Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Neapolitan Rose Cake


This month's AlphaBakes challenge is "N" which is actually quite a difficult letter. So far, I've only thought of nutella and nuts. I then remembered neapolitan ice cream which was my favourite when I was younger as I could never decide what flavour to have so a neapolitan which has vanilla, strawberry and chocolate was perfect. I saw this gorgeous neapolitan rose cake on I am Baker and knew I had to make it. I've been wanting to try this rose piping decoration for a long time having seen it on various blogs and I'm really pleased with how it turned out. It's fairly simple and looks stunning! 

I made up my own recipe for the cakes and they turned out really well. The star was the strawberry layer. I made up my usual vanilla sponge recipe then divided the batter into 3. For the strawberry layer, I added pureed fresh strawberries to the batter. For the chocolate layer, I added melted dark chocolate and a little bit of cocoa powder. I also used the same flavourings for the icing and again the strawberry icing was the best. The strawberry layer was quite moist so I would suggest adding more flour to that batter if you want a firmer texture. 

This cake took 2.5 hours from start to finish including cooling time and decorating which is not bad. It's worth all the effort and everyone will think you spent far longer on it than you did! The only downside is the washing up as you need 3 flavours of cake batter and 3 flavours of icing. 

As mentioned, I'm entering this to AlphaBakes which I am hosting this month and it's co-hosted by Caroline from Caroline Makes on alternate months.  The letter this month is N and if you are stuck for ideas, feel free to send in any entry with nuts as long as it's a main ingredient and not just a few sprinkled on top! Deadline is 25th October 2012, please remember to email your entries to alphabakes@gmail.com




 blitz fresh strawberries... 

 ... to get fresh strawberry puree 

 adding to vanilla cake batter 

 adding melted chocolate to make the chocolate layer 

 neapolitan cake in progress - vanilla, strawberry, chocolate 

 flavours for the icing - melted chocolate and pureed strawberry 

 first layer is chocolate cake. Spread some strawberry icing on top and then add the strawberry layer 

 spread vanilla icing on top... 

 and add the vanilla cake layer 

 side view - you don't need to ice the sides but you can if you want to give the cake a smoother finish 

 3 flavours of icing - luckily I have 3 star tips in my drawer so no need to wash and change tips 

 start piping the chocolate roses on the bottom - start at the centre and pipe in a circular motion to get the rose effect 

 add a strawberry rose layer on top 

 my cakes were not tall enough for a third layer of roses but I managed half a layer


 continue piping vanilla roses on top until the whole cake is covered 


 neapolitan cake 


For the cake

375g butter
375g caster sugar
375g self-raising flour
5 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
150g chocolate, melted
2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
450g strawberries, washed and hulled
red gel colour (optional)

For the icing

375g butter
750g icing sugar
4-6 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
melted chocolate and strawberry puree from cake batter


  • Preheat oven to 180C.
  • Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time and mix well.
  • Add in the flour and vanilla extract.
  • Divide batter into 3 equal portions (I weighed mine and each portion was approximately 425g).
  • Place the vanilla batter into a sandwich tin which has been greased and lined.
  • Blitz the fresh strawberries in a food processor until it's pureed. Measure out 1 cup/250mls and add to 1/3 cake batter. You can add a few drops of red food colouring if you wish. 
  • Stir in about 100g of the melted chocolate into the final 1/3 cake batter with 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder and mix well.
  • Bake for approximately 18 - 20 minutes or until well risen and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Make the icing by mixing together the butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract in an electric mixer until smooth. 
  • Add the milk one tablespoon at a time until you get the consistency you need.
  • Beat for at least 5 minutes in an electric mixer until it's light and fluffy. This is important otherwise it will be difficult to pipe the icing. 
  • Divide the icing into 3 portions - you need a smaller portion for the chocolate icing or whichever layer you choose to have on the bottom.
  • To make the chocolate icing, stir in the remaining 50g of melted chocolate into a small bowl of icing. 
  • To make the strawberry icing, stir in the remaining fresh strawberry puree. 
  • Decorate as shown above. 


46 comments:

  1. that is amazing. I am very jealous!

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    1. Thanks :) I was really nervous and excited as I've never done anything like this before.

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  2. Look absolutely beautiful Ros!

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  3. Very pretty and such a good idea! I really want to try this technique out - it gives such an impressive finish.

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    1. It does give a really impressive finish and does not take as much time as it looks.

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  4. This looks great! iambaker uses this technique a lot and I've been meaning to try it too. The blended strawberry layer sounds particularly tasty!

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    1. The strawberry layer was my favourite! I think I should make it as a stand alone cake next time :)

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  5. Wow, looks fab - love the piping! The different flavours sound really good, too. Great 'n' entry for alphabakes, too. I've only managed to come up with 'nuts' so far ;)

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    1. Thanks! I was so pleased the piping worked! Also pleased with my "N" for alphabakes :)

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  6. Your piping skill is really first class! This cake looks so beautiful.

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  7. I love that you used fresh berries rather than extract! And great job with the piping Ros!

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    1. The strawberry layer was amazing! I'm really happy with the piping - was a little nerve wrecking to start!

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  8. Your cake turned out gorgeous. I love the different flavors that you used.

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  9. What a beautiful cake! The roses are amazing!

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  10. That looks great! Brilliant idea - 'N' is quite difficult when it comes to ingredients.

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    1. Thanks! N is definitely a tricky letter!

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  11. This is fantastic, well done! I imagine the buttercream would have to be quite stiff to stay in place if you're piping up the sides of the cake?

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    1. Fairly stiff but not to much otherwise it would be difficult to pipe. The strawberry layer was the most liquid and a few of the roses fell off in transit :(

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  12. It looks beautiful! I love the idea of adding pureed strawberry to sponge and buttercream.

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    1. Thanks! I'm so pleased I thought of it. I've only ever pureed citrus fruit into a cake before so I'm glad it worked.

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  13. Ros, you have outdone yourself! I remember seeing the original on I am Baker's site and being mesmerised! and I thought one of your pictures was taken from her site at first because your piping is just that good!! and the actual strawberry tasting sponge sounds amazing! great alphabake!

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    1. awwww what a compliment! I am baker is amazing and I'm so pleased that you think I could be in the same league :) The strawberry sponge was amazing!

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  14. GENIUS!!!!!!!!! and STUNNING!!!!!!!!!!!!.... what a bloody excellent idea... LOVE LOVE LOVE the strawberry in the pink cake, that's very inspired... I am just loving this... beautiful icing too... so chic!

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  15. This is stunning! Amazing that it only took 2.5 hours, it would have taken me all day!

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    1. Thanks - I was very focused as I had to get it done but I would have liked a bit more time :)

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  16. I love love love love love this!!! What size icing tip did you use?!

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    1. I used a Wilton 1M tip. It's also called a star tip. Try ans get a larger one unless you want tiny roses. I might try that next time!

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  17. A GENIUS idea Ros and such a PRETTY cake! Karen xxx

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    1. Thanks Karen! I'm so pleased with how it turned out :)

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  18. Beautiful cake. That's a serious treat and a lovely bit of piping. I loved neapolitan ice cream as a kid, although somehow the chocolate never tasted right.

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    1. I love neapolitan ice cream too which is how this cake sort of came about. Definitely one for celebrations :)

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  19. This is stunning and a genius idea for the Alphabakes! I love the rose piping too and have been wanting to try it out for a while. Definitely bookmarking this one!

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    1. Thanks! I was quite pleased when I thought of this 'N' as I was really struggling before. Definitely give the rose piping a try - not too much effort and very impressive finish!

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  20. Ros, that is one stunning cake. Your piped roses are superb and Ilove the three different colours and flavours. It's good to know that strawberry puree will make such a bright cake colour too. This is one to be proud of for sure.

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    1. Thanks! I did add a little bit of red food colour paste to get that colour as it was only a pale pink with the strawberries and I really wanted the colours to stand out so you can see the 3 layers.

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