There is something in a southern woman’s heart that longs to feed the people that she loves. It’s like how my Granny was always in the kitchen whipping up a fresh, hot batch of gravy while we were all eating Thanksgiving dinner. Or how my Grandma hardly sat down at the breakfast table because she was always getting up to check on the biscuits in the oven. Or how I don’t like sweets at all but I love making treats for other people – just because it makes them smile.
So we had another birthday at work. And you know what that means. Another office treat! Someone mentioned wanting to get an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen. But that’s just not my style. Why buy it when I could make it? I was doubted.
“Oh no, Emily... Just buy it. I mean, have you ever even made an ice cream cake?”
“No, but I can figure it out. Surely it can’t be that hard. I’ll do it. Just trust me.”
So I got to thinking. I had some leftover toppings from the caramel apples I had recently made. I had peanuts, Oreos, caramel, chocolate, and sprinkles. Really, all I would need was the ice cream and cool whip. Perfect.
Ignore the M&Ms. I thought I would sprinkle some on top, but ended up using sprinkles instead.
I read a few tutorials and got a few ideas, but I hate following recipes, so I made up my own recipe. And then I realized that ice cream cake could be hard to serve, so why not make ice cream cupcakes? I have never seen ice cream cupcakes, but why not?
So I did it. And here’s how.
Ice Cream Cupcakes – Cookies and Cream Supreme
Makes 2 dozen ice cream cupcakes
1 Carton of Blue Bell Cookies and Cream Ice Cream
1 Bottle of Smuckers Hot Fudge Syrup
1 Bag of Kraft Caramels, melted according to directions
1 Container of Cool Whip
Mini Oreos (A whole bag if you choose the oreo crust)
1/4 Cup Melted Butter
Crushed Peanuts (either ½ cup for toppings or 2 cups if you choose the peanut crust)
A Handful of Sprinkles
24 Cupcake Liners
While you are preparing your cupcakes, make sure to leave your cool whip and ice cream sitting out on your counter to thaw.
Begin by setting out 2 cupcake pans and lining them with cupcake liners. Also make room in your freezer for the pans!
In a medium bowl, mix together a crust. I was predominantly using the leftover ingredients from the caramel apples. I didn't have enough of either ingredient to make them all the same so I ended up doing half of them with an oreo crust and half with a peanut crust. I’ll give you the crust recipe as if you were making all 24 of them the same. (I got better reviews from the oreo crust.)
Option 1: Mix one bag of crushed oreos with about 1/4 cup of melted butter. You will just need it to be moist enough to sort of stick together, but not too mushy. You might need to add more butter to get it moist enough.
Option 2: Melt half of the bag of caramel according to instructions and mix with about 1½ cups of finely chopped peanuts.
Press a spoonful of the crust into the bottom of each cupcake liner.
Peanut Crust. Oh yeah, I poured hot fudge over it for good measure.
When the ice cream was melted enough to pour into the cupcake liners, I filled the liners almost to the top leaving about ¼ inch to add syrups. One carton of ice cream will be enough for all 24 cupcakes.
My idea was to refreeze the ice cream at this point and then add a layer of hot fudge and a layer of caramel on top. I put a few squeezes of hot fudge (I just melted it in the bottle according to the instructions) and a few big drops of melted caramel (from the other half of the bag) into each cupcake. But the ice cream was taking a while to freeze and the hot fudge was, well, hot. The fudge and caramel sank down into the ice cream so it kind of turned into hot fudge and caramel ribbons instead. Not the plan, but it ended up being totally fine! Then I liberally sprinkled peanuts onto the top of each one. (I apparently began drawing inspiration from Nutty Buddys somewhere along the way.)
At this point, I froze the cupcakes until they were solid. And don’t try to remove them from the cupcake pan until they are completely frozen! Trust me, I tried it and made a big cookies-and-cream soupy mess with one of them. Be patient!
Once they were frozen solid, I swirled a spoonful of thawed cool whip onto the top of each one. This makes them look so much prettier! I added a few sprinkles for a little birthday flair. Then I stuck them back in the freezer over night. These obviously need to stay in the freezer until they are served, but I did remove them from the cupcake pan and put them in a different freezer friendly container for a better presentation.
The Finished Product: An Ice Cream Cupcake
My coworkers were absolutely in love with these ice cream cupcakes. I got lots of rave reviews, including one semi-awkward fake marriage proposal! And it happened to be from one of my original doubters. I’m obsessed with creating variations of these ice cream cupcakes now. And it’s a good thing, because I have daily requests for more!