Neapolitan Pound Cake, 1971 – A Vintage Recipe Test

Posted on Feb 1 2017 - 4:31am by RetroRuth

This week we have some cake. Some cake that didn’t quite work out.


This is Neapolitan Pound Cake!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Neapolitan Pound Cake
  • 8 oz softened cream cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 package (18.75 oz) white cake mix
  • ¾ cup milk or water
  • ¾ cup strawberry milk flavoring mix (add pink food coloring if you want a pink layer!)
  • ¾ cup chocolate milk flavoring mix
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Generously grease and lightly flour a 10-inch tube or Bundt pan. In large mixer bowl, add eggs to cream cheese one at a time, beat until smooth. Add dry cake mix and milk. Blend until moistened, then beat as directed on package.
  2. Divide batter into thirds. Add strawberry flavoring to one of the thirds, chocolate to another and add the vanilla to the last third. Pour vanilla batter into prepared pan, then pour strawberry over the vanilla, then add the chocolate over the strawberry.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 55 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool upright in pan 15 mins; remove from pan. Cool completely and glaze or sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Pillsbury Bakeoff  22 Neopolitan Pound Cake001

Pillsbury Bakeoff  22001

This cake is from one of my adored Pillsbury Bake-Off cookbooks. I’m telling you, if I had all the time in the world and it wouldn’t cause me to double my body weight, I would love to make all of the Pillsbury Bake-Off recipes in chronological order. It would be amazing, probably because the Pillsbury Bake-Off books are a great source of information for unique recipes and some innovative ideas. They are also a fantastic way to track the culinary evolution of America. But enough about that.

Since I don’t have all the time in the world, we are just going to have to settle for one recipe. And it’s a cake. Of course.


This cake started out promising enough. It was actually kind of fun. It’s not often I get to make cake with strawberry and chocolate Quik. IMG_6160

I have to admit, most of the reason I chose this cake is because every Easter people write in and ask if they can use a cream cheese “pound cake” cake mix method for lamb cake. I’ve never made it before, and Easter is fast approaching, so I thought that I would start some experimenting early. I found this recipe that adds cream cheese to a cake mix to make a “pound cake” and decided to test it. The mixing of Quik into the batter was just a bonus. Overall, it was a pretty easy, even with having to divide the batter.


There! All layered!


There! Failure!

I couldn’t believe this. After I got over my complete shock, I figured out a few things:

1. I am throwing out this freaking pan. It also destroyed this gelatin, and I am starting to think it’s the pan’s fault instead of the recipe. And I just about drowned this thing greasing it with shortening. I’m going back to my classic Bundt pan, and this thing can go screw.

2. The strawberry flavored mix lost all of it’s pink coloring. I am sure the modern recipe for Quik is completely different than the vintage product, but still. Completely gone. Maybe I should have added food coloring? Or some mashed strawberries?

3. Also, the extra-sweet (read: extra sugar) strawberry mix added to the cake batter caused the strawberry layer at the bottom of the cake to burn and stick to the pan, peeling most of it off of the vanilla layer. So maybe this needs to be layered in another order?

But Tom was still up for the test, mutilated cake and all.



“How is it? Can you taste the strawberry?”

“No, but I can smell it. Really odd. But it’s still a pretty good cake. Mostly I just taste lots of vanilla and chocolate.”

The Verdict: Pretty Good

From The Tasting Notes –

Even without the strawberry layer, this was a good cake. Tom normally doesn’t like cake mix cakes, but he said this one turned out tasty. It was a little dry, and the strawberry layer was a disaster, but the chocolate layer with the added Quik turned out well. It was very chocolate-malty tasting, but if you enjoy the taste of Quik, then you will like this. The vanilla layer was actually very much improved over the regular boxed cake flavor with the extra vanilla. If you decide to make this one, I would recommend putting the vanilla layer at the bottom, then following with strawberry and chocolate, just to cut down on the chances of sticking. I cannot endorse it for molded cakes yet because mine didn’t turn out, but maybe if I left out the extra sugary Quik and used a different freaking pan it would be just fine. I’ll have to do some further experimentation on that.

Oh, and we figured out a solution to the missing strawberry layer.


There. Fixed.

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (, No Pattern Required (, and I Ate The 80's (

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5 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Kate from Iowa February 1, 2017 at 8:16 am - Reply

    So…my hate and suspicion of silicone bakeware is validated?

  2. Orchid64 February 1, 2017 at 11:23 am - Reply

    My experience with silicone bakeware is mixed. If you make a cake in it, it has to be 100% cool and set before you attempt to remove it. I don’t think it would work with gelatin at all because of the flexing, but I think it might work if you warm the outside of the mold for awhile first and then it naturally flips out (but I wouldn’t recommend it necessarily, especially if it didn’t work before).

    Mainly, I think it works best with sturdier cakes and non-formed cakes (like muffins or loaves which come out all in one lump).

    This looks like a decent recipe, but using cake mix is always annoying as it tends to produce drier cakes than those from scratch. Also, if you don’t have kids, using Quik means you will have lots of spare powder around after trying the cake!

  3. Lassie February 1, 2017 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    I have an absolutely enchanting cookbook from England with a recipe making a multi-colored cake, but with food coloring only…..This cake does sound delicious, adding things to cake mixes only improves them IMO. I have a cheapie ‘copper’ colored bundt pan from 20 years ago and it works fine for cakes. The only silicone I have is a heart-shaped muffin pan, which works great.

  4. Palma Seljan February 1, 2017 at 2:16 pm - Reply

    I wonder if instead of milk flavoring one could use pudding mix. I will try it this weekend and let you know. Bet it’d make the cake moist too. Love your page, by the way.

  5. Kristin S Kopchak October 10, 2017 at 2:16 pm - Reply

    Hi All, I am the daughter of Janet Caprari who won a trip to Hawaii in 1971. I was just a baby and Mom passed on 10 years ago but I still have her original ribbon award with the little Pillsbury Dough Boy on it. She also won a double oven that was still in our home up until she passed on. It was neat to see Mom’s name and her recipe, I am not the baker she was and honestly never tried this cake recipe, but again super cool to see her name. Happy Baking, I do own the original book the recipe was in and it even has a picture of women at the dinner and Mom was in the pic,,, super cool!!! Kristin

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