Ice Cream Cupcake Surprise

Ice Cream Cupcake Surprise The Rowdy BakerIf this dessert doesn’t make your Valentine worship you, nothing will! Inside the chocolate coating is a serving of rich chocolate cake, cherry vanilla ice cream, and…(surprise) a chocolate covered cherry.

To make this extra-easy, by all means, use a cake mix and store bought chocolate shell! You could even (*gasp!*) buy a dozen cupcakes and scrape the icing off. But you know me; I have to play with my food…so I’ll give you my recipe for rich chocolate cake and homemade chocolate shell, just in case you choose to go all out and create these desserts from scratch.

You’ll need:

  • One 1.5 quart container of ice cream. (Don’t get me started on the shrinking ice-cream container conspiracy.) I used Cherry Vanilla. Yum!
  • 12 chocolate covered cherries
  • 12 chocolate cupcakes
  • 2 bottles (7.25 ounces each) of chocolate shell (or Magic Shell), usually found in the ice cream aisle. OR you can make your own – I’ll give you the recipe below.
  • sprinkles, if desired


It’s important not to overfill the cupcake liners, because a high dome won’t hold the ice cream well. Fill them just a tiny bit over half full. But if they dome too much, you can always level them later…and eat the scraps, of course.

Start with chocolate cupcakes. (And yes...the cake on the right has too much of a dome.) I shall have to operate!

Start with chocolate cupcakes. (And yes…the cake on the right has too much of a dome.) I shall have to operate!

This chocolate cake recipe makes 12 cupcakes. You may have a tiny bit of batter left, but not much.

Rich Chocolate Cupcakes
This is a small recipe, making approximately 12 cupcakes. You can easily double it. If you do, use 3 eggs.
  • 1¼ cups cake flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup oil (I use avocado or peanut oil)
  • ½ cup strong coffee
  • ½ cup buttermilk (I prefer a thick, Bulgarian buttermilk for this)
  • 1 egg
  1. Heat oven to 350 F. Place liners in cupcake pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cake flour, cocoa, sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the oil, coffee, and buttermilk.
  4. Gradually beat the liquids into the dry ingredients. Beat for 1 minute.
  5. Add the egg and beat just until it is completely incorporated.
  6. Fill cupcake liners just a little more than half full.
  7. Bake for approximately 18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of one cupcake.
  8. Allow cupcakes to cool on a rack for 10 minutes, and then lift them out onto the rack to finish cooling.


Cake ingredients

Cake ingredients

Fill liners just a little more than half full.

Fill liners just a little more than half full.

Remember, we're going for a subtle dome!

Remember, we’re going for a subtle dome!

Now – to assemble the cupcakes:

Slice a thin piece off the top of each cupcake, to level it.

Let your ice cream soften a bit, and then press a chocolate covered cherry round side down into a scoop of softened ice cream. If the ice cream is too firm, you can use a spoon to make a hole for the candy.

Sink a cherry into softened ice cream, round side down.

Sink a cherry into softened ice cream, round side down.

Drop scoops of ice cream (and embedded cherry) onto frozen cupcakes and smooth with a table knife.

Drop ice cream onto cupcake and smooth with a knife.

Drop ice cream onto cupcake and smooth with a knife.

Place cupcakes in the freezer for at least 3 hours.

You saw that, right? Don’t skip that step, or your ice cream will fall off into the coating!

Shake one bottle of chocolate shell thoroughly and pour contents into a small bowl. One by one, dip the cupcakes into the chocolate, all the way to the wrapper. Allow excess to drip off, place on a tray or baking sheet, and decorate with sprinkles.

You’ll need one whole bottle and part of the second. Or…if you want to make your own shell:

10 ounces of good quality dark chocolate
2 level tablespoons coconut oil (I use expeller pressed so it doesn’t taste like coconut.)

Break chocolate into small pieces. In a cup or small bowl in the microwave (or in small pan on the stove) slowly melt chocolate and coconut oil together. It’s important to melt it very slowly at low heat. Stir well.

Dip frozen cupcakes and ice cream into chocolate shell mixture.

Dip frozen cupcakes and ice cream into chocolate shell mixture.


frozen goodness!

Once the coating has hardened, pop the cupcakes back into the freezer until ready to serve. If you will be keeping them in the freezer for more than a few hours, cover them with foil.

Ice Cream Cupcake Surprise The Rowdy Baker

This would be such an easy recipe to adapt for other holidays. Exchange the cherry for a mint truffle and mint ice cream for St. Patrick’s Day, or a peppermint truffle and peppermint ice cream for Christmas. I’d suggest a small Cadbury Cream Egg for Easter, but….euwwww. Anyhow, you get the idea.

Everyone loves ice cream cakes, but they’re awfully messy to cut and serve. Individual cakes are the way to go!



2 thoughts on “Ice Cream Cupcake Surprise

  1. A dream recipe! Easy to eat, portable ice cream cake! And hiding a chocolate-covered cherry inside, well, have I told you recently that you’re a genius?

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