Imagine, if you can, a world in which you can have all the flavors of ice cream … inside of a cake. Are you there yet? It might not require too strong of an imagination, but you catch my drift.
I’ve been dreaming up this recipe baby for awhile now and had a few kinks to figure out…
1. How do I make the cake taste like a drumstick ice cream cone?
2. How do I make the frosting taste like ice cream?
3. Do I fill the cake with frosting too, or just put it on top?
These are life’s tougher questions. What can I say, making recipe babies is hard work and is definitely not for the faint of heart.
In the end, I solved the first problem by grinding up ice cream cones and adding them to the cake batter. I was worried it would make them dry, but it didn’t. It does however make the batter a bit lumpy, so they aren’t the prettiest things to look at when they’re unfrosted. Don’t let that scare you.
Problem 2 I took another direct approach to, it stands to reason that if I want my frosting to taste like ice cream, I could just add ice cream to my frosting. Seemed to work OK for the cake at least, right? Well, yeah, actually. I let a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream melt and added it to the frosting towards the end of the beating cycle. You may want to note that you can scale back the sugar a bit depending on the ice cream that you use, because it will likely be rather sweet as well. Afterwards I decided that an ounce or two of cream cheese would probably help to balance the sweetness as well, so you can keep that in your back pocket too. I did not try it with the cream cheese, but I definitely plan to throw it in on the next go-around just to see how it is.
As for number three… I just put the frosting on top. You could definitely fill yours, too, I don’t think a single person would complain. After trying to pipe the frosting on (did I mention that I am the WORST at all things frosting-related?) I realized that if I had instead ice-cream-scooped the frosting on top of the cupcake it would be even more drumstick-y! So, that’s an option too if you wanna get all fancy. If you are better at piping than I am, pipe away! I’m seriously laughably bad.
For the dip I used a mix of milk and dark chocolate, because that’s what I had on hand. Feel free to use what you like (or even buy some of that fancy magic shell topping, I won’t tell)
- 1 1/4 cup ground ice cream cones (waffle or sugar cones, not those styrofoamy ones)
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 1/2 sticks unslated butter, softened
- 1 to 2 ounces cream cheese, softened (optional)
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 Tablespoons melted ice cream
- a pinch (1/8 teaspoon-ish) salt
- 12 ounces chocolate of your choice, chopped
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- Salted nuts, finely chopped
- Whisk together ground ice cream cone crumbs, flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
- In a small measuring cup, mix the milk and vanilla together; set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl as necessary.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition.
- Add the crumb/flour mix in three additions, alternating with the milk mixture (crumbs-milk-crumbs-milk-crumbs).
- Divide among cupcake pan and bake for approximately 20 - 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.
- Allow to cool in the pan about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the butter and salt until pale and soft. (If you are using cream cheese, add the cream cheese here).
- Add the powdered sugar and beat on low until incorporated, then increase speed to high and continue beating until light and fluffy.
- Reduce speed to low and add melted ice cream, one tablespoon at a time, until incorporated.
- Continue beating until desired consistency is reached.
- Use frosting immediately to top and/or fill cupcakes as desired.
- Place frosted cupcakes in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
- Make the magic shell by combining your chocoate and coconut oil in a medium metal bowl; set over a medium saucepan of simmering water. Stir until chocolate is almost melted.
- Remove from heat and continue stirring until completely melted and smooth.
- **Or you can melt it in 30 second intervals at 50% power in the microwave, but be very careful not to burn it!**
- Pour into a tall plastic cup (you want it to have a lot of space to dip) and set aside for about 10 minutes to cool slightly.
- Place a wire rack over a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet.
- When ready to dip your cupcakes, hold the cupcake firmly at the base and dip into the chocolate. Lift and allow excess chocolate to drip back into the cup. Place on the wire rack to harden. If desired, you can dip a second time for a thicker shell.
- Sprinkle with chopped nuts before the chocolate hardens.
- Set aside 1 hour to harden, or refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.