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Ice cream cupcakes: The perfect summer treat!

Here’s why ice cream cupcakes are the perfect summer treat…

When the temperature soars, and hardcore sunshine becomes a daily reality, we need a chilly sweet treat. And while there are mucho classic summertime desserts, we’re turning the dessert world upside down, literally, with an irresistible fusion of two beloved desserts – cupcakes and ice cream.


But we are not talking about ice cream cone cupcakes, or even ice cream cones in general. This ditches the cone completely. (Unless you want to add it in)

Crafty Chica’s Ice Cream Cupcakes video

YouTube video

Say HOLA! to the ice cream cupcake, an innovative summer delight that’s guaranteed to make a splash at your next BBQ, family gathering, or even as a quirky, cooling afternoon indulgence.

Ice cream cupcakes taste like the essence of summer. A luscious scoop of ice cream united with the comfort of a moist, fluffy cupcake. The result? An unexpected yet harmonious blend of flavors and textures! You get the creamy, chilled relief of ice cream, with the added satisfaction of a cake base. It’s a nice break away from a traditional cone. And what a clever way to level up regular cupcakes!

Plus, you can work your creative magic. Whether it’s choosing ice cream flavors, deciding on the type of cake base, or contemplating a smorgasbord of toppings, this is a great recipe for a small gathering or large summer parties!

Ingredients and supplies:

  • 12 chocolate cupcakes or whatever flavor you want NOTE: Baked from your favorite recipe or box mix and completely cooled. Or use store-bought and scrape off the frosting. You can decide if you want to remove or leave on the cupcake liners.
  • 1 quart of your favorite ice cream (Vanilla ice cream or any flavor you like)
  • 12-cup silicone muffin tins or cupcake pan (also known as cupcake molds)
  • Magic Shell Topping in your favorite flavor (see below to make your own)
  • Small bowls for nuts, crushed Oreos, rainbow sprinkles, crushed cake cones, crushed waffle cones, any other of your favorite flavors
  • Whipped cream or Cool Whip

Or, make your own hard shell sauce with:

  • 1 cup of chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil

Instructions for these delicious frozen treats:

Allow your ice cream to soften at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes, so it’s easier to mold but not completely melted.

ice cream cupcakes - Spoon ice cream in cupcake molds

Once the ice cream is soft, scoop it into the silicone cupcake molds. You want to fill them almost all the way to the top. Press the ice cream down firmly with the back of a spoon, smoothing out the top. I was very messy the first time I made theses. This is the best part because it is such a fun process!

NOTE: If you want to use a metal pan, line each section with plastic wrap, letting it hang over the sides, then add the ice cream. After frozen, pull up from the plastic wrap around the sides.

ice cream cupcakes - place cooled cupcake on top of ice cream.

Place one cupcake on each mold, pressing slightly into the ice cream. You are turning the cupcake top upside down, it will become the handle to the ice cream. The top of the cupcake should be flush with the top of the mold. Make sure it is centered so it looks nice and even after you remove it.

Freeze it

Place the tray in the freezer. Allow the ice cream cupcakes to freeze completely. This should take at least 2 hours, but could take longer depending on your freezer.

ice cream cupcakes

If making your own hard shell chocolate sauce, do so now: Melt 1 cup of chocolate chips in the microwave or a double boiler, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Once melted, stir in 2 tablespoons of coconut oil until well mixed. Allow to cool slightly.

Store-bought version: Shake well and pour into small bowls, to make for easy dipping. Unless you want a drizzle effect, then you can just squeeze the Magic Shell over the cold ice cream.

Magic shell choices

Remove the ice cream cupcakes from the freezer. 

Carefully remove each ice cream cupcake from the mold.

Dip and drizzle

Magic shell topping

Working quickly, drizzle the hard shell chocolate sauce over each cupcake, or dip the top of the ice cream cupcake into the chocolate sauce. Remember, the sauce will harden quickly once it comes into contact with the cold ice cream.

Quickly add nuts, coconut flakes, sprinkles before the sauce hardens to a shell. 

Return the cupcakes to the freezer for a few minutes to allow the chocolate to set completely.

Cake and ice cream, served a different way.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Experiment with different types of ice cream, cake, and hard shell flavors to create your own custom dessert.

RELATED: 25 Things to Dip in Chocolate

Creative variations:

  1. Brownie Ice Cream Cupcakes: Instead of using a regular cupcake as the base, you can use a brownie. Follow the same steps as the previous recipes but replace the cupcake with a brownie. You’ll need brownie muffins though.
  2. Cookie Dough Ice Cream Cupcakes: You can layer a small chunk of cookie dough at the bottom of the silicone mold, add the ice cream, then top with a mini cookie. You could also mix small pieces of cookie dough into the ice cream before freezing.
  3. Rainbow Sherbet Cupcakes: Use different flavors of sherbet to make a rainbow effect. Start with a layer of raspberry sherbet, add a layer of orange, and then a layer of lime. Top with vanilla cupcakes or funfetti cake mix cupcakes.
  4. Oreo Ice Cream Cupcakes: Place a whole Oreo at the bottom of the silicone mold, fill with cookies and cream ice cream, and then top with a chocolate cupcake. This will be a family favorite!
  5. Neapolitan Ice Cream Cupcakes: Make a layered cupcake with chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice cream, each as a separate layer. Top with a vanilla or chocolate cupcake.
  6. S’mores Ice Cream Cupcakes: Use a graham cracker crust at the bottom of the silicone mold, fill with chocolate or toasted marshmallow ice cream, and then top with a chocolate cupcake. After freezing, top with marshmallow fluff and briefly use a kitchen torch to toast the fluff. Drizzle with chocolate fudge.
  7. Strawberry Special: Use strawberry ice cream, strawberry cupcakes, and even strawberry frosting. Layer the frosting, then the scoop ice cream, then the cupcake. Top with whipped cream and fresh juicy strawberry.

Such an easy dessert idea, right? Remember, you can also play around with the hard shell flavors as well, using white chocolate, caramel, or even a fruit-based shell. your final cupcakes will be amazingly yummy and will be a huge hit!

ice cream cupcakes

And, of course, the sky is the limit with toppings. Nuts, sprinkles, cookie crumbs, candy pieces, fruit, and more can all be used to give these a finishing touch.

Related ideas:

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