Orange Creamsicle Ice Cream (& DIY Dixie Cups) {National Ice Cream Month}

Welcome to July! We are halfway through the year, can you believe it? June went by crazy fast; probably because I spent a third of it at home in Alaska, but I digress. We bring in the second half of the year with National Ice Cream Month. Didn’t know that’s a thing? That’s okay, I forgive you. You have all month to make up for it.

To celebrate I’m going to do something a little different with the blog. In addition to the regular bi-weekly Monday posts, I will be posting a weekly ice cream recipe. We’ll have something for everyone with both classic flavors and some less traditional ones. These posts will go live on Tuesday mornings, giving you plenty of time to make a batch for your weekend barbecues.

DIY Orange Vanilla Dixie Cups {{Baking Bytes}}

For this first week, I’m introducing orange creamsicle ice cream. Remember those tiny Dixie cups of half vanilla, half orange deliciousness that came with the silly wooden spoon? Here is a DIY version just for you. It’s a little bit more time-consuming than just making one flavor, of course, but they are super cute, super delicious, and super easy.

If you’re not interested in the combo, this orange ice cream can certainly hold its own. Reminiscent of a creamier Orange Julius, it bursts with orange flavor and a hint of vanilla. It’s very easy to adjust to how “orange-y” you want yours to be. The citrus flavor is delightfully summery, making it a wonderful treat on a hot day. Despite the extra water from the orange juice, it stayed scoopably (that’s a word, I promise) soft in my freezer, but if it freezes too hard in yours just let it sit on the counter for 5-10 minutes before dishing.

DIY Orange Vanilla Dixie Cups {{Baking Bytes}}

Below find my recipes for orange creamsicle and vanilla ice cream, as well as instructions for making your own Dixie cups. They would be a great addition to a 4th of July barbecue, sure to impress the whole crowd, adults and children alike. I did add food coloring to this batch of orange so it would stand out next to the vanilla, but you certainly don’t have to. The orange juice is a key flavor, so make sure you buy a quality brand of 100% juice (or juice your own oranges). I like to get the Simply Orange brand.

I used these Snapware, 1-cup glass containers, but anything of similar size should do. Small canning jars, waxed paper cups, whatever you can find. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find actual disposable ice cream cups to use, if you’re worried about glass breaking. It’s best to use a lidded container, but you can always cover the tops with parchment paper (so they’re stackable) if you’re not planning to keep them in the freezer more than a few days.

DIY Orange Vanilla Dixie Cups {{Baking Bytes}}

Orange Creamsicle Ice Cream

Makes 4-5 cups

Ingredients

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 – 1 cup pulp-free orange juice (I used 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup egg substitute
3/4 tsp orange extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

yellow and red food coloring (optional)

Directions

  1. Whisk together all ingredients until completely combined.
  2. If desired, add food coloring. I used 6 drops yellow and 2 drops red, but add more or less to suit your preferences. It does lighten fairly considerably after it’s frozen.
  3. Cover bowl and chill in the refrigerator at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  4. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s directions, then place in a freezer-safe bowl to freeze for an extra three hours, or overnight.

Notes

1 If you have pulpy juice on hand, just use a mesh strainer to remove the pulp. For a subtler orange flavor, use 1/2 cup. For a strong flavor, use 1 cup. The larger end of the range will result in a more grainy texture, but it’s still creamy.

Vanilla Ice Cream 

Makes approx. 3.5 cups

Ingredients

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 cup egg substitute
3/4 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Whisk together all ingredients until completely combined.
  2. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  3. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s directions, then place in a freezer-safe bowl to freeze for an extra three hours, or overnight.

Notes

1 This is the same recipe as my previously posted vanilla ice cream recipe, just halved and with less vanilla so as to not compete so strongly with the orange.

DIY Dixie Cups 

Serves 8-10 (6-8oz each)

Ingredients

1 recipe orange creamsicle ice cream (above)
1 recipe vanilla ice cream (above)

Directions

  1. Make and freeze vanilla ice cream.
  2. Make orange ice cream, but stop once you’ve placed the mixture into the fridge. If using glass jars for your servings, place those in the freezer at this time. Chill everything for at least 4 hours.
  3. Scoop vanilla ice cream into your jars, using a spatula (or something else sturdy and flat) to hold the ice cream into half the container while you press it to fill the space. Smooth the tops and return to the freezer for at least 30 minutes, or until your orange ice cream is done.
  4. Freeze orange ice cream according to your ice cream maker’s directions.
  5. Retrieve the cups from the freezer, and fill the remaining half with orange ice cream. Smooth the tops, and return to the freeze for at least 2 hours, or until ready to eat.
  6. Serve directly from the freezer to adoring fans.

These sound a lot more complicated than they actually are. There is a lot of down time waiting for things to freeze/chill, but it’s not a difficult recipe. The most time-efficient method would be like this:

  • Day 1 pm: Mix vanilla and put in the fridge. Mix the orange and put it in the fridge also. If you’re using glass containers, put them in the freezer now because it won’t hurt them to be in there a long time.
  • Day 2 am (e.g. before work): Churn the vanilla and put it in the freezer. Wash and dry the ice cream maker bowl, and return it to the freezer. (This should take about half an hour total.)
  • Day 2 pm (e.g. after work): Portion the vanilla to fill half of each cup, and put them back in the freezer. Churn the orange ice cream. Retrieve the half-filled cups, fill with orange, smooth the tops, and return to the freezer until ready to serve.

Obviously, depending on how much time you have you can spread this out a lot more, but this timeline will give you ready-to-eat desserts for Day 3, meaning you still have time to make them for the 4th of July, and actually enjoy the barbecue, even if you don’t start until Wednesday. If you are making these for more than 10 people, double the vanilla recipe, and make 1.5 of the orange (I don’t think double will fit in a standard ice cream maker.) You should have enough for closer to 20, or more if you make them smaller, of course.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes and Buttercream Frosting

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes {{Baking Bytes}}

Happy belated Mother’s Day to all the moms out there, but especially to mine for being my proofreader (and just generally awesome). Thanks Mom!

Treadwell Ditch Trail 2013

This month my best friend finished her Master’s degree in Computer Science, which is super exciting! To celebrate the occasion I offered to make cupcakes for the party. The first time I made these cupcakes, a year ago, they turned out delightful so I decided to revisit the recipe.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes {{Baking Bytes}}

Some of you may be thinking, “Vanilla? How boring.” but I assure you these cupcakes are amazing. Unless you are just completely anti-vanilla, in which case I think you might want to get that checked out. These cupcakes are light and summery with a full vanilla flavor and pretty specks of vanilla bean throughout. They are quite delicious on their own, but of course make a great base for almost any frosting. For this occasion I used the vanilla buttercream from the original recipe, as well as a blackberry buttercream I sort of made up as I went. Although it was delicious, it’s not quite ready to share. But don’t worry, it’ll definitely be up here soon.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes {{Baking Bytes}}

This is a very beginner friendly recipe as well as an excellent staple for the experienced baker. The original recipe calls for a vanilla bean, but I substituted vanilla bean powder which you can buy off Amazon. I love vanilla bean powder because it’s far less hassle (and cheaper!) than whole beans but has a much stronger flavor and the lovely specs that extract doesn’t. You can also use it in place of vanilla extract (or in addition to) in pretty much any baked recipe. I hear it’s also great to add a little to your coffee grounds before you brew it, but I haven’t personally tried this (yet).

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes {{Baking Bytes}}

These cupcakes are great for any occasion, but they are best for decently large parties as the recipe makes over three dozen. You could try shrinking the recipe, of course, but I suspect your friends would prefer you had extras to give away.

Pair with the vanilla bean buttercream frosting below, or your favorite frosting recipe. It would go great with a whipped cream frosting if you want to keep the whole concoction extra light. Maybe even Bailey’s whipped cream.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Adapted from Bella’s Bistro
Makes so many cupcakes (~40)

Ingredients

3 cups cake flour (or all-purpose)
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
2 tsp vanilla bean powder

2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temp

1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line muffin tins with cupcakes liners.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat butter and vanilla powder together until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add sugar and beat until completely combined.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until just combined after each one. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  5. In a small cup, mix together buttermilk and vanilla extract; set aside.
  6. Beginning and ending with the flour mixture, add in alternating additions with the buttermilk, mixing on low speed just until incorporated between each addition.
  7. Scrape the sides of the bowl if necessary, and mix an additional 15 seconds.
  8. Using a 3 Tbsp scoop, fill the cupcake liners and bake for 18-20 minutes (a toothpick should come out clean).
  9. Let rest at least 5 minutes in the pan, then remove cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Frost and decorate as desired.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes {{Baking Bytes}}

Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting

Adapted from Bella’s Bistro
Makes enough for ~20 cupcakes

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, room temp

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

2 Tbsp heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Using an electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until smooth.
  2. Add sugar and beat on low speed until incorporated completely.
  3. Stir in vanilla and cream, then beat on medium-high speed for a few minutes until light and fluffy.
  4. Pipe or spread on completely cooled cupcakes as desired.

French Vanilla Ice Cream

Even more than cookies, I love ice cream. Pretty much any flavor is delicious assuming it doesn’t have nuts in it (or isn’t completely disgusting, like bubblegum.) The flavor I make most often, however, is vanilla because it goes with pie, or is good with toppings or simply plain. It’s also incredibly fast to make (excluding chilling time) since there are only five ingredients and no mix-ins.

This recipe is from the book that came with my ice cream maker. After my mom got the Kitchen-Aid attachment, she and my dad cleaned and fixed her previous ice cream maker and sent it to me. Best Easter present ever.

This particular recipe has been made so often that the book naturally falls open to its page. Notes are penciled in and the pages are slightly wrinkled from use.

I always use Egg Beaters in lieu of actual eggs because they have been pasteurized and don’t require cooking. This far lessens the work involved in making ice cream and so far I haven’t had any trouble substituting it for real eggs in any recipe.

Below is the recipe I follow for French vanilla ice cream. It never lasts long in my family, and I doubt it will in yours either.

French Vanilla Ice Cream

Adapted from Scoop Factory
Makes approximately 1 quart

Ingredients

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup half & half or milk
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup egg substitute, such as Egg Beaters

Directions

  1. Thoroughly whisk all ingredients in a large glass bowl with a lid.
  2. Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
  3. Freeze according to your ice cream maker instructions. While the ice cream is churning in the machine, place the bowl in the freezer.
  4. Transfer ice cream back into the bowl and freeze until ready to serve.

Notes: Half & half or milk both work fine, but half & half will result in a slightly creamier texture. I find ice cream needs at least 2 hours in the freezer before it is hard enough, but that’s totally up to you. Also, my favorite container to use for making ice cream is my 8-cup batter bowl by Anchor. (I believe Pyrex makes a similar one.) The spout makes it easy to pour into the ice cream machine and the lid is handy for freezer storage.