Neapolitan Cupcakes Recipe

Published on July 8th 2022 by Jennifer Dodd.
Last updated on March 20th 2024
This recipe, developed through the collective effort of at least six experts, underwent meticulous research and testing for over three months. Learn more about our process in the art and science behind our recipes. This post may contain affiliate links. Read our Disclosure Policy.
Front View of Neapolitan Cupcakes

Neapolitan ice cream was created for those who can't decide which is the best out of vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry. So they were layered together to get sweet bites of all the classics. What about adding all these legendary flavors into one cupcake to create a unique dessert you've seen or tasted in these Neapolitan Cupcakes

Creating these tasty masterpieces takes a little time and effort, but it will be worth every second. Vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry cake batter are layered and baked, then topped with swirls of Neapolitan buttercream. Sugar alternatives are used to keep the calories down while still adding sweetness. They're sure to please, impress and satisfy everyone's sweet tooth with this special little dessert. 

If baking is your thing, try out another Classic Bakes recipe for these delicious Vegan Oreo Cupcakes


Why do cupcakes crack on top?

Cakes and cupcakes tend to crack when the oven temperature is set too high, causing the cake or cupcakes to expand too quickly and break on top. Also, keep cakes and cupcakes in the center of the oven and not too high up. This can cause cupcakes and cakes to cook too quickly and crack on the surface. 

Why did my cupcakes explode?

Cupcakes can explode or spill out of their wrappers because perhaps there was too much baking soda added. Baking soda will cause the batter to rise too fast, resulting in an overflow of the batter. Double-check the ingredient measurements carefully while baking. It could also be that the oven is too hot even when setting it to the recommended temperature. Ovens need to be professionally calibrated from time to time, especially if they're gas ovens. If your oven seems to be running hotter than usual, it may be time to have it calibrated. 

How do you keep a cake from deflating after baking?

If a cake deflates after it's been baked, it could be for a few reasons. First, perhaps the amounts of baking soda or powder weren't followed, or one of them was left out accidentally. Second, ensure your eggs and butter are at room temperature before whipping them into the batter. Third, the cake or cupcake batter should be smooth, over mixing the batter will result in a deflated and heavy cake. Finally, always wait for the oven to be fully pre-heated before adding your cake, so the cake rises appropriately. 

Should cupcakes be domed or flat?

A good cupcake should be flat. Flat cupcakes can be very moist. Domed cupcakes tend to be a little dry and crumbly. The cupcakes may have turned out domed because the pan was too small or there was too much batter added to the cups. It could also be that the temperature was too hot, causing the cupcake to rise too fast or that the leavening agents weren't added correctly. 

Author: Jennifer Dodd
Average: 5 (3 votes)
Total rating includes sum of all comments and anonymous votes.

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Time & Serves

Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
18 mins
Total Time
38 mins
12 Cupcakes


Neapolitan Cupcake Batter
  • 3/4 cup Self Rising Flour 

  • 3/4 cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature 

  • 3 large Eggs, room temperature 

  • 3/4 cup Granulated Sugar Alternative

  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract 

  • 6 medium Strawberries, diced small 

  • 2 tablespoons Sugar Free Strawberry Jam 

  • 2 tablespoons Cocoa Powder 

Neapolitan Buttercream Frosting
  • 3/4 cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature 

  • 1 1/4 cups Powdered Sugar Alternative 

  • 2 tablespoons Cocoa Powder 

  • 2 tablespoons Sugar Free Strawberry Jam

  • 1-2 drops Pink Food Coloring * Optional


Neapolitan Cupcake Batter

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit & line a 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. 

Using a stand-up mixer, add the softened butter and granulated sugar alternative to the mixing bowl using the whisk attachment. On medium speed, whip the butter and granular sugar alternative together until it's light and smooth.   

Add the eggs and vanilla extract, mixing for another 1-2 minutes.  

Slow the mixer down to low speed, and add in the flour, mixing only enough to incorporate the ingredients. 

Using two mixing bowls, add 1 cup of cupcake batter into each of the bowls. 

Add the diced strawberries and strawberry jam to one of the bowls, using a spatula to fold together.   

Add the cocoa powder to the other bowl, using a spatula to fold together. 

Add a spoonful of vanilla batter into each cupcake liner evening the batter out.  

Repeat the process, spooning on the chocolate batter. 

Top them off with the strawberry batter, spreading it out lightly to avoid mixing the layers. 

Place the cupcake pan onto a baking tray and into the center of the oven. Bake for 15-18 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean after being inserted into the center of the cupcake. 

Remove from the oven, letting the pan cool for a few minutes before placing the cupcakes onto a cooling rack. 

Neapolitan Buttercream Frosting

Using the standup mixer, add the softened butter into the mixing bowl. Whip the butter using whisk attachment on medium speed for 3-4 minutes.   

Slow the speed down too low, adding the powdered sugar alternative 1/4 cup at a time until the buttercream is smooth, scraping down the sides with a spatula. 

Using two bowls, add 3/4 cups of the buttercream into each bowl. 

Add the cocoa powder to one bowl using a whisk to combine. 

Add the strawberry jam and optional pink food coloring to the other bowl, whisking to combine. 

Add the flavors of buttercream separately to three piping bags fitted with your favorite piping tips.  

Pipe the layers of buttercream onto the cooled cupcakes starting with chocolate, then vanilla, and finishing with strawberry. 

Arrange the completed cupcakes onto a cake or serving platter & enjoy your creation.   

Jennifer Dodd

Savor the taste of culinary excellence with Jennifer, where each dish tells a story of tradition and adventure.

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