Hello, summer! You make my apartment hot and stuffy, you take away all air circulation, and you make me sweat like no other. But you also brighten my mood with the sun, you make me want to play instead of work, and I want to eat ice-cream all day long. Sometimes I like you and sometimes I don’t. It’s complicated.
So of course, when it came time to celebrate my roommate’s birthday, which comes right at the beginning of summer, my mind naturally diverted to ice-cream in the form of cupcakes (duh what else). These cupcakes are really simple to make if you’re in a cool environment and you happen to have air conditioning in your kitchen. Or if your place is like mine, the apartment is a huge sauna and using your oven brings your apartment to a nice 102 degrees. There’s a lot of standing in front of the fan combined with sticking your head in the freezer for five minute intervals, wondering how that’s going to affect your electricity bill.
The first step is to bake the cupcake part, which can be any flavor you’d like. I did the classic chocolate-strawberry combination, so my cake was chocolate paired with strawberry ice-cream. If you’re short on time, you can even use a box mix, or my go-to Black Magic cake. Baking them in party nut cups (found at Smart & Final) make it easy because then they’re the perfect size when you’re assembling. Only fill them up 1/2 way, versus the normal 3/4 of the way, since you’ll need the extra room for the ice-cream in the middle.
After the cupcakes are cooled, unwrap them, horizontally slice then in half, and place the bottom part in a brand new cup. Then fill with a scoop of softened ice-cream, smooth it out to the edges, and top it with the other half of the cupcake. It starts to get real messy if it’s hot, and things were turning into ice-cream soup within minutes. I had to revert to factory style – removing all the liners on the cupcakes first, then cutting all of them in half and placing the bottoms in new cups, scooping the ice-cream into one, covering it with the top and throwing it in the freezer before I could start on the next one.
Let them all sit on a cookie sheet in your freezer for a good 2-3 hours so they’re nice and solid before you frost. The frosting I used is my go-to frosting for ice-cream cake, recipe found below. It holds up well in the freezer and turns soft enough pretty quickly when people are trying to devour cake (frozen rock hard buttercream is not fun to eat). Toss on some sprinkles, top it off with a maraschino cherry, and tuck it away in the freezer where it stays until the party starts.
You can see the melting process happening as I’m trying to take this picture:
I had friends hide in the dark of our apartment as a birthday surprise and when my roomie came home she found 15 people in our living room, screamed, and almost had a heart attack. Fantastic! This old grump that lives below us then stormed upstairs to yell at us for being so loud (party pooper), then I busted these out and everyone had a great time. Happy birthday Anne!
Frosting for Ice-Cream Cake/Cupcakes
1 cup cold milk
1 package of instant pudding mix (4-serving size, 3.4 ounces), any flavor, I used chocolate pudding mix
1 16oz. tub of frozen whipped topping (aka Cool Whip), softened
Pour the cold milk into a large bowl, and then whisk in the pudding mix. Keep whisking until it thickens. Putting it in the refrigerator for a little bit also helps to thicken it up, about 15-20 minutes. Stir until smooth, and then gently fold in whipped topping until incorporated. Fill a piping bag and frost cupcakes, then return cupcakes back into the freezer.