Vegan Neapolitan Mini Cupcakes: March Favorite Veg on the Web!

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Back in 2004, I made a “tea date” with a woman in my statistics class who has become one of my dearest friends. Upon arrival at the tea house we chatted about the last stats exam, how the Red Sox had finally one the World Series, and other generalities. By the end of that conversation, we were laughing and sharing like old friends. I confessed, “I don’t know why I wanted to have tea. You just seemed cool. And I wanted to be friends for some reason.” I felt like a groupie with an unfounded connection. I felt a little silly. Then she confessed, “Me too! I totally had a friend crush on you!” Relieved, I realized that there is something to be said for like attracting like.

Fast forward to 2010 when I decided to start Como Water. I had no idea that there was a world of food bloggers. I had never even read a food blog. I hadn’t seen Julie and Julia. And I had no clue that I would build such a supportive community of like-minded food lovers. Very early on I received a comment from a woman named Nikki. I checked out her blog, The Tolerant Vegan. It was friend crush at first click! And since that day, Nikki and I have shared recipes, stories, pictures, and our fair share of ‘YUM!’ comments. It’s been one of those very special ‘law of attraction’ moments where a common love of veg-friendly food has forged what I consider to be a special cyber-friendship. And so without further delay, I introduce to you… Nikki!!! 😀

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Hi, everyone! My name is Nikki and I write a vegan food blog called The Tolerant Vegan. I am honored to be your guest over here in Tiff’s part of the world. I love Tiff, don’t you? I am a huge Como Water fan! Tiff inspires me with her cooking, writing, kindness, grace, intelligence and all-around awesomeness.  I’m so excited for the chance to share some sweets with you all today.

I live in Brooklyn with my husband and our three cats, and I have a slight obsession with eating desserts and watching hockey. Please note that I said “watching” hockey, not playing hockey. The closest I have ever come to playing hockey was the time I used a hockey puck as a guide for slicing up vegan Hostess ding dong knock-offs. I also like to do yoga, travel and watch a ridiculous amount of television. I cook a lot of things over at The Tolerant Vegan but I’m hesitant to put a label on the kinds of food that I make. I guess you could say that I make what makes me feel good. Many days, that means I’m making a dessert. Some days I throw together pizzas and other days I’m all about fresh veggies. I just try to “keep it real,” as the kids say. If you see it on the blog, it’s because I’m eating it and I’m probably stuffing it into tupperware and eating it again for lunch the next day. It’s real life. And in my real life, I really like Neapolitan ice cream. I have fond memories of pulling apart a box of Neapolitan ice cream as a kid and scooping out some creamy goodness to share with my grandma. There’s a place in my heart for the chocolate, vanilla and strawberry combo. These mini cupcakes are an ode to the classic combination. I really hope that you like them!

Vegan Neapolitan Mini Cupcakes

Cupcake recipe adapted from Amy Sedaris via Epicurious

Makes 36 cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups refined sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegan butter substitute, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 1/4 cups vanilla almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

Strawberry Glaze Ingredients:

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries, thawed


  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Spray a mini cupcake tin with nonstick spray or line with mini baking cups.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt and refined sugar.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the vegan butter substitute, unsweetened applesauce, vanilla almond milk and vanilla extract.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until fully combined.
  • Pour half of the batter back into one of the bowls.
  • Stir the unsweetened cocoa powder into one of the bowls. You now have one bowl of chocolate cake batter and one bowl of vanilla cake batter.
  • Stir 1/2 tablespoon of distilled white vinegar into each batter.
  • Using two spoons, dip one spoon into each of the batters.
  • Place both batter-covered spoons side-by-side in the tin and let the batter drip off of each of them until the cup is 3/4 of the way full. You can also do chocolate on bottom and vanilla on top, or a swirl method. The design of the cupcakes is totally up to you.
  • Place the cupcake tin in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted and removed cleanly.
  • Make the glaze while the cupcakes cool to room temperature by combining the confectioners’ sugar and thawed strawberries in a bowl and whisking together until the two are fully combined.
  • Let the glaze sit for 5 minutes and then spoon over top of each cupcake.

Written by

Tiffany M. Griffin is the woman behind Como Water, Washington DC’s premiere veg-centric cuisine consulting company. Through cooking classes, demonstrations, catering, and consultations, Como Water gives people the opportunity to learn how to prepare veg-centric cuisine that boasts maximum flavor, with minimal effort. Tiffany is quickly becoming a go-to expert on the future of veg-centric cuisine, and is a regular contributor to Como Water, the blog, as well as to vegetarian and vegan sites across the Internet. For over a decade, this self-taught, entrepreneurial expert has developed a set of tried and true techniques for making simple, delicious, and sometimes decadent veg-centric dishes. Featured on the Steve Harvey Show and other leading media outlets, Tiffany was born and raised in Springfield, MA. She then earned Bachelors degrees in Psychology and Communications from Boston College and a PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Michigan. She now resides in Washington DC, where she has worked in the US Senate and at a federal agency on issues around health, food, nutrition, and international food aid/development, and of course, as the owner of Como Water. Tiffany gets culinary inspiration from the food she grew up eating, and from her travels throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, Western Europe, and Sub-Saharan Africa. She is dedicated to sharing her wealth of knowledge on veg-centric cuisine with others and to help others live by her mantra—love life, live long, and eat veg-centric cuisine!


  1. Thank you SO MUCH for allowing me to be your guest!!! I heart you, lady. BIG TIME.

  2. super cute and fancy too…. I’m definitely trying 🙂

  3. These are so cute! I especially love the strawberry glaze!

  4. Wow these cupcakes are really wonderful! They really remind me of Neapolitan ice cream… perfectly executed. 🙂 Great guest blog post. Well done ladies.

  5. These cupcakes really look, and I’m sure taste like Neopolitan ice cream. I really like
    the strawberry glaze, too. Great guest post, Nikki.

    Thank you for a great guest blogger.

  6. Nikki these cupcakes sound wonderful! I love the idea of a neopolitan cupcake, ice cream is the norm, but way to think outside the box :)! They are so cute as well, and I am sure delicious…I wish I could taste one ;)!

  7. What a super cute idea! So many possibilities to try with different flavors, I’ve always swirled two batter, but I like the look of two definite colors.
    Take care

  8. I love these, Tiffany!! What a great idea for a cupcake!!!

  9. They are so adorable! I am sure they are very tasty too.

  10. Wow! You did a fabulous job with these. They look perfect.

  11. I am simply drooling over these vegan cupcakes, they look so good and love that frosting on top. Lovely contrast of colors and thumbs up to Nikki.

  12. these look awesome! I made some non-vegan colorful cupcakes the other day for easter. My 3 year old assistant called them “Polka-Not” cup cakes.. Translation = Polka-DOT cupcakes.
    I love the fun we can have with baking! Great post, and I have so many friend crushes its embarrasing! 😉

  13. Cute Cup cakes indeed!

  14. Tiffany, thanks for introducing Nikki and her lovely blog. These cupcakes are so cute, almost too cute to eat 🙂

  15. Tiff, what a great guest post and I love how you met your guest/friend. Lovely cupcakes and delicious strawberry glaze

  16. These are adorable! I love cupcakes with a simple glaze instead of frosting. So elegant 🙂

  17. Tiffany,
    Thanks for the introduction to Nikki and her blog. These are the cutest cupcakes I’ve seen in a long time. I so liked the introduction to this post as well. Nicely done!

  18. I like the looks of these cupcakes-very unique with the 2 colored batter and the glaze! Glad you two have become such wonderful friends via the blog connection. Thanks for the introduction Tiffany!

  19. These are cute. But you can’t do that thing where you smush all of the flavors together with your spoon when the ice cream gets soft (Well, I suppose you could, but it wouldn’t be pretty).

  20. These cupcakes are adorable! I have to be honest I’m not big on the naepolitan ice cream (I think because I don’t like strawberry ice cream all that much) but I totally enjoy the flavor combo in cake! I love how perfect the division of the batters came out and I’m sure the topping adds just another layer of moisture and flavor to the already amazing cake! Wonderful job by Nikki!

  21. The pinky glaze on top looks great, I d surely finnish them all. strawberry, vanilla and cocoa… reminds me of a classic 3 scoop ice cream pairing. love it!

  22. Great guest post! These look amazing. And I don’t think that many non-bloggers really get the connections we make with other bloggers even though we have never met face to face! So fun to meet people all over the world that we have connections with 🙂

  23. Those are pretty cupcakes, Nikki and the strawberry glaze made them even prettier! Awesome job, girl!
    Thanks for introducing me to another wonderful blogger, Tiff!

  24. So beautiful and tasty looking! I can’t believe you were able to keep the two flavors so separate. Maybe I’ll try to do that sometime!

  25. Oh my goodness, love these little bites of delight! So cute and perfect sizing.

  26. The look awesome! Thanks to you and Nikki for this wonderful treat!

  27. Those are gorgeous, but they’re also fun! They’d make a perfect minature dessert for when I have my vegan friends over for dinner, and I think the non-vegans would love them too.

  28. Thanks for the comments everyone! 😀

  29. Hi Tiffany, I missed this post – how cute! I love the tri-color of trawberry, vanilla and cocoa!