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Neapolitan Cupcakes with Ice Cream Frosting

by Courtney on April 29, 2011

Sorry that I’m not sorry for the outrageous amounts of cupcakes you’ve been seeing on here this week.


Things got a little crazy.

I almost decided to hold off on sharing these Neapolitan Cupcakes with Ice Cream Frosting (yes you read that right!) with ya’ll until next week, buuuuuut I just couldn’t. Especially after the response I got on them yesterday.

When there’s something this good, it needs to be shared. So let’s share, shall we?

Neapolitan Cupcakes

Start out with a box of Pillsbury Golden Butter cake mix. Really, you could use any yellow or golden cake mix, but I like using the butter ones (when I’m not worrying about healthifying it) because I think the flavor is better.

Prepare the cake mix according to directions on the package, then divide your batter into three separate bowls.


*In order to evenly divide the batter, each bowl should have approximately 1-1/2 cups of batter.

To make the vanilla layer, add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.


For the strawberry layer, add 1/4 cup strawberry preserves + red food coloring. (start with a few drops and work your way up until you get a deep pink color)


For the chocolate layer, add 1 oz. melted semi-sweet chocolate (slightly cooled) + 1 tbsp cocoa powder.


Next, line your cupcake pan with liners and start by adding one heaping tablespoon of strawberry batter into each cup.


Then go ahead and do the same with the chocolate


And finally, the vanilla.


Bake the cupcakes in a 350F oven for about 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


You’re going to end up with some beautifully swirled cupcakes on your hands!


Once the cupcakes are cooled completely, it’s time to get to work on your frosting.

Ohhhhh the frosting.




I’m in love with these cupcakes not only for how they taste, but for how they look. Starting with the delicate soft-serve looking frosting,


…all the way down to the swirled cupcake itself.


Just like a carton of Neapolitan ice cream, right? I kid you not when I say that you can actually taste each of the three flavors when you sink in to your first bite.

The fruity strawberry, combined with the rich chocolate, followed by the sweet vanilla…all on top of the vanilla ice cream-flavored frosting. It’s just heavenly.


I will say that they are a little time consuming, but they are not difficult. And when you get a finished product like this, I’d say that they’re totally worth the extra effort.


They’ll leave people talking, I promise.

Question for the Day:

If you could turn any ice cream flavor into a cupcake, what would it be?

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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Meg April 29, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I’m not sorry about all these cupcakes either ;) but I AM sorry for my computer keyboard that I’m drooling all over. These look amazing and remind me of SUMMER and ice cream!

I’d go for cookie dough or mint choco chip!
Meg recently posted..Brighten up


2 Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet April 29, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Wow the insides look gorgeous! And I love that you used ice cream in the frosting. I never would of thought of that. Does it make the frosting a little thin, though?

I’d love to have moose tracks as a cupcake! Fudge, chocolate cake, pb cups, what could be better?
Liv @ The Salty n’ Sweet recently posted..Royal Wedding Watch


3 Courtney April 29, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Nope! Not at all :)


4 Rachel March 24, 2012 at 11:20 pm

I beat mine for a while to but it turned out looking like a cupcake with melted icing on top. They tasted great but were messy. Anything else I can try? I would love to make these again but want them to taste good AND look good too! Would it be possible for you to take pictures of you making the icing step by step. I think that would help.


5 Courtney March 25, 2012 at 12:03 pm

If the icing is thin, try adding more confectioners’ sugar a little at a time until it thickens up a bit. Or, you can try omitting the milk.


6 Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers April 29, 2011 at 12:44 pm

please never apologize for posting cupcake recipes and pictures. my blog is overly saturated with smoothies at the moment but i just can’t help myself! cupcakes are a whole ‘nother level of amazing!
Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers recently posted..Words with Friends


7 Melissa April 29, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Not only are they pretty, they also sound delicious! I love cinnamon ice cream with caramel and graham crackers. I’d love to see that in cupcake form!
Melissa recently posted..Dollar Store with Dr Oz


8 Courtney April 29, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Oh gosh…that sounds like something I may need to try! Hmmm…… ;)


9 Melissa April 29, 2011 at 1:07 pm

I have a good feeling you’ll come through for me on this! :D


10 Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine April 29, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Ahhh those are seriously awesome. Crumbs cupcakes does a “grasshopper” flavor that’s basically mint chocolate chip. It’s freaking delicious!!
Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine recently posted..The Only Thing Better Than Chocolate


11 Claire @ Live and Love to Eat April 29, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Hmm.. Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food! Banana with dark chocolate fish and marshmallow mmm-mmm!
Claire @ Live and Love to Eat recently posted..Successes and Failures


12 Shanna, like Banana April 29, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Blue moon for sure..just thinking about it has my taste buds going!


13 Grace April 29, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Oh my goodness! What a cute idea! I’ve never seen these before!
Grace recently posted..Easter Basket Blues


14 Jamie aka "Sometimes Healthy" Girl April 29, 2011 at 1:47 pm

When I saw this come up on my Twitter feed, I had to pop on over to check out the recipe. I am beyond excited and all of my coworkers have requested I make these. I tried to tell them they might not look quite as good as yours but they didn’t care ;-)

Hmmm….ice cream flavor into a cupcake? Phish Food Cupcakes!
Jamie aka “Sometimes Healthy” Girl recently posted..Food Prep for the Royal Wedding…Viewing Party


15 Jessica at Daly Authenticity April 29, 2011 at 1:49 pm


I’ve pretty much been stalking your blog since I found it last week. You are gorgeous! And thanks to these cupcakes, I had to “delurk” and say hello!

Well done!


16 Courtney April 29, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Awww, thanks for “delurking” Jessica! I love hearing from my lurkers ;)


17 Jillian April 29, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Mint Chocolate Chip! But I guess that’s already a grasshopper cupcake…and my second choice would be cookie dough ice cream, but that’s like…a cake, cookie, and ice cream then all together! Plus, you already did that!


18 Caroline April 29, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Wow! Yum! All of your cupcakes are making me crazy! They all look so amazing!
Caroline recently posted..HELP


19 Shari @ Chicago Cuisine Critique April 29, 2011 at 2:28 pm

These look awesome. Sad you posted these after my Foodie Friday post was already up. Guess there is always next week. Yum!
Shari @ Chicago Cuisine Critique recently posted..Foodie Friday


20 Erica April 29, 2011 at 2:30 pm

how about a coffee cupcake? :)

those cupcakes look so cute! i think i may need to try this one day!


21 Jenny (Fit Girl Foodie) April 29, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Yummy those look incredible. I would definitely turn cookies and cream ice cream into a cupcake :D


22 Tina April 29, 2011 at 3:03 pm

You are quite the baker. Maybe you could possibly open up a cupcake shop one of these days!


23 Morgan April 29, 2011 at 3:09 pm

I forbid you from posting pictures of ultimate perfection like the ones above ever again! These have totally sparked my sweet tooth!! I could literally make a bowl of frosting and devour it with a spoon!! :)


24 Heather @ Girlyeverafter April 29, 2011 at 3:13 pm

You could only do cupcake posts and that would be fine with me, I heart them big time. I think cookie dough cupcakes would be intersting, any kind of cookie dough!
Heather @ Girlyeverafter recently posted..Royal Wedding Sucker


25 alex April 29, 2011 at 3:24 pm

These sound amazing!!! I made tie-dye cupcakes before (much messier than yours), but never thought to put different flavors in each!
alex recently posted..The Royal Lunch


26 Chelsea M April 29, 2011 at 6:31 pm

Wow those look delicious!! And from someone with no baking skills that seems like something I can definitely tackle! Thanks for the yummy post.


27 Parita @ myinnershakti April 29, 2011 at 6:55 pm

You are the cupcake queen! Just like all the others, these look delicious! I love neopolitan ice cream so these have my name written all over them! :)
Parita @ myinnershakti recently posted..Michael Scott


28 Mandee April 29, 2011 at 7:54 pm

ice cream frosting?! omg! love it! i would looooooove to have a pinkberry coconut cupcake!
Mandee recently posted..What says BIRTHDAY more than pink velvet cupcakes and confetti sprinkles! Nada!


29 Khushboo April 30, 2011 at 12:45 am

Oh wow better than what I was expecting! I love ice cream cake so can imagine how delicious this is! If there was a choc chip cookie dough flavored cupcake, I think I would be gain 40 lbs overnight- all my favorite things in one!
Khushboo recently posted..Rock-bottom motivation


30 colleen @ thegiftofmondays April 30, 2011 at 9:08 am

ice cream frosting…are you kidding?? i’m definitely trying these next weekend when have girl’s night! good thing your blog inspires me to eat well and exercise because i think i’m addicted to cupcakes and would eat them all day everyday! neopolitan is my fave ice cream since you get three flavors in one but if i had to choose another to see in cupcake form it would probably something raspberry sherbet related…not really ice cream, but i love it just the same!!!
colleen @ thegiftofmondays recently posted..poetry friday- Jesus saves


31 CaSaundra April 30, 2011 at 9:09 am

Wow, I can’t say I have ever heard of ice cream frosting–I might have to try adding some in to my standard whipped frosting and see what happens!


32 Erika Corsey May 23, 2011 at 2:33 pm

These look great so I had to try. The icing was too sweet and it was no where near as thick as yours. I think I will try adding ice cream to my icing recipe and see how it turns out.


33 Courtney May 23, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Oh no! Sorry they didn’t turn out as you had hoped…hopefully you get it the way you like it! :)


34 Christine May 26, 2011 at 10:50 am

I made these last weekend for a cookout and they were the hit of the party! Thanks for sharing the recipe. :)

Also, whats your secret to getting the icing nice and fluffy?


35 Courtney May 26, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Keep on beating it! I usually let mine go for at LEAST 2 minutes :)


36 Aleasha June 4, 2011 at 11:19 am

Well I guess I know what kind of Cupcakes I will be making this weekend!! Thanks for the great idea!!! So cute-I made Rainbow Cupcakes a couple weeks ago and they were pretty cute! Have a great weekend!


37 Brittany September 5, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Oh dear! I’m definitely not ashamed to admit that cake, largely sized or cup sized, is my favorite food! These cupcakes look amazing! :) Thanks for the recipe!


38 Kimberley Curtis December 9, 2011 at 5:31 am

neopolitan is my fave ice cream since you get three flavors in one but if i had to choose another to see in cupcake form it would probably something raspberry sherbet related…not really ice cream, but i love it just the same!!! Wow the insides look gorgeous!


39 Daniella July 30, 2012 at 5:22 pm

I have these sitting in the oven as we speak! :) For the frosting is it possible to omit the cream cheese? If yes what do you suggest as a replacement?
Thank you!


40 Courtney July 30, 2012 at 5:24 pm

I’d say, if you don’t want to use cream cheese, then try making my vanilla butter cream instead ( And if you still want to add the ice cream, try adding a couple tablespoons of it in place of the milk!


41 Daniella July 30, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Thank you very much! I stuck to your vanilla butter cream and they tasted great. :D


42 Jessica August 14, 2012 at 9:09 pm

I’m making devils food cake inside icecream cones tonight using your ice cream icing recipe but substituting the vanilla ice cream for peanutbutter ice cream.


43 Terri Bruch February 24, 2013 at 10:08 am

Thank you sooo much. I run a cupcake shop out of my house. I normally make Neopolitan after I have done a batch of strawberry a batch of chocolate and a batch of very vanilla to use of my batter but I take three Wilton disposable icing bags and tape them at end. Tape one to other then tape those to next. Then I put each of the batters in , snip the ends and pipe all three side by side about 3/4 full. I use a recipe with strawberry bits and a chocolate with oreo bits so I have to be careful but they come out yummy. However I have been pulling my hair out finding a frosting to go along with them — Thank you sooooo much Terri’s Tastie’s cupcake shop loves ya


44 Cheryl May 9, 2013 at 2:04 pm

I had the same problem with the frosting being super runny. I added additional powdered sugar then it was too sweet. I wonder if you could use the powdered ice cream mix in a frosting?


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