Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake

I'd been longing to make a cake for ages now! Mainly because I'm so terrible at it. My layers are often crooked; the cake leans to the side like a rapper, and my frosting is that of a 5 year old's. I'm terrible at doing a simple crumb coat, or perhaps I simply don't have the patience. I'm sure it's amusing to many that I have the patience to make enormous amounts of macarons but none to frost a cake...

I'd been wanting to practice cake decorating for a while but Joe and I hadn't had any dinner parties lately, and every time he requested a dessert for his hospital team, it had to be something they could eat "on the go"; them being surgeons and all busy and important and all.

But I saw the light when Joe invited his chief resident and her fiance over for a meal. He's been trying to choose his medical specialty and is certain he wants to do surgery, but not sure which kind. So he invited them over for dinner so they could chat about it and he could hopefully gain some insight (which he did, thank goodness).

I was all atwitter about making something awesome, something I hadn't tried before. The week prior, I had made the roasted strawberry buttermilk ice cream from Jeni's cookbook. The ice cream was superb, but it made about a quart and I had quite a bit of it stored away. I had also made mint ice cream just a couple of days later (I've clearly suppressed the lactose-intolerant me and am going a little ice-cream crazy this month).

Making the strawberry ice cream reminded me of when my family lived in Wisconsin and occasionally bought a tub of Neapolitan ice-cream. I, being a purist, never mixed the three and always ate little amounts of each, separately. But since most people aren't as picky as I am, I decided to combine the strawberry ice cream with both vanilla and chocolate cake, to make one tall Neapolitan ice cream cake!

I also soaked the layers of the cake in some Amaretto because... well, why not!? I would have done Grand Marnier but I had just run out of it. I chose a flour-based frosting because it's not too sweet and whips up nicely, not to mention it freezes very well and goes soft almost immediately when removed from the freezer.

Since I made a ridiculously tall cake, we ended up with a lot of leftovers. But that turned out to be a blessing because on another night, we went partying with friends and came home to eat the cake as a post-game snack! 

Although I'm still not happy with my frosting skills, I'm rather proud of my layering and efforts to minimize leaning. 
As for the color, I was going for light pink but I had been working on a macaron order at the same time, making large batches of a deep pink shade (pink + red), and without thinking, I added both pink and red to the frosting bowl. This resulted in a hot pink frosting! I tried to google how to reduce this, and all I could find was info on how to MAKE hot pink frosting, yeesh. 
So then I added a lot more red to get the color to go back to normal, although it never quite did. Note to myself and to the rest of you, just add a little bit of pink, just a little.

I hope you guys enjoy this cake as much as I do! And don't fret if you don't have an ice-cream maker, this cake will be awesome even with store-bought ice cream. The flour frosting also tends to make everything taste better :)

Dark Chocolate Cake
Adapted from here

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup of your best cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup strong black coffee (can be hot)
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Add all ingredients into a bowl together, with the wet ingredients first and the dry ingredients last, until it forms a cohesive batter, using an electric beater.

Pour half-way into 2 6-inch pans. You will have batter leftover to make a third cake or cupcakes. I used the leftover batter to make a small 6-inch cake that I then made cake pops with.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-34 minutes or until a tester comes out clean in the middle. Let cool completely and then wrap in plastic wrap and place in the freezer. Once frozen, it's easier to cut into layers.

Vanilla Cake
Adapted from here

1 cup butter, room temperature
2.5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1.5 cups sugar
2 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

Gather all the dry ingredients into a bowl.
Beat the butter and the sugar with an electric beater until fluffy. Add in the eggs and yolks, beating well after each addition. Add in the vanilla and then alternate between the dry ingredients and the buttermilk until the batter is well mixed.

Pour half-way into 2 6-inch pans. You will have batter leftover to make a third cake or cupcakes. I used the leftover batter to make a small 6-inch cake that I then made cake pops with.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-34 minutes or until a tester comes out clean in the middle. Let cool completely and then wrap in plastic wrap and place in the freezer. Once frozen, it's easier to cut into layers.

Strawberry Ice cream
Adapted from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

  • pint strawberry
  • ½ cup sugar
  • tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • tablespoons cornstarch
  • ounces cream cheese , softened
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
  • 23; cup sugar
  • tablespoons light corn syrup
  • ¼ cup buttermilk

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 

    Hull and slice strawberries. Combine strawberries with sugar in an 8" square dish, stirring gently to mix well. Roast for 8 minutes, or until just soft. Let cool slightly. Puree in a food processor with lemon juice. 
    Measure 1/2 cup of the pureed berries; refrigerate the rest of the puree for another use.
    Mix about 2 tablespoons of milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry. 
    Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. 
    Combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heat-proof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
    Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture in to the cream cheese until smooth.

    Add the buttermilk and reserved strawberry puree and blend well. 
    Pour into a large ziploc bag or container and let it chill in the fridge until completely cold.
    Pour the ice cream mixture into the frozen canister of electric ice cream freezer and run according to directions of ice cream maker. 

    Pack the finished ice cream into a storage container, (I swirled in some strawberry puree on top, that's optional) Freeze at least 4 hours. Makes about 1 quart.
    Serve with refrigerated strawberry puree poured over the top or use in this ice cream cake!

    Flour Frosting
    From here

    1 cup milk
    5 tablespoons sifted all-purpose flour
    2 sticks butter, room temperature
    1 cup granulated sugar

    Stir the milk and the flour constantly with a whisk, over low to medium heat until it comes together and resembles mashed potatoes. Remove from heat immediately and let it cool completely.
    Beat the butter and sugar until full and fluffy.
    Add in the vanilla any coloring, and the cooled flour mixture.
    Beat until it all whips up soft and cohesive!

    Soak the cooled cakes in alcohol of your choice (about 1 tablespoon per cake).
    Place plastic wrap on the inside of the cake pan, and let it overhang. 
    Place one layer on the bottom of the cake pan and spread softened ice cream all over the top. 
    Once there's enough ice-cream, place another layer of cake on top. 
    I did this twice in each of the 6in pans, and stored them in the freezer for about 30 minutes. 
    Then gently pull the cakes out of the pans and stack them together.
    Wrap the entire cake in plastic wrap and let it sit in the freezer another 30 minutes.
    Remove and frost.


    1. dang girl - i saw that title and had to check it out! looks amazing and your frosting skills are great! glad to hear joe is closer to making his decision - we will have to get together and you can give me the deets:)

    2. Gorgeous! And it sounds delicious as well! I am totally craving a piece of this right now!

    3. I feel so sorry for you not having enough good reasons for making such a delicacy, that I have decided to volunteer to provide weekly reasons for you to bake things. An Artist needs to practice their art. Me, I am just one who appreciates it.

    4. This is an amazing look cake! WOW so many layers! I love love love the strawberry ice-cream LAYER!

    5. omg i love the color of the frosting! such a pretty cake!

    6. I stumbled upon your blog via Tastespotting and wow, the photos for this cake are gorgeous...I just forwarded the link to a friend by email with a short note that said, "This is the cake I want for my birthday." Love it!

    7. not only is this beautiful, it looks delicious! i wish III could've been at the party with these leftovers haha

    8. This is oh-so-brilliant! I'm sure it was worth the effort. Drool...


    Post a Comment

    Popular Posts