Ice cream cakes are a delicious dessert and can be even better when they come in a smaller, cuter cupcake size. This is party because you can actually be more creative with cupcakes than you can with full sized cakes, as my own Root Beer Float Cupcakes demonstrate because they work perfectly in a cupcake package. So, I was honored to be asked to judge Cupcake Project and Scoopalicious‘s 2011 Ice Cream Cupcake Contest, where I had to sort through 60 entries of over-the-top ice cream cupcakes to pick out my favorites.
All of the entries were fantastic, and I have to encourage you to check them all out (or at least most of them!) when you have a few spare moments or are looking for some inspiration for a summertime treat. As a judge, I had to pick out my top three cupcakes and they’re presented here in no particular order. My picks were based on the combination of flavors and the overall concept of the cake. Thanks to everyone who participated and thanks to Cupcake Project and Scoopalicious for asking me to judge, along with Jessie Oleson from CakeSpy, and Naomi Robinson from Bakers Royale. I only wish I could have made everyone a winner! Since I’m only one of three judges, the grand prize winner will be chosen out of the narrowed field of favorites by the end of the month.
My first pick is the S’mores Cupcake Ice Cream Sandwiches, pictured at the top of this post, made by by Stephanie of 52 Kitchen Adventures. I’m a big s’mores fan and thought that this combination was a very imventive way to combine s’mores and cupcakes. No traditional frosting here, but definitely a lot of flavor in a very easy-to-eat package.
Cake Flavor: Chocolate
Ice Cream Flavor: Marshmallow
Frosting Flavor: N/A
Toppings: Graham cracker crust
My next pick are the Take 6 cupcakes by Amber of Parsnips and Sprockets. These over-the-top cupcakes are inspired by the salty-sweet Take 5 candy bars. They’re quite the mouthful, as the cupcakes are piled high with flavorful ingredients. They’re also completely vegan!
Cake Flavor: Chocolate (made with ice cream)
Ice Cream Flavor: Vanilla
Frosting Flavor: Peanut Butter
Toppings: Pretzels, Peanuts, Caramel, Chocolate
My final pick are the Honey Hazelnut Cupcake with Gianduja Gelato by Vivian of Vivian Macaron. These cupcakes are a good choice for lovers of that classic chocolate-hazelnut spread, Nutella. The cupcakes have hazelnut in every homemade element of these cupcakes, as well as plenty of honey and chocolate augment the nutty hazelnut flavors. The homemade gianduja gelato is something that you might need to make two batches of: one for the cupcakes and one to eat!
Cake Flavor: Honey Hazelnut
Ice Cream Flavor: Gianduja (Chocolate Hazelnut) Gelato
Frosting Flavor: Chocolate Honey Ganache
Toppings: Toasted hazelnuts
I couldn’t resist throwing in two runners up. Ginger-Vanilla Cupcakes Filled with Pineapple Sorbet by Sara of Cupcake Muffin have a refreshing-sounding combination of flavors for anyone looking for a fruity and light ice cream cupcake. Chocolate Peanut Butter Sand Pails by Tara of Chip Chip Hooray! have a summery presentation, lots of chocolate and peanut butter, and use one of my favorite Ben and Jerry’s flavors – Milk & Cookies – as a filling.