Sweet vanilla ice cream cone cupcakes topped with a big Mr Whippy swirl of condensed milk buttercream.
Rupert Grint, who plays Ron in Harry Potter, always had a dream to become an ice-cream man so, as soon as he passed his driving test, he went out and bought himself a van. Now he keeps it well stocked, handing out free cones and lollies to children that look like they might need an ice cream!
This is the sort of dream I can really get behind. I would love to have my own ice cream van. I’m not sure if I would take it out anywhere, or i’d just park it up outside my house to serve up Mr Whippys anytime anyone came around. It would probably be one of those gorgeous vintage vans you see around cities like York or Edinburgh, and i’d paint it in faded summer pastel pink or blue. This isn’t a dream Andy knows about yet, i’m not sure he’ll approve!
There was no ice cream van driving around where we grew up, the only time one would come to our little village was for the summer fete each year. Parked up on the village green, long queue snaking across the grass doing a roaring trade in rocket lollies, screwballs and 99 flakes.
The streets around my Grandma’s house had an ice cream van. I remember the excitement of hearing the music start to play, those tinny, cheery nursery rhymes. I’m not sure I was ever actually taken out to buy anything from the van, but the hearing it drive around was exciting in itself.
One place where I definatly was allowed to get an ice cream was the seaside. Always the big debate between a lolly or a cone, followed by the inevitable decision to plump for a cone, a double if you’re lucky, with a flake and perhaps a bit of sickly strawberry sauce. You can’t go to the seaside without getting an ice cream to melt down the cone and onto your fingers.
When I was older I was once left outside a cinema by a boy who claimed he had to run off to pick up his Nan’s ice cream van. At the time I thought it was the worst brush off ever. It was only years later I discovered it was true.
Now, in Hong Kong, our resident ice cream van is Mobile Softy. The little vans are red and blue and only stock 4 items. My favourite, naturally, is the signature cone, a few swirls of soft ice cream on a crunchy, biscuity cone. One parks up on the waterfront near our house, and every so often we’ll treat ourselves.
These cupcakes are a nod to all those ice cream cone memories.
The sweet vanilla cupcakes are baked directly into a wafer cone. The cone stays crunchy in the oven, providing a lovely contrast in texture with the soft sponge.
The butter cream is made with condensed milk and is sweet and creamy. The cupcakes are sweet in that way that reminds you of childhood. If you find the taste of condensed milk really too sweet for you leave it out of the butter cream recipe.
Stick in a flake to top things off and enjoy the nostalgia!
Vanilla and Condensed Milk Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes
for the cakes
120g caster sugar
120g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 flat bottomed wafer cones
4 tablespoons condensed milk
for the icing
200g icing sugar, sifted
4 tablespoons condensed milk
1 1/2 vanilla extract
2 flake chocolate bars
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and smooth.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder.
Add one egg to the butter and sugar, along with half the flour. Mix until combined.
Repeat with the second egg and the remaining flour.
Stir in the vanilla extract and the condensed milk.
Divide the mixture between the 8 cones. Each cone should be about half filled.
Bake for about 20 minutes, until the cake is risen and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Once cool, make your buttercream.
Cream the butter until soft and smooth. Sift in the icing sugar, and beat into the butter along with the vanilla extract, condensed milk and salt. Pipe onto the cupcakes.
Cut the flakes into quarters. Gently push a quarter of a flake into the buttercream of each cake. Decorate with sprinkles, or a swirl or strawberry sauce.