Thursday, March 31, 2011

Layers of Goodness


Last weekend friends of ours invited us to a cookout. It was an informal B.Y.O.M.—bring your own meat affair. Most people showed up with steaks, but there was chicken for some and hotdogs for a couple of little ones. The host and hostess provided the best part—this idyllic little piece of heaven that they call home. The evening was layers upon layers of goodness!


My contribution was to be dessert and I immediately turned to my latest issue of Southern Lady for a recipe to try out. I am in love with this magazine! The pictures are breathtaking and the recipes are inspiring and “do-able”. The tablescapes alone are worth the price of magazine. If you live above the Mason Dixon line, no need to worry—it’s geographically inclusive :)


I often use my friends as guinea pigs to try new recipes. Over the years they have shared both successes and total flops. The fun is in the trying. This recipe is from an entire article on Neopolitan desserts. Doesn’t that bring back memories of the three-layered pastel ice cream from your childhood?


When I saw that the frosting contained strawberry extract, I knew I had to try it! Strawberries just “say” spring to me! I used my cute little gingham cupcake liners from Bridget at Bake at 350---perfect for a picnic. I’ve had them a while and have been saving them for just the right occasion. Thanks Bridget!


The perfect cupcake! —three layers of goodness-- chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry for an evening with three layers of goodness—friends, fellowship, and food! This one goes in the “success” column. If you don’t have or can’t buy a copy of Southern Lady (and I highly recommend it), here’s the recipe! This one earned a spot in the “success” column!

Neopolitan Cupcakes

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups cake flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups milk

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Strawberry frosting (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 35o degrees. Line 2 (12 cup) muffing pans with paper liners; set aside. In a large bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, and sugar. Beat at a high speed until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Divide batter in half, and beat cocoa powder into half the mixture. Spoon chocolate batter into muffin cups, filling about 1/3 full. Spoon vanilla batter evenly over the chocolate batter, filling about 2/3 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely. Pipe strawberry frosting on tops of cupcakes.

Strawberry Frosting

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup butter softened

1/4 cup strawberry jam

2 teaspoons strawberry extract

1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese and butter. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in strawberry jam and strawberry extract until smooth. Beat in whipped topping and confectioners’ sugar.

I’m joining our favorite author Michael Lee West @ Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday. Click on her button on the sidebar for immediate transportation. I know posts have been sporadic. Thanks for hanging in with me while I work on both weddings, one couple’s new house, and a nursery….whewww :) I hope you’ll leave a note!!


  1. Oh, those lounge chairs look so very inviting. Sitting in one of those enjoying cupcake would be wonderful. So dreary in my neck of the woods.
    Licks & Wags, Niki

  2. I'm so glad to see you, Susan, and these look divine. Sounds like you are busy, busy, and I can't wait to see pics of things you're doing. When life slows down some for you. I'm just glad to see you.


    Sheila :-)

  3. Susan, these look like so much fun and the frosting looks like yum! Joni

  4. Hi Susan...

    Ohhh...your Neopalitan cupcakes look and sound absolutely divine, my friend! This is the first time that I have heard of this recipe. I have my grandkids from Texas visiting next week...I will have to bake these pretty little cupcakes for them! They would love em'! Thanks for sharing the recipe! Mmmm...and you're right...strawberries just sing of spring! Your friend's home looks beautiful...what a beautiful site for a barbeque! Bet ya'll had the best time!

    Well dear lady, I'm sorry that it has been so long since I have been by for a visit! I'm just finding it more and more difficult these days to get around to everyone that I would like to! I hope that my note is finding you and your sweet family all doing well!

    Warmest spring wishes,
    Chari @Happy To Design

  5. Yum! Looks and sounds good. I need one of those for energy this morning. I have things I have to do, and I am setting here like a bump on a log.
    I figured you were a busy lady these days. :-D
    Have a great weekend.

  6. I love Southern Lady magazine! And what an exquisite idea--layered cupcakes. Yours look delicious!

  7. You are so right about Southern Lady. The layered cupcakes look delicious. Perfect cupcake papers.

  8. Susan, I also love the photos in S. Lady magazine. This recipe sounds so good, and you made it look so cute with your checked cupcake liners. Of course, I've always loved your cupcake holder. If I ever see anything like that, I am going to snap it up. Thanks for this recipe. Your friend's home looks like the perfect place for a cookout. I hope you are making plans to be here next week! Let me know. laurie

  9. I'm so glad to see you, Susan, and these look divine. Sounds like you are busy, busy, and I can't wait to see pics of things you're doing. When life slows down some for you. I'm just glad to see you......

  10. Hi Susan!

    Its been awhile since I've visited with you & I know you're very busy right now. I just wanted to say 'thank you' for the delicious sounding cupcake recipe & to wish you a blessed Easter season.


  11. Hi Susan, what a yummy post! You asked about the baby dress - yes, it was mine and I didn't get a close up because a piece of the tissue inside had dropped down and was showing. I am going to fix that and include a better pic. Thanks for your comments. Linda :)

  12. It looks so delicious. really i just try make this recipes at my home. lovely posting for food and amazing your idea . easy make tips shared in the post. Yum !!!