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
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My favorite cake is chocolate cake with a thick milk chocolate frosting. My kids love an ice cream pie that I make with mint chocolate ice cream with a choc. cookie crust and cut up mint oreos and mint candies on top.
Love the layers, so pretty!
Anything chocolate – I too am a fan of Amanada
My favorite cake is red velvet. It’s so decadent and I love that cream cheese frosting!
Has to be carrot cake with lots of cream cheese icing!
Mmm. Looks delicious, but seems so intimidating! My favorite cake is red velvet with cream cheese frosting…mmm
First let me say it was because of one of your giveaways that I have the ice cream machine-I did not win it, bu thad to have it…so I went out and bought it…and hve loved it ever since… However I ‘m pretty sure that using it to make this would cake much more work than I would want, since it already looks intimidating! However even so, I am definitely going to buy the ice cream and try it. My favorite cake thou, is a aponge cake with layers of whipped cream and strawberries-and freezing it tastes just as good!
How fun! This would make the scorching summer days that I always dread a little easier. My mom made a cake called Bavarian Cream cake that was probably a chiffon type cake with a custard like almond frosting. One of my brother’s and my favorite and worth the gabbing from eight ladies at bridge when she served it.. I’ve yet to try the recipe on my own. I still can’t believe how her baking skills in her little kitchen.
Sooooo fun! Love Amanda’s fun book! Gotta get my hands on that cake!
Incredible cake! My favorite cake is chocolate. Just chocolate. Strawberries or raspberries with chocolate is perfection.
Hummingbird cake or Italian Cream cake – your Strawberry Lemonade is delicious too!
I love yellow cake with whipped chocolate ganache frosting. I absolutely adore Amanda’s blog, I’d love her book!
My favorite is all chocolate – deep, dark chocolate cake with a rich chocolate ganache. Bring on the chocolate!
This looks delicious! My favorite cake is french vanilla with dark chocolate frosting!
anything with chocolate of course, am I right?
My favorite is Carrot Cake….with just the right amount of Cream Cheese frosting.
Gorgeous!! Bookmarked for summer days. xo
My favorite cake is my Mom’s recipe, which is called “Poor Man’s Cake”. Its a dense chocolate cake that calls for oil, no eggs, hence the name. Apparently it was popular when eggs were in expensive. Its great with buttercream frosting, whipped cream, confectionary sugar, or no topping at all!
But I love your carrot cake too! No raisins or pineapple for me, either!
I love my chocolate sour cream cake with peanut butter Italian Meringue buttercream filling glazed with chocolate ganache!
My favorite kind of cake is red velvet with cream cheese frosting 🙂
My favorite cake of my Grandmom is pineapple upside down. My favorite of my mother’s is German chocolate. My favorite of my best friend is caramel. I won’t go on because I have many favorites. My most favorite of all is a slice of a great buttery pound cake.
Love ice cream cake and this one looks amazing!
Absolutely anything that has a bit of chocolate! So hard to chose just one!
Texas sheet cake–it’s moist, easy and delicious!
My favorite cake is “tres leches”! But only homemade!!!
Pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting.
I need this cake in my life!
I love chocolate cake with a Oreos and chocolate frosting!
My favorite cake is my Mom’s chocolate with vanilla frosting!
Oh my oh my!! That cake I must make for Chloe and my best friends kids
maybe have to make a trip to Molly Moons for flavs! Lol about Pia snuggling up
with a cookbook bless her heart!)) Hands down my mom would make my sister and I
dreamy Pink Lemonade cake for birthdays and special occasions! I would actually sneak
into our extra freezer and slice myself big chunks of “pretty in pink” movie worthy slices.)))
I love the super soft, spongy, light cakes from really good Chinese Bakeries. Filled with fresh strawberries or mangoes, with light whipped cream frosting. I’ve tried replicating, to no avail. That’s the one cake I still have to go out and buy!
I love a good yellow cake with chocolate buttercream!
I want this cake in my body SO BAD! Holy heck!
I love any cake that is chocolate plus fruit, so orange, strawberry, raspberry… yum yum yum…. excuse me while I wipe the drool off my desk
My current favorite is a dark chocolate cake with real strawberry icing
My favorite cake is chocolate anything!
I am speechless at how much I love the look and sound of this cake!! I neeeeeed to make it for my next party, or perhaps, just because on the weekend!
I’m not much of a sweet eater so I could do without the cake (I love to bake for others though) BUT I LOVE some frosting. Like the super sugary kind that gets piped on around the edges of a cake and after sitting out for a few hours gets a thin shell on the outside. MMM… my weakness!
Anything Chocolate! I live for chocolate 🙂
I like all cakes from chocolate cake to cheesecake to pancakes! One of my favorites is a simple chocolate bundt cake.
Lemon cake with lemon icing
I love a homemade Angel Food Cake! Plain. Sounds boring but it is so very good!
I would love this! The cake I make most are bundt cakes.
Now this is some kinda special cake!! Love the book too 🙂
I am really loving Italian cream cake or any white cake with white icing
I love cake, I am not sure what my favorite is, that is like asking which one is my favorite child! Ha ha. But i recently made a grapefruit cake that was yummy. And I am kind of famous for my chocolate cakes. You can never go wrong with chocolate. I would love that cookbook!
My favorite cake is Strawberry cake with bits of strawberry inside. My mum baked one for me on my birthday, and I absolutely loved it! I have been in love with it since. 🙂
My husband just lost his father on Monday and his favorite cake is a simple yellow butter cake with chocolate butter cream frosting. His mother always made her cakes from box cake mixes and he now has been spoiled by my homemade from scratch ones. He especially can not eat store bought icing. Lol But, since Monday, I have made him and my three kids 2 cakes this week. While staying with my mother in law. 🙂 I can’t wait to get back into my kitchen and try this ice cream cake.
This is so pretty! I love all the layers!
My favorite cake is yellow cake with chocolate buttercream. Simple but delicious:)
My favorite cake is anything chocolate!
I know it sounds boring but Chocolate cake with whipped chocolate frosting will always be my fav! I will definitely have to try this though.
My favorite kind of cake is condensed milk chocolate chip. It’s sooooo good!
My favorite cake is a light, fluffy, coconut cream cake! LOL about finding the cake book under Pia’s covers … too cute. 🙂
Ice cream cakes
Yum! I recently made a Neapolitan ice cream pie but I love the idea of having cake in there too.
I absolutely love any type of cake that has peanut butter!
Heather, you may as well as me which of my sons is my favorite!? If pressed, I’ll say anything chocolate.
Good old fashioned chocolate cake with chocolate frosting is my favorite!
Mmmmm. I love red velvet cake and chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and raspberry upside down cake and almond cake with fresh strawberries and, wait, was I only supposed to name one??
What an awesome giveaway! My favorite cakes are always made from scratch and are covered with just about any flavor of Italian Meringue Buttercream. Oh my – now I need cake!
I love an Italian polenta cake with creme fraiche and berries.
What a great giveaway and delicious looking recipe! My favorite cake is definitely chocolate, whether it is paired with peanut butter, raspberries, whipped cream or more chocolate!
My husband makes a crepe cake that is amazing. Definitely my favorite right now.
My favorite kind of cake is carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.
I’m in love with this cake! Anything with strawberry and cookie and cream ice cream has my heart!
Our family favorite is called “Dan’s Favorite Orange Cake” and was given to me by my mother-in-law 28 years ago when I married my husband, Dan. I have modified the recipe slightly and it is the one cake that people take a bite of and immediately sigh with bliss. SO GOOD!
I prefer hummingbird or carrot cake. Now I am hungry!
Angel food cake is my favorite!
Italian Cream Cake. YUM
What a beautiful presentation!
All cakes are good, but for my family it’s Chocolate Cake at the top of the list,closely chased by my super light and high Pancakes. Just no pkt cakes for this family
This is an extraordinary dessert! I am thrilled to have found your blog.
My favorite cake right now is grilled vanilla pind cake with grilled peaches real vanilla icecream and frizzled caramel ssauce
Unfortunately I luv every kind of cake. I have always been one that is not hard to please. This cake looks divine. I visit my grandkids in S.Carolina often and we always attempt a new dessert I have seen. This is next on my list. Thanks
like your recipes
Chocolate Toffee Torte comes to mind — a chocolate cookie type crust, a toffee mouse center, and fresh whipped cream on top. Soooo good. But Key Lime cheesecake runs a pretty close second.
Love strawberry cake!
My husband’s favorite ice cream., I got to make this for his BD. We already have plans on Fathers day. I cant wait .
Thanks so much,!!
I’m baking this right now and hope I didn’t mess it up. The strawberry cake batter FILLED a 9″ pan to the top! I decided to split it into 2- 9″ pans and will see how it comes out.
Your instructions only call for one pan.
Let me know if it should be one or two.
The recipe I used (from the I am baker cookbook) called for one but it baked pretty thickly. So those will be thin layers- but you could totally make this just a little more exciting by going pink, chocolate, pink!
SO…my daughter saw this cake and had to have it for her birthday. It seems intimidating but each layer is straight forward and putting the cake together is not difficult at all. The finished cake was pretty on the outside and spectacular when cut into. However, the recipes says to keep in freezer until ready to serve. Obviously, this needs to be done to keep the ice cream frozen. However, the cake is frozen as well as the brownie layer. It was almost impossible to cut and we ended up having to microwave each individual slice to get it to an edible temperature. With that said, the cake was delicious. Everyone absolutely loved it.
Am I missing something in the serving of this cake? I hated microwaving it but It was too hard to eat otherwise.
I love lemon cake with a thick layer of lemon curd through the middle and an even thicker buttercream topping Yum!