Although not exactly the same as Neapolitan ice cream, the three layers on this Neapolitan Squares traybake look similar enough to earn the name!
It turns out that Neapolitan ice cream was originally available in a variety of flavours and then the chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry combination took over as these were most popular in the USA at the time.
While there isn’t chocolate or vanilla in this Neapolitan Squares traybake, it has a digestive/graham cracker base, a sticky coconut middle and a pink-hued strawberry buttercream topping!
The original recipe used red food dye to achieve the colour in the buttercream layer, but I decided to use freeze-dried strawberries instead. This has the added bonus of a tasty strawberry flavour as well as the traditional pink colouring. But feel free to just use food colouring if you prefer or can’t get hold of the freeze-dried strawberries.
Similar to my other recent three layered traybake (Alice Cakes), these take a little more time and effort to make however the recipe is still pretty straightforward.
8oz/225g/2 cups digestive biscuits (graham crackers), crushed
2oz/55g/½ cup brown sugar
4oz/110g/1 stick butter
1 tbsp plain flour (all-purpose flour)
1 tin (14oz/396g) condensed milk
8oz/225g/2 cups desiccated coconut
8oz/225g/2 cups icing sugar (powdered sugar)
4oz/110g/1 stick butter
1oz/25g/4 tbsp crushed, freeze-dried strawberries
1. Crush the biscuits into fine crumbs, either by using a food processor or placing them in a freezer bag and smashing them with a rolling pin. Melt the butter and then mix with the crumbs, flour and sugar.
2. Press firmly into a traybake tin and bake at 350F/180C for approximately 10 minutes. Then set aside to cool.
3. Mix the condensed milk and coconut together and spread over the biscuit base. Bake at 325F/160C for approximately 25 minutes or until golden. Leave to cool.
4. Blitz the freeze-dried strawberries to a fine powder but don’t be concerned if there are a few larger pieces in there (I used a mini food processor for this task). Then beat the strawberry powder with the butter and icing sugar until you achieve a lovely pink buttercream. Use a splash of milk if you need some help bringing it all together.
5. Finally, spread the buttercream over the cooled coconut layer.
6. At this stage, it’s better left in the fridge for a day before you cut it as this will make it easier to slice, but I won’t judge if you want to cut it sooner! Enjoy!