able to speak.
    Glad your doggie is better!

  30. Marjorie Leatherwood

    This cake looks delicious, I don’t know if I will get it baked, but I can dream about it. Keep up the taste tempting recipes. I always enjoy your post.

  31. Renee@Two in the Kitchen

    Sorry about your dog’s allergies! I hope she does better this later part of summer! I love this cake. It is just gorgeous!! It would be perfect for a little baby girl shower!! 🙂

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