Neapolitan Bars

Dive into nostalgia with these Easy Neapolitan Bars! With only 7 ingredients, you can recreate the classic flavors of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry in this easy and delicious dessert.

Several Neapolitan Bars sit on a white counter. The chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry treats treats have shiny tops from coconut sweetened condensed milk baked on top.

I love these dessert bars because they’re so easy to make. Do you know what else I love? They remind me of those Neapolitan coconut candies I used to love as a kid.

I think you’ll love that these tasty sweet bars include classic Neapolitan flavors, chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.

Ingredients & Substitutions

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe, including substitution ideas:

  • Coconut Milk: Opt for full-fat canned coconut milk for a creamy texture. Substitutions: almond milk or soy milk.
  • Cornstarch: Look for cornstarch in the baking aisle of your grocery store.
  • Sugar: Use granulated sugar for sweetness. Substitution: coconut sugar for a slightly different flavor profile.
  • Vanilla: Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
  • Cake Mixes: Choose vegan-friendly cake mixes in chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry flavors.
  • Vegan Butter: Select a non-dairy butter substitute, such as vegan margarine or coconut oil, for a dairy-free option.

Buying Guide: When purchasing coconut milk, select a reputable brand known for its quality and creaminess. Using a high-fat coconut milk is helpful. I look for at least 12 grams of fat on the label.

A creamy sauce is being poured into a bowl with strawberry cake mix.
Add vegan sweetened condensed milk to a cake mix creates a brownie-like batter.

What Makes This Recipe Shine?

  • Irresistibly Delicious: These Neapolitan Bars boast layers of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, creating a symphony of flavors in every bite.
  • Effortless Creation: With minimal ingredients and straightforward instructions, whipping up these bars is a breeze, perfect for busy days or impromptu gatherings.
  • Versatile Crowd-Pleaser: Whether as a sweet treat for a party or a delightful snack at home, these bars are sure to satisfy cravings and garner compliments.
A stack of 3 Neapolitan Bar sits in front of more bars in the background.

If you’re looking for perfect dessert for parties, these neapolitan bars should be on your list! It’s an easy dessert bar because it uses cake mixes and the flavor and presentation are amazing!

Marly’s Tips

  • For easier slicing, refrigerate the bars before cutting.
  • Experiment with different cake mix flavors for unique variations.
  • Lining the pan with foil prevents the batter from spilling out over the edges and making a mess.

Serving Suggestions

When serving Neapolitan bars, I prefer to let them sit until completely cool before cutting them. That’s because the warm bars can tear, rather than cut. For more precise edges, you can even refrigerate them for an hour or so before cutting them.

You can serve these bars with any of the following toppings:

A hand holds a Neapolitan Bar with a bite taken out. There are more of the chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry treats in the background.

Storage Tips

Store Neapolitan Bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To freeze, wrap individual bars tightly in plastic wrap and store in a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months.

More Dessert Bars

These Neapolitan brownies are amazing! If you’re into vegan dessert bars recipes, be sure to check these out:

(The recipe from Neopolitan Gooey Cake Bars by the Picky Palate was the source of inspiration for this vegan version.)

A closeup of a chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry Neapolitan Bar with more visible in the background.

Easy Neapolitan Bars

These Neapolitan Bars feature layers of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry cake, topped with a sweetened condensed coconut milk glaze.
5 from 2 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Resting time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 30 bars
Calories: 210kcal


  • 15 oz can coconut milk divided, (full fat works best)
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 15 oz box chocolate cake mix
  • 15 oz box vanilla cake mix
  • 15 oz box strawberry cake mix
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¼ cup sugar


  • Preheat Oven: Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper or foil, letting it extend past each edge of the pan for easy removal and to protect from overflowing. Spray the paper or foil with cooking spray.
  • Make Chocolate Layer: In a mixing bowl, combine chocolate cake mix, ½ cup applesauce, and ⅓ cup of coconut milk. Mix until a sturdy dough forms. Spread the chocolate dough evenly in the bottom of the prepared pan. Dampen your fingers to press the dough because it's sticky.
  • Make Vanilla Layer: In a mixing bowl, combine vanilla cake mix, ½ cup applesauce, and ⅓ cup of coconut milk. Spread the vanilla dough over the chocolate layer.
  • Make Strawberry Layer: In a mixing bowl, combine strawberry cake mix, ½ cup applesauce, and ⅓ cup of coconut milk. Spread the strawberry dough over the vanilla layer.
    A creamy sauce is being poured into a bowl with strawberry cake mix.
  • Prepare Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk: In a large microwave-safe bowl or pyrex measuring cup, add the remaining coconut milk, cornstarch, and sugar. Stir to combine. Microwave for 30 seconds. Then stir to remove lumps. Repeat this process until the lumps are gone. Then microwave for one minute at a time (keeping a close eye on it so it doesn't boil over). Repeat until the mixture thickens. See notes for fixing lumps or stovetop option.
  • Pour Condensed Milk: Pour the sweetened condensed coconut milk evenly over the top layer, ensuring each area is covered.
    A coconut milk mixture is being poured into a pan with pink strawberry cake batter.
  • Bake: Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool and Serve: Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool. Trim the edges, then cut into bars and serve.

Recommended Equipment

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* Some commercial cake mixes are “accidentally vegan.” Look for the ones that don’t list animal products such as milk, eggs, animal shortening, etc.

Stovetop coconut sweetened condensed milk 

Add the ingredients to a large saucepan and stir over medium-low heat to remove lumps. Then gradually increase heat to medium high, stirring regularly, until the mixture simmers. Cook at a simmer for up to 5 minutes, until it thickens.
If your condensed milk develops lumps, simply use an immersion blender, or transfer it to a blender and pulse until the lumps are removed.

Uneven Baking

The center can sink as it cools. It’s ok. Once the bars are cool enough to handle, you can press the edges to better match the center. Or cut away the raised edges to create even pieces in the middle.
Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 313mg | Potassium: 93mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 4IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 2mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

This post was originally published in 2014 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2024.

11 Responses to Neapolitan Bars

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlySara Reply

    Can this be made with regular cake mixes and sweetened condensed milk and almond milk plus regular butter

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Sara. I’ve never tried using this recipe with condensed milk and butter made from cow’s milk, however, I think it should work.

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAdriana Reply

    5 stars
    Made this recipe ,but instead the mix used ingredients for 3 chocolate brownie and 2 food colouring.Decandent!

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAmber Reply

    What if you can’t get cake mix?

    Would you make the cake mix as normal but leave out the wet ingredients!?!


    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      That’s a great question. I’ve thought about this before when making a dump cake. I think you could use a cake recipe but leave out the wet ingredients. I might consider adding a 1/2 cup of powdered soy milk or powdered coconut milk (I found this at an Asian grocery store recently) just to give it some creaminess. Would love to hear your feedback after you try it!

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyDmarie Reply

    oh, how very cute!

  5. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyGrace Reply

    5 stars
    Marly these looking amazing and sinful but we need amazing and sinful every once in a while! These would be perfect for a take along treat.

  6. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyRachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family Reply

    Those are awesome looking NEVER apologize for something as fanastic as this 🙂

  7. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAlison @ingredients, Inc. Reply

    omg love these!!

  8. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyRhona Reply

    I was looking for a recipe to bring to my book club meet. The theme is mexican but I don’t eat a lot of Mexican food so I was having problems. Then I came upon this recipe. Although not Mexican it is colorful and so pretty. It will fit in nicely with all that guacamole and salsa and corn chips (that is the extent of my Mexican food knowledge). This looks amazing. Thank you for the recipe!!!! I am so excited.

  9. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJennifer Reply

    These look awesome! I want to eat them now!

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