Neapolitan Cupcakes


Here is a classic ice cream flavor turned cupcake and you’re going to love them! They are soft as clouds and layered with three irresistible flavors. A milk chocolate like cupcake, a vanilla bean cupcake and a fresh strawberry frosting. I just couldn’t get enough of them!

Neapolitan Cupcakes | Cooking Classy

Because of these I know I’ve found a new obsession – layered cupcakes. As if I needed another food to be crazy about, but honestly there’s just no way I could resist these. I have the feeling you’ll be seeing more layered cupcakes on here in the future. I know they can be a little tricky, finding two batters that have a similar consistency so the top layer doesn’t just sink into the bottom will always be the challenge. With this one, I just used my favorite chocolate cupcake batter and a light and fluffy white vanilla bean batter. I chose not to go with a traditional vanilla cupcake because it would have been too heavy but also because I wanted a whiter cupcake with less of a yellow tint to it (which egg yolks will do). I loved cutting the cupcakes in half to see the contrast between the layers because the cupcakes are more white inside.

Yes these take a bit more effort than a traditional cupcake since you have to make two batters, but it is well worth it. Plus the recipe does make 24 so it’s not like you are putting in the extra effort for only a dozen cupcakes.


Ice cream flavor turned cupcake, yes you need these in your life, don’t you think?

Neapolitan Cupcakes | Cooking Classy

Neapolitan Cupcakes | Cooking Classy


Neapolitan Cupcakes

4.5 from 2 votes

Yield: 22 cupcakes

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes


Chocolate Cupcake

  • 1/3 cup unsweetend cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter , melted
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk (reserve white for white portion of cupcake)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

White Vanilla Cupcake

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 7 Tbsp unsalted butter , softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Seeds of 1/2 large vanilla bean I sell them!
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup milk (anything but skim)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  • Double batch of my Strawberry Buttercream Frosting recipe below.


  1. Strawberry Buttercream Frosting Recipe HERE

For the chocolate cupcake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large heat proof mixing bowl, whisk together cocoa powder and baking soda. Carefully pour in boiling water and whisk until bubbling subsides and mixture is well blended, allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a separate large mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer set on low speed, blend together melted butter, vegetable oil, granulated sugar, vanilla and salt until well combined, about 30 seconds. Stir in egg and egg yolk. Blend in cocoa mixture then blend in heavy cream. Slowly mix in flour and blend until combined, while scraping down sides and bottom of bowl.
  3. Spoon an even 1/8 cup (2 Tbsp) into bottom of 22 paper lined muffin cups and spread into an even layer, set aside.

For the white vanilla cupcake:

  1. Sift cake flour into a medium mixing bowl. Add baking powder and salt and whisk mixture 20 seconds, set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together butter and sugar with vanilla bean seeds on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. In separate mixing bowl whisk together milk, egg whites and vanilla extract until well blended.
  2. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to butter/sugar mixture, then mix until combined, then add 1/2 of the milk/egg mixture and mix on low speed until combined then increase to medium speed and mix 1 minute (if you are using a paddle attachment that doesn't constantly scrape bowl, then mix 1 1/2 minutes and occasionally scrape down sides and bottom of bowl throughout mixing. Batter should become fluffy). Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix until combined, then add remaining 1/2 of the milk/egg mixture and mix on low until combined then increase to medium and mix 1 minute (1 1/2 minutes with regular paddle attachment, it should have the consistency similar to fluffy mousse). Add last 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix until well combined.
  3. Gently dollop a heaping 1/8 cup over chocolate layer in cupcake wells and carefully spread batter evenly to edges. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean, about 16 - 19 minutes. Cool in baking sheet several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely (once cool immediately store in an airtight container). Pipe or spread strawberry frosting over cupcakes.
  4. Recipe Source: Cooking Classy

Neapolitan Cupcakes | Cooking Classy

Neapolitan Cupcakes | Cooking Classy



  • Tasbih: These look simply beautiful:) September 27, 2014 at 2:35pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Tasbih! September 28, 2014 at 12:42am Reply

  • Liz @ Floating Kitchen: Wow – these are stunning. I love the photos of them cut in half! September 27, 2014 at 2:51pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Liz! September 28, 2014 at 12:42am Reply

  • Karly: Oh my goodness, these are so fun and creative! Love. September 27, 2014 at 3:03pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Karly! September 27, 2014 at 9:36pm Reply

  • Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts: these are beautiful! September 27, 2014 at 3:27pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Angelyn! September 27, 2014 at 9:36pm Reply

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks: Wayyyyy too adorable, perfect, and tempting in every way! The perfect layers, the perfect domes of frosting on top (which I could eat all by itself!). These little masterpieces! September 27, 2014 at 3:33pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Averie :)! September 27, 2014 at 9:35pm Reply

  • christycee: These are so cute! I just found your blog today, and all your photos are drool-worthy ! September 27, 2014 at 4:07pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Christycee! September 27, 2014 at 9:35pm Reply

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci): So gorgeous, love that shot of the halved cupcakes! September 27, 2014 at 6:26pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Laura! September 27, 2014 at 9:33pm Reply

  • Medeja: These cupcakes look fantastic! Such a great idea (and delicious) to make Neapolitan cupcakes :) September 28, 2014 at 1:05am Reply

  • Janet: These look super sweet. A great idea. How about a scoop of neopolitan ice cream too? YUM! September 28, 2014 at 4:41am Reply

  • Tara: Love these! May I ask which tip you used for piping? Gorgeous! September 28, 2014 at 9:12am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks! I used the Wilton 4B. November 26, 2014 at 10:08am Reply

  • Jessica @ Sprinkle Some Sugar: Jaclyn, you always take the most beautiful photos! These cupcakes look absolutely perfect and so creative!! September 28, 2014 at 3:38pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Jessica! September 28, 2014 at 10:30pm Reply

  • megan: So pretty!! September 28, 2014 at 5:11pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Megan! September 28, 2014 at 10:28pm Reply

  • Ordinary Blogger (Rivki Locker): Ice cream turned cupcake? OH YES, count me in. The frosting on those things is so beautiful – they never come out quite that pretty when I do them. :) September 28, 2014 at 5:51pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the compliment! September 28, 2014 at 10:28pm Reply

  • Jessica @ Sweet Menu: Wow!!! This is the coolest idea ever! I just love the three layers and Neapolitan flavours – you have totally outdone yourself with these. September 28, 2014 at 11:06pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Jessica! September 29, 2014 at 10:00am Reply

  • Love these! I totally just pinned them onto my cupcake board. So pretty! September 29, 2014 at 5:12am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Tori! September 29, 2014 at 10:00am Reply

  • Mandy | Baking with Blondie: Could these look any more perfect? I think I found my next cupcake to try. Thanks Jaclyn for the amazing recipes – I feel like every one is something I have to add to my list to make. September 29, 2014 at 8:20am Reply

  • Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain: Seriously, so gorg!! I’ll take 27, please:) September 29, 2014 at 11:49am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Lauren! September 29, 2014 at 3:06pm Reply

  • aimee@shugarysweets: These are seriously gorgeous!! September 29, 2014 at 6:03pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Aimee :)! September 29, 2014 at 8:26pm Reply

  • Kate @ Diethood: These are absolutely fabulous!! AND gorgeous! September 30, 2014 at 5:35pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Kate! September 30, 2014 at 6:45pm Reply

  • Lisa | Mummy Made.It: i love how cute these are! How did you get the chocolate and white cupcake batters to not mix together? October 1, 2014 at 1:11am Reply

    • Jaclyn: The white batter is really fluffy so I think it just holds up well over the chocolate batter, I’m hoping I can figure it out again with more variations because I know it can be tricky. November 4, 2014 at 10:47pm Reply

  • Adele: These are simply amazing and so beautiful! I was going to make a pastry dish today but I think I will have to make these as well!
    October 1, 2014 at 2:16am Reply

  • Lexie Hockaday: These look amazing, I’ve never seen anything like them before. And Neapolitan is my favourite ice cream, I’ll definitely be making these this weekend! x October 2, 2014 at 6:18am Reply

  • Jazzmin Kaita: These cupcakes look amazing! Do you think this recipe would work for mini cupcakes? Would the baking time be 10 minutes? October 2, 2014 at 4:36pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think they’d be fine as minis and I’d imagine the baking time would be around there. October 2, 2014 at 8:18pm Reply

  • julie homer: these are lovely :)
    could you tell me please is this recipe anywhere in grams i would love to make these but cups are a prob here in the uk :(
    thank you for any help :) October 4, 2014 at 5:32am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry I don’t have this recipe in grams but when I make them in the future I will try to remember to get weights. October 21, 2014 at 7:23pm Reply

  • Sydney Sun: Hello,

    I made a version of these about a week ago using different cupcake recipes and they turned out fabulous! Thank you for the inspiration. :) You can check them out on my blog below, For the Love of Baking.

    Sydney Sun October 6, 2014 at 2:39pm Reply

  • Megan {Country Cleaver}: Eeeek!! Could these be anymore picture perfect?! I’m absolutely smitten with these! October 6, 2014 at 9:34pm Reply

  • julie: can anyone convert this recipe into grams for me please?
    i would love to try these :)
    thank you for any help/advice October 7, 2014 at 8:46am Reply

  • Debbie: Just happened to find these on Pinterest. So very beautiful! Thank you for the step-by-step instructions. I think my church is in for a treat! November 17, 2014 at 8:26am Reply

  • Amanda: I don’t have a standing mixer. Will the consistency come out the same if I use a hand mixer for both batters? November 24, 2014 at 12:38pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: That should be just fine. I hope you love them! November 27, 2014 at 1:01am Reply

  • sara khan: I love these Neapolitan Cupcakes recipe but my problem is cup measurements makes me little confuse so can you convert all ingredients in grams including frosting please. December 3, 2014 at 1:12pm Reply

  • Neapolitan Cupcakes |: […] Recipe Source:  adapted from  Cooking Classy  […] January 7, 2015 at 5:01pm Reply

  • Neapolitan Cupcakes! | Food, Shoes, Love: […] on to the good stuff. A couple of months ago I felt like being adventurous and tried this recipe for Neapolitan cupcakes. To elaborate, the bottom half of the cupcake is chocolate, the top […] January 28, 2015 at 7:56pm Reply

  • Jessica M: Hi, I have a question. For the frosting, can you use frozen strawberries? It’s hard to find good, fresh strawberries this time of the year. February 7, 2015 at 5:39am Reply

    • Jaclyn: That would probably work okay as long as you still reduce it down. February 7, 2015 at 4:48pm Reply

  • Christine: Hello! Is there anyway I could get around using vanilla bean for the cupcake? It would really make my life a lot easier. Thanks so much! February 9, 2015 at 11:21am Reply

    • Jaclyn: You should be fine to just up the vanilla to 1 tsp in the vanilla cake. Hope you love them! February 23, 2015 at 6:26pm Reply

  • Elizabeth: How did you keep from having the batter mix while they baked? What’s the trick? March 4, 2015 at 6:24am Reply

    • Jaclyn: The vanilla/white batter is lighter than the chocolate so they shouldn’t blend. I’ve tried with other cupcakes and it hasn’t worked as well, it’s tricky especially if the consistency of the batter is the same. March 4, 2015 at 4:58pm Reply

  • Rose s: These cupcakes looks superb and yummy! Do you mind telling the size of the paper cup that you are using here please? March 12, 2015 at 9:02pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I just used standard size cupcake liners for these. March 13, 2015 at 3:16pm Reply

  • Naomi: do you need to add the vanilla bean? March 24, 2015 at 12:57pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You can omit the vanilla bean and just up the vanilla another 1/2 tsp. March 24, 2015 at 4:45pm Reply

  • Naomi: also can I just use salted butter for the vanilla March 24, 2015 at 1:00pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I wouldn’t recommend omitting the vanilla, the white portion would taste really flat without it. March 24, 2015 at 4:46pm Reply

  • pricill: these cupcake looks great :)
    is there any ingredient can replace heavy cream in chocolate cupcake or i just can skip it?
    because there is no heavy cream in my country March 25, 2015 at 4:28am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Regular cream would work fine. I hope you love them! April 15, 2015 at 10:44pm Reply

  • Zeo: Hello Jaclyn,
    Love the three colors and different flavor, can i use my own cake recipe to do the same way? March 26, 2015 at 11:01pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: It mostly depends on the consistency of your batters. You wouldn’t want to pour a batter over the top that is heavier than the bottom, or really even the exact same or they’ll just swirl together. It can be tricky finding the right consistency to keep individual layers, I tried with a spumoni and it didn’t work as well as this one. April 15, 2015 at 10:41pm Reply

  • Erica: Fell in love with these as soon as I saw them! Great recipe! I’m not an experienced baker but mine turned out alright! Only problem I had was the chocolate rose through the vanilla! It was also very hard to judge when they were fully cooked March 28, 2015 at 8:36am Reply

  • Neapolitan Cupcakes | Sugar and Spice: […] pinned, and as soon as he saw the picture, he was of a one track mind. I found the original recipe here, and it was worth the work of a layered cupcake and a free afternoon spent baking. I actually timed […] April 3, 2015 at 11:24am Reply

  • Amy: Though these are cute, it kind of seemed like an unnecessarily complicated recipe. You use every measuring cup, several bowls, multiple tools, and the recipe itself is a little tricky. I thought the only flavor in the cakes came from the frosting itself. I was ultimately disappointed in the lack of taste and the time consuming recipe. April 9, 2015 at 10:01pm Reply

  • Alicia: can you freeze the un iced cupcakes? April 17, 2015 at 3:39am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I always prefer cakes/cupcakes fresh but that should be fine as long as they are in an airtight container. May 17, 2015 at 10:36am Reply

  • Susan: I am making these for my daughter’s birthday. I made a batch to test them out. It is a bit of work with two batters but they turned out just absolutely lovely!!!! The vanilla part is so fluffy and light!!! This is a KEEPER!!! Very delicious, fresh and light! April 23, 2015 at 4:57am Reply

  • Noreen Abel: Wow how cute, so gave them ago. Amazing, not quite as even as yours and used a Swiss meringue buttercream. The most tender of cake batters I have ever made, have you used those recipes else where? Like for larger cakes. May 16, 2015 at 12:19am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I haven’t yet used these batters for a cake but I’d like to try sometime. May 17, 2015 at 11:00am Reply

  • Barbara: OK I’m exhausted – that was a marathon cupcake bake, but it was worth it – the cakes turned out perfectly and the strawberry buttercream is divine. I have used every whisk, spatula bowl and cup measure in my kitchen LOL, but that’s what my dishwasher is for xx June 6, 2015 at 12:56pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you thought they were worth it :)! Thanks for your feedback! June 6, 2015 at 10:41pm Reply

  • Ronda: Loved making these! They turned out great! I will probably use a whole vanilla bean next time, love the vanilla taste. The cake recipes are fabulous and I will definitely use those again. The frosting was sweeter than I usually make but tasted pretty good. Thanks for such a nice recipe.
    Love your site!! June 23, 2015 at 1:46pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Ronda! June 29, 2015 at 2:01pm Reply

  • Victoria: Please I need to know quickly, the degrees you talk about are Celsius or Fahrenheit????? July 4, 2015 at 9:36am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Fahrenheit and for future reference all the recipes I have posted are in Fahrenheit when a temp is listed (for baking/candy/oil/meat etc.) July 4, 2015 at 2:33pm Reply

  • Kami: FANTASTIC! I used vanilla bean paste in the vanilla cake and it turned out great. I also tweaked your strawberry frosting a bit to incorporate shortening (so it would stand up a bit longer outside the fridge). Thank you for posting this recipe. Looks good and tastes great. July 26, 2015 at 12:46pm Reply

  • Logan: I just made these tonight and they were delightful…although I tweaked the vanilla batter..I used coffee ground instead of vanilla beans and let me tell you I’m glad I did cause the flavors together were amazing….but other than that tweak I followed the others exactly and it was perfect!!! November 7, 2015 at 9:07pm Reply

  • Lollycake281: Thank you for this god sent recipe.
    They always work and are a delight. January 13, 2016 at 12:50pm Reply

  • Pam: I made these and was so disappointed in how dry and dense they were. :( February 4, 2016 at 7:18am Reply

    • Jaclyn: It sounds like the were likely over-baked or the flour was over-measured and the butter/sugar may not have been whipped long enough. Sorry they didn’t turn out for you! February 4, 2016 at 5:54pm Reply

  • Shea: I’ve tried to make these twice and I couldn’t get my vanilla cake to the right consistency but I followed the recipe!? My vanilla cake was way to thin and the chocolate bled through and they ended up looking like dalmations and didn’t taste real good either!? Not sure what I’m doing wrong.? February 8, 2016 at 11:50am Reply

  • Roni Grant: I made these yesterday and they turned out great! February 17, 2016 at 10:15am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you liked them Roni :)! February 17, 2016 at 11:59pm Reply

  • Rebecca: I wanted to make this into a cake? What size would u recommend? Or double recipe? Kneed enough for 13… 9×13? I need to be able to construct a peppa pig head out of jelly beans. Lol February 17, 2016 at 11:14pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I don’t know that this could be made into a cake unless you swirled the batter maybe or baked the layers separately in which case I’d double. February 17, 2016 at 11:55pm Reply

  • Rebecca: Yes I’m going to do a chocolate then vanilla. Double for a 9 by 13 you think.
    On net I found 24 cupcakes -1-9 x13 or 2 8″ rounds . I’ll make sure I have lots of supplies just in case!!! February 18, 2016 at 8:22am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Oh no sorry, it’s been a while since I made them (I’m always moving on to the next thing to share) for some reason I was thinking it did a dozen – my bad. I should know my own recipes better :). I would just do one batch. February 18, 2016 at 7:05pm Reply

  • Rebecca: I have the double batch of chocolate in the oven in a 9 by 13 pan. Batter tasted divine!!!!! I think it is going to turn out superb! So happy to find this recipe as we LOVE neopolitan ice cream. Had a hard time finding strawberry purée (weird). Onto that journey tomorrow night! Thanks for blogging this fabulous recipe! February 18, 2016 at 9:43pm Reply

    • Roni: I just puréed a 16 oz container of strawberries in my bullet which made just enough because I made a double-batch of frosting February 22, 2016 at 8:31pm Reply

  • cali76: These sound great, am I okay using the above batter recipes for marble cupcakes? March 6, 2016 at 4:01pm Reply

  • Angelica: Can you use vanilla bean extract instead of vanilla bean?
    And can you mix it by hand for the whole recipe? March 9, 2016 at 12:13pm Reply

  • Ama: The cupcakes look so pretty, I will definitely give it a try. Thanks for the recipe July 5, 2016 at 4:52am Reply

  • AGS: These cupcakes look pretty no doubt. The different density of the batters result in two distinct layers.

    However in my opinion, the chocolate portion of the cupcake is ok – bit dense, dry and not sweet enough. The vanilla portion is nice and fluffy. September 28, 2016 at 12:03pm Reply

  • Joann S.: I just made these for my office to celebrate a coworker’s birthday, and they were spectacular! Amazing taste, very detailed carefully written recipe, and everyone just loved them – thank you!! June 16, 2017 at 2:33pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad they were enjoyed Joann! Thanks for your review! June 16, 2017 at 9:11pm Reply

  • AJ: I have a vanilla bean paste would that work instead of the extract plus the beans? July 17, 2017 at 6:04pm Reply

  • Ash: Hi Jaclyn, regarding the neapolitan cupcakes. For the chocolate cupcake, when you say 1/4 cup, is it 1/4 cup=60ml melted butter or 1/4 cup=2 1/2 sticks melted butter. July 24, 2017 at 3:02am Reply

  • Carla Brown: OMG this sounds like a dream!! such a great idea for cupcakes August 13, 2017 at 6:51am Reply

  • Lucia: The link to the buttercream icing doesn’t seem to be attached anymore – does anyone have the recipe?

    thanks September 25, 2017 at 3:48am Reply

  • Marycarol: Absolutely fabulous!! Easy to follow directions and that strawberry buttercream is to die for!!!
    Thanks for sharing!!! January 3, 2018 at 4:30pm Reply

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