Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Strawberry, Chocolate and Vanilla = Neapolitan Cupcakes

Several weeks ago while visiting a fellow food blogger I came across an idea for a cupcake. You see, Maria, from Two Peas and Their Pod, visited a cupcakery and brought home several different flavors. One of them was a Neapolitan cupcake. I've been dreaming of that cupcake ever since. Thanks Maria!

I had intentions of adapting a basic one-bowl chocolate recipe into a two tone batter, but then I remembered that the PBS show, Everyday Baking, had a recipe for chocolate and vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting. But I had some strawberry meringue buttercream frosting leftover from my sister's strawberry birthday cake so I used that to top these black and white cupcakes with. Voila- a Neapolitan Cupcake was born!

They're so pretty and girly and would be perfect for a wedding or baby shower, Mother's day, birthdays and even a backyard barbecue or luncheon. With the flavors of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, there's something here for everyone.

I adapted the original version of these cupcakes because all the reviewers said they were very dry. I wanted to make them despite their claims so I added a little vegetable oil and upped the amount of milk in the batter. They weren't dry to me. At the same time, I don't think there was anything spectacular about these cupcakes. They were good, but the strawberry buttercream made them even better.

Black-and-White Cupcakes adapted from Everyday Baking

Vanilla Batter:

  • 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp.salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
Chocolate Batter:
  • 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

Prepare both vanilla and chocolate batters; fill muffin cups with 3 tablespoons of each, side by side.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a standard 12-cup muffin pan, or use paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add oil then 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).

Divide batter among prepared muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 22 to 24 minutes. Cool cupcakes in pan, 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Frost with strawberry meringue buttercream.

Makes 24 cupcakes

NOTE: Click the link to view the recipe for Strawberry Meringue Buttercream.

Be sure to use regular white cupcake liners so you can see the distinct separation of the chocolate and vanilla batters.


Coleens Recipes said...

What a GREAT idea! I love how you held back the buttercream to expose the chocolate/vanilla cake!!

Chocolaty Lifestyle said...

What a nice dessert for a summer day, adorable! :)

Donna-FFW said...

These are so pretty Monica, and I love how you named them!

Lissaloo said...

That is so neat! I love how pretty they are :)

Maria said...

I am so glad I inspired you to make these. They look terrific!!I wish I could have a taste! Job well done!

Delectable Dining said...

These are SO cute! Love them!

Debbie said...

Oh those cupcakes look so lovely. What a great idea.....

Ingrid_3Bs said...

They are a good lucking cupcake! This is one time that seeing through the cupcake liners are a good thing.

ElizSeg said...

So,so cute!

Hennifer said...

You are so amazing! I do find these delightfully feminine for some reason.


Anonymous said...

Monica, I found this site because I am a longtime reader of your other blog. this blog is one of my "must reads!". I love the photography, the recipes, yum yum yum. It makes me want to try them all. Of course I'm sitting here hungry as I'm writing this but STILL. Just wanted to tell you that I love this site! Please keep posting!

Heather S-G said...

mmmm...this is a fun combo!! I haven't thought about Neapolitan in a long time...I am now.

Kristen said...

See this is why I like your blog so much! So yummy and impressive!

Sara said...

I clipped this recipe from the magazine a while back but haven't made it yet. Yours look so good!

Creative Classroom Core said...

I love these! So cute!
The strawberries are the perfect toppers!

Kerstin said...

What cool cupcakes! The best of both worlds :)

Juliana said...

Nice it! The colors are just so pretty...and I am sure that the taste is fantastic...yummie. Great pictures!

Julie said...

Those are so pretty, and look delicious! I love the berries on top.

Sophie said...

I read this last week but never got around to commenting; when I read it I remember being hungry and thinking "I should probably not look at Monica's blog on an empty stomach", very yummy and pretty indeed :P.

Amber said...

These are tooooooo cute!!!!!

Jojo said...

hey, i just tried out this recipe yesterday and it turned out quite well i's just tat the cakes taste a lil sticky, maybe it's too moist...anyway, your looks real great and neat but mine are not..they rised unevenly..i hav some pics taken and i would like to show if u;re can offer me any advice...thanks...

Monica H said...

Hi Jojo,

Glad you made these cupcakes but I'm sorry they didn't turn out as expected. I adapted the original version by adding more buttermilk and a little veg. oil, because all the reviews said they were dry.

If they seemed too moist and sticky to you, maybe you should follow the original recipe. They might be perfect for you. Also, it may be a matter of climate difference too that resulted in the different textures.

Please send me your pictures to: stillhopeful[dot]monica[at]yahoo[dot]com I'd love to see your cupcakes.

The original recipe for these black and white cupcakes can be found here:

and here:

I look forward to hearing from you!


jojo said...

pics sent!...thanks lots!

the shoppe owner said...

oh, wow. these look amazing!!!

the shoppe owner said...

I just posted a little something about these on my blog. I hope you don't mind!

Diana said...

These cakes are wonderful -
delicious and strawberry flavor.
I made them with little adaptation.
Thank you!

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