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 cupcakes vegan-friendly but the results were pretty much the same.
More vegan cupcake recipes:
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 flavours or colours of sponge, use different flavours or colours 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.
Alternative flavour and decoration ideas
- Chocolate sponge
Swap 2 tablespoons of flour for 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder when preparing the cake batter.
- Lemon sponge
Add 2 teaspoons of lemon zest to the batter and use lemon juice where the recipe calls for vinegar.
- Neapolitan sponge
Split the cake batter into 3 bowls. Add 1 tsp pink food colouring 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 colouring to the frosting until you get the desired colour. And of course, decorate with some chocolate chips!
- Chocolate frosting
Swap 2 teaspoons of powdered sugar in the frosting for 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder.
- Strawberry frosting
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.
- Lemon frosting
Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to the frosting. Top with lemon zest if desired.
Vegan Ice cream sauce
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 flavours. These are also available in Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Asda for those in the UK:
How To Make Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes
Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F. Line a cupcake pan with 8 ice cream cup cones.
Mix together 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar) and 140ml of soy milk (1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon). Set it aside for 5 minutes to thicken.
Next, mix together 115g of self-raising flour (3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon), 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and 90g of caster/superfine sugar (1/2 cup).
Now add the milk mixture from earlier, along with 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Mix together gently until you get a smooth, creamy cake batter. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to ensure no dry mixture is stuck there.
Using a spoon or piping bag, fill each cone until it’s around 3/4 full. It’s important that you leave 1-2 inches to allow the cupcakes to expand in the oven. Otherwise, you’ll end up with overflowing ice cream cones!
Bake the cupcakes for 15 minutes. 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.
While the cakes cool, prepare the frosting by mixing 6 tablespoons of vegan butter and 450g (3 + 1/2 cups) of icing sugar together. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 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!
These cupcakes can be quite tricky to store and transport around, especially with the frosting on top, making them super tall.
To store mine, I used aluminum foil trays from Amazon. I turned them upside down (so they stood up on the sides) then cut out holes big enough for the ice cream cones. I then placed a large bowl over the top of the whole tray so that no air could get inside.
Around 2-3 days if stored as above.
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.
If you’re planning to decorate your cupcakes with sprinkles, be careful to watch out for cochineal, carmine, carminic acid, shellac (these 4 ingredients are made using bugs!!), and beeswax.
And 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!)
Let me know how you get on with the recipe by leaving a comment, and feel free to share which combination of flavours, colours and toppings you used!
Happy baking! xo
A vegan vanilla cupcake disguised as a soft-serve ice cream cone!
- 140 ml Plant-based milk (1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon)
- 1 Teaspoon Apple cider vinegar (white vinegar)
- 115 g Self-raising flour (¾ cup + 1 tablespoon)
- ¼ Teaspoons Baking soda
- 90 g Caster sugar (1/2 cup)
- 3 Tablespoons Vegetable oil
- 2 Teaspoons Vanilla extract
- 8 Vegan ice cream cup cones (the small ones with the flat bottom)
- 6 Tablespoons Vegan butter
- 450 g Powdered sugar (3 + ½ cups)
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F (160°C/325°F if using a fan or convection oven). Place the ice cream cones into the holes of a cupcake tin.
Mix the soy milk and vinegar together and set aside for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda 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 minutes. Check they're cooked by inserting a toothpick through the centre. Leave them to cool completely.
In a large bowl, mix together the butter and icing sugar with a wooden spoon.
Add the vanilla extract and gently stir it in.
Pipe or scoop the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and decorate with sprinkles.
- Cut holes into an upside-down aluminum foil tray then place a cupcake in each hole for storing. Cover using a large bowl or similar.
- You can store them for up to 2 days this way in a cool, dry place.
- If frosting is too thick, add a little plant-based milk until you get your desired consistency. To make it thicker, add more powdered sugar.