Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Ice Cream Cupcakes

Where does the time go? Can’t believe it was time for Iron Cupcake Challenge again. The theme this month was 'Celebration' as ICL celebrates it's 1 year anniversary. I was thinking and debating what to make for a while. Unfortunately I was too busy to try out different recipes but I bounced a few ideas off friends. Chocolate immediately came to mind, specifically celebrations chocolate. I thought about popping candy but wasn’t sure how to make it work and as I didn't have time to experiment, I quickly binned the idea. I also thought about cocktail cupcakes but I'm not much of a drinker so left this to one side. Clearly other bakers had the same ideas as we had a good selection of these on the night (more on that later)

I then got inspiration from Fiona Cairns book Bake & Decorate (my new fav book) to make ice cream cupcakes. I love ice cream and it definitely says celebration to me :) I also thought it would be really fun and cute. I followed her recipe by making an orange drizzle cake (rather than a plain vanilla sponge) and made different coloured vanilla buttercream frosting. The result was simple yet effective. I made a quick test batch and brought it to work and it was definitely a winner! The cake was moist and citrusy and the cone added a little extra crunch. The frosting was a little sweet but I needed it to be thick so I could pipe it on the cakes.

On the Sunday night when I was baking for the actual challenge, I had quite a few mishaps along the way but fortunately it all worked out in the end. I baked the cakes in the cones and some of them overflowed but it was salvageable. The cake to frosting ratio is good as there's cake all the way to the bottom of the cone. The cone didn’t burn or become too soggy which was also good. However, I created a right mess in the kitchen whilst frosting and decorating. It took ages to pipe the frosting as I only have 1 piping bag so had to wash and dry between colours. By the time I got all the cakes frosted, the icing had dried which made it difficult for the sprinkles to stick. Fortunately I managed to get some on most of the cakes (with a lot of wastage) and I topped with flake bars and cherries just before plating. Next time, I'll decorate as I frost the cakes. (I'm still cleaning the kitchen!)

Next challenge was how to transport the cakes. They were too tall for my cupcake carrier so I tried putting them in cake tins but a few fell over. I ended up using a cake carrier box I have and piped icing on the bottom of each cone to act as a 'glue' I also had to pack one of the boxes with lots of tissue and bubble wrap so the cones wouln't fall on top of one another. It was definitely a challenge and a half travelling through London in rush hour with these cakes. So pleased that most of them made it there in 1 piece.
I was really pleased to win runner up prize in the amateur category :) Quite unexpected! Thank you to everyone who voted and especially to my friends who came to support me. More on the challenge itself in the next post so do check back later.
Back to the cakes....

Cream butter, sugar and zest until pale and fluffy

yummy cake batter

cones waiting to be filled

This was the fun albeit messy part :)

testing out the cherry

This was a result of me being too lazy to wash the piping bag when changing from white to pink frosting. It made a 'raspberry ripple' effect which i really like. Should have done a few more of these! I'll know for next time :)

They look much better with flake and cherries on top :)

Orange Drizzle Cake
250g unsalted butter, softened
250g golden caster sugar
grated zest of 2 large oranges
75ml orange juice
4 eggs, lightly beaten
250g self-raising flour, sifted
(I made a double recipe which yielded 35 cones and 3 cupcakes)

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (adapted from Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery)
110g butter, softened
400g icing sugar
~4 tablespoons milk
Food colouring (optional)
(I made 2.5 recipes which frosted all my cakes plus some extra)

35 flat based ice cream cones
Sprinkles, flake, cherries - anything that takes your fancy :)

To make the cake batter: 

  • Preheat oven to 170C

  • Cream the butter, sugar and zest until very pale, light and fluffy (see picture)

  • Add the eggs gradually, beating between each addition, along with 1 tbsp of the flour to prevent curdling. 

  • Fold in the remaining flour and lastly, slowly mix in the orange juice.

To make ice-cream cupcakes:

  • Place ice cream cones on a baking sheet.

  • Divide the cake batter evenly between them and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until they spring back to the touch.

  • Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

  • Make the buttercream frosting by combining all the ingredients together, preferably in a mixer.

  • If using different colours, divide frosting and colour each portion accordingly.

  • Pipe buttercream on top of each cake using a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle.

  • Decorate as desired.


  1. Oh these are so cute! I didn't get to see them because by the time I arrived there were none left (must be why you won a prize!) and congrats on the win! I was so out of it last night I didn't even remember who got runner up! I couldn't try any cause I wasn't well :( but the decoration and time it must have taken you to do that is amazing...I feel so sorry for you that you had to wash the piping bag in between each colour! That is hardcore! My sis assured me yours were very yummy tho!

  2. your cupcakes were lovely and a worthy runner up on the night.
    They looked so beautiful and I can't begin to imagine the stress of transporting them!

  3. I haven't made cupcake cakes in YEARS!!! It was a signature dish of mine when I was a teen :) Thanks for the memories. Your cakes are so cute, way better looking than anything I made when I was a kid LOL :) I love the multi color icing on the last one, so pretty, totally do that again! Congrats on being runner up, you deserve it!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. These look amazing, and thanks for the 'bake and decorate' book recommendation. I saw this the other week on Amazon and thought it looked good so it's nice to hear your recommendation.
    How did you get the ice cream cones to stand up in the baking tray?

  6. @cupcake crazy gem: thanks! Sorry to hear about your troubles. I barely got a bite of your cake.
    @caked crusader: thanks for such a wonderful event as always
    @andrea: thanks!
    @leanne: Definitely recommend bake and decorate. I've made quite a few recipes from there now. I just placed the cones on a flat baking tray and it was fine. Need to be careful handling them as they tend to topple over especially when baked and full of cake!

  7. my girls love those!!! I really need to do a better job with the frosting, yours look so pretty!

  8. Whenever I drool over cupcakes made by talented people like yourself...I can't imagine why I still haven't made them myself. Maybe it's the fear of addiction ;o)
    Congrats...you did an amazing job.
    When, and if I start making cupcakes...I'll know where to come for inspiration!
    Flavourful wishes, Claudia

  9. I was wondering where you had been! It looks like you had a delicious time! Your ice cream cupcakes were so cute! Those popcorn ones were clever, too.

  10. these are so cute - my American friend got so excited when he saw them we thought we were going to have to slap him to calm him down! He and my husband shared one and loved it :)
    I put a link on my blog for you - thanks for the link to mine!


I've had to turn word verification back on as I've had a lot of problem with spam lately, Apologies! Please, please do leave a comment - I appreciate every one of them and will reply to all of them. Thanks!