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Gluten Free Ice Cream Cones

April 23, 2021
At a Glance

Summary

Bring back the classic taste of sugar cones with these gluten free ice cream cones. You only need a few basic gluten free ingredients, in just the right amounts, plus a hot skillet!

Categories

Prep / Cook Time

5 minutes / 10 minutes

Rating

 5/5 (1 votes)
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Gluten Free Ice Cream Cones

No more buying gluten free ice cream cones when you can make them yourself with a simple batter and a pan. No special equipment needed!

Hand holding pointy ice cream cone with vanilla ice cream over brown paper

What makes these gf ice cream cones special?

Most of the gluten free cones I’ve bought are cake cones, and they’re super fun. They’re relatively expensive, but not that hard to find any more.

One of my children just loves cones, and I like to keep the cake cones on hand for when the mood strikes her. If you ask me, they taste like styrofoam, but she doesn’t seem to care.

These are sugar cones, though. They have a deep caramel-like taste, and a delightfully snappy texture—all without the help of a special pizzelle or waffle cone maker.

Single sugar cone on its side on speckled gray surface

Why make gluten free ice cream cones instead of buying them?

Even I, lover of the impossible recipe development project, wouldn’t attempt to make gluten free cake cones at home. They, like gluten free rice krispies, require lots of special equipment to make.

I’m too far out of my depth on that one. And I would never want to share a recipe that you couldn’t make without buying heavy machinery.

But gluten free sugar cones are harder to find than cake cones. And in my experience, they’re much more expensive and tend to go stale more quickly.

Few things irritate me more than spending a ton of money on a packaged gluten free product only to have it go bad before I can serve it. Plus, these cones really are as easy to make as gluten free pancakes.

sugar cones in cone holder image from side

No special equipment needed (there’s always something to buy, if you’re game)

When I first developed this recipe, back in 2011, I used metal cream horns to shape the cones. They’re too small, though, and kind of slippery, so I really don’t recommend that.

In the video, you see me using a wooden cone with a handle to shape the pancakes into cones. It’s a pizzelle roller by O’Creme brand (affiliate link). It cost less than $10. To be fair, though, I’m taking photos of my cones…

The cone holder rack is a “cupcake cones baking rack” from Wilton, and it’s designed for baking cupcake batter into sugar cones. There are plenty of inexpensive acrylic cone stands, too, if you’d like to be fancy.

The stands serve to hold the cones as they cool completely so they don’t lose their shape. They’re nice to have, but I don’t believe they’re necessary at all.

Hands rolling cone pancake onto wooden cone with handle

Tips for getting the cones just right

The batter for these cones comes together in a snap, and uses regular gluten free pantry items. The key is in the technique.

The cones need to be shaped when they’re still warm, or they will stiffen and break. If you haven’t reached the shape you like before a pancake stiffens, try placing it in the microwave for 10 seconds to soften and shape again.

It’s better to overcook rather than undercook the pancake. An undercooked cone will never become crisp, and may even end up overly chewy after the first day.

Ratio-wise, there’s a lot of sugar in the batter, and sugar may blacken around the edges if you do overcook them a bit. Luckily, though, they won’t taste burnt.

And of course, the perfect vanilla ice cream in a crispy sugar cone is what dreams are made of. May I recommend our recipe for no churn 3 ingredient vanilla ice cream?

Three ice cream cones with vanilla ice cream flat on brown paper

Ingredients and substitutions

Dairy

The dairy in this recipe comes in two forms: melted butter and milk. Vegan butter (Miyoko’s Kitchen or Melt brand) should work well for the melted butter. The milk can be any unsweetened nondairy milk you prefer.

Egg white

I haven’t tried making this recipe with an egg white substitute like aquafaba, which is the liquid in a can of chickpeas. I’m afraid I can’t say whether it would work or not, but if you try, please let us know how it goes.

Closeup image of hand holding ice cream cone with vanilla ice cream

Words GF Ice cream cones on photo of hand holding ice cream cone with vanilla ice cream against background of brown paper and more cones

Gluten Free Homemade Ice Cream Cones

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 5 to 6 cones

Ingredients

1/2 cup (70 g) gum free gluten free flour (See Recipe Notes)

1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional) (See Recipe Notes)

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (75 grams) granulated sugar

2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 egg white (25 g), at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract)

2 to 4 tablespoons (1 to 2 fluid ounces) milk (plus more by the drop, as necessary)

Coconut oil or butter for greasing the pan

Directions

  • In a large measuring cup or bowl with a pour spout, place the flour blend, xanthan gum, salt and granulated sugar. Whisk to combine well.

  • Add the melted butter, vanilla extract, egg white, and 2 tablespoons of milk. Whisk until very smooth. Add more milk by the teaspoonful, whisking well in between additions, until the batter is pourable but not to thin. It should be about the consistency of a classic pancake batter. If you’ve used Better Batter as your flour blend, you’ll need to add a few drops more milk before each cone.

  • Brush a 10 inch nonstick pan lightly with coconut oil or butter, and place over medium low heat. Once the pan is hot and the oil is shimmering, pour or ladle in about 3 tablespoons of batter. Gently shake the pan so that the batter is evenly distributed in a circle, about 5 inches in diameter. I also like to use a small offset spatula to create a round with uniform thickness. Be careful not to spread the batter so thin that the edges will crisp almost instantly.

  • Cook on one side until just set and beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Flip the pancake and press evenly on the cooked side with a flat spatula so that the underside browns evenly. Cook, while pressing, for another minute, and flip. Repeat the procedure on the other side, pressing to brown evenly.

  • Once the pancake is a deep golden brown on at least one side, remove from the pan, and roll into a cone shape immediately. If you’re doing it free form, simply roll the round pancake with one hand around the fingers of the other, concentrating on the tip. Cinch together the bottom of the cone while it is still warm, and gently hold it closed until the seams stick together. Place on a wire rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining batter and cones.

  • Place a mini marshmallow or two in the bottom of each cone to help catch drips as the ice cream melts. In a non humid environment, they will stay crisp at room temperature for a couple days, or in 3 days in a sealed glass jar at room temperature.

  • Originally published on the blog in 2011 (!). Recipe modified; photos, video and most text new.

Love,
Nicole

  • Chantal
    April 28, 2021 at 4:44 PM

    That wooden shaper you have in the photo looks remarkably similar to the pestle in a cone-shaped food mill/colander (don’t really know the name, but it’s used for separating seeds and skins from fruit for jam making).

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 28, 2021 at 7:41 PM

      Yes! It absolutely does, Chantal. You’re referring to a conical strainer or chinois, and, indeed, a pestle! I have a set of those, and I hadn’t even considered just using that pestle, but I should have.

  • Margaret Cramer
    April 27, 2021 at 8:30 AM

    I have made ice cream cones for 30 years because I was gifted with a Nordicware krumkaka electric iron years ago. Prior to that we used a stovetop flip iron. I would rather have the electric iron than getting the Wilton cone holder. Cooking time is a little bit less per unit with using the iron instead of stovetop frying. I ended up baking the cones rather than frying in oil. I also vary the liquid. I like thicker cones which are sturdier. I tend to use about a teaspoon of dough, and prefer to drop the dough rather than pour the thinner, more fragile batter which your recipe will produce. I also use the wooden cone with a handle to shape the cones. With thicker cones, I insert 4 cones one inside the other for storage in a Tupperware pan (and fill the pan) and I can freeze the cookies (or cones) with ease. Overall, the recipe is still a time consuming work of art.

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 27, 2021 at 10:13 AM

      It sounds like you’re using your own recipe, Margaret. I’m glad you found something that works for you. This is just how I make them, and it’s not time-consuming at all.

  • NATALIE K
    April 23, 2021 at 1:53 PM

    Thank you so much!! I have bought a cone maker for my husband as a surprise. I no have the GF recipe I need for it! I have all of your books but one. I ‘ll be buying that book once e are out of lockdon. I have recommended your books to so many people!!

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 23, 2021 at 3:37 PM

      Hi Natalie, I hope you enjoy the cones! I’m not 100% sure what a cone maker does, but I hope you love it. Thank you so much for the kind words and support. They mean so much!

  • Peggy
    July 17, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    Every so often Whole Foods does a gluten-free tour of their stores. I went to one when I was living in Colorado & it was very helpful & informative. We also got a lot of free samples to take home! It is too expensive to shop there on a regular basis but once in a while I would treat myself. Now that I have found your blog, Nicole, and your cookbook, I haven’t been back…I can bake my own gf goodies!

    • Nicole
      July 17, 2011 at 4:50 PM

      Hi, Peggy,
      How wonderful, that you find yourself liberated from the need to buy. It is nice to have the option to buy, but it’s even nicer when it is just that — an option, not a necessity. Happy baking!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Jenn
    July 13, 2011 at 12:58 PM

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I’m going to have to make sure I whip up a batch of cones when my parents come to visit at the beginning of next month. They absolutely LOVE to hear when I bake something that I haven’t been able to eat for so long, but they’re halfway across the country now and don’t really get to enjoy them (though my husband ‘taste tests’ everything and USUALLY prefers the GF foods. Bread has been his only regular wheat fall-back). I’d already planned on making them homemade ice cream, so why not include this extra little touch? :)

    Also, thank you so much for working through all of this for those of us who A) don’t have the time, B) are flubs in the kitchen, and/or C) are ridiculously intimidated by the scope of making food for themselves. I have friends and family that fall into both, but me? I have tons of free time with all my auto-immune diseases – celiac actually having stemmed from a failing liver my senior year in high school. (Well, the celiac started that year, I was diagnosed with the liver problem when I was twelve. :P) So finding websites like yours, that are around to help us all feel normal and not bat-poo crazy, are a delight. :) I appreciate everything you do, and have done, for all of us.

  • July 13, 2011 at 7:06 AM

    YUS! Finally, a gluten-free ice cream cone! Woo-hoo! Love the idea of putting the marshmallow in the bottom of the cone too, genius.
    Yeah, I’ve been to a few gluten-free expos here in New Zealand, I don’t know how they compare with ones in the USA, but I treat it like a race for free food and taste tests! It’s so much fun! :)

  • Tammie
    July 11, 2011 at 12:40 PM

    Hi Nicole,

    Thanks for another wonderful recipe and blog post – I love reading them! I have an ice cream cone maker that my husband bought a few months ago (impulse buy) and think I’ll finally get around to trying it out with your recipe!

    Take Care,
    Tammie

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