Sugar Highs

Cupcake Royale Readies its Ice Cream Menu

Founder Jody Hall isn’t messing around; she even brought in help from Portland’s Salt and Straw.

By Allecia Vermillion June 28, 2012

“Cupcakes were harmed in the making of that ice cream.” Photo via Cupcake Royale.

Since founding Cupcake Royale in 2003, Jody Hall has wanted to do ice cream. And as of this Sunday, July 1, that dream comes true in a major way. A new Cupcake Royale ice cream shop opens its doors at 108 Pine (formerly the site of Molly Moon’s short-lived counter) with cupcakes, naturally, and a full-blown ice cream program that centers on 14 housemade flavors. The Ballard, Bellevue, and Capitol Hill stores are also making room for scoops, sundaes, milkshakes and more; West Seattle and Madrona will sell pints.

Some ice cream flavors are inspired by Cupcake Royale’s creations, like burnt caramel with sea salt, or the already-popular bananza—roasted banana, a ribbon of housemade caramel, and chunks of brownie, also made in house. Others are chunks of actual cupcakes, chopped up and blended into ice cream in a way that maintains their cakey flavor (“cupcakes were harmed in the making of that ice cream,” says Hall). The red velvet cupcakes comingle with a cream cheese and buttermilk-based ice cream, for instance, while a peppermint confection beribbons some fresh muddled mint ice cream.

Hall happens to be close friends with Kim Malek, founder of crazy good Portland ice creamery Salt and Straw …a convenient liaison, indeed. Hall says Malek lent considerable time and assistance in developing her program, and Cupcake Royale ice cream maven Nicki Kerbs and “head churner” James Lowell both went down to Portland for some training.

Hall’s not just serving up scoops; she’s using her “superpowers of espresso, bakery, and cupcakes” to create a whole menu of chilly things, including ice cream sandwiches, affogato, housemade red velvet waffle cones, ice cream flights, sundaes, and milkshakes that let the customer designate a cupcake that gets tossed in the blender. Ready to top all that ice cream is a line of Cupcake Royale “inclusions,” including rich bits of brownie, bits of cupcake crumbled to the perfect topping size (yes, Hall’s team tested this) and “bacon crack” brittle made with Zoe’s bacon.

Speaking of bacon, the whiskey maple bacon crack flavor blends that same brittle with ice cream made with maple and Woodinville Whiskey. Hall also worked with Miles Thomas of Scrappy’s Bitters for a blueberry lavender flavor where the lavender “isn’t that bar of soap flavor,” and offers flavors celebrating Stumptown, Theo Chocolate, and other local notables.

This full-scale ice cream maneuver happens when the calendar flips to July. But if you absolutely can’t wait, Cupcake Royale has a cart parked outside its new downtown store, dishing out scoops until the doors open for reals.

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