A pretty cake with vanilla, chocolate and strawberry swirls
Our childhood’s were predictable in many ways. Sundays were for church, summers were enjoyed in Greece or Cape Cod, and weekends were spent with friends and family. When it came to food, there were things we could expect as well. We knew that Fridays meant fakes for supper, that we would be expected to help forage for wild dandelion greens, and that ice cream would be neopolitan.
Neopolitan ice cream was one of the only non-Greek food items our parents purchased regularly. We loved everything about that cardboard box which held a brick of tri-coloured ice cream in our freezer. First, we simply loved that it was ice cream, because ice cream is awesome. And then, we loved that this ice cream offered options and possibilities. Our mother would always ask us if we wanted vanilla, chocolate or strawberry ice cream, or a combination of the two, or all three! Such delicious decisions we were able to make. Strawberry happened to be the least popular of the three flavours for us kids, and conveniently enough, it happened to be the only flavour our dad enjoyed.
This Neopolitan cake recipe is our baked representation of this most wonderful of ice cream flavours. It is based on our parents’ marble cake recipe, but with the addition of strawberry swirls. Unlike the ice cream, you don’t really have a choice but to enjoy all three flavours in any given piece of this cake, but we don’t think you’ll mind. There are other choices you can make, like whether to have a second piece or not.
We generally prefer to use vanilla powder in our baking, in part because it is white and does not discolour light coloured baked goods the way a brown vanilla extract could. Also, our parents always use vanilla powder, so it is what we are used to. If you can’t find vanilla powder, use double the amount of vanilla extract.
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Our parents have made this cake with whole milk, lactose free milk and skim milk; there is barely a difference in outcome so use whatever milk you have on hand.
We always thought that the marbling effect in cakes such as this one was created by running a knife through the batter in the cake pan prior to baking it. But, as our parents taught us, simply alternating the batter which is poured into the bundt pan is enough to give the swirly, marble effect. If you feel better running a knife through the batter however, we suppose you can.
Try to find strawberry jam which does not have huge chunks of strawberry in it.
Look! More delicious bundt cakes:
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Neopolitan marble cake
- Stand mixer
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 5 eggs, large
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup strawberry jam
- Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a medium sized bowl combine the cocoa powder, 1/3 cup of sugar and the hot water. Stir well to combine and set aside.
- In another small bowl combine the flour, baking powder, vanilla powder and salt. Whisk until well combined.
- In the large bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the remaining sugar (2 cups) and the eggs until well combined. Slowly pour in the olive oil and continue to mix.
- With the speed set to low, carefully add 1/2 of the flour mixture to the oil/egg/sugar combination in the stand mixer. Beat until well combined. Pour in 1/2 cup of milk. Continue beating and then add the remaining flour, followed by the remaining 1/2 cup of milk. Scrape down the sides of the bowl using a rubber spatula and then beat well for a minute until all of the ingredients are well combined.
- Remove approximately 3 cups of this cake batter and add half of it (about 1 1/5 cups) to the bowl which contains the cocoa powder, sugar and water. Using a whisk, mix it well by hand so that all of the plain batter is combined with the cocoa batter.
- Take the other 1 1/2 cup batter which you removed from the stand mixer bowl and combine it with the strawberry jam. Using a whisk mix it well by hand so that all of the plain batter is combined with the strawberry jam.
- Grease a bundt pan. Pour enough of the plain batter into the pan to cover the bottom surface. Then, using a large spoon, drop spoonfuls of the cocoa batter on top of the plain batter. Leave approximately 1/3 of the cocoa batter in the bowl. Next, drop spoonfuls of the strawberry batter into the cake pan, leaving approximately 1/3 of the strawberry batter in the bowl.
- Pour the remaining vanilla batter into the bundt pan, and then pour in the rest of the cocoa batter and strawberry batter.
- Bake in the middle rack of your oven for 50 – 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool in the bundt pan for approximately 5 minutes before removing it. Set it to cool on a baking rack.