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Neapolitan Cake

Neapolitan Cake is definitely a lavish cake! It’s gorgeous to look at, and even better to eat. Three layers of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry cakes with silky Swiss meringue Buttercream frosting in the same three flavors on top. Add on a few ice cream cones and and drippy chocolate ganache and you have a stunner of a cake!

Can you even with this cake? Talk about a showstopper!

I am not much of a cake decorator, but I think I have the rustic vibe down. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be stunning, don’t you agree! Plus, we all know that dessert is more about the taste… so pretty much only bonus points for pretty too.

Neapolitan Cake

I will tell you in advance, this cake is a process. It’s not one you’re going to whip up at the last minute for company. BUT with that said, none of the steps are difficult! It’s even a cake a beginner could master, as long as you plan it out!

First and foremost, you have to bake 3 different layers of cake. BUT I have made this a little easier by using the vanilla cake recipe for both the vanilla layer and the strawberry layer.

Neapolitan Cake

All you have to do is add a bit of strawberry preserves to the batter (and a few drops of pink food coloring) to the strawberry layer and voila!

Neapolitan Cake

Once the cakes are baked you need to let them cool. You can even make the cakes a day ahead to make things a little easier. Just wrap them tightly in cling wrap and they can stay at room temperature overnight. If you want to make them more than a day in advance, you can refrigerate them for up to 3 days, or freeze them for up to a month.

When it’s time to assemble the cake you can make the frosting. Swiss Meringue Buttercream is so silky and delicious. It’s a little less sweet than traditional buttercream, which works perfect in this recipe because the flavors of the cake really shine.

Neapolitan Cake

A great thing about this frosting recipe is that instead of making three separate frostings, you start with the vanilla and add in some strawberry preserves to flavor the strawberry portion, and some melted chocolate to flavor the chocolate!

To get the rustic, blended look just crumb coat the entire cake, and then spread on a layer of each flavor. Don’t worry about being perfect. You just take a large off-set spatula and smooth everything together, which blends it and gives it a beautiful, rustic look.

Neapolitan Cake

You finish it off with a drippy, chocolate ganache and some extra frosting scooped like ice cream topped with ice cream cones! So fun!

Neapolitan Cake

In the mood for more Neapolitan Treats? Try These:

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Neapolitan Cake topped with three upside-down ice cream cones.

Neapolitan Cake

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.7 from 6 reviews
  • Author: Shelly
  • Prep Time: 60 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: serves 14 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven / Stand Mixer
  • Cuisine: American


Neapolitan Cake is definitely a lavish cake! It’s gorgeous to look at, and even better to eat. Three layers of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry cakes with silky Swiss meringue Buttercream frosting in the same three flavors on top.



Vanilla and Strawberry Cake Layers

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup strawberry preserves
  • pink food coloring

Chocolate Cake Layer

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup very hot water

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 9 egg whites
  • 2 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 cups (6 sticks) salted butter, softened slightly but still cool
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry preserves
  • pink food coloring
  • 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

Chocolate Ganache:

  • 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream


  • 3 sugar cones
  • optional – cherries or strawberries


Vanilla and Strawberry Cakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 2, 8 – inch round cake pans with nonstick spray. Cut two pieces of parchment paper into 8- inch circles. Place the rounds in the bottoms of the pans. Coat again with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar together for 2 minutes on medium speed. Add in the oil, eggs, vanilla, baking powder, and salt, and continue mixing for an additional minute until smooth and combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary to make sure everything is evenly mixed.
  3. Turn the mixer to low speed and in alternating portions add in the buttermilk and flour, beginning and ending with flour. Mix for 30 seconds, until combined and smooth, again, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. Pour one half of the cake batter into one of the prepared pans, this will be your vanilla cake.
  5. Add 1/3 cup strawberry preserves to the bowl of your stand mixer, along with a few drops of pink food coloring. Mix on low until combined and color is evenly distributed. Pour the strawberry batter into the other prepared pan.
  6. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until the center of the cakes are set, and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10-15 minutes, and then turn the cakes out onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Chocolate Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 1, 8 – inch round cake pans with nonstick spray. Cut one piece of parchment paper into an 8- inch circle. Place the round in the bottom of the pan. Coat again with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. Add the oil, sugar, egg, vanilla, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until combined, and then add in the flour and milk, mixing until incorporated. Finally add in the hot water and mix until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the center is set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  1. Cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan, then turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  1. Prepare a double boiler by bringing 1-inch of water to a simmer. In a heat-safe glass bowl that will sit on top of the saucepan without touching the water, combine the egg whites and granulated sugar. Whisk the ingredients together and place the bowl on top of the saucepan. Whisk the eggs and the sugar together constantly until the sugar has dissolved. It will take 3-4 minutes.
  2. Transfer the egg mixture to the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on medium-high speed for 10-15 minutes, until stiff peaks form and the mixture is cooled.
  3. Add the butter a few tablespoons at a time to the egg white mixture, mixing on medium speed until each addition is incorporated.
  4. Remove the whisk attachment from your mixer and replace it with the paddle attachment. Add in the vanilla extract and mix on medium speed until smooth and silky, about 2 more minutes.
  5. Divide frosting. Scoop out a heaping cup of frosting and place into a medium sized bowl. This will be for your strawberry frosting. Repeat with another heaping cup of frosting, for your chocolate frosting.
  6. Add in the 2 tablespoons of strawberry preserves, and a drop of pink food coloring into one of the bowls of frosting and mix until evenly combined and pink. Set aside.
  7. In a small, microwave-safe bowl melt the semi-sweet chocolate in 20- second increments until smooth, stirring each time.
  8. Mix the melted chocolate into the other reserved cup of frosting until evenly combined. Set aide.


  1. Level the cakes with a serrated knife, if necessary, so the tops are flat to stack.
  2. Place the cooled chocolate cake onto a cake plate. Using the reserved vanilla frosting, spread about ½ cup of frosting on top of the chocolate cake. Smooth it out using an off-set spatula. Top with the strawberry cake and repeat the process, with the vanilla cake on top. Lightly coat the entire cake with a thin layer of frosting to “crumb coat”. Place the cake in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes to set the frosting.
  3. Prepare your ice cream decoration for the top of the cake by cutting a small piece of parchment paper, and placing it onto a small plate. Using a 2- tablespoon sized cookie scoop, portion out 1 scoop of each frosting and place it onto the parchment lined plate. Place the plate in the refrigerator.
  4. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and starting at the bottom of the cake, spread chocolate frosting all around the base, where the chocolate cake is, using an offset spatula or piping bag with a large round tip. Repeat with the strawberry frosting next, and then vanilla at the top. Don’t worry about being exact. Once the frosting is on, use a cake smoother, or an off-set spatula smooth the sides of the cake, wiping excess off as you go. The frostings will blend together creating a rustic, ombré look.
  5. Place the cake back in the refrigerator to chill slightly while you make your ganache.


  1. In a medium microwave-safe bowl melt the chocolate, corn syrup, and heavy cream together in 20 seconds increments, stirring until smooth. Place the chocolate ganache in the refrigerator for 15 minutes before using.


  1. Remove the cake, frosting scoops, and chocolate ganache from the refrigerator. Stir the ganache and spread on top of the cake, allowing the chocolate to drip down the sides.
  2. Place the frosting scoops on top of the cake, and then place a sugar cone in each scoop to look like an ice cream cone. Decorate with cherries or strawberries if desired.


Cakes can be made in advance before frosting. Store wrapped tightly in cling wrap at room temperature for up to 1 day, or freeze for up to a month.


  • Serving Size: 1 Slice
  • Calories: 1783
  • Sugar: 134.8 g
  • Sodium: 1206 mg
  • Fat: 97.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 211 g
  • Protein: 23 g
  • Cholesterol: 496.1 mg

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19 comments on “Neapolitan Cake”

  1. Not sure what happened, but followed the recipe to a t. Strawberry/ vanilla batter was way too much and fell apart after cooling. Have made many cakes and was disappointed that I had to go last minute and purchase a cake.

  2. The picture looked so nice, so I wanted to try it out. When I was making the cake I was shocked that there was only 3/4 cup of flour in the chocolate cake- I knew it was going to be small- when I put all the cakes in the oven, I was so disappointed when they came out. They were so small I could barely stack them to make a cake. They looked nice but there is no way I could sell this to one of my customers. I was extremely disappointed, The picture is very misleading.

  3. Ok, can we discuss the calorie, sodium, fat and sugar content for one of these slices though? I was really excited to make this until I saw all that. I mean, I love cake, but 1700 calories PER SLICE?!

    1. There must be a glitch within the nutrition info…I’m not seeing that number! With that said, this is an elaborate 3 layer cake with Swiss Meringue buttercream, so it’s definitely not light on calories 🙂 You can cut the slices as small as you would like, though!

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