June 26, 2024

Neapolitan Cupcakes

Try this fun twist on a favorite ice cream flavor - neapolitan! Layers of chocolate and vanilla cupcake batter are baked together then topped with a fruity buttercream frosting.

Neapolitan Cupcakes

Neapolitan Cupcakes

Serving: Makes 12 cupcakes.



For the Cupcake Batter:

  • 1 3/4 c gluten free cake flour (mix together 200 grams Better Batter All-Purpose Flour + 43 grams gluten free cornstarch)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 c buttermilk
  • 1/4 c cocoa powder
  • 1/4 c hot water
  • 2 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used mini-sized), plus a few more for garnish

For the Strawberry Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1 1/2 c fresh strawberries, cleaned, hulled, and chopped
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 c Powdered Sugar
  • Use a standard-sized 12-well muffin pan and paper liners for this recipe.


Note: Cake flour helps provide additional structure to gluten free baked goods. Make your own cake flour using an 80% flour/20% cornstarch (or arrowroot powder) mix. An inexpensive kitchen scale is an essential tool for properly weighing ingredients like cake flour.


Preheat and Prepare. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12-well muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.


Mix the Dry Ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together the gluten free cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.


Make the Batter. Using a stand mixer, or a large mixing bowl and a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl often. Mix in vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add in flour mixture in two batches, alternating with buttermilk. Set this batter aside temporarily.


Make up the Cocoa Slurry. In a medium bowl, mix together cocoa powder and hot water and whisk well to remove any lumps. Transfer one heaping cup (about 10 oz) of vanilla batter into the bowl with the cocoa slurry. Stir gently until well combined.


Add in mini chocolate chips. You should now have approximately equal parts vanilla and chocolate cupcake batters in separate bowls.


Fill and Bake. Divide the chocolate batter evenly among the lined muffin pan. I used a standard ice cream scoop filled about halfway to measure out my batter. Top with remaining vanilla batter. Cups will be about 3/4 full. Bake 18-22 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking time. Tops should just begin to lightly brown and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.


Remove from the oven and transfer pan to a cooling rack. Cool completely in the muffin pan before removing.


Make the Buttercream Frosting. While the cupcakes are cooling, make this fruity buttercream frosting.


Place the fresh strawberries in a mini chopped or blender to puree.


Transfer to a saucepan and cook over medium heat until broken down into a sauce, stirring constantly. Strawberries should thicken considerably and reduce to about 3 Tbl. Remove from heat and let cool.


To make the buttercream, beat together the butter and 1 cup powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add the strawberry puree and beat until well incorporated. Add the vanilla and the remaining two cups of powdered sugar, beating well. If your buttercream is thick, add a little bit of heavy cream or milk, one teaspoon at a time, to thin to piping consistency.


Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag or a zip top bag with a corner snipped off. Pipe on the frosting in thick swirls and top with additional mini chocolate chips. 


Store in an airtight container in a cool place up to 2 days or refrigerate.


Adapted from Martha Stewart Living