The other day as I was meandering around the store (Target, naturally), I saw some ice cream cones. And a delicious looking salted caramel sauce. And maraschino cherries. Perfect for an ice cream party. Except I don't have any plans to have an ice cream party, and plus, ice cream doesn't transport well in this heat. But somehow all of these ingredients ended up in my basket.
See, I had a plan...a cupcake, that looked like an ice cream cone! Complete with frosting "soft serve," chocolate or caramel sauce, sprinkles, and whipped cream....and even a cherry on top!
See, I had this memory of cupcakes baked in flat-bottomed ice cream cones from my elementary school bake sale days, and I figured I had to recreate it. I'm sure the moms of my fellow schoolmates opted for the boxed cake mixes, but you know me well enough to know that that wasn't going to fly with me today. Plus the ice cream cone cupcakes of my youth didn't actually look like a real ice cream cone, but I was out to change that :).
I went with my go-to yellow cake recipe. I thought that since I used so little of the batter in the ice cream cones, that they'd bake up really quickly, but I was wrong. It took 18-20 minutes for them to bake up. But the plain cupcakes I baked at the same time took about 15 minutes. Bizarre! I digress. But after they baked, I let them cool to room temperature. Then I made some vanilla and chocolate buttercream icings. I piped them onto the cupcakes with a star-tip to make it look like soft serve ice cream. Then I drizzled either (store-bought....shhhh!!!) chocolate sauce or the salted caramel sauce I bought that day, topped them with some sprinkles, some whipped cream (I got lazy and used the canned stuff....but I also thought it would hold up better than homemade whipped cream in the heat), and the not-so-proverbial cherry on top!
Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes
Yellow Cake Cupcakes
My go-to recipe for yellow cake cupcakes from none other than Smitten Kitchen.
4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (480 grams) cake flour (not self-rising)
2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon (5 grams) table salt
2 sticks (1 cup, 1/2 pound or 225 grams) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups (400 grams) sugar
2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups buttermilk (475 ml), well-shaken
24 flat-bottomed ice cream cones (I halved the recipe and had leftover batter when I made these....so I made some regular cupcakes, too. If you wanted to make all ice cream cone cupcakes, you'll probably need 48+ cones)
Other things that you will need:
Icing (see below for chocolate and vanilla icing recipes)
Chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, or any other sauce you may like on your ice cream cone (I had thought of using a magic shell on top, but didn't this time....but would love to try it next time!)
Whipped cream (from the can, or made from scratch)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place one ice cream cone in each cavity of a cupcake pan.
Sift together the dry ingredients EXCEPT for sugar in a medium bowl.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla.
Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition.
At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture will look curdled).
Add flour mixture in three batches, mixing until each addition is just incorporated.
Spoon the batter into the ice cream cones. I filled mine just to the top of the center cavity of the ice cream cone (NOT all the way up to the top -- the cupcakes rise and if you overfill them you'll have batter dripping out of the ice cream cone. I ended up using a kitchen tablespoon [not a measuring tablespoon] and used about 1.5-2 of those to fill each cone).
Bake until golden on top and cooked throughout (the cupcakes took about 18-20 minutes).
Cool on a rack 10 minutes.
Assemble the Cupcakes
First, decide which icing you want to use for your "ice cream."
I couldn't decide if I wanted mine to have vanilla "ice cream" or chocolate "ice cream," so I ended up going with both. I used dark cocoa powder for the chocolate icing, and it came out a little darker than chocolate soft serve would look. So if/when I do it again, I'd use regular cocoa powder.
Then, make the icing of your chosing.
Find the Chocolate Icing and Vanilla Icing recipes by clicking on the links.
Pipe the icing onto the cupcakes using a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.
Pipe the icing on in a circular motion piling it up on itself so it looks like an ice cream cone filled with soft serve.
Drizzle the sauce of your choice on top, and sprinkle with sprinkles.
Put in the fridge for a few minutes.
Top with a dallop of whipped cream (you can be lazy like me and use it from the can, or make it from scratch) and a maraschino cherry on top!
Keep in the fridge until serving, removing them about 15 minutes beforehand so that the icing can come to room temperature.