Neapolitan Cake


Jan 08

Three classic flavors combined in one delicious cake – made with tender white chocolate cake layers, rich chocolate cake layers, strawberry preserves, vanilla buttercream, chocolate drip, and chocolate covered strawberries, this cake is sure to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth!

Yesterday was a special day for our family. My eight-year-old son chose to be baptized and confirmed as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Westin has been looking forward to this day for such a long time, and we were so blessed to be joined by our close friends and family for his big day. After our morning at the church, I invited everyone to our house for brunch, where I served THIS egg frittata, THIS lemon ricotta and blueberry pancake overnight casserole (voted the favorite breakfast item of the morning), THESE chocolate chip muffins, homemade granola with yogurt and berries, sparkling clementine juice from Trader Joes and cake. I hadn’t originally planned to have cake at the brunch, but couldn’t help myself when I saw Tessa Huff’s Neapolitan Cake. It just had to be a part of the spread!

I made a couple minor changes to the chocolate cake recipe and the chocolate glaze, and made my own vanilla buttercream because we’re not huge fans of Swiss Meringue Buttercream over here.  I also added a little frosting between the cake layers, which Tessa didn’t do in her cake.

Enjoy!

Neapolitan Cake

Yield One 4-layer, 8-inch cake

Three classic flavors combined in one delicious cake - made with tender white chocolate cake layers, rich chocolate cake layers, strawberry preserves, vanilla buttercream, chocolate drip, and chocolate covered strawberries, this cake is sure to satisfy anyone's sweet tooth!

Ingredients

For the White Chocolate Cake

  • 5 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) whole milk
  • 2 3/4 cups (360 g) cake flour
  • 1 1/4 cups (250 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks / 170 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces (170 g) white chocolate, melted and cooled 

For the Chocolate Cake

  • 2 1/2 cups (315 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (95 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (150 ml) grapeseed oil
  • 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) buttermilk
  • 1 cup (240 ml) hot strong-brewed coffee, or hot water 

For the Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

  • 1 1/2 cups (8 ounces / 225 g) chopped semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 10 medium strawberries, washed and completely dried 

For the Vanilla Buttercream

  • 3 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt 

For the Chocolate Drip

  • 2/3 cup (4 ounces / 115 g) chopped semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • Pinch of salt 

For the Assembly

  • 1 cup (240 ml) strawberry preserves

Instructions

For the White Chocolate Cake

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 8-inch round pans with non-stick cooking spray, line the bottoms with parchment and spray again. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the egg whites and 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the milk. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix on low until combined.
  4. Keep the mixer on low and add the butter, vanilla, and remaining 1/2 cup (120 ml) milk. Stir until moistened. Turn the mixer on medium-high and mix for about 1 minute until combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  5. Turn the mixer to medium and add the egg white mixture in three parts, mixing for 20 seconds between each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the white chocolate and mix until combined.
  6. Evenly divide the batter between your prepared pans and bake for about 25 to 28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with just a few crumbs on it. Let the cakes cool on wire racks for about 10 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans to cool completely.  

For the Chocolate Cake

  1. While the white chocolate cakes cool, prepare two more 8-inch round pans with non-stick spray and parchment paper for the chocolate cakes.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the oil and sugar on medium for 2 minutes. Add the eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture and the milk, alternating the two in three batches, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  5. Turn the mixer to low and stream in the hot coffee or hot water. Mix on low for no more than 30 seconds, or until combined.
  6. Evenly distribute the batter between the prepared pans. Bake for about 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out with just a few crumbs on it. Let them cool for about 10 minutes before removing them from the pans. 

For the Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

  1. In a microwave safe bowl, heat the chocolate for about 1 minute. If the chocolate is not all the way melted after one minute, continue to heat the chocolate in 30 second intervals and stirring in between each interval, until the chocolate is smooth.
  2. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Carefully dip each strawberry into the chocolate and place on the parchment paper to cool and set.  

For the Vanilla Buttercream

  1. Cream the butter in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for two minutes.
  2. Gradually add the sifted powdered sugar, followed by the cream, vanilla and salt.
  3. Turn the mixer to medium-high and beat the frosting for about 5 minutes, until light in color and texture. 

For the Chocolate Glaze

  1. In a microwave safe bowl, heat the cream for about 1 minute. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let sit for about 5 minutes. After the chocolate and cream sit for a few minutes, stir the mixture until smooth. Let cool slightly before using on the cake. 

Assembly

  1. Once the cakes are completely cooled and leveled, place one of the chocolate cake layers on a cake board or cake plate. Evenly spread 1/2 cup of the vanilla buttercream over the cake layer, followed by 1/3 cup of the strawberry preserves.
  2. Place one of the white chocolate cake layers on top of the strawberry preserve layer. Repeat with the buttercream and preserves.
  3. Place the second chocolate cake layer on top of the strawberry preserve layer and repeat with the buttercream and preserves.
  4. Place the second white chocolate cake layer, bottom-side down, on top of the final strawberry preserve layer. Crumb coat the cake with a light coat of frosting. Place in the freezer for about 10 minutes to set the crumb coat.
  5. Continue to frost the cake, until completely coated. Place in the freezer for about 10 minutes before adding the drip. This helps the drip to solidify before dripping to the bottom of the cake. After you add the drip, place the cake in the freezer again for another 10 minutes before adding frosting swirls and the chocolate dipped strawberries on top. You want the chocolate drip to harden a bit so the frosting and strawberries don't slide around or fall down the sides of the cake.
  6. If you are making the cake ahead of time, wait to make and add the chocolate dipped strawberries until the day of the event. You can freeze the cake completely done, without the strawberries, in an airtight container for about a week. 

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