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{VIDEO} Neapolitan Cupcakes (Chocolate Vanilla Strawberry)

The sweet, nostalgic chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream trio, transformed into a cupcake flavor!



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My rich, fudgy chocolate cupcakes make the perfect base for a tall swirl of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry frosting, that taste just like the nostalgic ice cream trio, I used to love as a kid! Growing up, I used to always have a carton of Neapolitan ice cream in the freezer. There was just something about getting to have a little bit of each flavor that made such a special treat.


Not only do I love that you don't have to choose between chocolate, vanilla or strawberry, with Neapolitan, but I love the sweet color palate that this trio creates. The creamy cocoa, pale ivory and pastel pink just look so pretty together, especially when they are piled high on top of a cupcake!



Last week I made my Neapolitan chocolate chip cookies, with my DIY strawberry chocolate chips, so if you love Neapolitan as much as I do, you are going to love these cookies, too!



I've also made these with a cookies and cream frosting, since cookies and cream ice cream is my all time fave! What's your favorite ice cream flavor?


I topped these with a cute little strawberry, but you can get creative and use hot fudge ice cream topping, sprinkles or even a cherry, too, if you like!




Neapolitan Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes


Ingredients

Chocolate Cupcakes:
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules (may use 1/2 hot coffee instead)
  • 6 tablespoons (30g) unsweetened cocoa powder, dutch processed 
  • 1 cup (192g) granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120g) sour cream, room temperature 
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (105g) all-purpose flour, weighed or spooned and leveled
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick/4oz) unsalted butter, softened 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (1/2lb) powdered sugar (confectioners' sugar), sifted
  • 2-4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream (sub half and half or milk if necessary)
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, (dutch processed or natural)
  • 2-3 tablespoon strawberry milk powder
  • 12 strawberries, for garnish


Directions
Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with baking cups.

Dissolve the instant coffee and cocoa powder into the boiling water and set aside. With an electric mixer, beat together the sugar and oil on medium speed for about 1-2 minutes. Add the egg, mixing well until smooth and pale in color. Beat in the vanilla and sour cream. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture on low speed, until incorporated. In a steady stream, beat in the cocoa mixture until fully combine. Scrape down bottom and sides of bowl. Beat for about 20-30 seconds until smooth and thin.

Distribute the batter between the baking cups, filling about 3/4 full. Bake for 16-20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. (About 10 minutes for mini cupcakes). Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Frosting:
With an electric mixer, beat the softened butter on medium-high speed until light and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in vanilla and salt. Add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, starting on on low and increasing to medium, until fully incorporated, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl as needed. Add 2-3 tablespoons of cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Scrape down bottom and sides of bowl. Increase to medium-high speed and beat for an additional 3-5 minutes until smooth, light and fluffy. 

Set aside half of the frosting and beat in cocoa powder to remaining half, adding additional cream if needed. Transfer to a piping bag with a star tip, for the bottom chocolate layer. Transfer 2/3 of the remaining vanilla frosting to a piping bag with a star tip, for the middle layer. To the rest of the frosting, mix in strawberry milk powder and transfer to a piping bag with a star tip, for the top, strawberry layer.

Frost a swirl of chocolate frosting on each cupcakes, followed by the vanilla and a swirl of strawberry on top. Add a fresh strawberry on top for garnish, if desired.