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Vegan Neapolitan Sheet Cake

An easy Vegan Neapolitan Sheet Cake made using just one cake batter! Swirls of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry cake combined to make one stunning small batch layer cake covered in creamy Neapolitan buttercream. Simply delicious and so much fun to make.

Keep reading to learn how to make it! Also check out my Instagram video showing you how to make and decorate this cake.

square Neapolitan sheet cake on a grey marble background dusted with flour.

Sometimes deciding on a flavour to bake is hard, but it doesn’t have to be. One slice of this delicious Vegan Neapolitan Cake and you’ll be more than satisfied. Three colourful layers of soft, tender cake, combining the flavour of vanilla, strawberry and chocolate. Covered in vanilla, chocolate and strawberry buttercream and decorated with white sprinkles, this Neapolitan Cake has ‘party’ written all over it.

This is such a fun cake for Spring, and would make a perfect birthday cake!

What is Neapolitan?

Neapolitan (mostly known for Neapolitan ice cream) combines the flavours of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry into one delicious bake!

Vegan Neapolitan Sheet Cake

When I started working on this Vegan Neapolitan Sheet Cake, I knew exactly what I wanted. It’s all about the gorgeous colours of the pink, brown and white. Combining all three colours and flavours together into an ultimate fun bake!
I also wanted to make sure this cake was super easy for everyone to make. You would have thought having three flavours of cake would result in an ambitious bake, but nope- haha!
This is a great recipe for kids to get involved in making too!

slice of vegan Neapolitan sheet cake on a white plate with slices of cake around it

How to make the best Neapolitan Sheet Cake:

  1. Make the magic batter

    You will want to make a batch of plain vegan vanilla cake batter, separate the batter into 3 bowls. Leave one bowl plain, dye one bowl with pink food gel and add in a drop of strawberry flavouring, and add some cocoa powder to the third and final bowl. This makes your 3 cake batters.

  2. Add the batter into your tin

    Line your cake tin or pan with grease proof paper. Make sure the tin is fully lined to prevent any sticking. Using an ice-cream scoop or spoons, spoon the batter into the lined tin, one colour at a time until you’ve used up all the batter.
    Swirl the colours together using a skewer. TIP: Don’t over mix. Over-mixing will damage the colours.

  3. Bake the cake

    Bake the cake at 180°c fan for 25-28 minutes. You’ll want to bake the cake in the middle of the oven to prevent the top of the cake burning. To check to see if the cake is baked, insert a skewer down the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready. If the skewer comes out with some batter on it, it needs more time in the oven. Just don’t over-bake it.

  4. It’s buttercream time

    I made a delicious, thick and creamy Neapolitan buttercream for this cake. It’s the similar method for the batter. You’ll want to make a plain batch of vanilla buttercream, divide it into 3 bowls, colour one bowl with pink food gel and a drop of strawberry flavouring, and the other bowl with melted dairy-free chocolate. Its definitely worth the extra effort!

strawberry chocolate and vanilla cake batter on a white background
the little book of vegan bakes
flatlay of Neapolitan cake on white plates

Looking for more Neapolitan recipes, check out my Easy Vegan Neapolitan Cookies.

Some tips and tricks for making the best Vegan Neapolitan Sheet Cake:

Make the cake a day in advance:

This is optional, but I prefer making sheet cakes the day before, storing it in a sealed container and frosting the next day. Doing this makes the cake extra moist and fresh. It also ensures the cake is fully cool before adding on the buttercream.

Only use food gel

For the pink colour, only use a food gel, NOT a liquid food colouring. I never use liquid food colours in my bakes. They tend to change the texture of the bake, along with not adding much colour. Food gel ensures the bake will be vibrant. Food gel is also amazing as a little goes along way, meaning you only need a tiny drop to get a massive impact of colour, unlike a sheer liquid food colour. My all time favourite food gel is Rainbow Dust Colours. Their range of gels are phenomenal! They’re ultra pigmented and work in bakes such as cake, cheesecake + buttercream. Check them out here.

Don’t over mix

When it comes to making a cake or bake involving more than one colour, the trick is to watch how much to mix. When making this cake, you’ll want to swirl the colours together to create a rippled effect. If you mix the colours together, you risk the colours merging into one colour (brown).

side view of Neapolitan sheet cake slice of cake with Neapolitan buttercream
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vegan Neapolitan cake on a grey tile background with icecream cones

Vegan Neapolitan Sheet Cake


Description

The only cake you need, combining chocolate, vanilla and strawberry into one delicious sheet cake!


Ingredients

Units Scale

Ingredients for the cake

  • 230ml of dairy-free milk
  • 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 100g of caster sugar
  • 250g of self raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • 70ml of sunflower oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of strawberry flavouring
  • A small drop of pink food gel*

Ingredients for the buttercream

  • 130g of dairy-free block butter*
  • 150g of icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of dairy-free milk
  • 40g of dairy-free dark chocolate
  • 1/2 teaspoon of strawberry flavouring
  • Pink food gel*

Instructions

Method (cake)

  1. Preheat your oven to 180ºC fan and line an 8 x 8 inch square cake tin with grease-proof paper. Allow the paper to hang over the tin slightly, this makes it easier to remove the cake when baked.
  2. In a bowl, combine the dairy-free milk with the apple cider vinegar and whisk until fully combined. Set aside for 10 minutes to curdle. This creates a vegan ‘buttermilk’.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Mix well to combine. Add the oil and vanilla extract into the ‘buttermilk’ and whisk to combine.
  4. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix just to combine. 
  5. Divide the batter into 3 bowls. Leave one bowl plain white (this will be the vanilla cake), add 1& 1/2 tablespoons of cocoa powder to the second bowl and mix. Add the strawberry flavouring and a small drop of pink food gel to the third bowl. You will end up with three batters- chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.
  6. Spoon the batter into the lined tin, one colour at a time, then using a skewer, swirl the colours together.
  7. Pop the cake into the middle of the preheated oven and bake for around 25-30 minutes. You will know it is done when you put a knife or skewer down the middle of the cake and it comes out clean and it’s springy to the touch. If batter comes off on the skewer, it needs more time to bake. To prevent burning, top the cake with some grease proof paper then return back into the oven.
  8. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then carefully transfer onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool fully before frosting. You can even place the cake in a sealed container once cool then frost the day after. It’s a very light sponge so be careful with it when removing from the tin.

Method (buttercream)

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add in the dairy-free butter, whip until creamy. I use a stand mixer with a balloon whisk attachment, a hand mixer will work great too.
  2. Sift in the icing sugar. Whip on high speed for a couple of minutes to incorporate it. Add a splash of dairy-free milk to get it to a smooth consistency. 
  3. Divide the buttercream into three bowls. Leave one bowl plain white. Colour the second bowl with a drop of pink food gel and strawberry flavouring. 
  4. Melt the dark chocolate and mix it into the third bowl. 
  5. Transfer the buttercream’s into separate piping bags and pipe lines of the buttercream onto the top of the cake (as seen in the video here).
  6. Using a pallet knife, carefully spread the buttercream out to merge the colours together. Don’t over mix.
  7. Why not decorate the cake with some white sprinkles.

Notes

To store: Keep this cake stored in a sealed container in the fridge. Best eaten within 3 days of making. Un-iced cake can be stored in a sealed container at room temperature for 2 days. 

What food colour to use? When adding colour into white chocolate, you want to use a gel. Gels are high pigment, meaning it wont effect the texture of the chocolate and you wont need to add as much as well! I like to use THIS brand of food gels.

What dairy-free butter to use? My favourites are Naturli Vegan Block and Flora Plant Based Block Butter. Both work amazingly in vegan buttercream! 

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
  • Category: Cakes and layer cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: vegan Neapolitan cake, Neapolitan cake, Neapolitan, birthday cake, sheet cake, vegan Neapolitan sheet cake

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3 Comments

  1. April 22, 2022 / 7:49 am

    The recipe for Eggless vegan cake is amazing. I tried this recipe and turns into a delicious dish. Thanks for this wonderful recipe.

  2. July 10, 2022 / 4:21 am

    This looks so good! Do you make any other kinds with this batter?

  3. July 10, 2022 / 4:22 am

    Thanks for sharing! Does it keep long?

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