Here they are, in no particular order.
I could still be obsessed with hazelnuts after making the Nutella Scones a few weeks back, but these Honey Hazelnut Cupcakes with Gianduja Gelato caught my attention right away. The presentation, with just a few hazelnuts nestled in the middle of the carefully placed chocolate honey ganache, is just beautiful. The finished cupcake is simple and classy. Admire it at Vivian Macaroon.
These Chocolate Peanut Butter Sand Pail Cupcakes are adorable, and they look just like their namesake. They're by Chip Chip Hooray, and they feature chocolate peanut butter cupcakes (my FAVORITE combination), Milk 'n Cookies ice cream and a peanut butter buttercream. They're topped with some crumbled brown sugar (doesn't it look just like sand?). The handle on the side just seals the deal. I think these would be perfect for a birthday party by the beach.
After the best s'mores of my life while canoeing recently, I just couldn't pass up these s'mores cupcake ice cream sandwiches. They're stuffed with marshmallow ice cream. They've got graham cracker crusts on the top and bottom. And they've got a layer of chocolate cupcake. Divine. Thank you, 52 Kitchen Adventures, for making me so, so hungry.
These Take 6 cupcakes, inspired by the Take 5 candy bar, are a delicious creation by Parsnips and Sprockets. The bottom layer is a chocolate cupcake. It's topped with peanut butter frosting, vanilla ice cream, pretzels, peanuts, a homemade caramel sauce, chocolate shell AND chocolate dipped pretzel. Not only are they absolutely adorable, they're also vegan and completely homemade! Visit Amber's blog for a handful of other ideas of how to arrange the layers to create beautiful ice cream cupcakes.
I had to include at least one cupcake that was chocolate free (have you noticed a trend?), and this Lemon Almond Love cupcake from Young Idealistic Baker caught my eye. She made a lemon-almond cupcake, filled it with lemon curd and a homemade almond ice cream, topped it with an almond butter cream frosting, and placed the most creative flower I've ever seen on top. The flower is made out of thinly sliced almonds, carefully placed around like petals, with a sprinkle flower center. And, she had such a creative cupcake sampling process. I think I'll have to recruit volunteers to do that next year!
This Meringue Gelato cupcake by The Insomniac Baker was one of the first entries posted for this year's Ice Cream Cupcake Contest, and it's stuck with me ever since. Alisa describes it as "a very light cupcake with a darkly seductive taste." It's two angel food cupcakes, sandwiching a homemade meringue gelato (with real, crushed meringues inside it!), topped with a swiss buttercream frosting, and finished with a cute meringue hat. They were for her brother's birthday (the lucky duck). With a presentation like this, I can overlook the omission of chocolate.
Visit Cupcake Project on Facebook to view all the entries. Which ice cream cupcakes are your favorite?