Winner Announced – Shaina Olmanson’s Neapolitan Cakes & Giveaway!

The lucky winner for Shaina Olmanson’s new cookbook, Desserts in Jars, goes to, Manda!!


My favorite meal growing up was Sunday breakfast of pancakes and sausage!!

Thanks so much for entering in the giveaway.



Shaina Olmanson, from the popular blog, Food For My Family,  just published a beautiful cookbook, Desserts in Jars. I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to read through and postmark over a dozen recipes in her book. Each dessert looks absolutely amazing, as well as beautifully photographed.

Shaina graciously offered to guest post a recipe from her book, which also happens to be her main cover photo,  Neapolitan Cakes. She’s also giving away a copy of her new cookbook to a lucky reader from Eliza Domestica!

Details for the giveaway are below. In the meantime, here’s the wonderful Shaina!


Guest post for Eliza Domestica
By Shaina Olmanson, and author of Desserts in Jars (The Harvard Common Press, 2012)

Do you remember those ice cream bricks with their three flavors divided on the inside? The chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice creams staring up at you, and then swirled together as you dug a scoop in and ran it across the top.

As a child, my mom would keep that rectangular brick of Neapolitan ice cream in the freezer. My sister, who hated chocolate, would go for a mix of strawberry and vanilla, and I would help myself to the chocolate and vanilla. Working together, we would eat the container to the bottom. My mom, however, would always go for the most equal scoops, combining all three flavors into one.

These Neapolitan cakes take bits of my childhood memories and combine them with the fun of having your own dessert wrapped in pretty packaging. Desserts in jars are easy for entertaining, with the jars used for all parts of the process from preparation to devouring.

A few tips when baking Neapolitan Cakes in a Jar:
·      Don’t overfill the jars. These cupcakes rise as they are baking, so just like cupcake liners, only fill them 2/3 of the way full.
·      Place the jars on a room temperature baking sheet for transfer into the oven together, spacing them a few inches apart.
·      Be sure to mix the strawberry puree into the buttercream thoroughly. It helps to leave this in the mixer and have it do the work for you.

Neapolitan Cakes Recipe

“Recipe © 2012 by Shaina Olmanson and used by permission of The Harvard Common Press.”

Makes 24 individual cakes

For the strawberry cake
·      2½ cups cake flour
·      1½ cups granulated sugar
·      2½ teaspoons baking powder
·      ¼ teaspoon salt
·      12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
·      8 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled and pureed, preferably, or ¾ cup frozen strawberry puree
·      4 large egg whites
·      ½ cup whole milk
For the white and chocolate cakes
·      2½ cups cake flour
·      2 teaspoons baking powder
·      ¼ teaspoon salt
·      1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
·      2 cups granulated sugar
·      4 large eggs, at room temperature
·      ½ cup whole milk, at room temperature
·      ½ cup heavy cream, at room temperature
·      1 teaspoon vanilla extract
·      ¼ cup hot coffee, or ¼ cup boiling water
·      ½ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
For the frosting
·      2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
·      4 cups confectioners’ sugar
·      2 tablespoons heavy cream, plus more as needed
·      3 strawberries, hulled and pureed
·      2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
·      ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1.     Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray the insides of twenty-four 4-ounce jars with canola oil.
2.     Make the strawberry cake batter: Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and strawberry puree, and beat, starting slowly and then more quickly, for 2 to 3 minutes, until you have a very thick batter. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy, then whisk in the milk. Add ? cup of the egg white mixture to the batter, then beat until incorporated. Repeat until all the egg white mixture is incorporated. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go. When all the egg white mixture has been added, set the batter aside.
3.     Make the white and chocolate cake batters: Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and set aside. In another large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. In a separate bowl, combine the milk and cream. Stir ? cup of the milk mixture into the butter mixture, and then stir ? cup of the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Continue alternating additions of milk and flour until they are fully incorporated into the batter. Stir in the vanilla. Divide the batter between two bowls. In a small bowl, mix together the hot coffee and the cocoa, and add this mixture to one of the bowls, creating the chocolate cake batter.
4.     Layering the flavors one at a time, scoop or spoon 2 tablespoons of each of the three cake batters into each of the prepared jars. Place the jars 2 inches apart on a large baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the centers of the cakes spring back when touched. Remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool completely.
5.     While the cakes are baking, make the frosting: Cream the butter, add the confectioners’ sugar, and beat thoroughly. Beat in 2 tablespoons of the heavy cream. Divide the frosting into thirds. Add the strawberry puree to one third and mix in. Beat the bittersweet chocolate into the second third and the vanilla extract into the final third. Add a teaspoon or two of additional heavy cream to the buttercream frostings if needed for a smooth consistency.
6.     Transfer the three frostings to three piping bags. Cut the tips off to create a ½-inch opening, and then place the three bags into one larger pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cakes in a swirl shape before serving.


**** GIVEAWAY DEADLINE***** – To enter to win this lovely Desserts in Jars cookbook, tell me in the comment box one of your favorite childhood meals you enjoyed having growing up and you’ll be entered into the drawing. One entry per person, please.

All entries should be in before August 30th, 2012, 11:59pm MST. Winner will be announced September 1st, 2012.

If you’re interested in learning more about Shaina’s cookbook, here’s a video that was beautifully put together


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  • gail
    Posted August 14, 2012 at 2:01 PM | Permalink

    one favorite meal for some reason was cabbage rolls (stuffed cabbage with ground meat in them). seems weird for a kid to like them, but i did

    Posted August 14, 2012 at 7:43 PM | Permalink

    My favorite meal growing up was Sunday breakfast of pancakes and sausage!!

  • Posted August 15, 2012 at 8:35 AM | Permalink

    My granny’s strawberry pudding , she would make it with the whipping cream and she would never pass that recipe down to me she took it to the grave with her sadly, I think she didn’t want anyone to have it and that was her business. I love and respect her and miss her to this day. She was a wonderful cook. She would bake it in the oven. I wish I can find a recipe like hers so I can make it for my little family. Stacey.

  • Georgia
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 8:43 AM | Permalink

    I loved my mom’s meat loaf and mashed potatoes

  • Camille Gerbyshak
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 8:44 AM | Permalink

    My favorite meal as child was spaghetti, I always loved it!

  • Susan C
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 8:48 AM | Permalink

    I loved liver and onions. My siblings hated for my birthday to roll around, when we could pick what we wanted mom to cook that night. I always wanted liver and onions, broccoli and chocolate cake. They didn’t mind the chocolate cake.

  • Debbie
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 9:11 AM | Permalink

    My mom made a dish that we called “Sloppy Chicken”. No recipe… Something to do with frying chicken (in butter) with a seasoned flour mixture. Putting them in a pan with cream of chicken & mushroom soups and mushrooms. Cover and cook til done and practically falling off the bone. Served over rice. It’s been a while since I’ve made it. Even my oldest daughter makes it for her family now. Brings back good memories. Darn…think I have to make it again soon.

  • Maureen
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 10:03 AM | Permalink

    I loved two things in particular. I loved spinach and my mother made a quiche that had a lot of spinach in it. I also love mac & cheese and it must have Canadian bacon pieces in it.

  • Posted August 15, 2012 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

    I always adorable my mom’s potato salad!

  • Grace B.
    Posted August 15, 2012 at 4:01 PM | Permalink

    Loved all sorts of fish/seafood dishes!

  • Posted August 16, 2012 at 4:10 AM | Permalink

    My favorite meal as child was lasagna, I always loved it!

  • Nichole M.
    Posted August 18, 2012 at 10:22 AM | Permalink

    My favorite meal is my grandma’s pot roast which she cooks in her well seasoned crockpot. It is now missing the knob but still gets the job done!

  • manda
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 6:32 AM | Permalink

    Thank you so much!!

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