Let them eat cake and ice cream

Just make sure you keep these cupcakes in the freezer, or they’ll melt all over your fingers. (credit: Photo Editor) Just make sure you keep these cupcakes in the freezer, or they’ll melt all over your fingers. (credit: Photo Editor)

This past week, one of my best friends from home texted me. Her boyfriend’s birthday is coming up next week, and she wants to make him cupcakes. Here’s where I come in: “Any suggestion on flavor?” She obviously came to the right person, because the answer is yes — I always have ideas for cupcakes! In addition to being one of my greatest friends, she is also the busy mother of a beautiful 8-month-old baby boy. To give her a flavor that isn’t going to take up a whole bunch of time, I’ve come up with a really fun idea that can be made almost entirely with store-bought ingredients: The ice cream cake cupcake.

You know those delicious ice cream cakes from Dairy Queen? Layers of chocolate and vanilla ice cream, separated by those little cookie crunchies that were really the only reason you loved the cake, then topped with a creamy whipped frosting. Now imagine all of that scrumptious nostalgia being reborn as a cupcake. The bottom layer, in lieu of ice cream, is a layer of chocolate cake, followed by the cookies, vanilla ice cream, then a perfect swirl of whipped cream, not complete without some rainbow sprinkles and a cherry on top — or a candle for the birthday boy! This can be as easy or as involved as you want it to be. If you’ve got all the time and resources in the world, you could make every single part from scratch. On the other hand, if you’re in a pinch or pinching pennies, each component can also come straight from the grocery store. I’m going to make just the cake from scratch, but buy the vanilla ice cream and whipped cream from the store. If you want to make ice cream or whipped cream at home, there are plenty of recipes on the web!

1 cups of sugar
7/8 cups of flour (do your best estimation)
3/8 cup of cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon of baking powder
3/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 eggs
1/2 cup of milk
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 cup of boiling water

Cookie Crunchies
1 package of Oreos or Chocolate Wafers (but I recommend Oreos)
1 bottle of chocolate Magic Shell (that super exciting ice cream topping)

Vanilla ice cream
Whipped cream
Rainbow sprinkles or jimmies (I am tolerant of all language variations)
Maraschino cherries

First things first, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and put liners in two full cupcake trays, 24 cupcakes total. Measure out the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Then put in the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla, and stir it all up. Really carefully, pour the hot water in. If you’re wondering why the water has to be hot, it’s because it really helps to bring out the flavor of the chocolate, so no cheating! The mixture should be thin, so don’t worry, you didn’t do anything wrong. Put a generous spoonful into all of the liners and bake those for about 8 minutes.

While those are baking and cooling, start making the cookie layer. If you have Oreos you’ll have to separate each and every cookie from its cream filling. Even though it takes longer, at least you’ll get to eat all that Oreo filling! If you got chocolate wafers instead, try not to be too sad. After you have a ton of naked cookies, crush them using either a food processor or a zip-lock bag and a hammer-type object (excellent for stress relief). Don’t crush them into crumbs, but keep them in big enough chunks that they’ll be recognizable and crunchy. Pour them into a bowl with the whole bottle of magic shell and mix it all up. Before you keep going, make sure the cupcakes are cooled the whole way through so the entire thing doesn’t melt!
If you have time to soften the ice cream, that will be really helpful in binding all of the elements together. To assemble the cupcake, spoon enough crumblies to cover the cake, then put a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of the cookie layer. When all 24 are done, put them in the freezer so it all sticks. Keep them in there until it’s time to serve, then swirl some whipped cream over the ice cream, followed by the sprinkles and, of course, the cherry on top!