How to make Fake Ice Cream and Cupcakes

Just curious – Did you happen to notice in all the pics from the Kittens & Cream photoshoot that I was using fake ice cream? I’m sure at least some of you did. I mean I’ve got magic, but even I can’t keep ice cream from melting. . . And where the heck did ya’ll think I got a soft serve machine from in the first place!?

Fake Ice Cream Tutorial
Nope, it’s ALL fake, and even better, I made it with something I bet most of you already have hiding in your basement or garage somewhere. Figure it out yet?

It’s Spackle!
Yup. Plain ol’ patch that hole in the wall, got it from the hardware store, Spackle.
Crazy right!? But if you think about it – It’s the exact same consistency as frosting, so why wouldn’t it work just like it? Let me show you what I did.

Fake Cupcake DIY

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Lightweight Spackle
  • Acrylic paint
  • Spoon or Spatula for mixing
  • Large Bowl
  • Large Ziploc bag
  • Piping tip (I used a 1M)
  • Tape (electrical is best)
  • Scissors
  • Ice Cream cones
  • Cone filler (sand, tissues, whatever!)
  • Glitter or Fake Sprinkles (optional)

Before we get started, a word about spackle types…

Steer clear of any of the “pink” kinds. You know, the ones that turn white to let you know they’re dry. It’s gonna be kind of hard to mix the right color with something like that.

Because we’re using real ice cream cones, you also have to keep the humidity in mind. It’s hard enough to get a massive blob of spackle to dry in the first place. Now if it doesn’t dry quickly enough, the moisture from the spackle will leach into the cone & make it go soggy. Ask me how I know.😪

Ice Cream Photo Props

If you live in a very humid area, or plan to make a LOT of ice creams (or cupcakes) I definitely recommend  looking for something called “hot mud.” It’s very similar to spackle, but it comes in a powder form that once mixed with water, dries in about 90 minutes. The guy at the hardware store told me to get it when I explained what I was making, but I was all “What the heck am I gonna do with an 18 pound bag of spackle!?!”

Yeah. . .I definitely shoulda just bought the darn bag of dust.😑

Ok, now that we’ve got that covered…

Fake cupcake DIY

Add a large blob of spackle to your bowl & mix in the paint.

Remember, the color will be darker after it dries, and the more paint you add, the longer that process will take. Just like real icing, if it gets too runny it won’t pipe properly.  I imagine that you could use plaster of paris mix or possibly grout powder as a thickening agent, if things get too soupy – but don’t hold me to that! You’d have to experiment a little.

Cut a corner off your ziploc bag, and tape the piping tip securely in place.

DIY Fake Cupcakes

Fill in the bottom of your ice cream cone with…well, anything!

Remember what I said about humidity? Well if the spackle isn’t directly touching the cone, then it can’t get soggy right? I just stuffed a few tissues into the bottom of this one & then tucked a tiny piece of plastic wrap over the top too keep them from getting mushy. Sand and packing peanuts are also good options if you’ve got them lying around.

Place your piping bag in a sturdy glass & fill it with spackle.

Obviously, you don’t have to but yours in a glass if you don’t want, but I find it’s a heck of a lot less messy that way.

DIY Fake Cupcakes

Twist your bag tightly & pipe the spackle into a spiral on top of the cone.

I found that making a little blob to build up the center helped to keep the swirl from falling in on itself. And the great thing is – if you mess up, just scoop the spackle back into the bag and try again. The spackle wipes up really easily until it hardens.

fake ice cream

Ta da! Fake Ice Cream!

Need cupcakes instead?
It’s the exact same process, just without the ice cream cone.
DIY face cupcakes
You could start out with these little cupcake dummy things, but of course I didn’t plan that far ahead, so I just sprayed some Great Stuff foam into a a bunch of paper liners & scraped the excess off the top with a popsicle stick before it hardened. Hi Tech skills right there.😉

One last tip: When you start to clean up, scoop as much of the excess spackle as you can into the trash can before you start washing anything. The last thing you want is for the spackle to harden inside your pipes!😲

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