Recipe Review

I Tried Those Instagram-Famous Neapolitan Cookies and Have Zero Regrets

updated Jul 31, 2020
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Credit: Kelli Foster

Back in the spring, when everyone was baking their hearts out with banana bread and sourdough, I honestly didn’t feel the call to the kitchen. But after continuing to see these pretty matcha Neapolitan sugar cookies pop into my Instagram feed day after day, even a string of 90-degree days couldn’t stop me from cranking up my oven.

Created by Amy Ho, the blogger behind Constellation Inspiration, the cookies have since become one of her most popular recipes (you can get a sense by just how many people have made them by checking out all the photos she’s been tagged in). Intrigued by the mix of green tea, strawberry, and vanilla flavors and the pretty swirl of colors, I, too, felt the urge to bake a batch. Here’s what happened when I gave them a go.

How to Make Matcha Neapolitan Sugar Cookies

The cookie dough starts off like most other sugar cookie recipes. I creamed the butter and sugar in my stand mixer, beat in an egg and vanilla extract, then added the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. I divided the dough into three equal portions (using my kitchen scale for accuracy) and placed each in a bowl. I then folded freeze-dried strawberry powder into one portion and matcha into another, leaving the third portion plain.

I scooped tablespoon-sized portions of each dough and rolled them together into a ball. After I’d created 12 tri-colored dough balls, I rolled each one in granulated sugar, then placed them two inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. I baked the cookies in a 350°F oven for 12 minutes, then cooled them on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Credit: Kelli Foster

My Honest Review of Matcha Neapolitan Sugar Cookies

These are the most impressive cookies I’ve ever made — and definitely the most fun. They’re gorgeous, of course, with their blend of pink, green, and creamy white sugar-coated colors, but they also have a winning taste to back it up. The strawberry and matcha flavors play nicely with one another, and are present without being overwhelming. The cookies also aren’t overly sweet, which is important, because at three tablespoons of dough per cookie, they’re big.

Considering how fancy they look, these cookies were also surprisingly easy to make! I can’t wait to make them again and try different trios of flavor combinations — I’ve got my eye on raspberry, blueberry, and vanilla.

A Few Tips for Making Matcha Neapolitan Sugar Cookies

While I found the recipe easy to follow, there a few extra details that are useful to know.

  1. Start with freeze-dried strawberries and make the powder in a food processor. If you can’t find freeze-dried strawberry powder, you can pulverize it in your food processor. I started with a 1.2-ounce bag and had a little bit left over.
  2. Stick with inexpensive matcha powder. Matcha powder can be pretty pricey, so save the splurgy stuff for sipping and stick with a less expensive option for baking.
  3. Roll the cookie dough well. Without overworking the dough, you want to roll the balls of dough well so that the portions of dough are smoothed together. The smoother the exterior, the more character your cookies will have.
  4. Plan on an additional 1/4 cup of granulated sugar for coating the cookies. The recipe simply calls for “more for rolling.” This is how much you’ll need.
  5. You can safely fit six cookies on a half sheet pan. The recipe calls for spacing the cookies two inches apart; that’s the equivalent of six cookies per half sheet pan.

Your turn: Have you tried making Neapolitan sugar cookies at home? Let us know in the comments!