This week the humidity finally broke, meaning mornings and nights were once again bearable for baking. To take advantage, and because I had promised a friend I’d bring dessert to dinner on Friday (hi, Josh!), I decided to make something from my pre-blog life that I was actually astonished I hadn’t posted before: Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes.
These cupcakes were a team dinner staple at the Baran household in high school (hi, Jen!), and I always had at least two. I made them once or twice in college, but college was pre-SMiLes by Meg, and I have no idea why it never occurred to me to put them on. Maybe because the traditional version uses boxed Funfetti cake mix and I was under the impression that you couldn’t recreate Funfetti from scratch, or at least do it in any sort of satisfactory way. Turns out that impression was wrong – this week’s recipe accomplishes everything you want when you reach for that boxed cake mix, even if it takes just a bit more work.
I did a bit of combining different recipes to come up with the end result here, reaching for the Magnolia Bakery cookbook (I wanted a standard cake base, and their recipes have never disappointed me), Sally’s Baking Addiction (a blog I trust whenever I find a relevant recipe), and good old Pinterest (where I knew ice cream cone cupcakes would be found in abundance). The white cake recipe from Magnolia’s is the star here, light and fluffy and a perfect backdrop for colorful sprinkles, while Sally tipped me off to how you get those little bursts of color, and the Pinterest hive mind answered my questions on timing and proportions.
First, make the white cake base. I halved the recipe in the cookbook, thinking it would make no more than a dozen cupcakes, but wound up with about 20. If you’re in Cambridge, please come eat them. 20 cupcakes is not a good number of cupcakes for 3 people stressed about Bar studying.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until smooth. With the mixer running, add sugar gradually and continue beating until light and fluffy. Add the flour in three additions, alternating with the milk and vanilla, and beating well after each addition. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites on high speed with a hand mixer until soft peaks form. This is when it comes in handy to have both a stand mixer and a hand mixer – I had been planning on getting rid of my hand mixer when I moved into my new apartment, but no longer think I’m going to make that mistake. Fold the egg whites gently into the cake batter until streaky. Then, very gently fold in the rainbow sprinkles. Had I known that the secret to Funfetti cake was just rainbow sprinkles, I would have been making way more Funfetti baked goods up until this point in my life. Place the cake cones in a muffin tin. Fill each about 2/3 full with batter. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the top comes out clean. Remove from oven and transfer to wire rack to cool completely. For the frosting, I just made a standard vanilla buttercream. Start by putting the butter, 2 cups of sugar, milk, and vanilla in the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed, adding more sugar until frosting reaches the right consistency. I used one whole box of confectioners sugar. Frost cupcakes and decorate with rainbow sprinkles of your choice. If you aren’t going to eat them immediately, I’d store the unfrosted cupcakes in one tupperware and keep the frosting in the fridge.
Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup self-rising flour
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 egg whites
- 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles
- 2 dozen flat-bottomed cake cones
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 pound confectioners sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth.
- With mixer running, gradually add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
- Add flour in three additions, alternating with milk and vanilla extract, and beating well after each addition.
- In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with a hand mixer on high speed until soft peaks form.
- Fold egg whites into batter with a rubber spatula until batter is streaky.
- Gently fold in rainbow sprinkles.
- Place cones in cups of a muffin tin. Fill each cone about 2/3 full with batter. Bake at 350°F for about 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.
- Place butter, 2 cups of confectioners sugar, milk, and vanilla extract in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until combined.
- Slowly add remaining sugar until frosting reaches desired consistency.
- Ice cupcakes and sprinkle with rainbow nonpareils.