The Fourth of July is coming up quickly, which means it is time for fun, fireworks, and cookouts with friends and family.  In case you will be hosting (or contributing to) such an event, these ice cream cupcakes are a fun patriotic dessert idea and a nice alternative to the traditional flag cake.  (Not that I have anything against flag cake – in fact, it’s still on my list of things to try.)  Nevertheless, I find ice cream cupcakes to be an ideal dessert for casual get-togethers.  They are popular with kids and adults, and the cool ice cream really hits the spot in the midst of all this summer heat.

Now normally I am not at all an advocate of using boxed mixes or similar convenience items, but in this case, I went ahead and used a box cake for a few reasons.  Primarily because I wanted a pure white cake so that the batter would be colored correctly.  Yes, I could have made a white cake from scratch, but since most white cake recipes involve separating eggs, beating the whites, and folding the whites into the batter, the whole process seemed just a little too much for a dessert already requiring multiple steps.  Not only that, but the cake will be frozen and covered with ice cream so the actual flavor is not quite as important as when you are eating just a piece of cake.  And finally, boxed cakes are not all that bad in a pinch.  The combination of the cake and ice cream evoked feelings of a birthday party.  These are a super fun and festive treat.  Make them a part of your Fourth of July event!

Stay tuned next week for another Fourth of July recipe!

Red, White and Blue Ice Cream Cupcakes
Yield: 24 cupcakes

1 batch white cake batter*
Red and blue food coloring
1 batch vanilla bean ice cream (I used homemade, straight from the ice cream maker as it is very easy to top the cupcakes)
Fresh strawberry slices and fresh blueberries

*Note: A full recipe of cake batter could make a TON of these cupcakes.  I only made 24 because I don’t have more cupcake pans or room in my freezer for more, but you could make extra with the full batch of batter (or bake an extra cake layer for fun).  

Preheat oven and prepare white cake batter as directed.   Line two cupcake pans with foil liners.  Divide the cake batter into two separate bowls, coloring one half with red and one half with blue food coloring.  Drop approximately two tablespoons of batter into each cupcake liner so that you have 12 red and 12 blue cupcakes.  Bake in the preheated oven until the cake is baked through and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  (Baking time will depend on the cake recipe you use, but for me it was about 10-11 minutes.)  Allow to cool in the pans to room temperature.  Then freeze for 15-30 minutes. 

Once the cupcakes have frozen slightly, fill each cupcake liner to the top with vanilla ice cream.  Freeze until firm and ready to serve.  Just before serving, top the blue cupcakes with fresh strawberries and the red cupcakes with fresh blueberries.  

Source: Annie’s Eats, inspired by Joy the Baker