Neapolitan Wedding Cake Assembly

Make each flavor of this batter recipe 4 times for the 5-tiered Neapolitan wedding cake. The finished cake will serve about 140.

  • Yield: Makes about 6 cups batter

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Spring 2006

Ingredients

  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray
  • 3 1/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups strawberry jam
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 5 large egg whites
  • Ganache Filling
  • Vanilla Buttercream
  • 10 pounds rolled fondant
  • Royal Icing for Wedding Cake

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat cake pans with cooking spray; cover bottoms with parchment, and coat again. Set aside.

  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Stir milk and vanilla in another bowl; set aside.

  3. Put butter into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium speed, gradually add sugar; mix until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with milk mixture.

  4. Put egg whites into the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold one-third of egg whites into batter until combined. Gently fold in remaining whites in 2 batches. Divide batter among prepared pans, smoothing top.

  5. Bake until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean. Transfer pans to wire racks; cool 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks; let cool completely. Cakes can be wrapped in plastic and stored up to 1 day.

  6. For the Chocolate Cakes: Follow instructions for White Butter Cakes, reducing flour to 2 1/2 cups and adding 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder with the flour.

  7. For the Strawberry Cakes: Follow instructions for White Butter Cakes, reducing milk to 2 tablespoons and adding 1 cup strawberry puree.

  8. To Assemble the Cake: Spread ganache on white cake layer (see below for amounts). Top with chocolate cake layer; spread with jam. Place strawberry cake layer on top. Thinly coat tiers with buttercream; chill.

    Tint 6 pounds fondant ivory. Roll out, and smooth over 4-inch, 8-inch, and 12-inch tiers. Tint 5 pounds fondant pale pink. Set aside about 1 pound. Roll out 1 1/2 pounds fondant for 6-inch tier. Emboss fondant with a quilting embosser tool, according to manufacturer's instructions; smooth over tier, and pipe a dot of royal icing where lines intersect. Repeat for 10-inch tier. Divide remaining fondant in half; tint one-half brown. Roll out white, brown, and reserved pink fondants. Cut out several small rounds with a 1/4-inch plain tip, then cut remaining fondant into strips of varied width but equal length. Brush with gum arabic. Press dots onto 8-inch tier and vertical stripes onto top and base tiers.

Cook's Notes

Batter amounts and cooking times for 3-inch deep round pans: 4-inch: 1 cup batter, 30 minutes; 6-inch: 3 cups batter, 30 minutes; 8-inch: 5 cups batter, 40 minutes; 10-inch: 6 cups batter, 30 minutes; 12-inch: 9 cups batter, 35 minutes. Filling, frosting, and fondant amounts for each tier: 4-inch: 1 tablespoon ganache, 1 tablespoon jam, 3/4 cup buttercream, 1 pound fondant; 6-inch: 3 tablespoons ganache, 3 tablespoons jame, 1 1/2 cups buttercream, 1 1/2 pounds fondant; 8-inch: 1/4 cup ganache, 1/4 cup jam, 2 1/2 cups buttercream, 2 pounds fondant; 10-inch: 1/3 cup ganache, 1/3 cup jam, 3 1/2 cups buttercream, 2 1/2 pounds fondant; 12-inch: 1/2 cup ganache, 1/2 cup jam, 5 cups buttercream, 3 pounds fondant.

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