This Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes recipe is such a fun and simple dessert to throw together! With its homemade vanilla cake and fluffy vanilla frosting, these are always a birthday party favorite! Kids always go crazy for them, especially when rainbow sprinkles are included.
Did you know you can bake cake batter directly in an ice cream cone? Make these positively adorable ice cream cone cupcakes for your next special event and delight your guests with each tasty bite.
Of course, you could just make these with a box cake mix, but our recipe includes the perfect recipe for from scratch cake, a beautiful buttercream recipe, and very simple step-by-step instructions. All using ingredients you probably already have on hand.
Ingredients for Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes
- Butter - You can use salted or unsalted butter. If you're using salted butter, reduce the salt by half.
- Milk - I used whole milk and would recommend that you do as well.
- Full-Fat Sour Cream - full-fat sour cream is thicker than light sour cream which is why I always use full-fat.
- Vanilla Extract - store-bought pure vanilla extract or your own homemade vanilla extract will work
- Eggs - Always use large eggs for my recipe unless another size is specified in the recipe card.
- Cake Flour - cake flour has less gluten and provides a soft texture perfect for cakes and cupcakes.
- Granulated Sugar - White sugar
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda - The leavening agents for the cake batter.
- Salt - Reduce the amount of salt by half if you're using salted butter.
- Flat-Bottomed Ice Cream Cones - You could also use mini flat-bottomed ice cream cones for bite-size cupcakes. You'll need to reduce the baking time since there will be less batter.
Ingredients for Buttercream Frosting
- Butter - I like to use salted butter for my frosting. This means I don't need to add additional salt and it helps balance the sweetness of the powdered sugar.
- Powdered Sugar - This thickens the frosting and provides all of the sweetness.
- Milk - You can use whole milk or heavy cream.
- Vanilla Extract - store-bought or homemade works!
- Optional: Rainbow Sprinkles.
How to Make Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes from Scratch
Baking cupcakes in an ice cream cone is very simple! First, preheat your oven and stand the cones in a baking dish.
Next, whisk your dry ingredients together. Then, whisk together your wet ingredients until the egg and sour cream are fully incorporated.
Combine the dry and wet ingredients. This mixture should be very smooth.
Add batter to each cone, and bake for twenty minutes. A skewer inserted into the center should come out clean. Cool the cupcakes completely.
Make the buttercream frosting while the cupcakes cool. Blend together the powdered sugar and room temperature butter using a hand mixer or stand mixer. Add the milk and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes once they are completely cool and top with sprinkles if desired.
Tips and Variations
- If you’re struggling with the cones tipping over you can cover a baking dish with tin foil and poke holes in it, then place the cones in the holes to help hold them up.
- Do not overfill the cones with batter, too much batter will be unable to cook fully or may leave the cake stuck on the outside of the cone.
- For chocolate frosting add 1⁄4 cup of cocoa powder and an extra tablespoon of milk to the frosting.
- You can also make confetti cupcakes by adding 1⁄4 cup of rainbow sprinkles to the cupcake batter.
- Make these cupcakes easier by using a store-bought cake mix and frosting. I think you will prefer the homemade recipe and it is a little sturdier cake that holds up better in the cone. But in a pinch, do what works for you.
- Use any variety of sprinkles to coordinate the ice cream cone cupcakes with your event, holiday, team spirit, or school colors.
- Pick your flavor! Any cake flavoring or flavor of frosting will work.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make gluten-free ice cream cone cupcakes?
Yes. You can use a gluten-free cake mix, and I've found the Betty Crocker mixes to be fairly nice. Or, you can use the one-for-one flours and try it with this recipe, though we have not tested it.
How full do I fill the ice cream cone to make cupcakes?
2-3 Tablespoons of batter per cone. If you use a gluten-free cake mix, increase that by one tablespoon since the cake does not rise very much. You may need to increase the bake time as well.
Can I freeze ice cream cone cupcakes?
No. The cones will become soft and will not thaw well.
How to Make Ahead and Store Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes
Store leftover ice cream cone cupcakes by creating a storage container for them. Cover a 9 x 13 baking pan tightly with foil. Use a sharp knife to make an X for each cone. Carefully push each cone down into the foil so that it is wedged. It will take some finesse to keep from messing up the frosting. Then, stick the pan in the refrigerator to help prevent drying out, since you won't be able to add a cover without smashing the cupcakes.
Get creative! You might think of an even better way to store these babies, especially if you need to make them ahead of time and transport them. Please note that the cones will soften over time so it is best to only make them one day ahead of your event, and eat them all within two to three days.
More Great Novelty Desserts
Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes
- 1 cup butter room temperature
- 4-5 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Stand each ice cream cone in a baking dish or muffin tin. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until just incorporated.
- In a medium bowl, add butter, milk, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk until the eggs and sour cream is thoroughly incorporated.
- Pour the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients and whisk until combined and the batter is smooth.
- Scoop 2-3 tablespoons of batter into each cone.
- Once all of the cones are filled, immediately place in the oven for 20 minutes. If the batter sits in the cone too long before baking it will start to get soggy quickly.
- After 20 minutes or when a skewer comes out clean from the center of one of the cupcakes, remove from oven and allow to cool.
- While the cupcake cones are cooling, add the butter and vanilla to a large bowl. Beat with a hand mixer on medium speed until creamy.
- Add in 4 cups of powdered sugar and milk. Beat on low until the powdered sugar is incorporated. If the frosting is too thin, add additional powdered sugar ¼ cup at a time and beat in each addition before adding the next.
- Once the powdered sugar is worked into the frosting, turn mixer up to medium/high and beat for an additional 30 seconds to one minute until light and fluffy.
- Add the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1M piping tip.
- Pipe frosting onto cupcakes or spread on with a knife. Garnish with rainbow sprinkles.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. The cones will continue to soften over time so the sooner they’re eaten, the better.
- If you’re struggling with the cones tipping over you can cover a baking
dish with tin foil and poke holes in it then place the cones in the holes to
help hold them up.
- Do not overfill the cones with batter, too much batter will be unable to
- For chocolate frosting add 1⁄4 cup of cocoa powder and an extra
tablespoon of milk to the frosting.
- You can also make funfetti cupcakes by adding 1⁄4 cup of rainbow sprinkles to the cupcake batter.
(Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.)