Cupcakes Baked in Ice Cream Cones
Who doesn’t love ice cream? Logic tells me that there must be someone out there who doesn’t, but I have yet to encounter anyone who doesn’t love its frozen deliciousness in one form or another. Whether in cone, cup, sundae, sandwich or milkshake, there is nothing like ice cream.
When we first became parents, we decided to adhere to a strict no-sugar policy for our eldest. The more experienced parents around us hemmed and hawed and rolled their eyes as we attempted to source a no-sugar, no-nasties cake for her first birthday and held back the chocolate. Even baby biscuits were not acceptable. And as for ice cream? Forget about it. No way was she going to have that sugar rush!
That being said, our baby ice cream hack, first introduced to us by a super healthy friend, turned out to be a real all-ages winner. We would buy a tub of silky greek yoghurt and a package of frozen raspberries and when the desire for ice cream struck, we would take a handful of the berries, smother them in yoghurt, drizzle them in honey and wait a few minutes for all to melt slightly – then mash it together with a fork and voila! Baby friendly, whole food, refined sugar free “ice cream”. This is so tasty we still have it… sometimes.
Eventually, I’m not sure when exactly, we eased up on our sugar-free ways and introduced our children to real ice cream, which, of course, quickly became a favourite “most best” food. In fact, in the moderate heat of our British summer, it was a daily (mostly declined) request. But alas, neither ice cream nor summer last forever and as the days get darker and wetter, icy cold ice creams no longer seem a good idea. However, this in no way deters our children from asking for them all the time.
Enter this totally retro and enjoyable kids cookbook:
Gifted to my eldest by her bibliophile Nani, this book has been a hit for it’s easy to follow illustrated recipes and minimal reliance on adult supervision. It isn’t as particularly conscious of fats and sugars as maybe a kids cookbook ought to be – perhaps because it’s from the eighties? – but for an occasional treat, it has some great ideas.
One lazy day, my daughter came to me asking to make ice cream and I tried to explain that we didn’t have all the equipment (or time!) needed to make ice cream right then. But she insisted that she knew how and came back with this book, opened to a recipe for cupcakes baked in ice cream cones. Ice cream, without the ice and the cream, perfect for colder days, school fetes, kids parties, half-term holidays or just because – this was genius!
We got to work and, by we I mean mostly she, made these beauties:
This recipe is super easy – we made a few small adjustments with the amount of sugar and substituting with some wholegrain flour. My six year old and three year old needed minimal supervision (mostly with the stove and oven) and if your children are older, you likely won’t have to do anything at all except enjoy them!
Rainy Day Ice Cream Cones
(Adapted from KidsCooking. Klutz Press, 1987)
Makes between 10 – 12 filled cones
For The Conecakes
10 Ice Cream Cones with flat bottoms
½ Cup All-Purpose Flour
½ Cup Wholegrain Flour We used wholegrain spelt, but you could use wholemeal pastry, rye or even just another half-cup of all purpose – whatever you have on hand
1 Cup Sugar Any kind – we used unrefined caster sugar
½ tsp Baking Soda
¼ tsp Salt
½ Cup Water
3 Tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
¼ Cup Buttermilk
1 tsp Vanilla
For The Frosting
⅓ Cup Cream Cheese softened at room temperature
½ Cup Powdered Sugar also known as icing sugar
½ tsp Vanilla
Preheat your oven to 350°F/170°C
Place the ice cream cones into a muffin tin or stand them in a big baking pan.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flours, sugar, baking soda and salt.
In a medium sized saucepan on medium heat, mix together butter, water and cocoa powder. Stir continuously until melted.
Once the butter is completely melted, remove the pan from the heat and add it directly to the flour mixture in the large bowl.
Using a big wooden spoon, mix everything until it is well blended and all one colour.
Add the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla to the bowl and mix again for another minute or two. Don’t worry if there are still some streaks of buttermilk in the mixture as it is better to undermix than overmix.
Pour into the ice cream cones. Fill to about an inch from the top and put in the oven to bake immediately so the cones don’t get soggy.
Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean, or when you gently press the tops they spring back. Once you remove them from the oven, lift them out of the pan and onto a wire rack to cool as this also helps to keep the cones crisp.
While the cakes are cooling, make up the frosting (this part is so simple).
In a smallish mixing bowl, mash and mix together the softened cream cheese and powdered sugar. Add the vanilla, a little at a time, until everything is smooth and mixed together evenly.
That’s it. Your frosting is done! Time to ice the cakes. Make sure your cakes are completely cool before icing them otherwise the frosting will melt and everything will be a big mess – I may or may not be speaking from experience here.
If you want them to look fabulous and pinterest worthy, then ice them yourself, but most likely, if you are making this with your kids, they will want to do it on their own and I would say to just let them. This is really the most enjoyable part – the one where you get to make your ice cream cones look like “ice cream” – no fancy utensils required, as you can see, we used fish knives!
Once iced, feel free to embellish as you wish. We chose flower shaped sprinkles for extra appeal.
And there you have them: cute and easy rainy day ice cream cones perfect to make and share and which, I should mention, are best eaten on the day they are made – not that they’re likely to last beyond then anyways!
Bonus: For another way to “make” ice cream that isn’t really ice cream, check out this cute craft.