Why Neapolitan Is Making a Serious Comeback

Satisfaction is: opening a ½ gallon container to reveal the stark clean strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate stripes that constitute Neapolitan.

This article originally appeared on MyRecipes.com.

It’s legitimately a struggle for me to dig out that first scoop of ice cream and break the pristine pattern. In the way that rainbow-smattered everything seems to make a lot of people’s brains happy (or so Instagram would suggest), the Neapolitan palette makes mildly obsessive brains–like my own–happy. It is this incredible, yet simple, aesthetic appeal of pastel pink + white + brown, and the classic satiating sweet flavors they represent, that inspired one of our Food Studios recipe developers to mention in passing, “I want to Neapolitan everything.”

To which I said, “Wait. Yes. THAT.”

If it can exist as ice cream, it can exists as anything. As it turns out, it’s easy to take Neapolitan from adjective to action verb–all you need are the right glossy, flavorful Neapolitan Icings.

You’re best bet is to start with a favorite chocolate or vanilla treat, then paint on the appropriate frostings for a wow-worthy, eye-catching Neapolitan makeover. What’s best suited for this so-satisfying color block treatment? Well, let your stomach be your guide… the limits to what will Neapolitan are determined exclusively by your imagination. We played around with:

The Neapolitan Doughnut

neapolitan-doughnut
Photo by MyRecipes.com

The Neapolitan treatment is a chic way to dress up store-bought donuts–P.S. go for plain glazed, their smooth sugary sheen blends in with the icings well and makes applying them easy. You could also go DIY on the doughnut if you’re feeling ambitious about brunch.

Now, these are fairly dense icings. You can give your doughnuts–or whatever food item–a one-two dip (which is freaking fun and again, so satisfying), but you will likely need to smooth out the icing with a rubber spatula as noted in the recipe. Alternatively, you can use a pastry brush to paint on the icings, which is what our food stylist did to create strait crisp lines.


The Neapolitan Brownie

neapolitan-brownie
Photo by MyRecipes.com

Again, either whip up your favorite homemade brownie recipe or embrace the box and save your energy for the Neapolitaning. Pro-tip: once your brownies have cooled, pop the pan in the fridge for an hour, this makes slicing clean-cut squares a breeze. While your brownies chill out, you can mix up your strawberry and vanilla icings.

Keep in mind, these icings will start to stiffen as they sit. They will be good to go for a ½ hour or so after you mix them up. But if you want to make them in advance and use them later, place the icings in bowls and lay a damp paper towel directly on the surface. And then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature. If necessary, whisk in an additional 1-2 tablespoons hot water to recapture proper consistency.


The Neapolitan Waffle

neapolitan-waffle
Photo by MyRecipes.com

This is my favorite item we’ve Neapolitaned so far. Here’s what’s up–you should make this Fluffy Buttermilk Waffle batter, cook square waffles (if you have that style of waffle maker) or pour smaller round ones (like we’ve done here), Neapolitan them, then layer sandwich Neapolitan ice cream between two of them. This is what ice cream sandwich dreams are made of.



The Neapolitan Crispy Rice Treat

neapolitan-rice-krispie
Photo by MyRecipes.com

And of course, the crispy rice treat is an obvious choice. We Neapolitaned both the classic rice cereal treat and crispy treats made with chocolate cereal, because a mixed platter of both is something I’d actually be stoked to bring to a party (I’ll be honest, I’m not typically serving marshmallow cereal treats at adult gatherings).

My favorite thing about these icings is that while yes, they are shiny and beautiful, they’re not all for show. They actually deliver the full flavor they’re intended to represent (strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate respectively). So you’re not just changing the appearance of the treat you purchased or made, you’re bringing these amazing pops of flavor too. The key to their drying to such sleek perfection is meringue powder–you can find this at gourmet grocery stores, bakery supply shops, craft stores, or or course, on the internet.