Embrace summer with our Neapolitan layer cake!

Try this summer-inspired recipe for an amazing Neapolitan layer cake and use it as a real show-stopper for a birthday, wedding or garden party.

Featured image 458 We love Neapolitan ice cream. And we love cake. What could be better than putting together the flavour combinations of the two? Try this summer-inspired recipe for an amazing Neapolitan layer cake and use it as a real show-stopper for a birthday, wedding or garden party. The technique of piping rosettes in cake decoration is a great way to create a neat (and delicious) effect, and the colourful sponge layers of the cake within is sure to enchant your friends and family. Serves 10-12 For the pink and white cakes 260g butter, softened 260g caster sugar 4 eggs, large 260g self raising flour, sifted 1 tsp baking powder ½ tsp vanilla extract Pink food colouring For the chocolate cake 130g butter, softened 130g caster sugar 2 eggs, large 100g self raising flour, sifted 1/2 tsp baking powder 30g cocoa powder, sifted For the buttercream 1kg butter, softened 1.5kg icing sugar, sifted Pink food colouring 2 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted 1 tbsp milk 1 Preheat the oven to 180˚C/160˚C fan/gas mark 4, then grease and line the base of 3x 20cm loose bottom cake tins. For the pink and white cakes, beat the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder and vanilla extract together using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Divide the mixture into two bowls then add a few drops of pink food colouring to one bowl and mix until the colour is even throughout. Pour the uncoloured batter in one of the prepared cake tins and the pink batter in another then roughly level the top of each. 2 For the chocolate cake, beat all the ingredients together until light and fluffy. Transfer to the third prepared cake tin and level the top. Bake the cakes for 25-30 mins until they are well risen and spring back when lightly pressed. Cool in the tins for 5 mins before removing and cooling on a wire rack. Once the cakes are cool, split each one horizontally in half through the middle to make six cake layers. 3 To make the buttercream, use an electric mixer to beat the butter until it is extremely soft. Gradually add the icing sugar, mix on a slow speed until combined then mix faster until smooth and creamy. Colour a quarter of the buttercream with a few drops of pink food colouring beating well until the colour is even. Take another quarter of the buttercream, add the cocoa powder and milk and beat well until smooth. 4 Place a chocolate cake layer on the cake board or stand and cover with a thin layer of white buttercream. Add another layer of chocolate cake on top, cover with white buttercream then top with a pink cake layer. Continue in this way sandwiching the cake layers together with the two uncoloured layers on top. Cover the top and sides of the cake with a thin layer of white buttercream then smooth with a palette knife. crumb coating cake 458 5 To pipe the buttercream roses, fit a piping bag with a medium star nozzle and fill with chocolate buttercream. It’s a good idea to practise a few roses on a plate before you start, you can put the buttercream back in the bag when you’re happy with the results. Start by piping the roses on the side of the cake, positioning the nozzle approx 2.5cm up from the base and holding it at right angles to the cake. With the nozzle touching the cake, apply an even pressure to the piping bag and move the bag and nozzle in a continuous outwards circling motion, wrapping the flow of butter cream around itself as you move. Once the rose covers the height of the two layers of chocolate cake release the pressure to stop the flow of buttercream but continue the circular motion so that the buttercream trails off around the rose for a neat finish. continuing to ice 458 6 Start piping the second chocolate rose approx 2cm away from the edge of the first one and pipe as before allowing the outer edge of the rose to slightly overlap the edge of the first rose. Continue in this way piping chocolate roses around the base of the cake until you are back at the first rose. If you are unhappy with any of your roses, carefully lift them off with a knife and re-use the buttercream making sure you remove any crumbs first! adding a few pink swirls 458 7 Once the chocolate roses are complete, pipe pink roses above the chocolate ones so they are the same height as the two pink cake layers then pipe a layer of white roses above the pink ones. Pipe white roses on the top of the cake using the same method as before but holding the piping bag vertically. TIPS • To cut a cake into even layers, use a sharp knife to score a groove all the way around the circumference of the cake at the height you want to cut. Take a long piece of cotton thread and wrap around the groove crossing the ends in front of you. Gently pull the thread and it will glide through the cake cutting it into even layers. • When piping the roses, make sure your buttercream is soft otherwise it will be hard to work with and the roses may fall off the sides of the cake. Beat a little milk into your buttercream to soften it if necessary. And there you go! One incredibly delicious-looking cake for you to share. Neopolitan cake main 458 


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