Three-layer “Neapolitan” sponge cake

I wanted to make something cute to show off my new cake stands – thanks M & Miss D! 🙂


Makes 1 x 16cm (6″) cake – serves 6 to 8


225g (1 4/5 cups) all-purpose (plain) flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cocoa powder
2 tsp powdered freeze dried strawberries
225g (1 cup) butter, room temperature
225g (1 cup + 2 tbsp) granulated white sugar
4 medium eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk
a few drops pink food colouring (optional)

Filling & decorating

2 tbsp Nutella
2 tbsp strawberry jam
240ml (1 cup) heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
Sprinkles or confetti



Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F). Butter and flour three small (~16cm/6″) springform cake tins, or you can bake them one at a time if you only have one tin.

Whisk together the flour, corn starch, baking powder and salt, then divide evenly into three small bowls. Set one aside as is, then whisk the cocoa powder into one and the strawberry powder into the other and set both aside.

In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar together at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until well combined.

Divide the mixture evenly between three bowls. Stir the vanilla into one of them.

Fold the flour mixtures into the butter and egg mixtures using a spatula (the plain into the vanilla and the flavoured two into the others), adding a little milk to loosen the batters, if necessary. If desired, you can add a few drops of pink food colouring to the strawberry mixture at this point. It is best to do this step just before you bake each layer, if you are baking them one at a time, so the batter doesn’t sit for too long in the bowl.

Pour the mixtures into the cake tins and gently spread with a spatula.

Bake for 22-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

Set the strawberry layer aside, then take a large serrated knife and trim the other two flat.

Whip the cream together with the powdered sugar until stiff.

Spread the top of the chocolate cake layer with Nutella and the bottom of the strawberry cake layer with strawberry jam. Spread one third of the cream on the chocolate layer, top with the vanilla cake layer and spread with the one third of the cream, then top with the strawberry cake layer and top with the remaining cream. Decorate with sprinkles or confetti.

Notes: When dividing the mixtures, I recommend separating the portions by weight – if your bowls aren’t all the same size, it would be difficult to eyeball it. And if you can’t get powdered strawberries, you can use a syrup-type flavouring – just add it before the dry ingredients.

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6 Responses to Three-layer “Neapolitan” sponge cake

  1. G’day Rachel and what a lovely cake…love the three tiers and have never done, true!
    Well done and thanks for brightening my day too!

  2. huntfortheverybest says:

    the filling is sooo cute!

  3. Very cute. I pinned this for when I need a little cake.

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