Neapolitan Cupcakes

Neapolitan Cupcakes 1I believe that most of the world is split between two factions: chocolate and vanilla.  You love one more than the other. 
Neapolitan Cupcakes 2But then there is a small cluster of us who like them all: chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.  We stand in front of grocery freezers and ice cream parlors for minutes on end trying to choose.  “They all sound good!”  “I can go for all of them!”  We secretly like having to share with someone who is in the chocolate or vanilla faction just to avoid making a final decision.

Neapolitan Cupcakes 4This cupcake is for us.  You get the fruity tart strawberry with the sweet lightness of vanilla and dark richness of chocolate.  All rolled into one.  No more time wasted on your preference.  Think of the time you’ll save!

Neapolitan Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes
Recipe Adapted from Ina Garten

1 ¾ c. all-purpose flour
2 c. sugar
¼ c. natural unsweetened cocoa powder
½ c. Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1. tsp. kosher salt
½ c. vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. strong, hot coffee


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 muffin pans with cupcake liners (24 cups in total).
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, both cocoa powders, baking soda, baking powder and salt until fully combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract until combined.
  4. With the mixer speed on low, add the egg mixture to the flour mixture until combined.
  5. Turn off the mixer.  With a spatula, scrape the sides of the bowl to fully incorporate the two mixtures.
  6. Turn the mixer on low and slowly add the hot coffee to the batter.  Once added, raise the speed to medium until completely homogenous.
  7. Fill cupcake liners with 2/3 full with batter and bake about 15-20 minutes. Checking at 13 minutes for doneness with a toothpick test.*
  8. Let stand for 5-10 minutes when done, then put onto a cooling rack to fully cool.

Strawberry Puree

3 cups of strawberries, smashed
1 tsp. lemon juice


  1. In a small pot, cook strawberries and lemon juice on medium heat until mixture thickens and reduces 1/3-1/2 of the original volume, about 5-10 minutes.
  2. Once thickened, put in a bowl to cool and refrigerate.

Basic Vanilla Frosting

2 c. whole milk
½ c. flour
¼ tsp. salt
1 1b. (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 c. sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract


  1. In a saucier pan, put milk, salt and flour and whisk until combined on medium heat.
  2. Continuously whisk mixture until thickened to a pudding like consistency.
  3. Once thickened, strain through a mesh strainer into a bowl with a spatula to remove lumps.
  4. Place a piece of plastic wrap on top of the flour mixture and put into the fridge until fully cool.
  5. In a mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the sugar and butter on high speed until fluffy and pale about, 5-10 minutes.
  6. Add the chilled flour mixture and continue to whip on high speed until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is no longer gritty, about 5-10 minutes.
  7. Add the vanilla extract and mix until combined.

Strawberry Frosting

1 batch of strawberry puree
⅔ batch of vanilla frosting


  1. Mix vanilla frosting with ½ of strawberry puree until the mixture turns strawberry pink and fluffy.
  2. Give mix a taste and if not flavored enough, add puree ¼ at a time until desired flavor is reached.

* The toothpick test: insert a toothpick into a cupcake and if the toothpick comes out clean or with a few crumbs clinging to it, it is done.

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