Neapolitan Layered Cake
One bowl super moist chocolate cake layered with chocolate, vanilla and strawberry frostings to make a delectable homemade Neapolitan layered cake.Jump to Recipe
How to make a Neapolitan Cake from Scratch
This Neapolitan cake is super easy to make! The cake layers are made using my one bowl chocolate cake recipe combined with a base vanilla buttercream recipe that you can easily turn into chocolate and strawberry flavor!
Every home baker needs a go to chocolate cake recipe that is easy, approachable with consistent results every time. I designed this recipe to be super easy yet over the top irresistible and delicious.
The chocolate cake layers are moist, tender, rich with chocolate flavor and smothered in a silky smooth chocolate buttercream. This cake would taste delicious with any frosting flavor!
What you need to make a Neapolitan layered cake at home
This super easy one bowl chocolate cake is the perfect dessert for chocolate lovers as it uses a combination of dark cocoa powder and unsweetened cocoa powder to enrich the chocolate flavor without adding extra sweetness.
Not required but highly recommended is to try swapping the milk in this recipe for chocolate milk- the added richness of chocolate flavor is so delicious!
This recipe calls for a cup of strongly brewed coffee. The coffee flavor isn’t apparent in the cake at all, but simply serves the role of enhancing the chocolate flavor and adding moisture to the cake. The stronger the coffee, the better results.
- Granulated Sugar. I use organic cane sugar, whenever possible but regular granulated sugar works great too!
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder. For the best results, use a high quality cocoa powder. This is one ingredient that I never skimp on because its truly makes all the difference between a good chocolate cake and an incredibly irresistible chocolate cake! This is the exact cocoa powder used in this recipe- Premium Cocoa Powder.
- Black Cocoa Powder– This isn’t as commonly found in the grocery stores but can be found at speciality stores such as Sur La Table or on Amazon. The addition of the black cocoa gives this cake an entirely different level of rich chocolate flavor. It’s also great to have in the pantry to make homemade oreos or any desserts that require the darkest chocolate flavor such as Blackout Chocolate Cake or Black Frosting without food coloring! If you don’t have any or don’t want to purchase this for the recipe, thats totally fine! Just omit and use a total of 3/4 cups of quality cocoa powder.
- Oil. any neutral flavor oil will work. I usually opt for grapeseed oil or vegetable oil as they are the most neutral and won’t add additional flavor to the cake.
- Strong Coffee. Don’t skip this step! The coffee serves the purpose of enhancing the chocolate flavor. You don’t actually taste coffee flavor at all in the actual cake.
- All-purpose Flour. Our go-to flour is an unbleached flour by King Arthur
- Semi-Sweet or Bittersweet chocolate chips- high quality always test best in this chocolate frosting!
- Frozen or Fresh strawberries- this will make a puree that folds into the vanilla frosting.
Tips for making the perfect layered cake from scratch
A layered cake can feel intimidating to make but follow these tips and you are sure to make the perfect cake every time!
USE ROOM TEMPERATURE INGREDIENTS
Set eggs to sit a room temperature for 30 minutes before baking or in a bowl with warm water for 5-10 minutes.
MEASURE FLOUR ACCURATELY
Always scoop flour with a spoon into measuring cup and level off with a knife for the most accurate measurement (unless you have scale at home). Otherwise you may have a cake that is too dense. Tips on how to properly measure flour- Instagram Reel videos!
MAKE SURE YOUR BAKING SODA/POWDER IS NOT EXPIRED
Baking Soda and Baking Powder can expire within 4-6 months so I always write the date I open the box. This may impact your cake from rising properly!
How to make a layered cake ahead of time
- Cake can be made 2 weeks in advance. If making the cake more than 2 days before you plan on serving, wrap the cooled cake in plastic wrap then foil and in a freezer ziplock bag. Store flat in the freezer.
- Take cake out of the freezer the day before you serve and finish frosting.
- Frosting can be made 1 week in advance and stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator or stored in the freezer for 1 month in an airtight container. Take frosting out of freezer to thaw and re-whip in a stand mixer until light and airy. Frost Cake
I hope this recipe can become a staple chocolate cake for you and your family to enjoy for any celebration!
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- 6", 8" or 9" Round Cake Pans
- Parchment Paper Rounds
- Medium Mixing Bowl
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder *For best results- use quality cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup black cocoa powder *Not required. Can sub for a total of 3/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chocolate milk or whole milk room temperature
- 1/2 cup neutral oil vegetable, canola, grapeseed
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 1 cup strong freshly brewed coffee
- 2 cups unsalted butter room temperature
- 5-7 cups confectioners sugar sifted
- 1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream or milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup Melted chocolate chips (2-4oz) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup strawberry puree *see note 3
- Preheat oven to 350 ° degrees F. Prepare 3 6" pans or 2 8", or 2 9" pans. Spray cake pans with oil, Add parchment round and spray top with oil, lightly dust with flour.
- In stand mixer bowl fitted with the whisk or paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl with a handheld mixer- combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powders, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine for 30 seconds.
- Add milk, oil, eggs to your dry ingredients and mix on medium speed until just combined. 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and carefully add coffee to the cake batter. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute.
- Batter will be runny. Distribute cake evenly between prepared cake pans.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and transfer to cooling rack.
- In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed for 5 minutes until light & creamy.
- While butter is creaming- microwave chocolate in 30 second Increments, stir until fully melted. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Sift sugar and add 1 cup at a time to the butter and mix until incorporated. Beat on medium for 2-3 minutes, until creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add up to 5 cups and taste test for desired sweetness before adding more sugar. Combine the remaining confectioners sugar and heavy cream and mix on low speed for 1 minute, until combined.
- Raise the speed to medium-high and mix for an additional 3 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy. The buttercream should be spreadable.
- Add melted chocolate with 1/2 cup of buttercream and mix until incorporated.
- Add strawberry puree to 1/2 cup of buttercream and mix until combined.