Neapolitan Loaf Cake

14 Aug 2017

While I am super excited for autumn and all the great things it brings along with it (spicy flavours, crunchy leaves, darker nights, thick jumpers - you feel me?), I am still clinging on to all the things I love about summer while it's still around. One of those things is eating ice cream, whether it's at the beach, in the park, on your holidays or in the comfort of your own home. It just isn't summer without a scoop or two! When I was younger, I was absolutely obsessed with chocolate ice cream - the more chocolatey the better - and I didn't want anything else. But as I've grown older, I've sampled many other ice cream flavours and my current favourite is Neapolitan, the most underrated of ice cream flavours. Why have one flavour when you can have the three classics in one? And that's what I've used as inspiration for today's recipe.

As I mentioned, I think Neapolitan is the most underrated of ice cream flavours. It's usually the tub that is fully stocked in the supermarkets, whereas your usual vanillas or mint choc chips are practically all gone. But why? Surely having three flavours in one bowl is so much more fun and exciting?! It's something that I've been absolutely loving this summer, so turning it into a cake felt like the next step in my obsession.

As you can imagine, there are a ton of elements to this cake that I want to talk about before we dive into the recipe, so let's start off with the top layer - strawberry. Strawberry cake isn't something I've ever made before and I wanted this cake to last as long as possible, so using fresh strawberries was a no-no. I simply added in some strawberry flavouring to my cake batter instead of vanilla and swirled in some pink food gel to get that pale pink colouring.

For the icing, I had something very special sitting in my cupboard that I was dying to use. If you cast you mind back to my What I Got For Christmas 2016 post, you'll remember that I was given a bag of strawberry milkshake flavoured icing sugar. I knew that that would be perfect to use for this recipe with just a drop of pink food colouring for that signature strawberry ice cream look.

For the vanilla layer, I just used my basic Victoria sponge recipe with vanilla extract, but I added real vanilla seeds into the buttercream for an intense, standout flavour. I've been loving real vanilla lately and I'm down to my last pod now, so I've got to get stocked up! And finally, the chocolate layer is also a simple Victoria sponge with extra added cocoa powder. I added a little into the buttercream too, being careful not to go overboard - no one wants that bitter, cocoa powder taste in their icing!

I decided that a round cake just wasn't going to cut it for this recipe. I wanted a loaf, so that it looked almost like you were cutting into a block of ice cream, and for that reason, I decided to use my Wilton Easy Layer Loaf Tins. I found these guys in a Lakeland sale and have just become so obsessed with them lately. I'm looking for any excuse to do an ombre cake with them, I swear. They worked out so perfectly for this cake though, so I'm glad that I didn't use standard, round tins.

You will need:
525g unsalted butter, softened
225g caster sugar
4 eggs
225g self-raising flour
30g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon strawberry flavouring
Pink gel food colouring
100g Sugar and Crumbs Strawberry Milkshake icing sugar (or a few drops of strawberry flavouring)
200-300g icing sugar
Semi-skimmed milk (optional)
Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla pod

  1. Preheat your oven to 180c/gas mark 4. Grease and line three of the layered loaf tins with greaseproof paper.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together 225g of the butter with the caster sugar until the mixture becomes and light and fluffy. Gradually add in the eggs, beating thoroughly after each addition.
  3. Sieve the flour and baking powder into the mixture, and gently fold together.
  4. Evenly divide your mixture into three bowls. In one bowl, add in the vanilla extract and stir through. In another, add in 15g of cocoa powder and stir through. In the last bowl, add in a few drops of strawberry flavouring and a drop of pink gel colouring, and stir. Add in as much colouring as you like to reach your desired shade of pink.
  5. Spoon each mixture into an individual tin, spreading them out to the edges with the back of a tablespoon. Pop each tin into the oven and bake for around 15 minutes. When baked through, remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Whilst your cakes are cooling, you can make your icing! In a large bowl, beat 200g of butter to soften it further (if you're not using strawberry milkshake icing sugar, beat the full 300g) Gradually beat in your icing sugar until you have reached your desired consistency. If you'd like to loosen it up, add a splash of milk or add more icing sugar to thicken it up.
  7. Divide this mixture into two (or three if you're using strawberry flavouring) bowls, and scrape your vanilla seeds into one and stir through. Add the remaining 15g of cocoa powder into your second bowl of icing and mix it in until the colour becomes even. (If you aren't using the flavoured icing sugar, add in strawberry flavouring to your last bowl of buttercream and swirl in some pink food gel until you reach your desired colour.) Pop each flavour of buttercream into a piping bag with a nozzle attached.
  8. Beat the remaining 100g of butter in a separate bowl and gradually beat in your strawberry milkshake icing sugar until it reaches your perfect consistency. Add in some pink food gel until you reach your desired shade. Pop the icing into a piping bag with a nozzle.
  9. Place your chocolate layer on to your serving plate and pipe the chocolate icing on top. I went for little iced gem-style blobs, but you can do whatever you like! Sandwich the vanilla layer on top, then pipe the vanilla buttercream on to that. Finish it off by sandwiching the strawberry layer on top and piping on your strawberry buttercream. Add any decorations you'd like!

While there is a little bit of work involved with this bake, the results are so fun and perfect for whatever we have left of the summer. Despite the three layers, this cake isn't really that heavy and it's almost impossible to refuse another slice. I'd absolutely love try out turning more ice cream flavours into cakes - I bet a green, mint choc chip cake would look impressive!

Whould you like to comment?

  1. Not only does this look tasty, but it looks beautiful too!
    Your blog is starting to make me very hungry, Olivia!

    I love visiting your blog because your passion for baking is incredibly inspiring and becomes evident immediately!


  2. Gosh, thank you so much, Steph! Your comments are always so lovely and make my day! x

  3. Wow! This looks so beautiful - you had me at strawberry milkshake flavoured icing sugar :)

  4. Once again, you've got a recipe I am dying to have a go at - this looks so good! :) Such a clever idea too, definitely bookmarking for the future :)

    Maeve xxx

    1. Oooh if you give it a go, you'll have to tell me how you got on! x