4th of July Cones. Is That Ice Cream? My Ice Cream Cone Impostors!
I’ve had a lot of emails, posts, and friends asking me to start incorporating recipes that can be made using box mixes and store bought goods. I understand that not everyone wants to bake from scratch, let alone has the time. I also understand, that you still want to present cute desserts and treats. I have nothing against boxed cake mixes, in fact, I usually have some in my house for projects such as this one. My children can totally tell the difference between boxed mix and a homemade cake (no lie), but that doesn’t mean they won’t eat it. And I’ve heard from time to time that some people actually prefer the flavor of some cake mixes over homemade.
There are so many varieties of boxed cake mix and a lot of them have pudding in the ingredients, which y’all know is huge in my baking arsenal. In this fun and patriotic post, I figured I would get y’all excited about the 4th of July! Seriously, it’s right around the corner people. The neighborhoods will be swarming with block parties and parks filled with family picnics before we even know it. I was trying to drain my brain and think, hmm…what is tasty, portable, pretty and won’t melt. I mean com’on, most kids LOVE LOVE LOVE giant ice cream cones, but in reality-ice cream cones and small children at a public event in the hot sun is a recipe for disaster (I should own stock in wet wipes).
Keeping in mind that you requested simplicity, yet cute, I went ahead and made my impostor ice cream cones. These are really fun, easy, and pretty. They can be made with boxed cake mix and store bought frosting if you chose. However, I am not big on canned frosting, so I made my own creamy vanilla buttercream recipe. By ALL means though, if store bought frosting is your jam, then go for it 🙂
You have choices in this treat, you can swirl the cakes together and go for a psychedelic ice cream cone or just have simple red, white, and blue cones. And if you want to get real snazzy, buy some pretzel rods so this will act as your center stabilizer and stack a few scoops on top of each other. The best part of this project is you can also hide M&Ms or Skittles in the cone so after the cake pops are gone, the kids can have a sugar overload!
Ice Cream Cone Impostors
Yields: This will yield at least 24 good size single scoop cones
2 boxes of white cake mix
1 box of strawberry cake mix
1 large box of ice cream cones
buttercream frosting, I used my own recipe (But if you choose to buy store bought frosting be sure to have 4 & 1/2 cups of that stuff)
Red food coloring, I use a gel that you can pick up in craft or cake supply stores
Blue food coloring, again head to the craft store. (gels give you a deeper color and don’t add additional liquid to your batter, which can mess with your cake chemistry)
1. Preheat oven according to cake mix box instructions. I baked mine in 13×9 pans, sprayed well with nonstick baking spray.
2. Prepare the 2 white cake mixes first (I add an additional 2 tsp of clear vanilla extract to each for more flavor). Each one in a separate bowl. Do not combine these. When they are both mixed thoroughly, add a few drops of blue food coloring to one of the white batter bowls. Mix well and add color until you get the color you achieve.
3. Bake according to directions. Allow to cool. If you need one of these pans to bake the 3rd cake, empty out the hot cake into a bowl (we are going to smash it anyways).
4. Prepare the strawberry cake mix according to the box. When it is thoroughly mixed, add in a few drops of the red food coloring. Pour into the pan and bake accordingly.
5. While your cakes are cooling so you can handle them, prepare frosting (if you are making my recipe).
Luscious Vanilla Buttercream
1 cup salted butter, softened
1 cup vegetable shortening
4-6 cups of powdered sugar (depends on the thickness of the frosting you prefer)
1 tbsp clear imitation vanilla (I love McCormicks brand)
1. In a mixer beat butter and shortening until smooth and fluffy.
2. Mix in vanilla.
3. Slowly stir in powdered sugar one cup at a time until it is the desired consistency. I only add 4 cups. I like a more creamy and not overly sweet frosting.
Assembly of Ice Cream Cone Impostors:
1. Take your cooled cakes and crumble each color in separate bowls. It’s about to get really messy. Just break those cakes into crumbs.
2. Add 1 cup of vanilla buttercream to each bowl. Or your store bought frosting. Start with 1 cup.
3. Using your hands and one colored cake bowl at a time. Squeeze and mix the cake and frosting together with your fingers and hands. You want it to be the consistency of play dough and it should very easily form a ball after mixed well. If it isn’t holding form add more frosting 1/4 cup at a time. Set aside.
4. Do this messy mixing for each one of the colors. Be sure to wash your hands in between cake colors.
5. After all the cakes are mixed with the frosting and formable, pull out your ice cream cones. Chose a color of cake or candy to fill the base of the cone. So it won’t fall over.
6. Here’s your decision, do you want to swirl the cake colors or just leave them separate? Or do a few plain reds, whites, and blues, and then swirl the rest! If you are swirling, gently mix all 3 colors in a bowl, leaving lumps of color here and there. That way we won’t over mix the colors and end up with purple. 🙁
7. Take an ice cream scoop that will fit the size of your cones appropriately and scoop out a full scoop of cake dough. Place on the filled cone.
Now pat yourself on the back, you did it! Super cute and really tasty. These are also fun to do with just chocolate cake, the first time I made them the girls thought they were getting real ice cream!!!