Ice Cream Cones & Distractions

Ice Cream Cones & Distractions

Gluten Free Homemade Ice Cream Cones

Years and years ago, my husband and I were having a conversation with an aunt of mine who married into our family. I never really felt that I knew her all that well. She had been married to my uncle for decades, but she never really seemed to fit with my uncle. So I didn’t have the luxury of assuming things about her.

This aunt, she was then and remains now the epicenter of everyone and everything I know about Sweden, considering that she is from there. So anything she told me about her life in Sweden, which wasn’t much, mind you, I presumed to be a normative fact about every Swede. I didn’t tend to ask too many questions, not for lack of interest but because she my only point of reference. I couldn’t even really craft a question.

Until she made passing reference to her time in the circus.

A few bottles of wine into dinner, and she was {uncharacteristically} talking quite a lot. Before she said “circus,” we had been listening politely, but it was late and our attention was waning. Our interest obviously piqued, we tried in vain to press her for information about the circus.

Did she walk the tightrope? Was there a bearded lady? Did she know my uncle yet?

To her, it was the most normal thing in the world, and the story she was telling at the time had a different focus. We never did find out much about her carny days.

So when you came here today, to this blog, you saw a picture of a gluten-free ice cream cone in my son’s hot little hands. And, like my aunt and her passing circus reference, I hinted at the goods and rambled on about the Circus People in my family.

Sometimes, everything about a blog post other than the actual recipe and instructions seems kinda like having to sit through some big distraction, when all you really want to hear are some circus stories. In a minute. In a minute. Promise.

But I like you. And I want to chat. Really, most often I just want to listen to what you have to say. I wonder about you. Have you ever been in the circus? What do you do for work? Did you marry for love? Have you ever been to one of the many Gluten Free Expos that are popping up all over the U.S., and what’s the vibe like there? I’ve never been to one. Is it a race to see who can get the most free food, or is it more respectful? What do you think is missing in the gluten-free community, and who do you think should provide it (doctors, food manufacturers, cookbook authors, consumers?)?

Tell me about it in the comments. 

Oh, right. The ice cream cone recipe. As promised.

The batter for these cones comes together in a snap, and uses regular pantry items. The cones need to be shaped when they’re still warm, or they will stiffen and break. If you don’t cook them enough, they’ll never stiffen {or hold together for that matter}. So there’s a sweet spot. But don’t worry. I included tips for what to do if you didn’t get to work before the pancakes stiffened up on you {no big deal – just microwave to soften}. And it’s better to overcook rather than undercook them. There is a lot of sugar in the batter, ratio-wise, so they may blacken around the edges if you do overcook them a bit, but they’ll still taste great.

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time:


1/3 cup (47 g) all-purpose gluten-free flour

1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup (100 g) sugar

4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 eggs, lightly beaten

3 to 5 tablespoons milk

Vegetable oil for greasing the pan


  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, xanthan gum, salt and sugar. Add the butter, vanilla extract and eggs, and mixing well after each addition. Add 3 tablespoons of milk, and whisk to combine. Add more milk by the tablespoon, mixing to combine well, until the batter is thin enough to pour.

  • Brush a 10 inch nonstick pan lightly with vegetable oil, 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, in the center of the pan. Be careful not to spread the batter so thin that the edges will crisp almost instantly. You want the pancake to bake evenly.

  • 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 wide 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 brown (but not black) on both sides, remove from the pan, and roll into a cone shape immediately (using a cornet {cream horn} mold, or free form). Cinch together the bottom of the cone while it is still warm, and gently hold it closed in your fist until the seam sticks to the cone. 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. Use the same day.



P.S. Please pick up a copy of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Quick & Easy! I can’t keep the blog going without your support!

Comments are closed.

  • Tracie
    December 20, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    I love your blog. Never have I replied to a blog before or for that matter Tweeted, Twitted, or Facebooked. I am very busy as a homemaker and do it yourselfer especially since my entire family, including my husband of three years, sons, daughter, daughter in laws and grandchildren, is gluten free and I am looked to as the matriarchal guru of converting all recipes into gluten free. Sometimes my kitchen feels more like a laboratory. Many people outside of my family have asked me to open a bakery/sandwich shop because of the bread and cakes I make. How rewarding to watch a person who has recently become gluten free and not had any good bread since, eat a piece of my bread and literally shed tears because they thought they would never have good bread again. It is worth the hours and failed attempts on the way to getting it right.
    As this very moment, I am in the process of remodeling my kitchen so I can teach gluten free cooking/baking classes.
    Kudos to you and your website. I look forward to following it.

  • 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

  • Darlene
    July 16, 2011 at 3:59 PM

    How mysterious. She was most likely a gypsy fortune teller, told your uncle his future was with her and there you have it.
    On a different note, I’m bookmarking this page so I can bring up the picture whenever my son tells me that it’s impossible for boys to have clean fingernails. I don’t know what’s more difficult; creating, testing, tasting, and blogging and writing books about gluten free recipes.. or getting a little boy’s fingernails that clean even for one photo. Well done on all points.

    • Nicole
      July 16, 2011 at 4:03 PM

      Hi, Darlene,
      Somehow my aunt and uncle don’t seem like the star-crossed type of couple. In fact, they actually have always seemed really mismatched. I’m not sure if that cuts in favor of or against your theory. :)
      I literally snorted when I read about the clean little boy fingernails. “LOL” is such an overused term, that I have no idea how to explain to you that I quite literally burst out laughing. But I did. I had JUST cut his nails that day. I swear that’s the only way I get his nails clean — but cutting off the offending, embedded dirt and various and sundry other goodies he hides in there.
      Can you keep reading the blog? If I’m really good, would you consider posting more comments as we go on? You’re really making me laugh. Your timing is perfecto. And I don’t say that lightly.
      Is it weird that I love you? Too bad.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Darlene
    July 16, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    Am I the only one who kept reading because she wanted to hear about her aunt’s circus stories? Thank you so much for the yummy recipe, but please give us the deets on your auntie’s carny days. Was she of the rare breed of people that run away FROM the circus to join a family? Was she aerialist and your uncle saw her performing, fell in love, and stole her away? Was she a magician’s assistant who, after disappearing from the magic box, never reappeared because your uncle spirited her away offstage and into an awaiting gypsy caravan? Was she a clown and.. uh, never mind, I’m afraid of clowns.
    I won’t be disappointed if she was a ticket taker who decided to stay behind in a town, whereupon she met your uncle.

    • Nicole
      July 16, 2011 at 3:43 PM

      Hi, Darlene,
      That’s hysterical. You were waiting for the payoff, and it never came! I have to be honest, we never did get much out of her about it. All I know is that is was before she met my uncle, and she was NOT a tightrope walker. It remains a mystery to me. But I adore your suppositions. Very imaginative! If it’s any consolation, I feel robbed, too, that she never did give us the scoop!
      xoxo Nicole

  • July 15, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    […] of naturally gluten-free food. We miss Really Good Flour Tortillas, ‘Nilla Wafers and Ice Cream Cones. We know that even the most exotic vegetable or that […]

  • 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.

    • Nicole
      July 13, 2011 at 2:39 PM

      Hi, Jenn,
      That’s so nice that your parents are so kind and supportive. They sound like real keepers. Since you’re planning to make homemade ice cream for them, don’t forget to check out the Maple Vanilla Ice Cream recipe that I posted just today.
      What sort of GF bread have you tried making for him? I have no doubt that you could satisfy him with a nice, crusty fresh loaf of GF bread.
      Thank you for the kind words, and I’m so glad that the blog has become a useful resource to you. That’s what I’m here for. The appreciation is so nice, though. Thank you for that. It means a lot to me.
      xoxo Nicole

      • Jenn
        July 13, 2011 at 4:52 PM

        Mostly I try quick-breads (and he loves banana bread), because his favorites tend to be the seven-grain or twelve-grain wheat varieties … or foccacia breads. I’m too scared to try to find a mix that would come out with the same fluffy texture of foccacia breads, so I settle for baking him non-“Jenn-friendly” (as he puts it) varieties and wearing a hospital-style mask while mixing it. He usually will do the flour mixing himself if he’s home, though.

        Side note: Baking the cinnamon doughnut muffins in the oven now. I’m so excited to try them!

        • Nicole
          July 13, 2011 at 6:56 PM

          Hi, Jenn,
          Oh my god I can’t stop thinking about you wearing a surgical mask, baking conventional bread. I can’t get it out of my head get out of my head get out of my head. No!! I have a fabulous recipe for Focaccia. {https://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/focaccia/} You don’t need a mix! If you are concerned about starting off by baking with yeast, try my Quick {Sandwich} Bread recipe {https://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/quick-sandwich-bread/}. If you’re making GF cinnamon doughnut muffins, you can easily make excellent GF bread. All you need is an all-purpose gluten-free flour that you trust (I use and recommend Better Batter – there’s an order now button in the sidebar right here on the blog that takes you right to Better Batter’s site), and you’re good to go. You absolutely can satisfy your husband’s bread cravings with GF bread of all shapes and sizes! Oh my god the surgical mask. You poor thing. I can’t stop.
          xoxo and a little extra xoxo Nicole

  • July 13, 2011 at 9:12 AM

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  • 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! :)

    • Nicole
      July 13, 2011 at 7:11 AM

      Hi, there, Theresa,
      Wow. You’re in New Zealand. I can’t believe we can chat, and you’re a kiwi {I say that with L-O-V-E – hope it’s okay}. The Internet is crazy talented. So it’s not just us Americans who act like crazy people around free food. :)
      I hope you enjoy the cones. Tune in a couple hours from now. Recipe for ice cream to put in your brand new GF cone.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Nicole
    July 12, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    Thanks for the feedback! I have Celiac and aside from that fact, the tummy aches and stool issues she is doing great which is why I hate to torture her with a scope but also don’t want to be negligent in her care. She is not on a gluten free diet. I am the only one exclusively gf in my family but our dinners are all gf. Looking forward to more great recipes!!
    The other Nicole

    • Nicole
      July 12, 2011 at 5:19 PM

      Hi Other Nicole,
      The same-name-thing is freaking me out, since when I post on here, it doesn’t say Gluten-Free on a Shoestring. It just says “Nicole.” So I keep skimming your comment, and thinking, “I don’t remember writing that.” I’m not always the sharpest knife in the drawer, Nicole.
      You’re a celiac! She is a first degree relative. She has to be tested. If not now, then at some point in the not too distant future. I guess the question you are struggling with is — when? Have you considered just starting with a gene test? It’s a cheek swab, and there are even places that will send you a kit and you can do it by mail if your doc doesn’t know from such things. If she has the genetic marker, at least you’ll be able to make a better informed decision about whether or not to have her scoped. What do you think?
      This is the hardest part. The not knowing. You’ll get to some sort of more settled place. I promise. You will.
      xoxo This Nicole

  • Nicole
    July 12, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    Hi Nicole,
    These look really good! To answer Linda, there is a company that makes GF ice cream cones. I have some in my pantry but haven’t tried them yet. I’m thinking my electric pizzelle maker should work great for these! I wish there were more Doctors familiar (specializing) in Celiac disease. I feel like I completely rely on the internet these days to figure out if what I’m feeling is Celiac related and have so many questions that I’d like answers to but am not sure how much trust I can put in strangers online. It’s so frustrating to not have an “educated” answer to my questions. I’ve heard there are some Celiac centers on the East Coast but I’m a West Coast girl and it is just not gonna happen for me to get over that way although I’d LOVE to visit the E.C. someday! I am also concerned because my 3 year old daughter (whose blood test came back normal) complains of stomach aches daily and has way too many suspicious stools for my comfort. My pediatrician took my concerns seriously and referred me to a pediatric gastroenterologist and said they’d probably want to scope her. Now I’m worrying that I might put her through something unnecessarily. It’s so hard with a 3 year old because she can’t tell me specifics other than her “tunny hurts”. What would you do? Her stool was bright green yesterday and when I googled it, a possible culprit (among other things) was Celiac. I’m so grateful for you Nicole, you are hands down my favorite GF blogger. I’m making your cornbread stuffing casserole this week…can’t wait to try it!
    (The other) Nicole
    P.S. Are the judges ever going to clue in that Penny has no likability with the American viewing audience? Hello, we picked Artie last year, they couldn’t be more opposite!!!

    • Nicole
      July 12, 2011 at 12:08 PM

      Hi, Other Nicole,
      A pizzelle maker would be perfect for these!
      About your daughter, 3 years old is the first age that you can begin to rely upon a blood test for celiac disease, but a negative blood test is not definitive. Other than her stool and her saying that her tummy hurts, do you have any other concerns about her health? Is she growing and thriving? Is she on a gluten-free diet, and was she on one when you had her blood tested? Is there celiac disease in your family? I know how you feel about wanting an expert, but unfortunately even when you do live on the East Coast like I do, you have to advocate for your child and put together all the different moving parts yourself. And it can be nerve-wracking to rely upon information on the Internet, but there is a lot of good information out there. Have you visited glutenfreely.com? Check out http://www.glutenfreely.com/glutenfreely/recognizingthesigns.aspx, see if that gives you some comfort/answers.
      Thank you for weighing in about The Next Food Network Star! I think they probably keep Penny around because her food is so good, and because hating her makes for good reality show TV. I can’t imagine they would ever pick her as the winner, since she’s so sinister and frightening. I think the good money is on Vic.
      xoxo This Nicole

  • Christin Holt
    July 11, 2011 at 1:14 PM

    Hi Nicole,
    Have you tried freezing the cones to see if they will last? I can’t wait to try them! (So much for no sugar today…) ;)

    • Nicole
      July 11, 2011 at 1:19 PM

      Hi, Christin,
      Great question! I haven’t tried making and freezing an entire batch for later use, but I did freeze one cone (the one in the photo, in fact), after filling it with ice cream (for the picture I will post on Wed along with an ice cream recipe). I removed the ice cream from the cone, and then stuck the cone in the freezer for an hour. When I took it out, it had held up really, really well. Better than the other 5 cones, in fact. You definitely do not want to store them in the refrigerator, as they will become moist and gummy. But the freezer should work. Just start out by freezing them flat on a cookie sheet. Once frozen, you can place them in a resealable plastic bag and place back in the freezer.
      Thanks for the great question! Did someone forbid you from eating sugar today? ‘Cause if they did, give ’em my email address and I’ll set ’em straight. ;)
      xoxo Nicole

    • Linda S
      July 11, 2011 at 10:23 PM

      Hi Nicole,
      Those cones look really, really good! Much better than those plain styrofoam ones – ha-ha, that my husband likes. He was just asking me if anyone made GF ice cream cones the other day. Can’t wait to see your ice cream recipe on Wednesday! Linda :)

      • Nicole
        July 12, 2011 at 9:41 AM

        Hi, Linda,
        Good to hear from you. I know exactly what you mean about the styrofoam cones. Biting into one of those is like nails on a blackboard to me! See you Wed!
        xoxo Nicole

  • 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,

    • Nicole
      July 11, 2011 at 12:46 PM

      Hi, Tammie,
      You’re very welcome. Thanks for your comment. I’m a little jealous of your ice cream cone maker, except my counter space is not jealous of it. So, really, I’m conflicted about it. I’d love to hear how they turn out! They’re really very easy, especially with your little gadget.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Kadren
    July 11, 2011 at 10:06 AM

    I’ve made GF ice cream cones before. YUM! We whipped up a batch of Cinn. Muffin doughnuts last night. Can we say Success? I did some in a mini muffin tin because my girls like “tiny” muffins. AMelia ate 6, Cora ate 5, and I think Suzanne had 3 or 4. :) Then the baby ate 2 for breakfast this morning. The only problem is that I only made one batch… :)

    I find that so many people think I am a nutcase when it comes to my kids and their food issues. They don’t want to believe that it is possible for food to adversely affect people because then they might have to rethink what is causing their insomnia or what is making their environmental allergies worse. A lady I know refuses to be tested because she doesn’t want to KNOW what is making her stomach hurt all the time because then she wouldn’t be able to eat what she wanted. So she eats NOTHING because her stomach is so damaged by now that everything hurts it. I just don’t understand people. How can they accept that spicy foods cause indigestion, but they can’t accept that the whey protein causes insomnia in my 5 year old? Weird, weird, weird. Or that we raise our own ducks for their eggs because chicken eggs make them sick. I literally had a man tell me that duck eggs are the same thing as chicken eggs because they are both birds. Really?!?!?!? Because I’m pretty sure they hatch two different animals. It would be like saying a snake egg was the same as a chicken egg. He didn’t like it when I told him that. LOL Anyway, those are my thoughts on this stormy Monday morning. I hope you are having a wonderful day!

    • Nicole
      July 11, 2011 at 11:38 AM

      Hi, Kadren,
      Nice to hear from you. So glad you enjoyed the doughnut muffins. They’re truly a favorite of mine.
      I can understand where you’re coming from with people weighing in on how you feed your kids. When my son was sick, everyone (including the doctors, my extended family, and even my husband) told me that I was crazy. That he was fine, or at least would be fine. Except that he was losing weight for 6 months straight, and he was only an infant! All they could handle was their denial. Being his mother, I didn’t have the luxury of denial. So you just keep on doing what you know is right, and let the morons be morons. Ducks are not chickens, but sometimes people are turkeys. :0
      xoxo Nicole

      • Kadren
        July 11, 2011 at 1:26 PM

        Oh my goodness, that is a good one!!!!!!!!! I burst out laughing! Turkeys!!! (we have 5 of those at home too.:) hee hee hee Doctors can be the worst. We actually left our original dr because he said what I was doing was Voodoo. Narrow minded turkey! Within a week of taking all 24 foods away from Amelia she stopped complaining of her belly hurting and her limbs hurting. Amazing what happens when you stop poisoning your child! (yeah, still a little bit of guilt going on here.) Anywho, loving your blog!! You make me smile every week and it brought tears to my eyes when Amelia told me it was the best slice of pizza she had ever had. Literally, tears. You have made it all possible! Thank you so much for being you!!!

        • Nicole
          July 11, 2011 at 1:43 PM

          Hi, Kadren,
          You have 5 turkeys? Wow. Poor turkeys. Delicious, but so dumb. And ugly. But yum.
          Voodoo, huh? Now I have “You do something to me” by Frank Sinatra in my head: “Let me live ‘neath your spell; Do do that voodoo that you do so well.” You should have serenaded that fool.
          I’m so glad you are enjoying the blog. That’s what I’m here for: smiles and tears, the good kind of I-can-feed-my-family-good-food sort of tears. :)
          xoxo Nicole

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