Neapolitan Layer Cake

Prep 35 mins (plus cooling) • Cook 20 mins • Serves 12-16.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Prep 35 mins (plus cooling) • Cook 20 mins • Serves 12-16.

2 x 340 g packets butter cake mix •1 tbsp dark cocoa powder •1 tbsp milk •Pink food colouring, to tint BUTTERCREAM ICING •375 g butter, softened •6 cups icing sugar •1 to 2 tbsps milk (optional) •Pink food colouring, to tint.

1 Preheat oven to moderate, 180 C. Lightly grease and line 3 x 20 cm round shallow cake pans with baking paper.

2 I n a large mixing bowl, prepare a double batch of cake mix following packet instructions. Divide equally into 3 bowls. Beat cocoa powder and milk into 1 bowl. Tint another bowl pink with food colouring and leave remaining bowl plain. Pour into separate pans.

3 Bake 15 to 20 mins, until cakes are cooked when tested (see tip). Cool in pans 5 mins. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

4 BUTTERCREAM ICING In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter until pale. Add icing sugar gradually, beating well. Beat in milk. Beat in a few drops of food colouring to desired shade of pink.

5 Trim top of each cake with a serrated knife to create a flat surface. On a serving platter, sandwich cakes together with one-third buttercream icing. Using a palette knife, spread remaining buttercream over top and sides of cake. Serve in wedges. Store in an airtight container.

My Reading Room

TIP: If your cake mix comes with an icing mix sachet, combine it with enough icing sugar to make 6 cups total. Cakes are cooked when a skewer inserted into the centre of the sponge comes out clean and dry.