Gluten Free Ice Cream Cones

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


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.

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