These fun and colorful Neapolitan Cookies bring together the classic flavors of chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla into one delicious bite!
Not only are they tasty, but they are visually stunning with their stripes, and much easier to make than they might look.
If you love Neapolitan ice cream, you are going to go nuts for these Neapolitan cookies! The combination of strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla is so nostalgic, and the cookies themselves even resemble scoops of striped Neapolitan ice cream!
These tri-colored cookies are perfect for everyday snacking, but also so pretty and colorful enough for parties and other festive occasions.
The pretty pink strawberry section of this recipe reminds me of Valentine’s Day, and these would be so fun to send for school parties or to serve if you’re hosting a girl’s night. You should also check out my red velvet heart cut-out cookies and stamped conversation heart sugar cookies!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Multi-Colored Cookies! While it is an extra step to divide your cookie dough and change the color and/or flavor of the different parts, it is well worth it because the cookies are so beautiful! I’ve done similar recipes where I’ve combined two different cookie doughs into one cookie, like my Brookie Cookies and Bacon Cookies.
- One Cookie Dough: This recipe is easier than most because while there are three different cookie dough flavors in Neapolitan cookies, they all start with one base cookie dough. That vanilla dough creates the center stripe, and the strawberry and chocolate doughs are easily made from adding things to that first cookie dough recipe.
- No Chilling: Once you have your dough mixed, you’ll be ready to bake! I didn’t find that this cookie dough needed to be chilled before baking at all.
Complete list of ingredients with quantities and instructions is located in the recipe card below
- Flour, Baking Soda, and Salt
- Butter: Unsalted butter is best for baking cookies. Allow the butter to soften fully at room temperature before starting the recipe.
- Egg: It’s also important to let the egg come to room temperature. This helps us to make a smooth, well-mixed cookie dough.
- Sugar: A mix of brown sugar and granulated sugar creates a soft, chewy texture in these sugar cookies. You’ll need a little bit of extra sugar to roll the dough in before baking too.
- Vanilla Extract: Sweet, warm vanilla is added to all of the dough. It is the perfect backdrop for the other flavors we’ll be adding.
- Cocoa Powder: One-third of the dough is flavored and colored with this to create the chocolate stripe in Neapolitan cookies.
- Freeze-dried Strawberry Powder: This adds a bright and concentrated strawberry flavor to another third of the cookie dough. To add extra color, a drop or two of red food coloring is optional.
How To Make Striped Neapolitan Cookies
Start by preheating the oven to 350°F (180°C) and lining two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Mix the Dry Ingredients: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside
- Cream the Wet Ingredients: In a separate bowl, cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix on high speed until light and fluffy.
- Combine to Make the Base Cookie Dough: Add the flour mixture in 2-3 smaller additions, mixing well after each addition.
- Divide and Color/Flavor the Dough: Divide the dough into 3 equal portions. Leave one portion as is, add the cocoa powder to one portion and mix, and finally add the freeze-dried strawberry powder and red food coloring if using to the last portion of dough and mix well.
- Create Pieces: Divide each flavor of dough again into 18 equal pieces.
- Create Tri-Colored Dough Balls: Take one piece of each flavor of the dough and roll it roughly into a small cylinder. Sandwich the dough together with vanilla in between chocolate and strawberry, then press into a 1.5-2 tablespoon cookie scoop to create a circle.
- Roll in Sugar: Roll each cookie in granulated sugar before placing it on prepared cookie sheets, 2 inches apart.
- Bake: Bake in the preheated oven for 7-9 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- The look: To get the shaggy texture seen in the photos here (that looks like a scoop of ice cream!), it’s best to use a cookie scoop and to avoid rolling the dough balls smoothly.
- A different pattern: instead of stacking the dough into stripes, try centering the three colors in a circular pattern instead!
- Instead of granulated sugar, you can roll the unbaked cookies in coarse sugar sprinkles.
- Food coloring: Just the freeze-dried strawberries will give the dough a very pale pink color. You can add a drop or two of red or pink gel food coloring to achieve a more vivid color, but it’s optional.
- Don’t overbake: The cookies are done when they are just lightly golden around the edges. This will ensure that the cookies are soft and chewy in the center.
How to Store Cookies
Allow the cookies to cool completely, then store them in an airtight container for up to 3 days. These cookies can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
This cookie dough also freezes well. I suggest freezing the formed dough balls before baking them. You can bake the cookies from frozen (add a few extra minutes to the baking time), but I prefer to let them thaw in the fridge overnight first.
More Easy and Colorful Cookies to Bake
- Ombre Heart Spritz Cookies
- Fall Leaf Cookies
- Wednesday and Enid Window Cookies
- Fruit Pizza Cookies
- Red White and Blue Pinwheel Cookies
Where can I find freeze-dried strawberry powder?
This can be easily ordered on Amazon! You can also buy freeze-dried strawberry pieces (usually near the natural or “healthy” snacks) and pulverize them into a powder using your blender or food processor.
Can I make the cookie dough ahead of time?
Yes! Make the three Neapolitan cookie doughs and store them in the refrigerator for a day or so before baking. Allow the dough to rest a bit to come closer to room temperature before rolling and baking.
These Neapolitan Cookies are delicious and totally gorgeous! You’re sure to get a lot of compliments when you make these cookies, so don’t forget to Pin the recipe.