I’ve been wanting to make ice cream cupcakes all summer long. I just haven’t ever found the time. Until three days ago, when I finally had enough time to bake some little half-cakes, freeze, cover with ice cream, freeze, top with hard chocolate “magic shell,” take a bite…and fall in love. But these aren’t just any ice cream cupcakes – they’re flourless chocolate sorbet cupcakes!
Many health-conscious people have certain dietary restrictions such as eating vegan or gluten free. Some have health reasons not to eat dairy or gluten. In recognition of this, here is a dessert recipe that is vegan-friendly, dairy-free for the lactose intolerant, and gluten free for the gluten intolerant. I didn’t buy too many special ingredients, so maybe a few replacements would have to be made depending how strict your dietary restrictions are (ex. the type of chocolate I used probably had dairy in it. But it would also work with another type of dairy-free chocolate.) So this is just a basic recipe to show that it can, in theory, be done: a vegan and gluten-free version of ice cream cupcakes. And it’s budget-friendly as well since no $20 flours had to be imported from France as can get to be the case with many gluten free baked goods.
My mom described these cupcakes as “messy, but worth it.” The chocolate cake base is fudgey and gooey, so I recommend using a spoon to eat these little treats. The blood orange sorbet is a great contrast to the chocolate cake and “magic” chocolatey shell on top. An interesting and layered dessert, these cupcakes are also under 160 calories each.
I couldn’t have done this without the help of several sites: What Jew Wanna Eat helped me with the flourless cake, Cupcake Project provided me with guidelines for how to put together ice cream cupcakes, and last but not least, I got the chocolate “magic shell” recipe from 52 Kitchen Adventures. Thanks, everyone!
Blood Orange Chocolate Sorbet Cupcakes
makes 12 servings
for flourless cake
- 2 oz chocolate (I used 1/4 cup Guittard semisweet chocolate chips, which are probably not vegan. Use a chocolate of your choice!)
- 2 tbls Peanut Butter & Co. brand Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter
- 1 tbl warm water
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s brand Special Dark, again not sure if it’s vegan or gluten free. Use whatever brand your dietary restrictions and tastes permit.)
- 1 tbl Smucker’s brand “simply fruit” apricot jam
- 1/4 cup organic light agave syrup
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 container Tree Top brand unsweetened applesauce
for the “ice cream” part
- 2 cups Ciao Bella brand blood orange sorbet
for hard shell
- 7 oz chocolate (I used 1 cup chocolate chips)
- 2 tbls Earth Balance (original recipe used coconut oil)
To make flourless chocolate cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners.
Place chocolate and peanut butter in saucepan. Heat to medium. Add warm water to help it melt and blend together. Remove from heat when melted.
In a large bowl, combine cocoa powder, apricot jam, agave, applesauce, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture. Mix thoroughly.
Pour batter into muffin cups. It will only come about 1/4 to 1/3 of the way up. This saves room for plenty of sorbet and chocolatey “magic shell!”
Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, about ten minutes. Then put cupcakes in freezer for ten minutes to cool completely.
To assemble sorbet cupcakes: Leave the sorbet out of the freezer for just a few minutes to soften it. Remove cupcakes from freezer. Using an ice cream scoop and/or a spoon and/or a spatula, top each cupcake with a layer of sorbet that covers the surface of the cupcake evenly. Work quickly, as you don’t want the sorbet to melt. Return cupcakes to the freezer for twenty to thirty minutes or until sorbet has hardened.
To make chocolate hard shell: In a smallish to medium microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate and Earth Balance (or coconut oil.) Heat in microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring between each interval. When chocolate is melted, set mixture aside to cool.
When it has cooled completely, remove sorbet cupcakes from the freezer. Spoon hard shell mixture over each one (and try to spread it more evenly than I did), then wait just a couple minutes. When it has hardened, cupcake is ready to eat or freeze.
Like one of those “therapy pictures” you see in movies: what do you see in this cupcake?
A spoonful of “yum”…guilt-free!