Neapolitan Cupcakes

Hey MBA readers! I hope you are having a great start to your week. I’m still kind of getting back into the swing of things after a little hiatus, so the lovely Tracy of Sugarcrafter is stepping in for me today with a delicious recipe for Neopolitan Cupcakes. Thanks so much for being here, Tracy!

Hi there! I’m Tracy from Sugarcrafter, and I’m very happy to be guest posting for Jamie today. Jamie is one of my absolute favorite baking bloggers, and I am constantly in awe of not only the amazing treats she’s always baking up in her kitchen, but her gorgeous photography as well. When I started thinking about what to make, my mind immediately wandered to cupcakes…and since I was driving home after a trip to Target and had just been inundated with Valentine’s Day candy displays, I had pink on the brain. It wasn’t long before I combined the two thoughts and started thinking about desserts that involve pink, and ta-da! I had my cupcake idea – Neapolitan cupcakes with matching Neapolitan frosting.

I used a fluffy white cake mix as the base for these cupcakes, and then I split the batter into thirds. I left one third of the batter white, and then used cocoa powder and strawberry jam to make the other two thirds chocolate and strawberry respectively. The frosting is made in the same manner – and while I’m usually all over anything chocolate, I have to say that I couldn’t stop licking the beaters after mixing up the strawberry frosting. There’s nothing quite like homemade strawberry jam!

I think these cupcakes would be lovely for Valentine’s Day, but since they’re not overly pink, I think they’re eye-catching enough to fit perfectly into any party or special occasion. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

Neapolitan Cupcakes

Yield: 18 cupcakes


For the Cupcakes

2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg whites
1 1/4 cups milk
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 stick butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup strawberry jam

For the Frosting

2 sticks butter, softened
6 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoon heavy cream
2 Tablespoon cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon strawberry jam


1. To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two cupcake pans with cupcake liners.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
3. In another medium bowl, whisk together the egg whites and milk.
4. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and crumbly. Beat in the vanilla extract.
5. Add both the flour and egg mixtures to the butter mixture, half at a time, beating until well-blended.
6. Split the batter into thirds. Set aside one third of the mixture. For the second, beat in the cocoa powder. For the third, beat in the jam.
7. Drop some of each of the three colored batters into the cupcake liners. Swirl with a knife to create a marbled effect, if desired.
8. Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
9. To make the frostings, beat the butter until pale. Beat in the vanilla extract, then gradually beat in the powdered sugar and heavy cream, half at a time. Split into thirds and set aside one third of the frosting. Add cocoa powder to the second, and strawberry jam to the third. Frost cupcakes as desired.


- To make the jam easier to combine with the batter and frosting, warm it in the microwave in a small bowl for 10-15 seconds.
- Because the jam can make the pink cake batter a little more runny than the other two batters, you can always add a little extra flour to compensate for the extra liquid added. Along the same lines, you can add a little extra powdered sugar to the pink frosting as well.

42 Responses to “Neapolitan Cupcakes”

  1. Beautiful!! It would be a real pleasure to taste one of them…


  2. Holiday Baker Man — January 22, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    These look awesome!


  3. Oh my gosh, I never would have thought to mix in cocoa and jam to make these cupcakes. These are so cute and they look so delicious! I can’t wait to try these out!


  4. Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe — January 22, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    How cute! I love how you incorporated all of the neapolitan colors, Tracy!


  5. ThisBakerGirlBlogs — January 22, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Oh My … These look incredible! Love the icing – I’ll definitely need to start perfecting my piping skills! :)


  6. stephchows — January 22, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Adorable and beautiful photos!!


  7. Aimee @ Simple Bites — January 22, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Gorgeous!! Welcome back Jamie, and Tracy, nice to see you over here. You’ve got piping bag skills, girl!


  8. Caroline @ Pass the Cocoa — January 22, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    These cupcakes are beautiful, Tracy! I love the natural pink color of the strawberry frosting!


  9. Becca - Cookie Jar Treats — January 22, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    Aww these are absolutely adorable. And that frosting job on top is superb!


  10. Urban Wife — January 22, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    These are *almost* too pretty to eat.


  11. Laura — January 22, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    So cute, I’ll have to make these some day for valentines day festivities!


  12. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — January 22, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    I love, love, love these! I freaked out when I saw them earlier today on Tracy’s blog. What a treat!


  13. tracy {pale yellow} — January 22, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    So pretty! All the best flavors in one cupcake!


  14. Amber — January 22, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    These are the coolest cupcakes! I want them for my birthday in two weeks :)


  15. Bellenza Bistro — January 22, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    How gorgeous would these be on a bridal shower dessert table?! And I’m sure they taste as fabulous as they look. :-)


  16. shelly (cookies and cups) — January 23, 2013 at 8:17 am

    These look fantastic!


  17. Jill — January 23, 2013 at 10:35 am

    These are soooo pretty!


  18. Eva @ Eva Bakes — January 23, 2013 at 10:53 am

    These are beautiful!


  19. Lisa Cornely — January 23, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    These are absolutely beautiful. What a great idea. Can’t wait to try these.


  20. Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen — January 25, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Ah these look beautiful. I love the idea of neapolitan cupcakes!


  21. Shaina — January 25, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    Gorgeous. I love the swirl of the cupcakes.


  22. Veronica — January 26, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Do you know what tip # you used to pipe the frosting?


  23. Marcie @ Flavor the Moments — January 26, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    Those are gorgeous! I know mine won’t look like those.


  24. Ashly — January 30, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Wow these look just amazing. I will have to try and get these made this weekend!! Ashly xxx xxx


  25. Keila — February 4, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    These are pretty, but I just made them and the cupcakes taste like cornbread. I followed the recipe verbatim. The icing is also way to sweet. I would pick another icing and cupcake recipe and just do the Neapolitan look to it.


    • Jamie — February 4, 2013 at 7:49 pm

      Let me direct Tracy to your comment, hopefully she’ll be able to help you.

  26. Jennie — February 5, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    I made these last weekend and they were delish! The cake itself was a little heavy but that may be because I didn’t sift the cake flour. I did notice that the chocolate seemed to over take the strawberry so next time I make them I will layer chocolate batter first then vanilla then strawberry and see if that helps. The frosting was amazing!!


  27. Anna — February 13, 2013 at 7:15 am

    Gonna make these for Valentine’s tomorrow. They look awesome!


  28. Yvonne — February 14, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Absolutely love these cupcakes! Easy to make and the taste combination is amazing. We made these for a Trunk Show Event in our store and the customers actually wanted to order more! Thanks for the recipes.


  29. Tammi — February 24, 2013 at 11:12 am

    These were awesome the only trouble I ran into was the chocolate frosting, next time I would add a little more cream since the cocoa powder made it a little hard.


  30. Audree Lytle — September 29, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    These are so yummy especially with a fresh strawberry on top! My new favorite cupcake flavor!


    • Jamie — October 2, 2013 at 11:58 am


      That’s great to hear! Have a great day.


  31. Jennifer Law — February 7, 2014 at 10:10 am

    I can’t wait to try these. Thank you so much for sharing!


  32. Zoeann — December 25, 2014 at 6:44 am

    Hello baking addition~ may I know how many gram is for the cocoa powder in this recipes? Asian always confuse with the US recipe do not show gram… Hope u can provide :) you mange this awesome blog make all HomeBaker’s kitchen fun !!!!


    • Jamie — December 27, 2014 at 8:46 pm

      1/4 cup of cocoa powder would be 32 grams. I hope this helps.


  33. Jessica — February 4, 2016 at 10:58 am

    Just made them. They turned out a little wide and more like corn muffin look than cupcakes. Also a little dense. 

    Could be bc i used all purpose and didn’t have any liners on hand. I don’t know. I feel like i may just buy a box of cake mix and be done with it. They don’t really look like cupcakes. Help?


  34. Peg — February 6, 2016 at 9:32 am

    These look gorgeous! Gonna try them this week.


    • Jamie — February 6, 2016 at 4:36 pm

      Thanks so much, Peg!

  35. Ina — June 25, 2016 at 10:42 am

    I made these and I also felt that the cupcake was a little heavy. I expected them to be a little more soft and fluffy but instead they were close to the texture of heavy sponge cake.

    I didn’t read the notes below regarding the frosting and I wished I had because those were the exact problems that I ran into with the frosting. Can you give any specifics on how you put the batter in the lines to get them to look like your photo?

    I will try again next time sifting the cake flour first and making sure to follow the side notes for the frosting.


  36. Kris — July 12, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    So cute! Where did you get the little stands?


  37. Anne — August 16, 2017 at 7:44 am

    1 stick of butter is equal to how many grams? Pls help


    • Jamie — August 16, 2017 at 10:47 am

      Per Google, a stick of butter is 113 grams. I hope this helps.

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