Red, White & Blue Ice Cream Cupcakes

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

33 Responses

  1. This bake is so pretty

  2. These are so cute!!! The vibrant colors are so festive. Although I love the traditional flag cake, I’d like to branch out and make something else this year. I love boxed cake mixes by the way 🙂

  3. That is such a cool idea! They look so good!

  4. Annie, these are adorable! What a great idea!

  5. So cute!!!

  6. those are beautiful and so great for that holiday!

  7. I LOVE these! I hope I can find time to make them for the 4th! Even if I can’t make them, I’ll be sharing your recipe on our blog!

  8. love them! they are so cheerful!!

  9. Those wonderful! I like how you arranged the fruit on top! So creative!

    Happy Friday!

  10. Seriously cute! Not a huge fan of cupcakes, but this combines my faves. My 3 yo son would love these!

  11. Looks delicious and so festive!

  12. Oh these are beautiful! And yes, a box cake can come in rather handy, especially when (like you said) there are so many other steps (and it’s so danged hot outside!). Gorgeous!

  13. These are beyond adorable! What a perfect summer treat!

  14. I am soooo tempted to make these.

    Thanks for sharing all these recipes. I feel like your my go to source for new recipes to try.

  15. adorable and patriotic! love it!

  16. These are great!!! You took my two favorite things, ice cream and cake and put them together – quite genius!!! Love it!!!

  17. […] Red, White & Blue Ice Cream Cupcakes from Annie’s […]

  18. I’m such a lurker on here! I think this is my first comment, but I’ve been a reader for a long time now! I’ve just really been enjoying all your culinary adventures, but these are too cute for words! I’m having a small bbq and I may need to give these a try!

    I love your new header btw!

  19. These are SO cute – nice job!

  20. […] What to cook this weekend: Celebrate the 4th of July early with these red, white, and blue ice cream cupcakes. […]

  21. Hey, Annie, this is Jaclyn from What’s Cooking (MrsSRH) – I haven’t been on WC in about 9 months because I got a job that has been just crazy, but I just started a blog! I’m at – would you mind if I linked to Annie’s Eats on my blogroll? I love your blog and read it all the time, but wouldn’t want to link to it without your permission. Thanks so much!

    • Hey Jaclyn!
      Absolutely you are welcome to link my blog. I am so glad that you enjoy it, and am happy you want to share it with others!
      🙂 Annie

  22. These sound delicious and look beautiful.

  23. Hi Annie, I’m going to attempt these for our BBQ this w/e. How much food coloring goes into each batch? They look great!


    • Hi Lorie!
      Good luck, these cupcakes are so fun! I didn’t measure the amount of food coloring. You really just add it until the batter is the color you are going for. I did notice that the blue required a lot more coloring than the red. Also, be sure to use actual food color and not icing color since that does not come out right after baking.
      🙂 Annie

  24. Thanks for your response and for the tip! I think I have some red food coloring leftover from red velvet cupcakes….so I assume that its food coloring, but I will double check!

  25. […] from […]

  26. These are fantastic! I’ll be linking.

  27. Is there a trick to getting the strawberry slices to stand up? I guess I will have to let the ice cream get a little bit softer to decorate? So far, no luck.

    • Hi Teresa,
      No, there is no special trick. I didn’t have much trouble getting my strawberry slices to stand up. I used homemade ice cream, which is softer by nature though so maybe that was it. They certainly don’t have to stand up to look pretty. You can just lay a slice on top as I did here or you could fan a few slices out on top in a starburst pattern. Good luck!
      🙂 Annie

  28. Really lovely tribute to the Fourth!

  29. I saw the same article. There were so many options and I love that you picked the Manchego cheese option. I love Manchego. What a cute post for the holiday. Looks great : )

  30. I made these for a 4th of July picnic and they were a hit. It was so hot and the cupcakes were a perfect combination of cake and ice cream in one neat package. Everyone loved them especially the kids.

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