From Nessa's Family Kitchen: The ideal birthday party treat: ice-cream cupcakes

From Nessa's Family Kitchen Our preparations are currently well under-way for two very important summer birthday parties. Tiarnán will turn seven this week and Fionn is turning five in July. The excitement levels are rising and every day a different theme or plan is being hatched up, by these ever enthusiastic party planners. I almost always host the birthday parties at home; it does entail a lot of cooking and some amount of cleaning before and after the big event, yet I always feel it to be worth it. There are only the few short years when each of the children will really want to have the birthday party with all of the trimmings and if I were honest, I enjoy these party days nearly as much as the kids. Naturally my interest tends to be more of the food planning side of such events. The kids and I love to scan through books and the web to find party food that will impress. At past birthdays I have made these ice-cream cupcakes and they are always a winner, especially with the kids. I use my mother's basic bun mixture and follow the same method, but bake in the cones in place of the muffin cases. The results are a very delicious party treat guaranteed to impress not only the children but also the adults. You will need: 18 flat bottomed ice-cream cones Vanilla Buttercream Icing - Ingredients 125g softened butter 250g icing sugar, sieved 1 teasp Vanilla Extract 20mls milk Bun Mixture - Ingredients  225g (8oz) Flora light 225g (8oz) caster sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 3 free range eggs 280g (10oz) self-raising flour (sieved) 30mls milk To Decorate Hundreds & Thousands Chocolate flakes Method 1. First make the vanilla buttercream. Place the softened butter in a large bowl and blend well. Slowly add the icing sugar and continue to blend. Add the vanilla extract and milk, blend until pale and fluffy. 2. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. 3. Place the flora, sugar and vanilla extract into a bowl and cream together until it is a pale yellow colour. 4. Add the eggs, one at a time with a little flour- to prevent the mixture from curdling. Mix well. 5. Add the flour little by little then mix well. Stir in the milk. If it drops off easily in a dollop then it is ready. 6. Place the flat bottomed ice cream cones into a muffin tray. Take a spoonful of mixture, with a dessert spoon and scrape into the bun case using a teaspoon. It is important to only fill the cones two thirds of the way. 7. Bake in the oven for 20 mins or until golden brown in colour and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool, on a wire rack, and then top with some Vanilla Buttercream, add sprinkles and finish with a mini flake. For more recipes visit NessasFamilyKitchen.blogspot.com

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