Oh how the time is flying. I really must be getting old. A few weeks ago, I celebrated another birthday. It was so nice to be home with the family and catch up with others that I hadn’t seen since before the last move. We even set up the piñata that my mom left on my front porch a year ago…which was a big red Angry Bird. Easily worth the year we waited. While I loved seeing my cousin’s little one swing at it, I got such a laugh watching my older brothers try and crack it open while my dad pulled the rope to keep it away from them. It felt like we were all kids again, running around Torro Canyon park with our baseball bats and dirt on our faces.
Even though J made me an awesome celebratory birthday dinner, (Martha/Deb’s Mac & Cheese, I taught him well!) I do love to make my own birthday cake. I will take any excuse to bake. Since it was just the two of us, I wanted something small, but with layers. I was also looking for an excuse to use my lovely cake pedestal. Priorities. Thats when I remembered seeing this awesome Neapolitan Layer Cake. I didn’t think we needed all the flavors this time around, though after trying the strawberry, I would love to make this recipe in full. For now, the strawberry cake was enough. I paired it with a basic cream cheese frosting, and it was just what this birthday girl called for.
1¼ cups plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1¼ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1½ oz. strawberry gelatin
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temp
½ cup milk
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ cup sweetened strawberry puree*
*Process almost-thawed frozen strawberries in a blender until smooth.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
Butter and flour the edges of desired cake pans. (I used three very small round pans and used the rest of the batter in mini cupcake pans.) In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and the salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar, gelatin, and butter. Beat on medium-high until the batter becomes light and fluffy, which was about 3 minutes. Beat the eggs into the batter, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Slowly mix in half of the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Blend in the milk and vanilla. Add the rest of the dry ingredients, again mixing until just barely incorporated. Blend in the strawberry puree.
Pour into prepared pans. My mini cakes only baked for about 12 minutes. Baking times for larger cakes will need to be adjusted.
Source: Size adjusted based on Annie’s Neapolitan Layer Cake