The Ice Cream Cone Trick For Sneaking In Even More Delicious Toppings

Waffle cones with ice cream
Waffle cones with ice cream - Gmvozd/Getty Images

Ice cream toppings are an excellent way to make the perfect scoop even better, but they can be tricky to enjoy on an ice cream cone. Some parlors won't even offer toppings unless you're enjoying your scoops from the safety of a bowl. Fortunately, there's a clever trick for making sure you get to enjoy your embellishments right down to the last bite. Cones may have been designed to hold ice cream, but if you're not filling them up with extra good stuff, you're missing a major opportunity.

Before you stack your scoops of ice cream, fill your cone with toppings. You can go for fudge or peanut butter sauce, chocolate hazelnut spread or caramel, jams, curds, and even less common savory toppings like olive oil or balsamic vinegar. But this trick isn't limited to liquid toppings. Imagine biting into your cone to find chocolate chips, sprinkles, crumbled graham crackers, chunks of cookie dough, crushed Oreos, or salty nuts — all of which snugly and securely fit within your vessel.

If you have some marshmallows, you can make this doubly functional by trying the marshmallow hack for drip-free cones. Stuffing one of these suckers into the tip of your cone will also be reinforcement as your ice cream melts — and you get the bonus of that deliciously sweet final bite, too. Don't sleep on the opportunity to fill your cone with treats, no matter which type you choose.

Read more: The Ultimate Ice Cream Brands, Ranked

Types Of Ice Cream Cones

Cones of Ice cream
Cones of Ice cream - Mediterranean/Getty Images

There are three common types of cones. Wafer cones (also known as "cake" cones when they have a flat bottom) are probably most associated with soft-serve ice cream. They're mild in flavor with a slight sweetness, giving them an advantage in that they won't interfere with the flavor of your ice cream. The downside is that they are flimsier, and once they come into contact with melted ice cream can degrade quickly. It's best to keep your serving size small with these.

Sugar cones are crispier, as they're often made with molasses and brown sugar, which gives them a distinctive flavor and a snap that wafer cones lack. These are the thickest and most substantial of the three cones and hold up well to a tall tower of ice cream — and also hold a good amount of toppings within.

Waffle cones are the ones that smell like heaven the moment you step into (or walk past) an ice cream parlor. Like sugar cones, they're sometimes made with brown sugar or molasses, or even honey, and are often quite buttery. Whether they're made by hand or sourced from a supplier, they're almost always larger than a sugar cone, making them ideal for multiple scoops — not to mention a lot more toppings stashed inside. (In fact, they're versatile enough that you can find at least eight different ways to fill them for a party that doesn't even include ice cream.)

Deciding How To Fill Your Cone

Waffle cones full and empty
Waffle cones full and empty - Rimma Bondarenko/Shutterstock

You can line any of these options with your favorite toppings, although you may want to take into account the flavor and integrity of the cone when making your decision. You won't want to put wet ingredients in the base of a cake cone, as it can deteriorate faster. Instead, these are a great candidate for a surprise cache of sprinkles or cookie crumbs, or even a thick nut butter (nothing too oily) that won't compromise your cone.

Sugar cones are the sturdiest of the set, so if you have an extra wet topping like a sweet-tart balsamic vinegar, this is probably your best bet to keep that liquid from destroying your cone prematurely, and a softer topping like crumbled cheesecake bites bring some textural contrast and tang. Given that a waffle cone is the sweetest of the bunch, something like a bitter fudge or dark chocolate brownie bites might be ideal to balance the flavor. Waffle cones also often have that signature buttery aroma, and sometimes even notes of almond thanks to the addition of extract, which pairs well with a creamy DIY salted caramel sauce or even olive oil. Chunks of peanut butter cups or crumbled potato chips add a fun salty element to contrast. It may take a little trial and error to find your perfect cone-to-topping selections, but you can always sneak more deliciousness into your ice cream experience with this handy trick.

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