Cake Decorating

Ice Cream Cupcakes!

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Last Updated on 13th August 2021 by Vicki

Ice Cream Themed Cupcakes

Hi everyone, I am very excited to share with you all how to make these ice cream cupcakes. I first got the idea for these cupcakes when I made the Wilton buttercream recipe that uses shortening to substitute for some of the butter. This results in a much whiter buttercream which really reminded me of vanilla ice cream. I also recalled seeing cupcake cases that reminded me of ice cream tubs. My husband loves ice cream, particularly mint choc chip, so I decided to make them for his birthday. I have also included a video of me piping the buttercream swirl for the vanilla ice cream cupcake.

How I Made These Ice Cream Cupcakes


For the cupcakes to be more realistic I actually used food flavours extracts to flavour both the sponge and buttercream. This way the flavour was constant throughout. The cupcakes pictured above are vanilla, caramel and mint choc chip. The flavourings I used were Dr Oetker’s American Pepermint, Caramel Flavour and Vanilla Extract. I can’t wait to try other flavours such as strawberry and chocolate.

The Cupcakes

I made the cupcake batter using my normal recipe and then separated it into three bowls. I actually weighed the mixture to make sure I had an even amount. Usually I add 1tsp of vanilla extract to my cupcake batter, but this would be far too much for one third of the mixture. So I used my 1ml measuring spoon to add the flavourings.


As I mentioned earlier, for these cupcakes I used Wilton’s buttercream recipe. Just don’t add the vanilla extract as we need to add the flavourings later. The amount of buttercream this recipe makes was perfect for the 15 ice cream cupcakes which I made.

After I made the buttercream I then divided it three ways, just like I did with the cake batter. I then added 1ml of food flavouring to each and a small amount of gel food colouring at a time until I reached the desired colour. The gels I used to colour the cupcake mixture and buttercream were Colour Splash’s Soft Caramel and Pistachio (I will put a link at the bottom of this post so you can take a look at them if you want too). I then baked the cupcakes for the normal time.

Mint Choc Chip Buttercream

For the mint choc chip buttercream I just finely chopped up some chocolate and mixed it into the buttercream.

Crumb Coating

Once the cupcakes had cooled down I crumb coated the top of each one with it’s respective buttercream, so you couldn’t see any sponge at all.

Crumb coated cupcakes

I did this just in case my buttercream decoration didn’t cover all of the sponge. I wanted to make sure the cupcakes would look like ice creams so I ensured the buttercream completely covered the top to hide the sponge. This also acts as a seal preventing the cupcake from drying out.

Once I had crumb coated the cupcakes I placed the caramel and peppermint buttercream into air tight tubs and put them in the fridge for about 1 hour and 30 minutes. I used an ice cream scoop to decorate these cupcakes and found that chilled buttercream works best. As this buttercream is part shortening it doesn’t go rock hard in the fridge so you should be able to use the ice cream scoop without any problems.

Caramel Ice Cream Cupcake

Because my cupcake cases were quite small I found that a full scoop was too much, so I took some away and flattened it off with the back of a spoon before decorating the cupcakes.

Vanilla Ice Cream Swirl Cupcakes!

Obviously you don’t need to colour this buttercream. If you made your buttercream with the shortening it will already be much whiter in colour. However, after adding the vanilla extract I did want mine to be a little whiter, so I added icing whitener half a teaspoon at a time until it was white enough. You can get clear vanilla extract to prevent it effecting the colour of your buttercream, although I have never got round to getting some!

To pipe these vanilla ice cream swirls I used a 1M piping tip. Here is a video of me piping the buttercream swirl.

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Once your cupcakes are decorated with the buttercream you can then add your toppings. For these cupcakes I used cake sprinkles, chopped chocolate, melted chocolate and flakes. The flakes needed to be cut down slightly as they were too long. I also tried butterscotch syrup, but although it tasted amazing, it didn’t stay on top of the buttercream and just collected in pools around the outside.

The Finished Ice Cream Cupcakes

I really hope you enjoyed reading about how to make these ice cream cupcakes. Please follow me on any of my social media and tag me in a photo if you make some. I would really love to see them.

Below are affiliate links to some of the items that I used to make these ice cream cupcakes

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Ice Cream Themed Cupcakes

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