Three colorful cake layers filled with subtle hints of strawberry jam and whipped cream or buttercream sprinkled with coconut flakes. A festive cake to celebrate the season.
The cake is influenced by the rainbow of strawberry, chocolate and vanilla flavors found in Neapolitan ice cream. The chocolate layer is swapped out for a green one in honor of Christmas.
Although different in color every layer tastes the same with vanilla and almond extract to flavor it. You can play around with different flavors by adding some peppermint extract to the green layer and rose essence for the red. You also have a choice of using whipped cream or buttercream for frosting.
This is for my baking group, Baking Partners, a close-knit group of home bakers who are intent on honing their skills and techniques in the kitchen. We keep in close touch and support is available to help with any problems or questions. We are always taking new members – if you would like to join e-mail Swathi (email@example.com) and she will send you the information to get started.
There were two recipe versions of this Neapolitan Cake (suggested by Suja of Kitchen Corner- Try It). One was for a sponge cake requiring 8 eggs and the other was an eggless version. I made both.
The sponge cake version was a fail because I took the cake out too soon. Once cooled I realized the middle was still raw. The eggless version was the surprise winner. I say surprise because I didn’t know you could bake a cake like this without eggs. I thought they were a crucial part of any good cake.
The layers baked up tall and fluffy with a dense texture and a rich flavor thanks to the buttermilk and sour cream in the batter. Strawberry jam is thinly spread over top of each layer as you build the cake giving it a touch of tartness that cuts through the sweetness of the cake. If you don’t like strawberries you can leave it out.
My family quickly fell in love! As did I. They asked that I make it again for Christmas dessert.
A request I fully plan to honor. I’d be crazy not to.
A festive cake to celebrate the season!
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 3 (8-inch) cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment.
- Beat sugar and butter together until fluffy 2-3 minutes. Beat in sour cream then buttermilk (it may look curdled at this point). Beat in both extracts.
- In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda.
- On low speed add the flour mixture in 3 additions alternating with the milk.
- Divide the batter into 3 equal parts in 3 separate bowls (about 1 + 3/4 cups in each). Mix red food coloring into one, green into the second and leave the last one white.
- Pour into the prepared pans and bake 26 - 30 minutes or until a toothpick in center comes out clean.
- Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes then turn out onto wire racks, cool right side up and leave the parchment on the bottom of the cake.
- Chill your mixing bowl and beaters well. Beat the heavy cream, confectioners' and cream of tartar together on medium speed until soft peaks form and the whipped cream sticks to the beater when lifted.
- Beat butter with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.
- Reduce speed to medium and add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating after each addition, about 5 minutes. (After every 2 additions, increase speed to high, and beat for 10 seconds, then reduce speed to medium-high).
- Add vanilla and beat until smooth. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. (Bring up to room temperature and beat on low speed until smooth before using.)
- Remove the parchment paper and layer the cakes with a thin layer of strawberry jam spread over
- top followed by whip cream or buttercream. Frost the sides and top, then sprinkle with coconut and decorate as desired. Chill 1 hour before serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator.
Adapted from Family Circle Best-Ever Cakes and Cookies