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Neapolitan Cupcakes

Neapolitan Cupcakes
From How To Eat a Cupcake and Martha Stewart

Vanilla Cupcakes
Makes 12

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk

Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes 12

Follow instructions for Vanilla Cupcakes below, but reduce flour to 1 1/4 cups, and add 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder. Whisk into dry ingredients.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2 standard 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

2. With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; add vanilla, and mix until combined. On low speed, beat in half the flour mixture, followed by milk; end with remaining flour mixture. Mix just until incorporated (do not overmix).

3. Fill muffin cups with 3 tablespoons of each batter, side by side. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 17 to 19 minutes. Cool cupcakes in pan, 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Strawberry Buttercream
Adapted from 125 Best Cupcake Recipes by Julie Hasson
Makes enough to frost about 16 cupcakes

2 cups confectioner's sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup strawberry puree
1/2 teaspoon strawberry extract
Pinch of Salt
8-12 fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced, for decoration

1. In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter until it is light and fluffy. Add strawberry puree, strawberry extract, and salt until well combined. Add sugar, a half cup at a time, and beat until frosting comes together and is light and fluffy, 5 to 7 minutes.

2. Spread or pipe frosting over cooled cupcakes. Top each with a sliced strawberry.

*Note: This only made enough to frost about 2/3 of my 2 dozen cupcakes. I had to make a batch and a half to frost them all.

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