Do you remember when I made a Neapolitan Birthday Cake for a special girl turning 1 last year? Well, I had the opportunity to make another one for her 2nd birthday this year. Her Mom always has such great ideas and I had a blast making her cake.
Neapolitan means 3 cakes for each tier. I used this Chocolate Cake recipe, this Fresh Strawberry Cake recipe (with real strawberries, and no jello or food coloring), and this Vanilla Buttermilk Cake recipe.
Here I am reducing the strawberry puree for the cake and icing. I used whole frozen strawberries that I heated on low until they were defrosted and then I used my immersion blender to make it smooth. Then I reduced it until the mixture was thick and sputtering. I doubled the recipe to make a 12 inch cake and a 9 inch cake and used 32 oz of frozen strawberries which reduced down to 2 cups. I used 1 1/2 cups of puree in the batter. The recipe says to strain the pulp from the puree but I kept it in. I don’t think the seeds are that noticeable in the final cake, but I also love seeded jams. If you hate seeds, then feel free to strain the pulp and seeds out before adding the mixture to the cake.
Once all the cakes were baked, I torted them, wrapped them in saran wrap and stuck them in the freezer. Freezing the cakes before assembling makes them more moist and easier to handle.
Then I made the icings. I have traditional buttercream, chocolate buttercream and a fresh strawberry buttercream where I used 1/3 cup of the extra reduced strawberry puree instead of the milk in the recipe.
Then I pulled the cakes out of the freezer and assembled them.
For some reason the vanilla cake shrunk a lot more than the strawberry and chocolate cakes, so I had to trim them down. I snacked on the cake crumbs to keep me going :).
Then I did the crumb coat with white icing and colored the rest of icing blue with a little bit of green food coloring to make it a vibrant teal color.
Once the cakes were assembled, I worked on the decorations. To make fondant, I just melt some marshmallows in the microwave and add powdered sugar until it is the consistency of play dough. It takes some kneading to get the powdered sugar incorporated, but it comes together quickly.
Then food coloring was added and kneaded in until the color was fully incorporated. I didn’t plan ahead very well and used freshly made fondant. It is a lot easier to work with fondant that has been able to sit for a day. Any fondant that is not being used should be covered with a tiny bit of shortening and wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or it will dry out.
Once I had my colors mixed, I pulled out the my rolling pin (a short piece of pvc works great as a small rolling pin!), flower mold, and a chopstick to shape the flowers.
To give the flowers a 3-D texture I used the end of a chopstick.
I started at the end and pulled the chopstick towards the middle which causes the edges to curl up.
After experimentation, I found that is was easiest (and broke less petals) to hold the flower while I was using the chopstick to shape the petals.
I covered the flowers with some foil to keep the dust off and let them air dry and harden overnight.
Finally the day of the party arrived and I could assemble everything. I piped on her name and the number 2 and piped the border. Then I used buttercream to attach the flowers to the cake and used buttercream to pipe the center of the flowers.
Almost done!! She wanted a cupcake as a topper so that was the last piece.
Happy Birthday Evie! I hope you enjoyed your special day!