Neapolitan Cookies Recipe

Neapolitan Cookies are cookies where two different flavors combine to make one distinctive cookie.  Light dough filled with almond flavoring, cherries and nuts is sandwiched between a chocolate, cinnamon, nutty dough.  These take a little more time to prepare, but they get rave reviews!  My mother, Dorothy Hagerman, always made these delicious Neapolitan Cookies every Christmas.

This wonderful Neapolitan cookies recipe and photo were shared with me by my sister, Carol Arroyo, and her website called The Baking Pan.


Neapolitan Cookies


More favorite Cookie Recipes and Secrets To Making Perfect Cookies.  Also learn How To Have A Successful Holiday Cookie Exchange or Cookie Swap.



Neapolitan Cookies Recipe:
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
12 mins
Total Time
32 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Neapolitan Cookies Recipe
Servings: 9 dozen cookies
Dark Dough:
  • 3 cups flour (all-purpose)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves, ground
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (firmly-packed) light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans, toasted and finely chopped
Light Dough:
  • 1/2 cup dark raisins, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins, finely chopped
  • 12 candied cherries, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon flour (all-purpose)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar (granulated)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
Neapolitan Cookie Instructions:
  1. Lightly grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan and then line with parchment paper; set aside.

  2. Prepare Dark Dough and Light Dough according to directions below.

  3. Divide the dark dough in half.  Place half the dark dough in the bottom of the loaf pan, packing it down evenly.  Add all of the light dough, packing it evenly over the dark dough.  Add remaining dark dough, packing it evenly over the light dough.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

  4. When ready to bake, reheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Lightly grease baking sheets or line baking sheets with parchment paper.

  5. Grabbing the top edges of the parchment paper, lift dough from loaf pan, remove paper and discard.

  6. Cut dough lengthwise into thirds.  Keep one third of dough out, wrap remaining dough in plastic wrap and return to refrigerator until ready to use.

  7. Slice dough into 1/4-inch slices and place 2 inches apart on baking sheets.

  8. Bake approximately 12 minutes or until cookies are set.  Remove cookies from baking sheets and cool on wire racks.

  9. Repeat procedure with remaining dough.

Dark Dough Instructions:
  1. In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves together. Set aside.

  2. In a small heavy saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate chips; stir constantly until melted so chips do not burn. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Or, place the chips in a microwave-safe bowl, use 50% power and stir frequently just until the chocolate is melted; do not overheat as the chocolate will burn easily. Set aside to cool slightly. Learn different techniques for How To Melt Chocolate.

  3. In a large bowl, combine butter and brown sugar; cream together until mixture appears light and fluffy. Add eggs; beat until thoroughly mixed. Add melted chocolate; stir to mix. Add flour mixture; stir until mixed. Add nuts, stir to mix. Set aside while mixing the light dough.

Light Dough Instructions:
  1. Chop the raisins and cherries; sprinkle the chopped raisins and cherries with 1 teaspoon flour to keep the fruit from sticking together. Set aside. Since the raisins and cherries get very sticky when chopping, sprinkle with the 1 teaspoon of flour before chopping to help cut down on the stickiness.

  2. In a medium bowl, sift 2 cups flour, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.

  3. In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar; cream together until mixture appears light and fluffy. Add egg, water, vanilla extract, and almond extract; beat until thoroughly mixed. Add flour mixture; stir until well mixed. Add chopped raisins and cherries; stir until mixed. Set aside.


Source:  Neapolitan Cookies Recipe was adapted from the cookbook called Rose Naftalin’s Holiday Goodies.


Comments and Reviews

One Response to “Neapolitan Cookies Recipe”

  1. Peggy

    I was delighted to find a copy of this recipe, which I have been making for years, from an identical recipe inherited from my mother. We made it together every Christmas, and it is still of my main Christmas cookies. I love that that recipe has such a large yield, given the amount of work involved — and provides to many cookies to give away! My questions:
    What about layering the dough in a brownie pan instead of loaf pan, to get smaller cookies?
    More important: Whenever I have made these, the middle layer “puffs out” so the vertical edge of the cookies are always lopsided. I assumed this was due to the variations in the brown and white doughs. Any suggestions on how to get a “neater” cookie?

    Thank you!


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