This recipe comes from a friend of mine, Amanda from I am Baker. Amanda’s is the first blog I ever fell in love with. I remember seeing this cake and absolutely freaking out- even showing my husband and girls (I mean Coco was just a baby then!) I immediately started blog stalking her and have been rewarded with years and years of Amanda’s genius, over the top creative concoctions. And the cake. GahhhH!!! The cakes just blow me away.
Well turns out I wasn’t the only one, as Amanda put out her first (and highly anticipated) book this Spring called Surprise-Inside Cakes. It is a volume of eye candy and true to it’s name: sweet surprises! The girls had me go through it with them as though it were a story book, drooling over all of the pictures. I also found it in Pia’s covers more than once, as the poor allergic child must have been looking at it under the covers as she fell asleep!
I have always admired and marveled at Amandas work, but I never could imagine that I would or could try to make one of these. I bake- but not like this! I went for the Neapolitan hi-hat cake in her book. But then I did a twist on it because my grocery store was out of whipped topping? (is that weird?? Maybe there was a run on it on Easter!?) So I drifted on over to the ice cream section next door. Um….. Cookies and Cream obviously went right into the cart. Not such a horrible idea, right?!
Anyways, obviously the cookies and cream became the third layer and thank goodness- that was a great call in a whipped topping pinch. Now, admittedly, mine does not look as good as Amanda’s Version!! (sorry Amanda!) But for a first time try at a cake like this- I thought it was pretty great. And my kids and some friends that I had over FREAKED out. It was a major, major hit.
I’m not going to lie- this will take some effort- but what I like is that it is very straightforward and could be made in steps. And because of the ice cream step, the cake could be made days and days ahead of a special occasion (dare I say a week ahead?) and left finished and perfect in the freezer. (Think Mothers Day or Summer parties!!) The result was like a Neapolitan ice cream sandwich but 10 times more decadent and delicious!
I would love to share the joy of this book with you, so this weekend I am giving away 2 copies of ‘Surprise-Inside Cakes” by Amanda Rettke.
***Just leave a comment below telling me your favorite kind of cake and you are entered to win!***
The contest will close at 11:59 pm PT on April, 27th, Sunday night. I will announce the winners on Monday (here and on facebook and by email) and they will have 24 hours to respond or I will pick a new winner. USA only please (sorry!) Good Luck!
Recipe: Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake
- 1 recipe Decadent Brownies:
- 1 recipe Strawberry Cake:
- 1 quart Cookies and Cream Ice Cream
- Chocolate Buttercream:
- 12 ounce bag of milk Chocolate Chips
- ½ cup canola oil
- Decadent Brownies:
- • 1 cup granulate sugar
- • 1/2 cup brown sugar
- • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- • 2 large eggs
- • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- • 1/4 cup cake flour
- • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
- • 1/4 teaspoon salt
- • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate (about 2 ounces) finely chopped
- Strawberry Cake:
- 4 large eggs, separated at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2/3 cup strawberry puree (I used thawed frozen strawberries)
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, diced
- Chocolate Buttercream:
- ¼ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
- 1/8 cup of milk
- For the Decadent Brownies:
- 1. Heat oven to 350 degrees and prepare an 9-inch round cake pan.
- 2. In stand mixer, combine sugars, butter and vanilla and mix on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time until well blended.
- 3. Sift flours, cocoa and salt in medium bowl. Gradually add the flour mixture to butter mixture with mixer on low speed and blend until ingredients are fully combined. (no more than 1 minute)
- 4. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in finely chopped chocolate by hand using a spatula.
- 5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- 6. Let brownies cool to room temperature in pan.
- For the Strawberry Cake:
- 1. Set the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9” pan with baking spray.
- 2. In a standing mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Add 1 cup of sugar, a little at a time, whipping to maintain soft peaks. Transfer the egg white mixture into a large bowl (it will be about 5 cups in volume) and set it aside. Clean the mixer bowl.
- 3. Change to the paddle attachment and use the mixer to cream together the butter and one cup of sugar until fluffy. Add the vanilla and the almond extract and mix to combine. Add the yolks one at a time, beating after each addition.
- 4. Sift together 3 cups of the flour, the salt and the baking powder into a medium bowl.
- 5. Add one third of the flour mixture to the batter and mix to combine, followed by half of the strawberry puree. Repeat this another two times. The batter will be thick.
- 6. Using a spatula, fold in the egg whites.
- 7. In a large bowl, coat the diced strawberries with the remaining 2 tablespoons flour and gently fold them into the batter with a spatula.
- 8. Pour the batter into the prepared 9” pan and bake for around 50 minutes (check to make sure the center is baked through) or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the pans cool almost completely before turning out onto a rack to finish cooling completely.
- For the Chocolate Buttercream:
- In a standing mixer using the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl, cream the butter, cocoa, and vanilla at medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the confectioners sugar one cup at a time adding in milk whenever the frosting gets too stiff until you have used it all.
- Amanda recommends leveling (cutting) the strawberry cake to the height of the brownies.
- Place the brownie layer on top of your cake plate and then place the strawberry layer in top.
- Using a sharp knife, slice into the quart of ice cream cutting slices that are the same thickness as the other two layers. Piece-meal the ice cream slices into the shape of the cake. Then smooth out with an offset spatula. Freeze for about an hour.
- Using an offset spatula, spread the sides of the cake and ice cream with the chocolate buttercream. Freeze for another hour.
- Pour the chocolate chips and the canola oil into a heat safe bowl. Heat 1 cup of water in a small saucepan over medium low heat (you want a simmer not a rolling boil). Set the bowl of chocolate over the saucepan and heat, stirring until the chips are melted,
- Pour the chocolate into a high sided container. Let it sit for a few minutes to cool down.
- Lay 4 pieces of parchment paper under the base of the cake around the edges. Pour the chocolate over the cake, coating the whole cake.
- Let the chocolate sit for a minute before removing the parchment paper.
- Keep the cake in the freezer until ready to serve. (I left in the freezer overnight before slicing into mine.)
Preparation time: 1 hour(s)
Cooking time: 1 hour(s)
Number of servings (yield): 12