I’ve reached the stage of my life where the number of friends with kids outweighs the number of friends without kids. There are many reasons that I enjoy this new reality, including being able to play with my friends’ children, load them up with sugar and then give the children back to them and get a good night’s sleep. However, the best part is having a new audience for my baked goods.Since my palate is closer to a 5 year old than a 30 year old, Sometimes Healthy baking is generally quite popular with this crowd.
A couple weeks ago, the BF, me and the dog met up with some of his college friends and their children for a day of kid-friendly fun and reminiscing about the good ‘ol days. Of course, I was quick to raise my hand to volunteer for dessert!
And, come Saturday morning, I was up at 7 am to begin a baking extravaganza. The end result garnered the highest cooking praise I’ve ever received: “This cupcake was really nostalgic!
While I do feel taste is important, when food can transform you to a different place or time, that’s something special. For example, when I eat Mexican food, I never choose the high-end restaurants – I choose the restaurants that have an authentic flavor that takes me back to the summer I studied abroad in Mexico. So, when someone calls my food nostalgic, it’s as good as five stars in my book.
When I saw this this recipe for Neapolitan Cupcakes with Ice Cream Frosting on Courtney’s blog, I knew I had found the perfect crowd-pleaser for kids and adults alike. My Sometimes Healthy twist? I baked them in colorful cupcake cones and topped it all off with cherries and sprinkles.
Here’s the recipe, complete with suggestions for how to healthify
Neapolitan Cupcake Cones with Ice Cream Frosting
(adapted from Sweet Tooth Sweet Life)
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Ingredients: (makes 12 cupcake cones)
For Cake –
- 1 box Betty Crocker Yellow Cake Mix (or similar)
- 3 eggs, 1 1/3 cup water, 1/3 cup vegetable oil (for cake mix)
- 1-2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup strawberry preserves
- 1 oz. melted semi-sweet chocolate
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
OR (to Healthify)
- Substitute 3 egg beaters and 1/3 cup applesauce for eggs and oil
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 4 oz, cream cheese, softened
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup vanilla ice cream
- 2-4 tbsp 2% milk
- 3-1/2 cups confectioners sugar
*Don’t healthify the frosting – it’s too delicious.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cake mix as instructed.
- Divide batter equally into three bowls with about 1 1/2 cups of batter in each.
- For vanilla layer: add about 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract (I happen to love vanilla so I added about 4).
- For Strawberry Layer: Add 1/2 cup of strawberry preserves and a bit of red food coloring (just stir away until the batter reaches that strawberry pink color).
- For Chocolate Layer: Add 1 oz. slightly cooled melted semi-sweet chocolate and 1 tbsp of cocoa powder.
- Place 12 cones in a cupcake pan and add about 1 tbsp of each batter into the cones, layering as you go. I varied the layers that were on top, because I wanted a chance for each layer to “shine!”
- Bake for about 20 minutes until you can insert a fork cleaning into the middle.
- As your cupcakes bake, prepare the frosting: Allow 1/4 cup of ice cream to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Beat butter and cream cheese with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and mix to combine. Gradually add powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Mix in ice cream and gradually add milk until you reach your desired consistency.
These cupcakes require a little extra love, but the end result is worth it. I think the adults at the party may have enjoyed them more than the kids! I must also highlight the frosting, which tastes just like vanilla ice cream (I used Häagen-Dazs). This was the brainchild of Courtney, and I must say, it’s genius! No wonder her blog is named Sweet Tooth Sweet Life.
The frosting was so delicious that one of the children asked for more frosting to top the rest of his cupcake. As I graciously prepared to hand over the tub, his parents intervened and informed me that I was more than welcome to give him additional frosting…as long as I didn’t mind staying up with him all night. Oops. Parenting fail.
The success of this treat got me thinking about other types of ice cream cupcakes. Wouldn’t it be interesting to take all of our favorite ice creams and make them into cookies and cupcakes? I have the sudden urge to bake up a Chubby Hubby cupcake…or perhaps Phish Food!
In other cupcake news, I’m headed to a CUPCAKE FESTIVAL this weekend. Be prepared for an epic recap. Happy Weekend Everyone!
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Should I bake a Ben and Jerry’s cupcake? If so, what flavor do you suggest?
What do you eat when you’re looking for a little bit of “food nostalgia?”
Besides these cupcakes, my choice nostalgia foods are Pop-Tarts and Goldfish. When I was little, the best way to make me happy (in other words to make me shut up) was to warm up a Smores Pop-Tart.