These ice cream cone cupcakes make for a delicious summer treat! The wafer cone is filled with a light and fluffy vegan sponge cake, then topped with creamy vanilla frosting to make it look exactly like soft-serve ice cream!
With summer coming up (I use that term lightly, Scotland), I thought these vegan ice cream cone cupcakes would be a great addition to the blog.
I first came across this super cute idea a few years ago. I can’t remember exactly where I saw them (probably Facebook or Pinterest) but I made them immediately and I was very impressed with the results.
All you have to do is bake the sponge cupcakes inside of some ice cream cones then decorate them to look like ice creams. So simple but so cute, and I bet these would go down great with kids.
I switched things up a little to make the ice cream cone cupcakes vegan-friendly but the results were pretty much the same.
The thing that I love most about these cupcakes is that there are so many different ways to decorate them. You could experiment with different flavors or colors of sponge, use different flavors or colors of frosting, and top with all kinds of edible decorations or sauces.
I kept it very simple with a classic vanilla ice cream cone cupcake.
Want To Spice Up Your Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes? Try These Ideas:
Swap 2 tablespoons of flour for 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder when preparing the cake batter.
Add 2 teaspoons of lemon zest to the batter and use lemon juice where the recipe calls for vinegar.
Split the cake batter into 3 bowls. Add 1 tsp pink food coloring to one bowl, 1 tsp cocoa powder to another, and leave the last one as is. Alternate the 3 batters as you fill-up the ice cream cones.
Mint choc-chip frosting
Omit the vanilla, then add 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract and green food coloring to the frosting until you get the desired color. And of course, decorate with some chocolate chips!
Swap 2 teaspoons of powdered sugar in the frosting for 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder.
Add 2 tablespoons of strawberry puree to the frosting. You can make a strawberry puree by mashing or blending 5 strawberries until smooth. Decorate with chopped strawberries or strawberry sauce.
Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to the frosting. Top with lemon zest if desired.
Which Ice Cream Sauces Are Vegan?
Adding a sauce on top of your frosting would be an excellent addition to make the cupcakes look even more like ice cream! The majority of ice cream sauces in the supermarkets are suitable for vegans. There are also lots available on Amazon.
Things to watch out for would be milk (especially common in toffee sauces), gelatine (yes, really!), and certain E numbers that may not be vegan. This vegan E number guide by The Elated Vegan is really useful!
My two favorite vegan-friendly ice cream sauces are by Askeys and I think they have quite a few different flavors. These are also available in Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Asda for those in the UK:
Vegan Sprinkles For Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes:
If you’re planning to decorate your ice cream cone cupcakes with sprinkles, be careful to watch out for cochineal, carmine, carminic acid, shellac (these 4 ingredients are made using bugs!!), and beeswax.
And as before, be mindful that some sprinkles may contain milk, gelatine, or E numbers that aren’t vegan-friendly.
Here are my favorite sprinkles to use for vegan baking:
- Asda choco sprinkles (these are the ones I used for this recipe)
- Quality Sprinkles rainbow sprinkles
- Baking Time Club gold star sprinkles (their online shop has lots more vegan-friendly sprinkles!)
How To Prevent Ice Cream Cones From Falling Over?
When baking, simply pop the ice cream cones into the holes of a cupcake pan. This will prevent them from falling over but you’ll still need to be careful when putting them into the oven and removing them.
These cupcakes can be quite tricky to store and transport around, especially with the “soft-serve” frosting on top, making them super tall.
To store mine, I used aluminum foil trays from Amazon. I just turned them upside down (so they stood up on the sides) then cut out holes big enough for the ice cream cone cupcakes.
You can bake them this way too if you like but I’ve never had any problems using the cupcake pan.
How To Make Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes
Preheat your oven to 200C / 400F.
Mix together 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice) and 150ml (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons) plant-based milk. Set it aside for 5 minutes to thicken.
Next, mix together 160g (1 + 1/4 cup) of all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder and 100g (1/2 cup) of caster/ superfine sugar. Make sure it’s well combined.
Now add the milk mixture from earlier, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and 150ml (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons) of neutral-tasting oil such as rapeseed oil. Mix together gently until you get a smooth, creamy cake batter.
Line a cupcake pan with 8 ice cream cup cones. Using a spoon or piping bag, fill each cone until it’s around 3/4 full. It’s important that you leave 2 or so inches to allow the cupcakes to expand in the oven. Otherwise, you’ll end up with overflowing ice cream cone cupcakes!
Bake the cupcakes for 15-20 minutes until golden brown on top. Make sure they are cooked all the way through by inserting a toothpick through the middle- it should come out clean. If there’s still cake batter on the toothpick, pop them back into the oven, checking every few minutes.
Want more vegan cake recipes? Try these:
While the cakes cool, prepare your frosting by mixing the butter, powdered sugar and vegan milk together. Add your flavorings or colorings and gently stir in until combined.
Pipe the frosting onto the cakes (once they are completely cool) and decorate with your chosen sprinkles or sauces. If you don’t have a piping bag, you can just spoon the frosting on- it still looks really cute!
I hope you have fun tricking your friends and family with these beautiful ice cream cone cupcakes.
Let me know how you get on with the recipe by leaving a comment, and feel free to share which combination of flavors, colors and toppings you used!
A vegan vanilla cupcake disguised as a soft-serve ice cream cone!
- 1 Tablespoon Apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
- 150 ml Plant-based milk (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons)
- 160 g All purpose flour (1 + 1/4 cups)
- 2 Teaspoons Baking powder
- 100 g Caster sugar (1/2 cup)
- 150 ml Neutral tasting oil such as rapeseed (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons)
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 8 Vegan ice cream cup cones (the small ones with the flat bottom)
- 230 g Vegan butter (1 cup)
- 450 g Powdered sugar (3 + ½ cups)
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla extract
- A few tablespoons vegan sprinkles I used these
Preheat your oven to 200C/ 180C fan/ 400F and place the ice cream cones into the holes of a cupcake tin.
Mix together the apple cider vinegar and plant-based milk and set aside for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and sugar.
Add in the milk mixture, the oil and the vanilla extract. Mix everything together to form a smooth cake batter.
Fill up each ice cream cone around 3/4 the way full, leaving a couple of inches to allow the cakes to rise.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown on top. Check they are ready by inserting a toothpick until it comes out clean. Leave them to cool completely.
Prepare your frosting my mixing all of the frosting ingredients together. If it's too thick, add a little plant-based milk until you get your desired consistency. To make it thicker, add more powdered sugar.
Pipe or scoop the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and decorate with sprinkles.
*To store, cut holes into an upside-down aluminum foil tray then place a cupcake in each hole. Cover using a cupcake carrier lid or similar.
You can store them for up to 3 days this way in a cool, dry place.