Yesterday I took Elliot to get ice cream because he turned 9 this week! And I’m not the kind of lady to let a fella eat ice cream alone… even though I had a piece of this cake earlier in the day. You see, it’s someone’s birthday somewhere, so why not have cake and ice cream in one day! Even if there are a few hours in between, right?
My mom visited last weekend! We ate pizza, coney dogs, and burgers. We were super American. She also brought me the Surprise-Inside Cakes cookbook! It’s totally the prettiest. And this cake caught my eye right away! So her and I whipped up the brownie layer, and strawberry cake layer Saturday night, then finished up the rest of the cake Sunday morning before brunch. It’s a BIG recipe and a BIG cake and might take two days if making at your leisure, but I promise it’s worth it. Adding sprinkles is a total game-changer. So make this for your mom or a hottie or in honor of your dog’s birthday and then eat it on your own!
Neapolitan Cake (one big 9-inch cake)
Recipe adapted from Surprise-Inside Cakes
brownie layer –
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 2 t vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cake flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 t kosher salt
- 1/2 cup milk chocolate, chopped
strawberry cake layer –
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature (separated)
- 1 cup sugar, separated
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 t almond extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 t kosher salt
- 1 t baking powder
- 1 /3 cup strawberry puree (made from 1 cup berries, pureed with 1-2 tablespoons water)
chocolate buttercream –
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 t vanilla extract
- 2-3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 T milk
swiss meringue buttercream –
- 5 large egg whites
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 t vanilla
semisweet magic shell –
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 T coconut oil
- Make brownie layer. Preheat oven to 350F and line the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper. Spray with cooking spray. In a stand mixer, beat the sugars, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat int he eggs one at a time. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low. Stir in the milk chocolate by hand. Transfer to the prepared cake pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Set aside to cool.
- Make strawberry cake. Spray a 9-inch cake pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, whipping to maintain soft peaks. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer cream the butter and 1/2 cup sugar at a medium speed until fluffy. Add the vanilla and almond. Mix to combine. Add egg yolks one at a time. In a medium bowl whisk together dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the strawberry puree, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Fold in the egg whites. Transfer to the prepared cake pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool.
- Make chocolate buttercream. Beat together the butter, cocoa and vanilla. Add the confectioners’ sugar and milk and beat until smooth. Layer the brownie with the strawberry cake. Spread chocolate buttercream around the outside.
- Make Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Whisk the egg whites and sugar together in the bowl of your stand mixer or another bowl that’s heat proof. Place bowl over a pot of simmering water (double-boiler style) and whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved. It takes about 5 minutes. You can test whether the sugar is dissolved by sticking your finger in the mixture and seeing if it’s grainy or not. When it’s no longer grainy remove from the double boiler.
- Beat on high speed using your stand mixer or an electric hand mixer for 10-15 minutes, or until the egg white mixture has turned into meringue and has increased in volume and is marshmallowy and glossy. The bottom of the bowl should be room temperature by this time. At this point start adding the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Waiting until the butter is incorporated before adding more. If it helps, count to 15 between adding the butter. Spread on top of the strawberry cake.
- Make magic shell. Combine 1 cup chocolate chips with 2 tablespoons coconut oil in a saucepan. Melt completely. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Pour over the swiss meringue buttercream. Cover with sprinkles. Chill and serve.
Yay! Click HERE for a printable pdf of the giant recipe above.