Take a bite. You might taste strawberry. You might taste vanilla. You might taste chocolate. Or you might taste some variation of those flavors.
This summer, I’ve been able to bake different flavors I’ve been wanting to bake for such a while now. First it was the rosy tea cupcakes and now, it’s neapolitan cupcakes.
Back when I was planning cupcake flavors, I put my ideas on sticky notes, including neapolitan. I thought of layering the three flavors on top of each other and top it off with some type of vanilla frosting. The second idea was to layer vanilla on top of strawberry and top it off with chocolate.
What I created last week turned out totally different, but I can’t take all the credit. This idea was inspired by Bakerella’s snow cone cupcakes.
One of the tricky parts in baking these cupcakes was finding a good vanilla cupcake to start with mainly because I haven’t found the ultimate vanilla cupcake yet. Plus, the batter for the one that is close to being really good isn’t thick enough. However, I decided to use the same recipe as the oreo cupcakes I made a few weeks ago.
The next challenge was figuring out how to turn that one vanilla recipe into strawberry and chocolate.
I’ve made strawberry cupcakes in the past, but I’ve never been really impressed with them. Both times, it consisted of some fresh strawberries either chopped up or pureed. For these cupcakes, I decided to add them anyway.
But to really give it that strawberry punch, I bought a bottle of strawberry extract from Cook’s.
For anything neapolitan, the strawberry is distinctly pink and just adding the fruits and extract won’t cut it. I also added a few drops of red food coloring to give it a pinkish color.
Lastly, I had to figure out how to do the chocolate portion. In the past, I’ve only used cocoa powder. At first, I thought I could just add cocoa powder to a vanilla cupcake recipe and… Tada! Chocolate cupcakes! WRONG. Thankfully, I looked it up and learned that I can do it that way, but it would mean taking out some of the flour to balance it out. But how much cocoa powder should I put? How much flour should I take out? I didn’t want to mess it up.
Then, I remembered seeing a recipe on the Cupcake Project where she started off with the same batter and divided it at the end to have both vanilla and chocolate cupcakes. All she did was add some bittersweet chocolate, not cocoa powder. So I went and bought a bar of Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate and it worked out perfectly.
As I mentioned, I was inspired by Bakerella to do this differently than I had originally planned. To do this, I put the batters into three different decorating bags and taped them together.
Bakerella only had one piece of tape going around, but I taped more at first because I felt like the whole thing was just too flimsy. I did end up taking some of that tape off though.
When it’s ready to go, I just piped it all together into the baking cups. This way, all three batters should end up evenly throughout the whole cupcake.
And here they are! Neapolitan cupcakes with whipped frosting. At first, I wanted to experiment with a different light frosting, but at the end of baking nearly 100 mini cupcakes this way, I was too tired and lazy to experiment. Whipped frosting is just so easy.
My thoughts? I was pretty impressed at the taste of it at first. Maybe I was hungry or maybe it was really that OK, but I’ll admit I ate a couple when it was fresh off the oven. I wasn’t too fond of the strawberry extract, but it was doable. If I did this again, I would have to add more red food coloring because the pink was a bit too pale. All in all, I was pleased with the results, especially since this is one of the more advanced cupcakes I’ve made so far. Yay!