Inside-Out Neapolitan Layer Cake

Inside-Out Neapolitan Cake via Sweetapolita

I have great news! My temporary cake-diet, you know, the one during which I stopped eating cake, is over, and I’ve resumed my more permanent cake-diet, the one where all I think about and often indulge in cake. And, let me say, I ended it and restored order just in time: 3 layers of rich Southern Devil’s Food Cake stacked between fluffy Neapolitan flavoured Swiss Meringue Buttercreams: Belgian Chocolate, Vanilla, and Strawberry, and topped with pure dark chocolate sprinkles from Holland. If you read the past post of mine, Neapolitan 5-Layer Birthday Cake with Strawberry Frosting, you’ll recall that I adore Neapolitan. In that case, the cake itself was Neapolitan. The flavours really bring me back to my childhood, and I was so happy to see that so many of you felt the same way after reading that post. Lately, I’ve been thinking more and more about Neapolitan and how I think there may be a serious shortage of it in my day-to-day life, so I’ve been dreaming up new ways to incorporate it into my world. This was a really fun start to that mission!  

Inside-Out Neapolitan Cake via Sweetapolita

If someone was ever cruel enough to force you to choose, would you say that you’re a cake person, or a frosting person? I find the older I get, the more I appreciate the cake itself. I would say that most times I would be perfectly content with a fresh piece of cake icing free, but wow, Swiss Meringue Buttercream makes me so very happy, and I’m pretty sure, with some focus, I could sit down and eat an entire bowl of it. Of course, its rich-but-light texture that’s not too sweet but just sweet enough is a dream in itself, but working with it, well, there’s just nothing better. It’s so satiny and holds up so well under fondant, on its own, in ruffles, smooth & perfect, or just about any way at all. You can flavour it with just about anything, and it can be frozen, then thawed, refrigerated, then room temperature–it will take just about anything! It may seem intimidating to make at first, but it’s really quick once you get the hang of it, and you will never look back. It’s also a really great way to take a simple layer cake and make it a bit more special and luxe.

Inside-Out Neapolitan Cake via Sweetapolita

As for the cake itself, I decided to take a break from my favourite Dark Chocolate Cake and go for a really rich and decadent Southern Devil’s Food Cake recipe I found, from Fine Cooking, that’s made with a few different ingredients than my usual recipe, such as mayonnaise, butter, and dark brown sugar. I did, though, make sure to include my must-have cocoa powder, Cacao Barry Extra Brute, for that really dark and rich taste. Divine. I really can say that I notice that extra richness that the butter and mayonnaise add–incredible!

Inside-Out Neapolitan Cake via Sweetapolita

What better way to show off all of these buttercream flavours, than to just tie it into the design of the cake, and leave the frosting off of the outside? I personally love cakes that are left open like this, and I think it’s a really refreshing change once in awhile, particularly when you play with interesting filling flavours, textures, and colours. Now, I did go quite generous with this filling because of the gorgeous, not-so-sweet Swiss Meringue Buttercream, but I wouldn’t recommend this with sugary frosting. As a “rule,” not that I’m big on those, you would aim for your layer-cake filling to be about 1/2 of the thickness of your cake layers.

Inside-Out Neapolitan Cake via Sweetapolita

I sliced this piece for the photo, and then covered it with wrap once I was done with the photographs. I wasn’t going to eat it (I promise), but then as the girls were walking to the bathroom for bath-time, they discovered it, and well, there we sat in the upstairs hallway sharing this with 3 forks and a lot of “mmmm”s. Nothing could have prepared me for the extreme cute that is watching a 4-year-old and a 19-month-old eat cake and sprinkles while sporting bare bums.

Sprinkles via Sweetapolita

Speaking of sprinkles, I have to tell you about this incredible range of imported sprinkles I found at the cutest little bakery and European grocer located in a wee little town near me, Orono, where I buy most of my antiques. I was there this past weekend, and I discovered an entire shelf of these gourmet sprinkles from the Netherlands. Aside from the fact that they offer pure dark chocolate, milk chocolate, anise, and many more sprinkle variations, they won me over at first glance–can you guess why? Yes! They have smothered these sprinkles all over toast, and this is, what I since discovered something the Dutch love to do! I can’t say it ever crossed my mind to do that, but I think I need to give that a try–immediately. Besides, any country that swears by mayonnaise and french fries is clearly on the brink of culinary genius (did I mention that the little grocer also sells large squeeze bottles of the french-fry-designated mayo?), and I trust them completely. I sprinkled a handful of the dark chocolate variety as the finishing touch to this cake. Love them! You can learn more about these De Ruijter sprinkles here or buy them here.

I hope you enjoy this cake as much as my bare-bummed little cakelets and I did.

Inside-Out Neapolitan Layer Cake

Yield: One 3-layer, 8-inch round cake


    For the Cake:
  • 3/4 cup (170 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups (460 g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1-3/4 cups (220 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (90 g) unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1-1/4 teaspoon (7 g) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (10 g) kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 cup (360 ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) mayonnaise
  • For the Buttercream:
  • 5 large fresh egg whites (150 g)
  • 1-1/4 cup (250 g) superfine granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups (340 g) (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 5 oz (150 g) quality bittersweet chocolate
  • Few drops Strawberry Flavor Oil, or 2 tablespoons (30 ml) strawberry puree
  • Few drops pink gel colour


    For the Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans, line with parchment rounds, and dust with flour, tapping out the excess.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar and vanilla on medium-high speed until lighter in color and slightly increased in volume, about 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each is fully incorporated before adding the next.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder into a medium bowl. Add the salt to the dry ingredients after sifting, and whisk dry ingredients.
  4. Alternate dry ingredients and buttermilk into creamed mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated, or finish by hand gently. Fold mayonnaise into batter with a whisk, until just blended.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. If possible, weigh the batter in each cake pan for 454 g each (excluding the pans--you will want to tare the scale each time.) This ensures even layers. Smooth with small offset palette knife, and bake for about 30 minutes, rotating once after 20 minutes. Cake is done when toothpick or skewer comes barely clean. Try not to over-bake. I tend to under-bake a few moments, so the skewer is a little bit gummy. This works well for a moist chocolate cake (not vanilla).
  6. Let pans cool on wire rack for 20 minutes, then invert cakes onto racks, gently, peeling away parchment rounds. Let cool completely.
  7. For the Buttercream:
  8. Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer with paper towel and lemon juice, to remove any trace of grease. Add egg whites and sugar, and simmer over a pot of water (not boiling), whisking constantly but gently, until temperature reaches 160°F, or if you don't have a candy thermometer, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
  9. Place bowl back on mixer and fit with whisk attachment. Whip until the meringue is thick, glossy, and the bottom of the bowl feels neutral to the touch (this can take up to 10 minutes, or longer). Switch over to paddle attachment and, with mixer on low speed, add softened butter in chunks until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture (if curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth).
  10. Add vanilla and salt, continuing to beat on low speed until well combined.
  11. Assembly of the Inside-Out Neapolitan Layer Cake
  12. Divide buttercream into 3, and flavour 1/3 chocolate and another 1/3 strawberry. Leave remaining buttercream vanilla. For chocolate, add melted and cooled bittersweet chocolate and blend until combined. For strawberry, add a few drops of Strawberry Flavor Oil (minimal) or 1-2 tablespoons of strawberry puree. Add a few drops of pink gel food colouring to strawberry buttercream
  13. Trim any doming on your cake layers with a very sharp, serrated bread knife. Wrap layers in plastic wrap and chill for 15 minutes in freezer.
  14. Spread a 1" circle of icing onto an 8" round thin cake board using an offset palette knife and place the first cake layer on top, face-up.
  15. Using a small offset palette knife, spread 1 cup of chocolate buttercream on top, leaving about a 1" gap from edges. Place second cake layer on top, face up, and repeat, using Vanilla Buttercream.
  16. Place final layer on top, face-down and repeat using Strawberry Buttercream.
  17. Fill 3 piping bags with remaining buttercreams fitted with Wilton 8B decorative tip, or the tip of your choice, decorate edges, filling in gaps. Top with dark chocolate sprinkles.


*Keep buttercream in airtight container in refrigerator for up to one week, leaving out at room temperature when needed, rewhipping in mixer for 5 minutes.

**Can freeze buttercream for up to 6-8 weeks. To thaw, place on counter overnight, and rewhip for 5 minutes with paddle attachment in an electric mixer.

[Southern Devil’s Cake Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking, by David Guas]

Good luck & enjoy!


PS. I love receiving your baking questions, and I find it works really well if you ask them in the comments section, so that when I reply to post-related questions in the comment section as opposed to via email, other readers with the same questions can read the information as well. Thanks so much!


Share the Sweetness!


  1. says

    Omg!, ..that’s it, that’s all! ..oh and I love mayo in a choc cake, it just makes it extra yummers! oh and I love love love your blog and fb page. ok that’s really all for now! :)

  2. says

    I knew this was you as soon as I opened my reader and all I could see was the title! This is beautiful, and I REALLY think I am going to try the swiss meriengue BC. Say a little prayer for me! =)

  3. says

    IT ISN’T FAIR HOW BEAUTIFUL ALL OF YOUR CAKES ARE! You’re amazing, Rosie – and such an inspiration!! I love that you piped the frosting along the edges of each layer. It’s gorgeous!

    I like a nice ratio of cake to frosting myself, but I am totally a cake person. I typically brush the frosting to the side – I just like how it looks when there’s a ton.

  4. says

    Your beautiful post reminded me of my Mom. She always put mayonnaise in her chocolate cakes. I love Swiss meringue buttercream frosting. It’s easy to work with and so delicious without being too sweet. Like you, I prefer the cake over the frosting as I think frosting should compliment a cake and not outshine it.
    You created another showpiece Rosie! Love your paragraph on the girls having some on their way to bath time :)

  5. says

    I think that mayonnaise adds great depth to chocolate cakes! Perhaps though I am biased, being (maybe) the hugest fan of mayo ever born.

    In between my oft-enjoyed mayo/fry consumption I will have to try my luck at this cake – I was going to say that it looks divine, but then I reached the point in the post where you said that for me:)

  6. says

    Mayonnaise! Wow… I guess it plays the role of vegetable oil to keep the cake moist since a basic mayo is about 60 to 70% oil content…
    Interesting! :)

  7. Rita D says

    Well I’ve been intimidated by the Swiss meringue, but I think this has pushed me over the edge. This is on my to be baked list, sigh…

  8. Fiona Richards says

    I am so in awe of everything you do. Your cakes are incredible and your photography is sublime – you are a star. You need a show.

  9. says

    Lovely cake again! I love seeing the layers on the outside! Your baking is always so phenomenal! I love the discovery of chocolate sprinkles on toast! As a child, I had a friend who was Dutch and would put sprinkles and shaved chocolate on her toast. I was wow’ed by that! My parents would never let me do it :) It was worth the wait, much like a good bocadillo de chocolate.

  10. Lisette says


    I’m from the Netherlands and you can do so much with those sprinkles. We call it hagelslag and it’s a very common product to put on bread,first spread butter(the real stuff) and then pour sprinkles.Or try it with peanutbutter :) stick it to the side of a cake,or just swirl it in a cake batter :)Let’s just say, I have every variety in the pantry,dark milk white,dark and white mixed,fruitflavoured in 2 flavors,anise,xxl sprinkles in all 3 flavors(brand is venz)extra dark,creamy white and mocca….look for them they are good!

    I have to say I love this cake :D

    • Annette says

      My parents are from the Netherlands and Hagelslag is one of our favorite Dutch treats (who doesn’t love chocolate for breakfast). I get them in Canada in the dutch delis. There are a couple around Edmonton, I am sure there are some out east too!

      Awesome cake! I am in a cake making zone and I’ve been trying out quite a few of these.

  11. Andrea says

    Your cakes are always beautiful, and this one is no exception! It looks delicious!

    As for the chocolate sprinkles… I am from a Dutch family, and the chocolate sprinkles on toast was a special treat that I always got to have at my Oma’s house. If you’re going to try it, I recommend using white bread. I’m a wheat bread girl for everything else, but for that particular item, white bread is just the best! :)

    Love your blog!

  12. says

    I think I’m in love Rosie with this cake! It’s gorgeous and I think I could eat my computer screen. Thanks for posting the recipe I’m sure I’ll be putting it to good use.

    Your talent is only superseded by your creativity.

    PS! LOVE LOVE the look of your page. Fabulous gal!


  13. says

    I made Swiss Meringue Buttercream for the first time after seeing your gorgeous pink ruffle cake. It is my new favorite frosting! I was afraid I would have trouble making it, but thanks to your directions and the answers you gave to questions in the comments, I had no trouble at all. I say it tastes like a slightly sweetened cloud. I made a practice ruffle cake for a baby shower, which was later postponed, and I have already made the frosting again for a cake for a coworker who was leaving the company. I cannot wait to make the ruffle cake! Everyone will be so impressed at the shower, and the mom-to-be will adore that cake. Thanks for all the inspiration and instruction!

  14. Henri says

    How to eat your chocolate sprinkles:
    1) take a slice of bread. White or wheat, doesn’t matter. Breadism isn’t an issue here.
    Do not toast it.
    2) spear butter/margarine on slice of bread, mainly so the sprinkles don’t fall off.
    3) cut bread into squares.
    4) Do a weird al and eat it. Eeeaaat iiiiiit!

    This is how I’ve eaten mine these past 20 years. And I’m from Holland ;)

    alternative: peanut butter instead of butter. Reese’s cup on a slice of bread.

  15. Mary says

    Such a cool concept…I love the inside out!!! Looks mighty tasty…wish I was there to enjoy it with you and my lovelies. Speaking of the sprinkles on bread…when I was living in Aus. the kids would come to school with white bread, buttered and topped with multi-coloured sprinkles (100’s and 1000’s I think they called them there?). Here’s the best part…they call it Fairy Bread…how enchanting! Beautiful work Rosie, as always xo

  16. Jennifer says

    Gorgeous cake! I love your pics!
    Everyone else may already know this, but what is the difference between swiss buttercream and regular american buttercream?

    • says

      Thanks, Jennifer! The difference between Swiss Meringue Buttercream and American Buttercream, is that it contains no powdered sugar, and is made by heating egg whites and granulated sugar over a bain marie then whipped into a fluffy meringue, then by adding butter and flavourings. It’s satiny and not super sweet, but incredibly delicious! American Buttercream is more like a sugary party frosting that is very sweet and buttery, as it’s made of powdered sugar and butter, for the most part. Hope this helps!

  17. says

    Oh wow. I usually don’t care for frosting–I’d rather a bit of powdered sugar or a simple ganache–but this is just so gorgeous! I love how the frosting doesn’t occlude the cake, but just sits between layers. I’m also intrigued by the merigue-based frosting. As a meringue addict, I might like it more than your standard too-sweet frosting.

  18. Dawn says

    Of COURSE you’re going to eat the sprinkles on bread. They’re also great on cake. My mom used to make this amazing sponge cake for our birthdays. It was filled with whipped (and sweetened) cream and fruit cocktail, and decorated with whipped cream. She’d use a star tip to divide the top into pie-shaped sections, and then alternate the sections that got sprinkles. Droste chocolate coins went on the side, and there was usually 1 maraschino cherry in the middle. Yum! De Ruijter (sp?) is the best!

  19. says

    That looks delicious!!

    I get those sprinkles (that very brand of delicousness) from my dollar store! For some reason our dollar store has a dutch import section and a british import section. best dollar store in the entire world!

  20. says

    Oooh Im bookmarking this! so beautiful. I’m an American living in The Netherlands and they have sprinkles in all different colors and yep they love them on top of butter on their bread aswell as peanut butter. They go nuts over Nutella aswell.

  21. linda says

    love the “look” of this beautiful cake!! & i am certain the taste is incredible!
    thanks for the info on the sprinkles…i am always looking for “tasty” ones!

  22. says

    Hi! Great looking cake! I have a question: is the amount of chocolate listed to make just one 1/3 recipe of frosting, or a whole batch of chocolate frosting? I do love SMBC! But it has so much butter in it it gives my husband heartburn! I really want to make this cake though!

    • says

      Thanks, Erin! To answer your question, that quantity was to create chocolate buttercream with 1/3 of the recipe, but honestly, it’s really just to taste. You could triple that for a full batch, but you could start with doubling it and then add more as you see fit! Good luck!

  23. says

    Oh, that looks so wonderful!!! I am equally a cake and frosting person….I would eat either one all day long if I could. Thanks for sharing!

  24. says

    I love love love Swiss meringue buttercream, especially those adapted from Martha. For people who say they are not a fan of frosting, this one proves them wrong, always!

    My question to you is how long do you keep your cakes out after they are frosted? I’ve read Swiss meringue buttercream can last 5 days at room temperature, however I am still weary and always refrigerated my cakes/cupcakes if serving the next day. But refrigerating cakes dries them out a bit. What are your thoughts on this?


    • says

      Hi Rebecca! Well, I keep buttercream cakes out for up to 6-9 hours or so, but then always refrigerate them in between in an airtight container, or wrapped really well. If the cake has fondant over it as well, that always helps keep moisture in too, but I just don’t like leaving the buttercream cakes out too long. I always bring the cakes back to room temp to serve, and chocolate cake in particular does just fine. It does seem to dry out vanilla a bit more, but I really don’t keep a cake around for more than 3 days either way, so it seems to all work out. I hope this helps!

  25. says

    Oh my goodness, this looks beautiful and delicious! I have never tried my hand at baking cakes as gorgeous as this, but I think I might need to try!

  26. says

    Beautiful…and you totally rocked the bare sides. I’ve always thought that was a brave move because frosting can hide SO much. Your deep, dark cake doesn’t need to be hidden at all, just accentuated by those luscious frosting colors!

  27. Kitty says

    Also, when I tried making the Swiss Meringue Buttercream it was really soft. Any idea what I could have done wrong?

    • says

      Hi Kitty! I was just here online when your comment came through, and I wanted to first, say thank you for the sweet words about being magical! Secondly, it would likely be that your butter was very soft when you made it. If you pop it into the fridge, covered, for a bit, it will harden quickly. If, in turn, it hardens too much, just leave it out at room temp for a bit. Just a note that so many of my readers are asking SMB questions, so I am drafting a post as we speak devoted to making, using, and storing (and even troubleshooting) Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Check back in the next 2 days!

  28. says

    Love the cake! I checked out the link for the sprinkels and I think they have the best idea to put sprinkels in toast!! I am going to get some chocolate shavings for my toast! So yummy :)

  29. says

    Somedays I hate you… seriously.. other days I wish I could fit in your apron pocket and catch all the delicious bits that might drop – a sprinkle here, a little icing maybe.. then I go back to hating you… It’s not you, it’s me.. I have a love hate relationship with your blog.. haha I think I would feel so much better about you and your blog if you cut off a piece and sent it to me in an envelope. Doesn’t matter if it squishes.. I’ll eat it anyways..

  30. Bianca says

    Gorgeous cake- and love the use of the Dutch sprinkles. My Dad’s family is Dutch so I’m grown up with them and it’s great to see other people realise how awesome they are! When I was in Holland I even found little tiny boxes of them that you can take on a picnic, or travelling. So adorable!

  31. says

    Hi Rosie,
    Thank you so much for commenting on my blog. It really means a lot to me! This cake is so so pretty and perfect just like everything you create. I have to say your daughters are the most beautiful kids I have ever seen!

  32. says

    Hello. I just found your blog and OH MY GOD, this was no good site for me. I´m going to weigh like a gigant if I go through your blog. Everything looks delicious. And I looooooove chocolate.

  33. says

    Not frosting the outside of the cake is such a great way to high-light your use of buttercreams! That is a great idea and could be used with other cakes to showcase interesting fillings.

    Great pictures!

  34. Heidi says

    This cake looks amazing. I made your other Neapolitan one for my daughter’s birthday last weekend. It was delicious and everyone loved the look of it. My husband is in the military and we are actually stationed in the Netherlands right now. I love it here and love the food. My daughters love the sprinkles as well. We also LOVE stroop waffles! This has been a great experience living here.

  35. says

    We have a little dutch store just outside of town with an amazing array of all of those wonderful sprinkles! I had been meaning to stop in for some real chocolate sprinkles and was reminded when I read your post a few days sgo…the milk chocolate sprinkes on a toasted croissant…OMG!

    This cake looks beautiful and I’m planning to make it for dessert tonight!

  36. says

    A diet without cake? That sounds miserable! I too made a neapolitan cake after seeing yours and it was the best cake I have eaten all year long. I absolutely loved it. This version sounds incredible too.

  37. Heidi says

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe! I made this as a birthday cake for a coworker and it was a huge hit! One person said he kept expecting the ice cream and kept being surprised with frosting!

  38. says

    I’m trying to find a really good Raspberry frosting, this frosting looks delicious but I was wondering if you think it would taste ok with a raspberry coulis in it?

  39. Nathalie says

    Looks awesome!
    And living in Belgium I’m in range of those prinkles :)
    And just a fun fact, it’s Belgium that’s the french fries addicted country! We got a bit of a competition going on with Holland ^^

  40. Margaret says

    Just love the cake, but when I clicked on the link “where to buy” the sprinkles it notes at the top of the page that the page is a demo and no orders will be honored. Is there a valid link to purchase them?

  41. says

    I just love this cake!!
    So funny to see your story about the sprinkles, I live in Holland and we do have a lot of those. I just never thought of it to use it as sprinkles. Well, that’s not true, i used the XL Hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles) on cupcakes once before. I like ‘hagelslag’ with peanutbutter on a slice of bread in the morning :) When I am on vacation in a foreign country it’s hard to find this in stores, so I bring my own :) lol

  42. Ali says

    I just stumbled across your blog while looking for a coconut frosting recipe (I am going to try your carrot cake frosting!) and a few clicks later I found my way to this post. I’m originally from the USA but I have lived in Holland for the past six months. The Dutch are notoriously obsessed with sprinkles, and yes, you are right!! They eat it on bread. Add some soft butter and you have a delicious snack! It is hard to find more typical American cooking ingredients here – baking soda, baking powder, powdered sugar, etc – but it’s nice to be reminded that some Dutch specialties also make for AWESOME cakes and can be found in abundance! We have a whole aisle of sprinkles at my local shop! Thanks for the great recipes and cute cultural reference!

  43. says

    Hi Rosie,

    I’m just writing to let you know, you are one of my inspirations. And like you, I also have two little girls that are my sun and moon! I made your recipe above and just finished posting it on my blog, linking back to you blog as my source. Thank you to you for sharing your ideas, recipes and pictures.

    Best always,
    Jackie Hale
    Galexi Cupcakes

  44. Caitlin says

    I LOVE those De Ruijter sprinkles (their licorice powder is freaking amazing) my dad and I get them from this dutch bakery near my house that was run by my opa’s (my dad’s dad) best friend from the Netherlands. They taste sooooooo good on toast ;)

  45. Sophie says

    Hi– All of your cakes look delicious!! but where did you get the sprinkles!!! I am a dutch girl in america, and the only way i get them is when my grandparents send them over from the netherlands! (they are even better on round baked biscuits– I only know that they are called beschuitje met hagelslag as a finished product!)
    What store did you buy the sprinkles at!??!

  46. says

    This is gorgeous, and I am planning to make it for a coworkers birthday Monday, but I had one question: for the strawberry frosting, how much puree should I add, also is it just processed strawberries, or do you add any sugar to the puree?

    I love your blog, I have now made two of your cakes, and both turned out gorgeous, delicious, and were gone before I knew it! You’ve certainly helped me become a better anymore confident baker and cake maker

    • says

      Thanks Mai! It looks like my answer comes a bit late, but to answer your question, you can add just processed strawberries, or add a bit of sugar, or even just add a few drops of strawberry flavoring (I like LorAnn oils) and some pink gel colour. It all works well and you can do it to taste. The puree will change the consistency slightly, so you would want to start with about 1/4 cup for a 5 cup batch, and then add slowly. If you did make it already, I hope it went well!

  47. jamie says

    Ok I’m not a baker but totally am inspired however I don’t own a stand mixer. So should i qttempt this beautiful creation? Any tips?

    • says

      I would definitely go ahead and make the cake with a hand mixer, but the Swiss Meringue Buttercream would take a bit of extra time during the whipping the meringue portion. You can still do it with a hand mixer, though. You could opt for an easier frosting, which could make the process less time-consuming for you. I hope this helps!

  48. Adrienne says

    I made this for my son’s 4th birthday, and he loved it! Also, it was a total crowd pleaser– every thought it gorgeous and delicious. What I thought best was that its beautiful in its flavor, color, and simplicity of decoration– I’m not a great decorator, but I could make this look good :)

    Thanks so much!!!

  49. Michelle rauer says

    Hi There…I’m in Ajax – where in Orono did you find the sprinkles? I’m thinking a road trip may be necessary soon. Starting Bonnie Gordon school soon and would love to have some of these on-hand!



    • says

      Hi Michelle! The sprinkles are from The Village Bake Shop on the main street in Orono. There’s a wall at the back of the store filled with imported items, including a large variety of the sprinkles. On a side note, I think you’re going to love Bonnie Gordon College! Good luck!

      • Michelle rauer says

        I’m so excited about Bonnie Gordon College!! It’s a dream come true for me. As a hobbyist up until now I’m hoping to make it my career in the near future!! You may see my resume and portfolio cross your desk at some point!!

        Thanks for having such a fantastic blog and website!



        • says

          That’s so great, Michelle! I wish you so much luck–I just know you’ll love it. Oh, and guess what? Today I found the chocolate Ruijter sprinkles at Metro in Bowmanville in the International section–I suspect your Metro would have them too! Just in case you didn’t want to make the trip to Orono. Good luck!

          • Michelle rauer says

            Thanks for the info Rosie, I’ll be checking out Metro asap!!! We’ve one nearby in Whitby.

  50. says

    Hello! I LOVE your blog, your baking, your photos, all of it. I also love how detailed you are in the recipes and the tips you give, so helpful! I want to try to make this cake because I’ve been dying to make one of your recipes and I think this looks wonderful. Is this cake really super chocolatey? I don’t want it to be too overwhelming in chocolate (I’m not a huge fan of really rich chocolate)- should I just use less of the cocoa powder? Would using store bought cocoa powder work well also would you think? Thank you!

    • Tiffany says

      Hi! I use white vinegar and regular milk when I do not have buttermilk on hand. Pour 1 Tablespoon White Vinegar in a measuring cup. Add milk to the 1 cup mark. :D

      • Sarah says

        Hi Mariah, I know this is years too late, but I am also in NZ, and we do have buttermilk. Its in a yellow carton, usually by the cream and milk, and its by Tararua….

  51. Casey says

    Your photos are as glorious as your cakes. How do you cut them so cleanly? Every time I cut one to photograph, they cake smears into the frosting and looks sloppy.

  52. Janice says

    Hi Rosie – I’m scouring your blog to find the perfect chocolate cake for my husband’s 50th birthday this Saturday. I was planning to make vanilla but he announced that he would like chocolate cake, lol, so I guess it is chocolate. I’m going to try this Devil’s Food layer cake.
    I noticed you said that you live near Orono – so do I! I live in Durham Region, what are the chances? I found your blog via my SIL who lives in Miami, Florida…again, what are the chances? I look forward to trying this recipe – I’ve mostly been a “Betty Crocker” baker so this will be an experiment of sorts. Thanks for all of the great recipes, stories and pictures.

  53. says

    o my… that cake is awesoem!
    But those sprinkles we eat on our breath here in the netherlands. They call it hagelslag.
    But what a price you pay when you buy them online!!!! Shamefull!!! in the stores here they are much cheaper!!!

  54. Kristy says

    Hi Rosie,
    I stumbled upon your blog doing a search for cinnamon rolls. Your recipes look wonderful, and your photography is stunning! Thank you for posting your beautiful work. I recently purchased Callebaut cocoa powder ~ do you think the cake and frosting will taste good with that? I’m kind of looking for the ultimate chocolate cake I guess you could say. Thanks

  55. Katy says

    Beautiful cake! I a making it this weekend for a birthday and am wondering how much ahead of time I can make the cake? Can I make it a day or two in advance and then frost or should I make it the day of?

    • says

      Thanks, Katy! I’m not sure if you’ve already made the cake, but to answer your question, you can make the cake portion up to 3 days ahead of time as long as it’s well-wrapped in plastic and at room temperature. Hope this helps!

  56. Kerin Wilson says

    Hey, the cake looks great! i was thinking of giving it ago for christmas afternoon tea for the family!
    though, theres opne problem, i only have one cake tin, not three… what do you suggest? cook the mixture 3 times…? or cut the cake after baking?

  57. sania says

    Help Rosie!!! why is my swiss meringue when added melted dark chocolate it becomes very liquidy? Where did it go wrong? The smb was ok before adding.

  58. melissa says

    Okay I know this may go against everything you believe….but could I substitute vegetable oil for the mayo? I am not a fan of mayo at all and the thought of it in a cake grosses me out. Since I’m the one that would be making the cake I definitely wouldn’t be able to eat it. (I know it’s crazy). Let me know what you think!

    • says

      Hi Melissa! Nope, I’m definitely not against that idea, but I promise, since mayo is just an emulsion of oil and egg, that there’s really nothing icky going in the cake :) If you really don’t want to, then you could try using oil in its place. Good luck!

  59. tayuri says

    Beautiful cake! Glad I found your site.

    Quick question about the mayonaise–is there something I can sub for it? I live in Japan and Japanese mayonaise is made/flavored differently, so I think it will affect the cake results. If you don’t know, no worries. I can try another chocolate cake for the base. :)

    Also, for the mayonaise measurement, would it be 4 tablespoons for 60 ml? (Maybe Japanese measurements are different…)


  60. Sini says

    Oh my… I’m planning my mums 50th birthday party and I’ve been looking for a perfect layer cake recipe which could also be relatively easily modified into a gluten-free version. I think I found it. I simply fell in love with this cake immediately!

    I’m new to your blog (discovered it yesterday vie The Pioneer Women) and am amazed. This blog is such a beauty.

  61. Andrea says

    what kind of containers do you use when you freeze your butter cream?

    thanks for inspiring us with your beautiful desserts and fabulous blog!!

  62. says

    Just wanted to say, beautiful cake, and I’m baking up the chocolate one right now. But I’m also freaking out a little because I was using the grams on my scale and I realized the grams and ounces are incorrect for the cake (only the chocolate, I’m not making the others)…
    8 oz of flour is about 226-228g, and a 1/4 cup is 4 tbs not 2…
    I haven’t double-checked the baking soda or the powder, but I did measure them out in the grams listed. My cake is baking in the oven right now so we’ll see!
    Just thought I’d let you know though, unless I’m getting something wrong…
    Anyway, love your blog, and all your beautiful photos and kids! :)

    • says

      Thanks, Amrita! The all-purpose flour is 227, you’re correct–when I did the conversions initially, my cup of flour weighed a slight bit more, so I used my exact measurement, but the minor 10 gram difference really won’t affect your cake, luckily. The 4 tablespoons for the mayo was my typo, so I apologize for that! The rest of the measurements should be accurate, and I’ve made it this way many times, so I promise it’s yummy!

  63. Natalie says

    So, I have been prepping to make this cake for days now. Tonight is the final production and I have to say everything appears (at the moment) to be totally worth it. Although I am nervous that my layers are going to be a little dry (I only needed to bake them for 18 minutes and toothpicks came out clean). Is there a way to remedy a dry cake?

  64. Katie Wahlquist says

    Looks great! I was wondering how your devil’s food cake would hold up to carving and stacking and being covered in fondant? Thanks!

  65. Andrea Bianco says

    This cake looks amazing! I want to make a version for my daughter’s first birthday. If I made a white cake instead, which one of your white cake recipes would work the best if I wanted to make SMB in strawberry and chocolate to go with it?

  66. Molly says

    I made this cake for my coworkers Thursday. Thanks for the inspiration and ideas. They were almost giddy at the prospect of eating it once they saw it! The buttercream flavors were to die for.

  67. says

    Mayonnaise, who’d have thought! I dread the idea of cooking something like and you’ve answered my question about the whole raw egg in the icing thing, I might be slightly paranoid about that! :)

  68. Georgia says

    I know this is an old post for you, but maybe you will see my question. Do you do anything extra to keep the cake from drying out on the sides since there is no icing to cver it?

  69. Karen says

    My friend and I are planning a Downton Abbey theme tea for three other friends’ birthdays. I am so making this cake for the bd cake. I am going to make it a cute petite cake because we have so many other sweets served with the tea and use the extra batter to make cupcakes for guests to take home. I am so excited about the frosting because I hate really sweet frostings. This sounds perfect.

    • Karen says

      I did make the cake and it was a HUGE success. It is 88 degrees here and humid, so I had some challenges with the buttercream but a brief trip to the refrigerator and it was soon solid enough to work with. I used a very dark cocoa for the cake that I purchased at a lovely chocolate shop in Amsterdam last summer. The Swiss meringue buttercream was so delicious. I really dislike super sweet frosting and this was perfect. I know I will definitely be making this cake again and again. Thankyou.

  70. says

    Looks so delicious! I am adding this one to the list of ‘must-makes’ for the summer! The Orono Bakery is a great source of De Ruijter sprinkles, which are also AMAZING on fresh white bread with butter!

    Keep up the inspiring work!!

  71. Beryl T says

    Hi Rosie,

    The same question with the other cake, how far ahead can I make this cake and can I leave it out in the counter overnight..?

    Beautiful cake! thank you for sharing!



  72. Danielle says

    Hi Rosie,
    This cake looks yum. How does this chocolate cake recipe compare to your favourite chocolate cake recipe that you always refer to?


  73. says

    Hello, my name is Elizabeth and I work for a small library in Uinta County, Wyoming. We are currently working on a Death By Chocolate recipie book for an annual fundraising event held by our libraries. We are looking for pictures to use on the dividers of the recipie book, and I fell in love with the picture at the top of this page (to be used for our “Cakes” section of course). I would like to discuss using your picture with you if possible. It’s easiest to reach me by email. Thank you for your time.

  74. Caitlin says

    How many servings does this cake provide? I really want to do it for a wedding cake for 80 people, but I’m struggling a little with the measurements.
    Please help!!
    Caitlin :)

  75. Tiffany says

    Hi! I saved this as a favorite on Foodgawker and am planning to make it in a few weeks. When I was reading over the recipe I came up with a question. The notes for the SMB recipe says that we will need 3x the amount of buttercream for this cake…SO: Are the measurements posted for one regular batch (and I should make 3 batches) or is the yield from the posted measurements enough for the entire cake? Thanks!

    • Anne says

      I have the same question! I want to make the cake on Saturday, so if anyone can help out, it would be appreciated. Is the recipe for SMB above for the whole cake or does it have to be tripled?

  76. Lana Shanahan says

    i love all your cakes and recipes. Do you ever cover your cakes with fondant and if you do how long can they stay out of the fridge? Alot of the filling and icing recipes seemto have egg whites. The cakes are beautiful on their own I know :)

  77. ihssan says

    I LUV ALL UR CAKES,am crazy about making tarts and cakes, am making a promise to my self to try all these cakes, thx for sharing your recipes with us rosie

  78. Janet B says

    Well, I’d been wanting to make this cake for over a year, and I finally did it for my birthday on sunday. And it was just as wonderful as I’d hoped! Thank you for a wonderful recipe!

  79. Allyson says

    Hey, I just made this for a friend’s birthday and I LOVED it. My only complaint is the frosting… 3 sticks of butter was too much for me. I loved the meringue by itself, and was disappointed after all the butter was added. It also changed the texture too much, and it didn’t hold it’s shape very well. But, it was still a great cake, and I’ve just leave out a stick or two or butter next time :)

  80. roo says

    hey..hav this saved in my favourites for a long time and now finally going to make it for a friends bday….i usually make one pan cake….if i were to make this one is it ok to use one 9″ pan n then cut in 3 layers….i want a high cake….also i will put a tierd fresh cream on top with dowles and all would dz cake bear the weight..hope its not too moist for that purpose….thanks

  81. Vienna says

    Hi- So I just made this cake today and I was missing certain things like strawberry oil and a frosting piper, but I managed pretty well. Did my own chocolate cake recipe and split a two 9inch recipe over 3 8inch pans…the insane amount of butter put me off initially but it totally worked- wonders! my only issue is that I didn’t have enough frosting for the cake to look as tall as your. Especially when cut. Maybe I need to use more eggs next time for more Swiss Meringue?? I also made my own raspberry coulis in a pinch and it kinda curdles the icing so the top lacked a bit of perfect uniformity, but the taste was divine! I love the combination of flavors- great for a party when satisfying many palettes:) just like the ice cream!

  82. says

    Wow.. I totally ADORE your cakes. Every time I having friends and family over Im trying out a new recipe of yours. They have all tastes great!
    Thank you so much for doing this :)
    By the way if your lovely bare bums children and you only share one slice and your husband doesn’t like cake – who eats it then? Im so impressed!
    Kind regards Miranda

  83. Amber says

    This cake was very delicious, everyone loved the strawberry SMBC! I did have a few problems though maybe you could help out with. My cakes fell. I ended up making the recipe 3 separate times, every time they fell. I was very thorough with my measuring. I had to make them so many times so I could cut the tops off to where I could get each one level and had to use two for each cake layer. Hope that makes sense ??? Anyways, it really bothered me and I kept brainstorming what the problem might be. The only answer I came up with was my elevation. I am located at 4,300-5,000 ft above sea level. Do you have any recommendations to alter the recipe for high elevation? I usually never alter my other recipes but maybe cakes are special ;) I am making your Red Velvet Raspberry Supreme on Friday and would really like to avoid the problem again. The last thing is the SMBC. It turned out great, I separated them into different containers and didn’t use them for about 6 hours. When I went to use the strawberry it had sort of separated, wasn’t smooth like the other two. I was in a hurry and just used it, still tasted great but the presentation wasn’t great. Any ideas? I used a strawberry compound to flavor it, about 1-1 1/2 TBS. Thanks for your help!

  84. Lauren says

    Hi rosie your cakes are beautiful first off and i had a question I need to make a 12″ square cake how many times would have to make this batter in order to make this cake that size I need?


  85. Sarah says

    Hello, I have been hunting through the comments, but I cant find the answer. Do you use a specific brand of mayo or just make your own? and if you make your own do you omit the acid? lemon, vinegar etc?

  86. Tara says

    Hey, I was wondering, does the buttercream give a scent (sort of egg white- ish flavour) of egg whites, if you know what I mean.

  87. says

    You’re my favourite! I randomly came across this cake on pinterest! I really appreciate both the cake and the writing.
    Ps. I’m Dutch, yes we eat chocolate sprinkles on bread!

  88. Nancy says

    Oh, good grief. I was all ready to make your Pink Vanilla & Sprinkles cake (blue for my brother-in-law) and now you’ve given me this!! Looks amazing. I’ve got some thinking and planning to do. Thanks for all of your wonderful creations. They give me inspiration :)

  89. Linda from Holland says

    I made the cake today and it was delicious. It is so funy to read your comment on our sprinkles. To me it is the most normal thing to put the sprinkles on my bread. I grew up with it, but it was then and stil is now a special treat. A fresh baked slice of white bread with real butter (82% fat !) covered with pure chocolat sprinkles. A little cake on its own ! I can say this is real Dutch. As for the french fries and mayo, there is still a big discussion between the Belgium and the Dutch who has the claim on that one ! I’m so happy to hear that there is a book comming, but I must confess that I already have made a little book of my own with all of my favorite recipes of your blog I tryed.

  90. Michele says

    Hi! This cake looks beautiful and I’d really like to try making it for a dinner party next weekend. Can you tell me, is the cake extremely sweet? Thanks so much! I absolutely LOVE reading your recipes and seeing each of your new creations!

  91. Erin says

    Help!!! I just finished the icing and its very liquid-y. I don’t have enough to start over. Anything I can do to fix what I have???

  92. says

    1. everyone loves neapolitan. It is such a crowd pleaser

    2. made this last night and it was a complete success. The cake was cloud-like and tasted amazing and the icing came out perfectly as well. I flavored the strawberry icing with a little sugar free strawberry jello, but otherwise followed the recipe to a t. My skinny friends had two servings!!

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  93. Kim Borg says

    Greetings from Malta :)

    I am a chocoholic and I must admit that your recipes are a chocoholics heaven. We love your stuff here in Malta.

    :) Kim

  94. hetty says

    I’ve just one question cause I’ve never seen it before. But mayonaise in a cake? I’m thinking of making this cake but need to be sure. :-)

  95. says

    Have you ever thought about adding a litle bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is funmdamental and everything.

    But imagine if you added some great photos orr videos to give your posts more, “pop”!

    Your content is excellent but with images and videos, this site could undeniably
    be one of the most beneficial in its field.
    Fantastic blog!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *