As noted in the headnote of 100 Cookies, this Neapolitan cookie was inspired by Pink Door Cookies owner Mathew Rice’s Neapolitan cookie. I stumbled upon the cookie while searching Pinterest for the color pink; this cookie popped up, and I was intrigued by the pretty colors and flavors of Neapolitan ice cream all rolled together.
Mathew originally shared his recipe here, but he now makes them at his cookie shop, Pink Door Cookies in Nashville, which he opened in late 2020. “Cookies have always been my favorite thing to make,” Rice told the Nashville Scene. “I feel like they’re humble, but you can elevate them in really wild ways. Having been a pastry chef for almost 20 years at this point, I bring a lot to cookies that’s unexpected, and I’m incorporating the components and flavors of plated desserts but in cookie form.”
If you live in the Nashville area, please check out Pink Door Cookies! Along with his Original Neapolitan Cookie, Mathew also has a variety of other flavors: Pink Lemonade, Strawberry Corn, Cotton Candy, Rainbow Brownie, Blueberry Pancake, Cinnamon Toast Snickerdoodle, and classic Chocolate Chip, just to name a few.
Neapolitan Cookie Making Tips:
- Use black cocoa powder for a darker color.
- I buy freeze-dried strawberries at Target. The powdered strawberries on their own won’t give a bright pink hue, so I like to add a little food coloring.
- I also like to roll each individual color of dough into the same color of sprinkles, but you can mix and match however your heart desires.
How to Make Neapolitan Cookies:
Divide the dough into three equal portions (about 320 g each), keeping one vanilla, and then adding powdered freeze-dried strawberries to one portion and cocoa powder to the remaining portion.
Pinch a small portion (about 15 g) of each of the three doughs and separate them into piles.
For more of a striped look (where the colors overlap into each other more) gently press the pieces together and then press the piece into a cookie scoop or roll into a ball.
For a cookie with more distinct flavor sections but slight overlap, roll each different flavored piece into a ball, then gently press together. Place the pieces into a cookie scoop or roll into a ball.
For a cookie with very distinct flavor sections and no overlap, roll the different flavor pieces into separate balls and then gently press together.
Use your hands to gently cup the shape into a circle, and then bake as shown above.
Cookies will differ slightly depending on which method you chose! Cookies can also be rolled in sprinkles or granulated sugar before baking. I used a pastel pink food coloring here for a lighter color, but the strawberry portion can be made more vivid with more food coloring.
Making Cookie Dough Ahead of Time
The cookie dough can be shaped and held overnight in the refrigerator (make sure to cover the dough with plastic wrap), and then baked the next day. If baked straight from the fridge, you may need to add a minute or two to the baking time.
To make these Neapolitan Cookies, I used my sugar cookie recipe (#6 in 100 Cookies) as a base and came up with this version.
More Cookie Recipes:
- 2 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon [364 g] all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup of freeze-dried strawberries, which equals 8 grams (measured before pulsing)
- 1 cup [2 sticks | 227 g] unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 3/4 cup [350 g] granulated sugar
- 1 large egg plus 1 large yolk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 or 3 drops red food coloring optional
- 2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
- Sprinkles or granulated sugar for rolling
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350F [180C]. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade, pulverize the strawberries into a powder.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg, yolk, and vanilla, and beat on medium speed until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined.
- Dump the dough out onto a work surface and divide it into three equal portions. Put one-third of the dough back into the mixer and add the powdered strawberries and food coloring, if using. Mix on low speed until totally combined, then remove the dough and quickly wipe out the bowl of the mixer.
- Add another third of dough to the mixer. Add the cocoa powder and mix on low speed until totally combined.
- Pinch a small portion (about 1/2 oz [15 g]) of each of the three doughs, and press them gently together, so they adhere to each other, but keep their unique colors. Press the piece into a cookie scoop or roll it into a ball, then roll the ball into sprinkles or granulated sugar. Place 6 or 7 cookies on each sheet pan. Bake the cookies one pan at a time, rotating halfway through baking. Bake until the sides are set and the cookies are puffed, 10 to 11 minutes.
- Transfer the sheet pan to a wire rack and let the cookies cool for 5 to 10 minutes on the pan, then remove them and let them cool completely on the wire rack. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
kristinaFriday, May 5, 2023 at 9:19 am
Sarah! help! I have a question. Like most cookie recipes I try to follow the guide to the ledger! but I noticed that you do not chill your dough. Most recipes especially cookie ones involve chilling the dough for 1-2 hours. I understand if chilling the dough is not relevant in this recipe, but would you recommend chilling the dough or not? I believe chilling the dough prevents the overspreading of the cookie, do you believe this would be the case for this recipe or no?
please help a girl out! i dont want to waste ingredients for pancake cookies. thanks!
Sarah KiefferFriday, May 5, 2023 at 9:33 am
Hi Kristina – If you are weighing your ingredients and not making any substitutions the cookies shouldn’t spread like pancakes. I find many cookie dough recipes don’t require chilling unless you are resting the dough to develop flavor or the dough is very soft. If you want to chill the dough to develop flavor you can; I suggest forming them into the tricolored cookies first, then wrap in plastic and chill overnight. You will need to add a minute or two to the baking time.
kristinaFriday, May 5, 2023 at 10:32 am
thank you! i am a new baker (just for fun) and i am still learning why we do certain things and not others!!! I assumed chilling he dough made the dough easier to work with, i never realized it had something to do with developing flavors! thank you so much! Oh one more question! the eggs, are they room temperature as well or are they cold ? thank you!!
Sarah KiefferFriday, May 5, 2023 at 10:53 am
It is always good to ask questions!! There is always uncertainty when trying a new recipe. This particular dough is firm enough and doesn’t need chilling for spreading reasons. The eggs can be either straight from the fridge or room temperature. I’ve made it both ways and it turns out similar. Let me know how they turn out for you! xx
Kristina S.Sunday, May 14, 2023 at 2:45 pm
Sarah! I fllowed your recipe to the letter, and can I tell you…they did not last! I baked all friday night to make a double batch of these cookies, and they lasted 15 minutes into mothers day.
Wonderful recipe! and such a hit!
Thank you so much for your advice and your encouragment! I wish I could post a picture of them!
meganSaturday, March 18, 2023 at 6:34 pm
Hands down, the most beautiful cookies ever! They are a bit too sweet for my taste, so next time I will reduce the sugar and will also double the freeze dried strawberries as others advised. Will definitely make these again, and am excited to try other flavor variations- like matcha and black sesame.
ChristineTuesday, February 28, 2023 at 3:16 pm
Hi Sarah, thank you for this recipe! I tried to bake these cookies for the first time except the pink part of the cookie dough turned out a dark red. I used freeze-dried strawberries from Ralph’s as well as red food coloring. What would you recommend for making a pink color like yours?
Sarah KiefferTuesday, February 28, 2023 at 6:44 pm
Hi Christine – you could try using just a tiny bit of food coloring, or using pink food coloring? I’ve been able to find pastel pink food coloring occasionally at the grocery store (especially around Easter) and that gives it a nice, light color.
LaurieSaturday, February 4, 2023 at 11:54 am
I’ve been wanting to try these for a while and WOW…amazing! I have loved all the cookies in your cookbook, and can’t wait for your new one to come out 🙂 I followed the suggestion of others and doubled the amount of dried strawberries (no red food coloring needed if you do this). I also used a 2T sized scoop to press the dough in, which worked great!
SallyMonday, January 23, 2023 at 8:06 am
Would I be able to use powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar ?
Sarah KiefferMonday, January 23, 2023 at 8:28 am
Hello! You’ll need to use granulated sugar.
MaryseWednesday, January 18, 2023 at 12:56 pm
Easy and delicious. Thank you. I love everything you make.
KathrynSaturday, January 14, 2023 at 1:32 pm
They came out awesome! Not quite as pretty as yours (I didn’t get the beautiful craggy tops you did, how DID you do that?!), but they look pretty good if I say so myself ? I’m impressed by the amount of strawberry flavor those sections have (I did end up using like 14g instead of 8g). I love baking but sometimes recipes are just confusing and kind of frustrating. These were honestly fun to make! Thanks for sharing this , I’m excited to try other recipes of yours!
MegSunday, December 18, 2022 at 8:59 pm
A perfect cookie. We served with Neapolitan ice cream. Will definitely make these again; really easy too.
CindyTuesday, August 2, 2022 at 7:39 pm
I made these today, GF and DF. I used King Arthur GF flour and Country Crock plant butter. They came out great! I did use double the amount of strawberries. The only thing I would change would be to add a bit more flour to the vanilla dough so it would have a better consistency, like the other two flavors. These will be on my Christmas cookie list, all GF! Thanks for the delicious recipe!
SusanThursday, December 8, 2022 at 5:26 pm
I’ve made these the last 2 years from the 100 Cookies cookbook for my Christmas cookie box. I’ve bumped up the strawberry to 16 grams and added 1 tsp of coconut extract and up to 1 cup of shredded coconut to the vanilla the replicate my favorite candy growing up. My family loves them as much as I do.
ShirleyThursday, July 7, 2022 at 9:38 pm
I love your book 100 Cookies and I’m obsessed with these cookies. Do you think the dough balls would freeze well? I want to be able to pop them in the oven whenever I feel like eating them.
Sarah KiefferFriday, July 8, 2022 at 10:09 am
Hello! I haven’t tested it, but I would think it would be fine in the freezer for 2 weeks. It will need a longer bake time if baking from frozen – a few minutes longer.
AnthonyThursday, May 19, 2022 at 3:36 pm
I have made these cookies probably a half-dozen times from 100 Cookies and they are nothing short of incredible, but this is the first time I’ve seen this post (followed the link from Instagram). One thing that has always bothered me is that while the cookies taste incredible, I’ve never been able to achieve the beautiful craggy texture in the cookbook photo. Is it really as simple as putting the pieces into an ice cream scoop, so that when you drop them on the baking sheet, the scoop creates the crags for you?
I also wanted to ask if you had any advice for coaxing even more strawberry flavor into the strawberry third. I am currently using the eight grams that the recipe lists, but it does not seem like enough. Perhaps I need fresher freeze-dried strawberries. I am curious how much strawberry powder I can add before it becomes too much. (I might test both of these and respond with an update).
I am a huge fan. Please keep up your incredible work.
Sarah KiefferThursday, May 26, 2022 at 11:09 am
I’m so glad you like the cookies. And yes, the craggy texture is from the ice cream scoop! I smoosh the different colored pieces in one and then drop the dough on the pan. And you can bump up the freeze-dried strawberries – I’ve used up to 16 g with no problem.
RumanaSunday, December 11, 2022 at 3:11 pm
I just made these, and I think one more tip to get the craggy texture is to not roll the individual pieces. Instead to have three rough “torn” pieces pressed gently together and then into the cookie scoop.
ElizabethSunday, April 3, 2022 at 3:57 pm
This were so incredibly amazing! They look picture perfect and taste straight out of the bakery! Thank you for sharing!!!!!
JacquelineThursday, March 31, 2022 at 10:34 pm
Hi would I be able to use regular cocoa powder or even cacao powder with this?
Sarah KiefferFriday, April 1, 2022 at 10:02 am
You could use regular cocoa powder, the color just won’t be as dark brown.
SarahWednesday, March 30, 2022 at 2:10 pm
What a fun cookie to make and eat! Fruity, chocolatey, and buttery sweet. Looks complicated but isn’t. Wonderful and different! Thank you for this recipe.
Felicity RafalskiSaturday, March 12, 2022 at 2:07 pm
These are the most beautiful cookies I have ever made, and one of the tastiest. Their flavor is just like good old Neapolitan ice cream. This recipe is definitely going on repeat.
HRSaturday, February 19, 2022 at 1:23 am
What size cookie scoop, please?
NatalieMonday, January 17, 2022 at 11:01 pm
Delicious!!! Mine did spread out quite a lot and are definitely thin but I love them that way – they are wonderfully chewy inside with a nice crispy edge. Do what the recipe says and only do 6-8 per cookie sheet, that allowed for the spread without them running into each other & getting misshapen. I used black cocoa for my chocolate third which worked great. Even though I weighed out the dough pieces as the recipe lists, my yield was about 22 instead of 15 (no complaints there!). Definitely recommend!!
OmarFriday, January 14, 2022 at 9:34 pm
So fabulous! Looking at the recipe it seemed like it could be a hassle.. but they were really easy. I just separated equal pieces and joined them together in a ball. Rolled in granulated sugar but wish I had sanding sugar. Not sure if anyone said, These are very popular at Mexican panaderias. Nowhere near as good as yours. My Mexican and Mexican-American family was thrilled.
KarenSaturday, January 8, 2022 at 6:01 pm
These cookies are delicious, but they spread out much in the oven and become huge and very thin while baking. The pictures you posted made the cookies look quite a bit fatter. I’m wondering if you did something different. I thought about chilling the dough, but another comment said it didn’t help with the spreading.
Sarah KiefferSaturday, January 8, 2022 at 6:12 pm
I’m sorry you are having trouble! I didn’t do anything different than what is stated in the recipe. What brand of flour/butter did you use? Sometimes that can cause the cookies to turn out different – each store brand of flour has a different protein content. I use Gold Medal unbleached all-purpose flour in most of my baking.
GwenTuesday, December 28, 2021 at 2:30 pm
This was my favorite Christmas cookie this year! Perfect chew and each of the three flavors was distinct and wonderful! I prefer the striped look pressed into an ice cream scoop (though I had to clean the scoop between each cookie!) and after scooping, I rolled the whole cookie in organic sugar (which has a bit bigger crystals than regular granulated sugar) and they looked perfect!
DszatThursday, December 23, 2021 at 11:00 am
Wow! This are soooo good! The freeze dried strawberries really pop the flavor. Instead of round cookie I just layered the 3 doughs in a loaf pan, chilled then sliced. It’s was pretty easy and looked beautiful
MelanieThursday, December 16, 2021 at 8:15 pm
I noticed this recipe doesn’t call for baking powder. Should I add a tsp of baking powder so the cookie will rise during baking?
Sarah KiefferMonday, December 20, 2021 at 9:51 am
hi! there is no baking powder in this recipe. do not add any.
ChristinaWednesday, November 17, 2021 at 11:49 am
What do you mean by rotating them halfway through the baking process?
MaggieMonday, December 13, 2021 at 6:42 pm
Turning the cookie sheet around in the oven in case the heating pattern is uneven 🙂
DanielleThursday, August 12, 2021 at 4:38 pm
Hi there! ? Have you ever tried to make these vegan? If so what are your favorite substitutes? By the way, these cookies are fantastic! I’ve made them a few times now and they’re always a hit!
Nancy MThursday, July 29, 2021 at 7:34 pm
What size is the cookie scoop?
JRSaturday, May 15, 2021 at 8:13 am
Surprisingly easy to make and absolutely delicious!
Courtney PalliesSunday, May 9, 2021 at 10:09 am
I made these cookies yesterday and while making them I realized wow I’m never doing this again they’re a pain.
Then eating them – they’re my favorite!!
I mean VERY VERY good!!
ShilpaSunday, May 2, 2021 at 11:39 pm
Delicious cookies but they did spread out very thin, even after refrigeration. Love the black cocoa powder which gave the chocolate part an oreo-like flavor.
SydneySunday, May 2, 2021 at 8:49 pm
These not only turned out beautifully but they tasted AMAZING!
DotSunday, March 21, 2021 at 2:09 pm
Maybe but the cookbook for answers to the questions?
SamTuesday, March 16, 2021 at 9:17 am
Can this dough be refrigerated overnight and baked the next day? Thanks!
Morgan KenyonThursday, April 29, 2021 at 2:33 pm
Did you try this? I would like to do the same!
SusanThursday, February 25, 2021 at 10:33 am
I have a question on the neopolitan cookies – is it half a cup of freeze dried strawberries before or after they are pulverized? I had already processed the strawberries and used about 2T of the strawberry powder. The cookies came out great but was wondering for next time since they were a big hit and I’ll definitely be making them again. Thanks!
KateMonday, March 15, 2021 at 3:05 pm
You should measure a 1/2 cup of freeze dried strawberries and then pulverize them, and use that amount.
JayWednesday, January 27, 2021 at 9:11 pm
Can you verify the quantity of flour for the recipe? Is it 308g – 2 1/2 cups and 1 tablespoon or 364g flour?
GinaFriday, January 15, 2021 at 8:12 pm
I bought rather pricey organic powdered strawberries especially to make this recipe. 1/2 c. of this powder was a lot – probably too much. It increased my quantity of strawberry dough by a third. I’d love to see a picture of what the dough looks like before baking. 15g of each of the three doughs makes a huge cookie and the perimeter does not come out as sharp and attractive as it bakes as your pictured cookie. I tried rolling the dough flat, then cut strips of each dough, and put them side by side, and then cut out cookies with a biscuit cutter to get three stripes and a sharp edged, round cookie. There’s got to be a better, more efficient way!
ShilpaSunday, May 2, 2021 at 11:37 pm
It’s not half a cup of powder, it’s half a cup of freeze dried strawberries that you later turn into powder.
NasrWednesday, January 13, 2021 at 1:09 pm
I have question,I live abroad and I only have access to fresh strawberries and strawberry pie filling (the canned kind) I really want to make this, can I make this using fresh strawberries?Please help and thank you.
KateMonday, March 15, 2021 at 3:04 pm
Hi! If you look up Matthew Rice’s recipe, on which this one was based, he uses Strawberry Quik powdered milk stuff. Is that available to you?
sarahTuesday, November 24, 2020 at 2:35 am
I was wondering if the gram measurement for the flour was at typo – 2-1/2 cups + 1 TBSP flour for me weighs more like 308g. Thanks- you rock!
JulieWednesday, January 27, 2021 at 8:55 pm
I just realized the difference as well. Did you use 308g of flour instead of 368g?
lauraSunday, July 18, 2021 at 6:42 pm
I’ve used both the higher and lower amounts (this recipe rocks!) and I think the gram measurement (364 ) is correct.
JennyquackMonday, November 16, 2020 at 4:50 pm
Question: do we measure the strawberries first, and then process them? I did the opposite and I don’t think it’s right. They are still good, though, and so pretty!
SandySaturday, November 14, 2020 at 3:09 pm
I have a question on the neopolitan cookies- is it half a cup of freeze dried strawberries before or after they are pulverized?
Julie Mastropasqua PasqualeSaturday, October 31, 2020 at 9:30 am
Do you have a video tutorial for how you got the marbling effect? I would love to have mine come out as beautiful as yours
Julie Mastropasqua PasqualeSaturday, October 31, 2020 at 9:12 am
I love these Neopolitian cookies.. the first time I made them they spread so this time I froze the dough … it worked much better but still cannot get them to look like yours! How did you create the marbling look, and how do I stop getting thin cookies? Thank you
Wendy GinsburgFriday, October 2, 2020 at 2:37 pm
These came out great! I’m using them as my center pretty cookie in my cookie box this holiday season. Eye catching…..
I’ve been a baker my whole life. I saw you asked what others favorite cookbooks are…
Tate’s original cookbook…she is a baker out of Southampton, ny. Her bakery is adorable! I grew up eating her cookies at farm stands. Own her original Kathleen’s cookies cookbook which is one of my still go too books…her devils food cake recipe is my favorite! I use it in other chocolate cake recipes…I still find hers always comes out moist and rich. Others have been dry etc. I’ll test…. her chocolate mousse cake is my favorite! Her cream cheese brownies are amazing! Best in fridge temp versus freezer. Her lemon bars. I like her cookies but I’m more thick and chewey for cookies. Her chocolate mousse cake, cheesecake brownies, brownies, lemon bars, devils food cake recipe and pie crust/pies are my still go too favorites.
I lived in Chicago, Mindys Hot Chocolate …she has a cookie book…I’m a cookie girl. I would buy a box of her cookies 1x a week or month. I didn’t live near her. Her hot chocolate and marshmallows are awesome! Her regular food and breads were also very good! I used to eat at her restaurant…great brunch and cocktails and dinner – homemade pretzels with cheese dipping sauce. Soooo good! Her chocolate chunk cookies, rugelach, peppermint sandwich were my favorite. Black Sabbath in her cookie book…all her sandwich cookies…a lot of steps but soooo good. I also like her ginger snaps…soft and chewy.
Ina Garten also in hamptons… her coconut cupcakes from her shop were always pretty and a crowd pleaser. I made them mini cupcakes. I love barefoot contessa’s aka ina rugelach. Her baked goods are great!
Her chocolate chunk and reverse chocolate chunk cookies are great! Versus Mindys chocolate chunk??? Not sure… her brownie recipe I love! I use chips no nuts.
Pie and cheesecake brownies are tate s bakery. Tate crust is beyond good. It’s her crust! Her chocolate chip pie is special. Any fruit in her pie crust great.
I own probably 30 baking books…. bouley bakery, jimtown from napa valley… I lived in nyc, chicago…a lot of good stuff in both cities???
I liked your pan banging cookies. I added to my arsenal. I’m loving the neapolitan…I tried ordering your 100 cookies book…not happening. Out of stock. I make a chocolate chip cookie assortment box. I like the different chocolate chip cookie versions…barefoot contessa, tates cookie, your pan banging style, mindy Segal’s chocolate chunk cookie, reverse barefoot chunk and I do a mint chocolate chunk cookie. Levaine style peanut butter chip chocolate and the chocolate with andes mint chocolates chopped or guittard mint chips and I add my own kitchen sink chocolate chip cookies with skor bar chunks, chocolate chunks, white chocolate chunks and peanut butter cookie with Reeces chunks and a chewy ginger snap to even out. Oreo style with peppermint cream or espresso cream middle…Amy’s cookies in nyc.
I like a brownie, blondie mindy Segal sandwich cookie cookie box.
I like molly yeh…
Milk bar birthday cake from christina tosi is hands down the best funfetti cake I’ve ever eaten. Her lemon strawberry cake is my 2nd favorite. Her vanilla and lemon cakes are really moist! Her cookies I’m not as into…or cake balls.
I have different blogs I follow…. I try.
BBFriday, April 30, 2021 at 12:26 pm
Experiment with a mix of baking powder and baking soda if your cookies spread too much. Baking powder helps puff things. If my cookies are spreading too much I start by replacing half the baking soda with baking powder and go from there.
StrandThursday, September 17, 2020 at 5:30 pm
I was not able to print