Vegan Neapolitan Cake Recipe

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There’s a good reason why the Neapolitan cake has been so popular over the ages. This unique three-layer cake is one of the most delicious in the world of confectionaries. The cake is inspired by the iconic Neapolitan ice cream and puts a mouthwatering spin on the classic chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry combo.

And a vegan Neapolitan cake recipe is the need of the hour, with the holiday season just around the corner.

Vegan cakes are wrongfully thought to have a bland taste or at least not as delicious as traditional cakes. However, there is no reason for a vegan Neapolitan cake to be just as yummy with the right recipe.

The vegan Neapolitan cake recipe that we’re sharing today is a tried and tested one that we have in the family.

Let’s get into it.

Vegan Neapolitan cake recipe

Vanilla cake layer

  • All-purpose flour – 160g or 1 ¼ cups
  • Granulated sugar – 143g or ¾ cup
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  • Baking soda – ¼ tsp
  • Salt – ¼ tsp
  • Vinegar – 1 tsp
  • Vegetable oil – 1/3 cup
  • Soy or almond milk – 2/3 cup
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
  • Vegan butter (optional) – 6 tsp

Chocolate cake layer

  • All-purpose flour – 160g or 1 ¼ cups
  • Granulated sugar – 143g or ¾ cup
  • Natural cocoa powder – 32g
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  • Baking soda – ¼ tsp
  • Salt – ¼ tsp
  • Vegetable oil – 1/3 cup
  • Soy or almond milk – 2/3 cup
  • Espresso or strong brewed coffee – 1 cup
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
  • Vegan butter (optional) – 6 tsp

Strawberry cake layer

  • All-purpose flour – 188g or 1 ½ cup
  • Strawberry powder – 5 tbsp
  • Beetroot powder (optional) – 2 tbsp
  • Granulated sugar – 200 g or 1 cup
  • Baking powder – 2 tsp
  • Salt – ½ tsp
  • Vegetable oil – 1/3 cup
  • Egg replacer – 1 tsp
  • Almond or soymilk – 1 cup about 235 ml
  • Vanilla extract – 2 tsp
  • Strawberry compote – 2 tbsp

Strawberry compote ingredients

  • Strawberries (frozen or fresh) – 1 pint
  • Cranberries (optional) – ½ cup
  • Granulated sugar – ¼ cup

Don’t add the sugar at once, but add gradually so you can adjust the sweetness to your preference. The compote/ puree will be sweet by itself, especially if you add the cranberries.

Rinse the berries and hull them. Cut the strawberries in halves if they’re big; smaller ones can be left full, and put them in a saucepan. Add water to the berries and bring it to a boil. Turn down the heat to a medium and simmer until the berries become mushy and the liquid thickens. Add the sugar and keep tasting to adjust the sweetness.

Remove from heat and allow the compote to cool, as it will thicken even more when it is completely cool.

Vanilla buttercream

Softened unsalted and dairy-free butter – 3 sticks about 345g. You can also substitute it with vegetable shortening

  • Powdered sugar – 4 to 5 cups
  • Soymilk or almond milk – 3 to 5 tbsp
  • Vanilla extract – 2 tsp


Beat the dairy-free and unsalted butter in a large bowl until it attains a creamy texture. Add a cup of powdered sugar at a time. Alternate the sugar with 2-3 tbsp of soy/almond milk and vanilla and blend until it is well combined.

If the buttercream looks or feels too stiff, you can beat milk and add to it.

Baking the cakes

The ingredients for these cakes are perfect for baking in 8-inch pans. Using parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pans is crucial as it will prevent the batter from sticking to the pans. Place the parchment paper at the bottom after lightly greasing the pans.

Mix the dry ingredients separately – meaning you will mix the ingredients for the vanilla, strawberry and chocolate cakes in different batches. You can make the cakes simultaneously or separately or in different days.

After the batter is ready, pour it into the pans.

Preheating the oven to 350oF or 176oC is also essential. Bake the cakes for 20 to 28 minutes or until the center is set.

Assembling the vegan Neapolitan cake

After the cakes are completely cooled, place the chocolate cake upside down on a plate or a decorative cake stand. Spread the buttercream on top of the chocolate cake using a spatula. You can add strawberry or cranberries between the cake layers if you wish to and continue the process with the other cake layers.

On the other hand, the frosting is better if it is a thin layer as opposed to the thick layer between the cakes. Allow the frosted cake to cool in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and top it with a layer of buttercream for the ultimate Neapolitan cake experience.

Note: If you are using a frozen cake, allow it to rest at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving it.

Wrapping up

Baking a vegan Neapolitan cake can seem daunting, as it requires a lot of prep. And indeed, it can seem like a lot of work since you are essentially baking three cakes to assemble them into one decadent piece.

In addition, you also have to prepare the icing and the buttercream. If you have experience baking and do not mind preparing different fillings between the cake layers, you can do so. However, a simple buttercream used between all the cake layers is just as good.

However, you can bake the cakes in advance and refrigerate them. You can assemble the cake layers the day you need them into a sumptuous Neapolitan cake.

Just remember to do so after the cake has thoroughly cooled. Next, cover the cake before refrigerating it so that the layers do not dry out. Stored properly, the vegan cake layers can stay fresh for up to five days.

Another advantage of freezing the cakes before assembling them for the Neapolitan cake is that they become easier to frost. This is a great option for amateur bakers since you can prepare the cakes in advance and assemble it later, effortlessly like a pro.

Once you break down the impossible vegan Neapolitan cake into layers, it is pretty doable, and you might even enjoy baking it very often. Regardless, this is one cake you should try baking at least once in a lifetime. It is absolutely worth it!



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