Blue Ribbon Winner: Neapolitan Delight Cupcakes

Neapolitan Delight Cupcakes

Blue Ribbon Winner at the Chowan Regional County Fair, 2013
Blue Ribbon Winner at the Chowan Regional County Fair, 2013 | Source

Please rate this recipe:

5 stars from 8 ratings of Neapolitan Delight Cupcakes

Obsession

Cupcake baking is the latest craze. Ever since I've started watching 'Cupcake Wars', I've gone from being entertained, to becoming intrigued, and finally, it has turned into an obsession. How do I know this is more than a hobby? Most of my downtime has involved watching the episodes of 'Cupcake Wars', checking out cupcake bakeries in cities I visit to taste test their products, borrowing cupcake cookbooks from the library, and experimenting in my own kitchen with cupcake creations.

The creation of the Neapolitan Delight occurred when I decided to make the chocolate ganache that I frequently see being used on 'Cupcake Wars'. I had no idea how to make it, however, it looked divine.

I bought two Betty Crocker cupcake books with clear instructions and photographs. One had the coveted chocolate ganache recipe. I realized once I made the chocolate, I had to be ready to use it. It took me several weeks of pouring over photos and reading recipes before I decided on what to bake.

Shortly after I bought the cookbooks I unwittingly picked up a county fair booklet. I'd never attended the county fair, much less submitted any baked goods. However, when I read through the scheduled events it occurred to me that the fair could be my venue for getting outside opinions on my baking. I became very excited and shared my plans with family members.

In the weeks that followed, and before the due date to submit the products, I baked, offered my products to neighbors and family, who taste tested everything, and tweaked what I wanted to do.

The Neapolitan Delight was one of two baked good submissions I registered in the fair. Both the cupcake, and my Key Lime Pie entry, won first place Blue Ribbons.

Cook Time

Prep time: 45 min
Cook time: 15 min
Ready in: 1 hour
Yields: 12 cupcakes

Blue Ribbon Cupcake

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A classic white batter cakeHeavy cream heated slowly to add to chocolateStir heated cream over chocolate until smooth and creamy.Use an apple corer to remove the center of the cupcake.Fill the centers with the chocolate ganache.
A classic white batter cake
A classic white batter cake | Source
Heavy cream heated slowly to add to chocolate
Heavy cream heated slowly to add to chocolate | Source
Stir heated cream over chocolate until smooth and creamy.
Stir heated cream over chocolate until smooth and creamy. | Source
Use an apple corer to remove the center of the cupcake.
Use an apple corer to remove the center of the cupcake. | Source
Fill the centers with the chocolate ganache.
Fill the centers with the chocolate ganache. | Source

Ingredients

  • 1.5 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup superfine sugar, also called, 'castor' sugar
  • 3 X-tra Large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, not imitation
  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder, check that it is fresh
  • For the Frosting: Strawberry Mascarpone
  • 1 8 oz container mascarpone cheese, Italian sweet cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 1-1.5 teaspoon strawberry extract
  • For the Chocolate Ganache: Chocolate Ganache Filling
  • 18 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 Cup Heavy cream

Three Part Process

  1. Preheat oven temp to 350 degrees. Place cupcake liners in muffin pan. For Cupcake Batter: Put the butter and superfine sugar into a bowl and beat together until pale and creamy. Gradually beat in the eggs and vanilla extract. Then, sift in the flour and baking powder and FOLD gently.
  2. Divide the batter evenly into the 12 muffin cups. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until risen and firm to the touch. Do not let it get too brown. Also, take care to fill the cups only 2/3 full or they will bake over the liner. When ready, remove from oven and let cool on wire rack for at least 15 minutes. While the batter is baking, take the mascarpone cheese out of the refrigerator to come to room temperature.
  3. While cupcakes cool make the Chocolate Ganache Filling: Pour 18 oz of semi sweet chocolate chips into a bowl. Slowly heat 1 cup of heavy cream taking care not to let it boil. Carefully pour the cream onto the chocolate stirring constantly until smooth and rich. Let this cool at room temperature.
  4. Using an apple corer, or the end of a wooden spoon, remove the center of the cupcake 2/3 of the way into the cupcake, leaving some batter on the bottom. Set aside and let cool another 5 minutes.
  5. While this cools, make the Strawberry Mascarpone Frosting: Place 8 oz of softened mascarpone cheese into a bowl. Beat in confectioner's sugar and strawberry extract. Set aside.
  6. Fill the cupcakes with the chocolate ganache and place in the freezer for 5 minutes. When cooled remove from the freezer (you can also use the refrigerator for this step), and frost with the Strawberry Mascarpone Frosting. Decorate with a flower, strawberry or edible pearl and serve to your guests. Enjoy!

Helpful tips for cupcakes:

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Fresh fruit can be used as a form of decoration.Place cupcakes into the freezer for a quick cool.Helpful tools: apple corer pastry bag, spatulaMascarpone Cheese is lighter than cream cheese
Fresh fruit can be used as a form of decoration.
Fresh fruit can be used as a form of decoration. | Source
Place cupcakes into the freezer for a quick cool.
Place cupcakes into the freezer for a quick cool. | Source
Helpful tools: apple corer pastry bag, spatula
Helpful tools: apple corer pastry bag, spatula | Source
Mascarpone Cheese is lighter than cream cheese
Mascarpone Cheese is lighter than cream cheese | Source

Did you read or did you scan?

Notes from the Chef

First, I'd like to give credit to the cookbook, The Easy Way Baking, which was my 'go to' book for basic batter-from-scratch-recipes, as well as the tutorial on baking tips. Published by Parragon Co. it has been a splendid resource for me. Between the classic white cupcake batter I used from the book, and the online videos of how to make a chocolate ganache, I gathered confidence and momentum, once my inner baking goddess was unleashed. In the end, I was inspired to combine the classic flavors of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, found in Neapolitan ice cream, to create my cupcake version of this. Never in my wildest imagination would I have dreamed that I would be immersed in so much enjoyment that I would be shoving it into people's mouths with a directive, "Taste this...it's so good!" Alas, some days I have no humility. Still, from my meager kitchen and my love for experimenting that no science teacher I've ever had could have known, I entered and won my first Blue Ribbons. Thanks judges from the Chowan Regional County Fair...you made my day!

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Comments 45 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

We had three cupcakes stores open up in town as soon as marijuana was voted as legal. LOL True story.

I love cupcakes and not because I'm high. :) Thanks for the recipe.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Congratulations on winning the Blues for both the Key Lime pie and the cupcakes. I looove Key Lime, and hope to see your recipe soon as well. Thanks for this delicious idea and recipe. It has given me a couple of ides for the holidays.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

hey, congrats and had to give this five stars too voted damn awesome!!!


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Blue Ribbon Winner: Neapolitan Delight Cupcakes, these cupcakes looks so tasty looks a simple to follow recipe so well explained thanks


SandCastles 3 years ago

Good Job Denise! I've never heard of filled cupcakes before or the cupcake wars. I bet your cupcakes are delicious! And it's your own creation; that is so awesome :)


Danette Wat 3 years ago

Congratulations on your blue ribbon! They look great and easy enough for anyone to do. voted up


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

Congrats on the two blue ribbon wins! I love these, and I love cupcakes! I have never tried to make them myself though, not enough patience! lol! voted up!


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

You referred to cookbooks valued for their excellent recipes. I love cupcakes and yours are blue ribbon winners anywhere.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean

Congratulations! And thank you for sharing your award-winning recipe. Inspiring!


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Congratulations on the Blue Ribbons, Denise! A cupcake with creamy chocolate ganache in the middle and strawberry mascarpone frosting on the top sounds absolutely wonderful! Thank you very much for sharing the recipe.


Writer Fox profile image

Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

This looks delicious. Congratulations on your Blue Ribbons! I know the competition is severe at county fairs and you have achieved quite an accomplishment for entering for the very first time. Voted up!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

LOL Bill, your comment was a crack up! Thanks for reading. :)

Hi Genna-Yes, I love it too, and that one will be coming up this month. :)

Aww Frank-thanks buddy. I can always count on you. :) Wish I could send some to you.

Hello DDE Thank you dear lady. :)

Hello SandCastles -- I learned a lot from watching Cupcake Wars and it paid off!

Hi Danette-thanks for the vote up. Can't wait to bake some for a family outing.

Oh gosh Nell...I would never have thought you a person who would not have patience...but, writing patience and baking patience is actually quite different. Sharing them with you here. :)

OMG Dianna-what an awesome thing to say. (stretched a bit, lol but I still appreciate it. Now, if only I can convince my kids that my cooking really has improved, ha ha)

Hello Mrs. Dora - oh, you are most welcome. I love to share what I have. Thanks for your comments.

Thank you, Alicia. I love to describe it to my co-workers and watch their mouths drool, lol

Writer Fox-not sure if you have first hand experience with that, but yes, and my friend reminded me that some of these country folks have been submitting into this fair for ever and a day! ( A tip for me not to get my hopes up and not to be disappointed). Like any newbie, I had the air of confidence that I wore like a shield. Woo hoo! it was an awesome feeling. Still beaming with the accomplishment. Thanks for the vote and congratulations. :)


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Awesome Denise and congrats! Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipe here. I always have loved Neapolitan anything and these cupcakes are sure to delight. I appreciate you giving away your secret book that has helped you to release your inner baking goddess! : )

Up and more and sharing

Hugs, Faith Reaper


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

Ha haa, Faith, I'm glad you are enticed by these. Thanks for your votes and sharing. :)


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 3 years ago from Taos, NM

Wow! These sound heavenly, Denise. I love mascarpone cheese! I have not seen 'Cupcake Wars' and didn't even know it existed until I read this. I just eat cupcakes LOL and I love to visit cupcake shops also. We have some great ones near me. Thanks for sharing your recipe and congrats on the blue ribbon win - these just look and sound scrumptious.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Suzette, I'm like you-I visit bake shops all over the place and eat & critique, lol. Thanks for the congrats and comment, and I hope you have a chance to see C.W at least once. :)


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Congrats! What a brilliant idea for a cupcake!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks! Randomcreative I appreciate your enthusiastic comment. lol


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

What beautiful cupcakes! I can't wait to try your creative recipe. I find cupcakes a challenge, so I can really appreciate your journey. I enjoyed reading your "Notes from the Chef". Congratulations again on your success! We're so proud of you.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks Vespa, I appreciate your comments. :) Big smile here. Are you home now? BTW, I have had you on my mind lately. As the holidays near, I want Santa to bring me a kitchen appliance. I thought I wanted something that will be like a food processor, to puree food, but in conversation with my daughter, she thinks what I need is a quality, high functioning blender. Any thoughts or suggestions on this? Thanks.


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

Hi Denise! Wow, a high quality blender sounds like a great idea. We owned both Vitamix and Omni blenders. It all depends on your budget. Vitamix costs in the range of $500. You might be able to find a refurb for $400. The Omni is great for the price. You can buy them at 3blenders.com and the cost is around $250. If you go to youtube, look up omni vs. Vitamix and you can see reviews and the pros/cons of each blender. They are both high quality and will blend smoothies, grind grain, heat raw soups, etc. With the Vitamix you can make ice cream and both blenders will grind peanut butter. Please let me know what you decide! I'm excited for you.

We aren't back in the States yet...we leave in the middle of this week to head back to Lima, then it's another trip back to our home in the central Andes. I hope you have a nice week!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Vespa-thanks so much for your feedback on this problem...what a great problem for a change, lol. I will pray that you have safe travels. I appreciate all of your thoughtful assistance. Happy Thanksgiving. :)


Matt Paris 3 years ago

These sound amazing. My sister is a registered dietitian and is always yelling at me for eating anything remotely unhealthy, but I'm pretty sure she would be shoveling these down with the rest of us... She's such a hypocrite haha


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

Ha ha, That's funny, Matt. Glad you enjoyed this recipe and I hope you do get a chance to taste them someday. They are so awesome. :)


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Oh, yummy. It's not hard to see how you won that blue ribbon!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

Ha ha Thank you, Rebecca. I appreciate your delightful comment, lol


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

Congrats on your blue ribbon! Who knows where this may take you in the new year?! I baked cupcakes for the first time in a long time to take to a nursing home at Christmas and they were a huge hit, though very simple. You've got me thinking now…


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 2 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks RTalloni ha ha I agree. I'm already planning for my annual bake off at work, as well as next Sept's County Fair. This year my dream is to hook the title for 'Best in Show' for baking, lol Dream big or Go HOME!

I had to work on Christmas Day and brought in cupcakes-nothing as fancy as these, and they got rave reviews. One simple thing I did to 'change it up' was I put some peppermint flavored morsels into the all ready mixed/canned frosting (choc) onto a cupcake and decorated with a sprinkle of snowflake decorations. Man, it went over like hotcakes!

It sure is fun and I'm enjoying the creativity of it. Thanks for stopping by.


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

Wonderful Cupcake and a well presented hub! You kept the interest till the end. Congratulations for the Blue Ribbon award as well.

Voted up as interesting and pinned!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 2 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hello ChitrangadaSharan, thank you for your enthusiastic comments, I appreciate them. :) I hope you have a chance to try the recipe soon. Thanks for the votes and pinn. :)


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 2 years ago from Wales

Mmm thanks for this gem Denise ;I made some cup cakes for my grandson's birthday last week and again tow more birthdays this month. Voting up, sharing and wishing you a great weekend.

Eddy.


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 2 years ago

Hi Denise, let me start of by saying...I am such a Desert Freak, so these Cup Cakes sounded delicious!

A Warm Congratulations for the Blue Ribbon Win, you dear friend are a WINNER. Now could you PLEASE send some CUP CAKES my way???


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 2 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Eddy-you're welcome. I love these cupcakes and have made them frequently for special occasions. Thanks for trying the recipe out and bringing them to your family's birthday parties. :)

B.Malin-I would LOVE to send some cupcakes your way for you and Mr. Man. send me a private message with your address and I'll send some out to you. Seriously! Thanks for your wonderful compliment. :)


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 2 years ago from Peru, South America

Thank you so much for sharing your prize-winning recipe here on HP! No wonder it one first prize. Your combination of chocolate ganache and strawberry mascarpone icing sounds fabulous. I can't wait to try these. Thank you again and congratulations on both winnings!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 2 years ago from North Carolina Author

Vespa-thank you for visiting this recipe and commenting. I hope you do try this recipe because they are so delicious!


joedolphin88 profile image

joedolphin88 2 years ago from north miami FL

I need to make these immediately, they so good on the screen I'm going to have to take an early lunch from break.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 2 years ago from North Carolina Author

I'll tell you what-these are by far my favorite cupcakes. Maybe I'm biased because I created the combination, ha ha. They are delicious though, when you bite into the center! YUM


Sherry Hewins profile image

Sherry Hewins 2 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

I don't think I'll be baking these anytime soon, but I'd love to be one of the taste testers. Congrats on taking the blue ribbon!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 2 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks Sherry. I appreciate you volunteering as taste testers, but man...I've got a whole unit full of co-workers who have also volunteered, ha ha. Now when I walk in they ask what did I make for them...disappointingly I haven't baked for awhile and I miss it. :) Thanks for the congrats.


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 2 years ago from Iowa

This recipe sounds fabulous! Congratulations on your blue ribbon.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 2 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Deborah-thanks so much. It always tickles me when I think of this because it was such a delight. I've been thumbing through recipe mags to get ideas for this years contest. :)


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 2 years ago from California

These look wonderful!!! Are you still here much on HP?? on Bubblews???


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 2 years ago from North Carolina Author

These are just downright delicious, Audrey, ha ha. No, I'm not doing much writing at the moment, although I'm getting the urge again. I was doing baking for awhile, and then work became demanding. I just recently moved from a 3 bedroom house in one city, to a 2 bedroom condo in another, to be closer to work. So, all of Oct I packed on my days off. Now I'll be 'unpacking' the month of November, lol Thanks for dropping in and asking. :)


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 20 months ago from California

Just visiting your hubs and hoping you are doing well!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 20 months ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Audrey, Oh gosh, thank you for stopping by. I've been so very busy in other parts of my life. I can't wait to retire! ha ha. Unfortunately, I have a way to go. :) Take care.

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