Spumoni Cake

Spumoni Cake

Traditional Spumoni is a molded Italian ice cream made with layers of different flavors separated by fruit or nuts in whipped cream. In our baked take on this classic frozen treat, we stacked layers of sweet strawberry, silky chocolate, and nutty pistachio cake to achieve a tasty trifecta.

4.5 from 2 reviews
Spumoni Cake
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs (150 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  • 2¾ cups (344 grams) cake flour
  • ½ cup (63 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 cup (240 grams) whole milk
  • 1 cup (320 grams) strawberry preserves, divided
  • ¼ cup (21 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) boiling water
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) baking soda
  • Pistachio Paste (recipe follows), divided
  • Vanilla Buttercream (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: chopped roasted pistachios, chopped freeze-dried strawberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray 3 tall-sided 9-inch round cake pans with baking spray with flour. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together cake flour, ¼ cup (31.5 grams) all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Divide batter among 3 bowls, weighing about 410 grams each.
  4. Add ½ cup (160 grams) strawberry preserves and remaining ¼ cup (31.5 grams) all-purpose flour to first bowl, folding until combined.
  5. In a small bowl, combine cocoa, ¼ cup (60 grams) boiling water, and baking soda. Fold cocoa mixture into second bowl.
  6. Add half of Pistachio Paste (122 grams) to third bowl, folding until combined. Spoon batters into prepared pans, smoothing tops with an offset spatula.
  7. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.
  8. Place strawberry cake layer on a cake plate. Pipe a border of buttercream around edge of strawberry layer. Spread remaining ½ cup (160 grams) strawberry preserves inside buttercream border. Place chocolate cake layer on top of preserves, and pipe a border of buttercream around edge.
  9. In a small bowl, stir together ½ cup (120 grams) Vanilla Buttercream and remaining Pistachio Paste; spread ½ cup of mixture inside buttercream border on chocolate layer. Top with pistachio cake layer. Spread remaining Vanilla Buttercream on top and lightly on sides of cake. Garnish with pistachios and freeze-dried strawberries, if desired.

4.5 from 2 reviews
Pistachio Paste
Makes 1 cup
  • 2 cups (264 grams) roasted pistachios
  • 2 tablespoons (42 grams) honey
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) water
  1. In a coffee or spice grinder, grind pistachios to a fine powder.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together pistachio powder and honey. Add ¼ cup (60 grams) water, 1 tablespoon (15 grams) at a time, until mixture reaches a peanut butter consistency. Store in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to use, up to 1 week.

4.5 from 2 reviews
Vanilla Buttercream
Makes 4 cups
  • 1½ cups (340 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • 9 cups (1,080 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (90 grams) whole milk
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter at medium speed until creamy. Beat in vanilla and salt. Reduce mixer speed to low, and gradually add confectioners’ sugar. Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat until smooth. Beat in milk, 1 tablespoon (15 grams) at a time, until frosting reaches a spreadable consistency.


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  1. I spent the time to make this for Valentine’s Day. I couldn’t get the pistachio powder quite right with my Cuisinart, but it worked out ok. The buttercream frosting is super sweet – I suggest cutting way back on the sugar and making a judgement call as you beat the sugar in slowly to get it to your liking.

  2. This cake is time-consuming to make and the ingredients are on pricey side, (mostly because of pistachios you need, and you need lots of it!) but it was worth the effort. The cake is so pretty when it’s cut. I do agree the cake is on sweeter side. Having read Emily’s comment, I cut down the powdered sugar in half but was sweet enough.


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