With a cookie crust, strawberry ice cream middle, and fudge and whipped cream topping, these little Chocolate Strawberry Ice Cream Cupcakes are the best summer party treats!
It may be back to school time in some parts of the country, but I'm fully adamant in my belief that school shouldn't start until September. But even if it starts in August, can we please still try to remain in summer mode for as long as possible?
August is still a ridiculously hot month in much of the U.S. and summer is still very much in full swing. Summer produce is flourishing and the amount of ice cream you're consuming should be, too.
One more delicious way you can enjoy ice cream? Ice cream cake cupcakes. I love these little treats as a fun alternative to ice cream cake. They're a bit more manageable, easy to make, and totally appropriate for any occasion.
Even if that occasion is sitting on your couch in the AC watching Netflix. Hey, I think we all deserve a little something extra fun as summer winds down.
🧁 What are ice cream cake cupcakes?
I had a little bit of trouble deciding what to call these. At first, I called them ice cream cupcakes. But upon doing some research, I found that ice cream cupcakes generally refers to actual cupcakes baked into ice cream cones (AKA ice cream cone cupcakes). Delicious and so cute, but there isn't any cake to be found in these particular cupcakes.
Then, I thought about mini ice cream cakes and really, that's what these are. But I love that they actually look like little cupcakes. So, I am calling them ice cream cake cupcakes instead.
Like I mentioned, there's no cake or baking involved in this dessert- it's just ice cream with a cookie crust, hot fudge sauce, and whipped cream.
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
If you love ice cream cake, you will love ice cream cake cupcakes, too! They're basically mini ice cream cakes that are decorated to look like little cupcakes.
You can make all of the individual components homemade if you want (I show you how in this post) or you can buy a lot of them from the store, making these little ice cream cakes SO easy!
These are such fun treats to bring to birthday parties, summer parties, or just to celebrate the fact that it's still ice cream season.
These ice cream cupcakes are pretty easy to make, but do require a few steps. Below is what you need for each of the component, but be sure to check out the recipe card at the bottom of this post for ingredient amounts and full recipe directions:
Cookie crust: The Oreo crust bottoms are super simple and just consist
- Oreo cookies
- Unsalted butter
Strawberry Ice cream: I opted to use store-bought strawberry ice cream here, but you can certainly go a step further and make your own. Here's a great strawberry ice cream recipe.
Chocolate fudge sauce: I chose to make my own homemade chocolate fudge, but you can definitely buy it from the store if you want to make things easier. If you make your own, you'll need:
- Heavy cream
- Light corn syrup
- Dark brown sugar
- Cocoa powder
- Bittersweet chocolate
- Unsalted butter
- Vanilla extract
Whipped cream: I also chose to make my own whipped cream, but store-bought works, too! Here's what you need for homemade:
- Heavy cream
- Confectioners' sugar
- Vanilla extract
Toppings: To top your mini ice cream cakes, I recommend:
- Small strawberries
🍪 How to make Oreo cookie crust
I love a good simple Oreo cookie crust and this one couldn't be easier to make.
Simply, put Oreo cookies in a food processor or blender process until fine crumbs are formed. Add butter and pulse a few more times to bring mixture together.
If you don't have a food processor or blender, you can always crush your cookies in a bag and then transfer to a bowl to mix in butter.
Divide cookie crumbs evenly between 12 cupcake liners in a cupcake pan and press down to tightly pack cookie crumbs. Place cupcake tin in freezer for about 15 minutes.
🍦 Adding ice cream layer
While the cupcake tin is in the freezer, you should take your ice cream out of the freezer so it can soften a bit. You don't want it to be soupy/liquidy, but do want it to be soft enough to easily scoop and smooth out over the cookie crumbs.
Fill cupcake papers almost all the way to the top with the ice cream and smooth out the tops. Pop back in the freezer for another 30 minutes.
🍫 How to make homemade chocolate fudge
I love a good homemade chocolate fudge, but if you want to make these ice cream cupcakes even easier, you can completely skip this step and purchase a store-bought fudge sauce. However, I warn you that once you try this homemade version, you'll want to have a jar of it in your fridge at all times!
Add heavy cream, corn syrup, dark brown sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and half of the chopped chocolate to a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.
Lower heat to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove saucepan from heat and stir in the remaining chopped chocolate, butter, and vanilla, until smooth. Let fudge sauce cool for about 20 minutes, so it can thicken more.
If you make your fudge sauce in advance and it cools so much that it gets hard, you might need to put it in the microwave for about 30 seconds to soften it.
Then, spoon about 1 ½ Tbsp over the tops of the cupcake and smooth as best as you can. Place back in the freezer for another 30 minutes.
👩🍳 How to make homemade whipped cream
And the finishing touch? Homemade whipped cream! Again, I love homemade best, but another shortcut you can make is to simply use canned whipped cream.
If you're making your own, just beat together heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 4-5 minutes.
I like to pipe my whipped cream on with a piping bag right before serving these ice cream cupcakes, but it should also hold its shape when frozen. Just make sure you have enough room in your freezer to account for the height of the whipped cream.
Get yourself some fun rainbow sprinkles for these ice cream cupcakes! Because if anything deserves fun sprinkles, it's these little treats. I got these ones and pretty much all my sprinkles from Sweetapolita and can't recommend her sprinkles enough!
I also chose to top the delicious frozen treats with little strawberries. I almost dipped them in chocolate, but decided to show off their vibrant red color instead.
How cute are these? They're like little ice cream sundaes in handheld form!
🎉 Flavor variations
I love the chocolate strawberry flavor of these ice cream cake cupcakes, but there are obviously a million different flavor variations you could make. Here are a few fun ideas:
- Use Golden Oreo cookies or another flavor or cookie of your choice for the crust.
- Use whatever kind of ice cream your heart desires (vanilla ice cream and chocolate ice cream are always favorites, but you can also use dairy-free ice cream if you prefer).
- Vary toppings depending on choice, including coconut, chocolate chips, nuts, fruit, cereal, etc. Top with any fruit or a maraschino cherry!
- Instead of using chocolate fudge for topping, use caramel, butterscotch, marshmallow, or peanut butter sauce.
I already have quite a few ideas for future ice cream cupcakes I want to make, including a few Christmas, Halloween, and Valentine's Day versions!
These chocolate strawberry ice cream cake cupcakes are such a fun summer party dessert and will be a huge hit with any crowd.
I do love a good ice cream cake, but I absolutely hate cutting them into slices. You can't cut them right out of the freezer as they're too hard, but then if you wait too long they start melting all over the place.
These little desserts easily pop right out of the cupcake papers and can be enjoyed immediately. Plus, they're great for socially distanced summer gatherings where everyone wants to grab their own mini dessert instead of sharing from a communal cake.
But you certainly don't have to be attending a summer party to enjoy an ice cream cupcake. With store-bought ice cream, these are so easy to make that they're simply a fun dessert for a weeknight at home.
⏲️ How to store
Once the mini ice cream cakes have chilled in your freezer for a bit, you can remove them from the cupcake tin and store in a large plastic bag to cut down on how much space they take up in your freezer.
However, you may want to leave the fresh strawberry off if you're planning to keep these in the freezer for a while.
Though they probably won't last very long anyway... Once you try one of these ice cream cake cupcakes, you're going to want another one...
And since they're mini, you're going to totally justify why it's OK to have more than one (seriously, one of these is smaller than a slice of ice cream cake!).
🍨 More summer ice creams
I believe your freezer should be fully stocked with ice cream and ice cream treats throughout the entire summer (we can discuss my feelings on fall and holiday ice cream when the time comes).
If you need some help making sure your freezer is fully stocked, check out some of my favorite summer ice cream recipes:
Don't forget, summer doesn't end until the end of September!
Are you a fan of ice cream cake?
Chocolate Strawberry Ice Cream Cake Cupcakes
- 14 Oreo cookies
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- ¾ quart strawberry ice cream
- Fudge sauce, recipe below (or store-bought)
- Whipped cream, recipe below (or store-bought)
- Sprinkles, for topping
- Small strawberries, for topping (optional)
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ⅓ cup light corn syrup
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 ½ Tbsp confectioners' sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Line 12-cavity cupcake tin with cupcake papers.
- Place Oreo cookies in a food processor or blender process until fine crumbs are formed. Add butter and pulse a few more times to bring mixture together.
- Divide cookie crumbs evenly between 12 cupcake papers and press down to tightly pack cookie crumbs. Place cupcake tin in freezer for about 15 minutes.
- While cookie crusts are chilling, remove ice cream from freezer and let it soften for about 15 minutes. Add a scoop of softened ice cream over each cookie crust, filling cupcake papers almost to the top. Using the ice cream scoop, gently press down and smooth the tops. Place cupcake tin in freezer for at least 30 minutes.
- Spoon about 1 ½ Tbsp of fudge sauce over the top of the ice cream, smoothing the top as best you can (if your fudge sauce has hardened too much to spoon, you can place it in the microwave for 30 seconds to soften it). Place cupcake tin in freezer for another 30 minutes.
- Pipe a little whipped cream over each ice cream cupcake. You can do this immediately before serving or right after the fudge has hardened as whipped cream should hold its shape when frozen (just make sure you have room in your freezer to chill with the height of the whipped cream). Top with sprinkles and little strawberries, if desired.
- Add cream, corn syrup, brown sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and half of the chopped chocolate to a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.
- Lower heat to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove saucepan from heat and stir in the remaining chopped chocolate, butter, and vanilla, until smooth. Let fudge sauce cool for about 20 minutes, so it can thicken more. If making ahead of time, store fudge sauce in the fridge.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment or in a medium bowl with a hand mixer, beat together heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 4-5 minutes. If not using immediately, store in fridge.
- Fudge sauce recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker