Adorable Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes are a perfect treat when you want a showstopper that’s still easy to make. This Easter cupcake version includes a candy egg surprise on the top of the cupcake too.
One look at these fun ice cream cone cupcakes and no one will guess they ARE really cupcakes! They are a delicious dessert and so unexpected. Great for a birthday party, baby showers and any holiday. They are easy to change up for the special occasion.
Though there are multiple steps to make this fun dessert, they are not difficult. We’ve included step-by-step photos to walk you through the whole process. Everyone loves these fun treats and there’s no question why!
What are Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes?
Unlike traditional cupcakes baked in a muffin tin, ice cream cone cupcakes are cupcakes baked right in an ice cream cone!
The cupcakes can be made from any cake mix and a regular or gluten-free cake mix can be used.
These Easter cupcakes are made with Funfetti cake mix.
A special tool makes creating ice cream cone cupcakes a cinch.
Recipe Ingredients Notes
All ingredients should be easy to find at the grocery store.
- Sugar Cone Ice Cream Cones. Regular or gluten-free sugar cones can be used.
- Funfetti cake mix. You’ll need one box of cake mix. Regular or gluten-free cake mix both work. We used funfetti for the Easter cupcakes but any favorite cake flavor mix will work. You’ll also need any specific ingredients called out in the cake mix (eggs, oil, etc).
- High-quality Vanilla Candy melts. We use and love Ghirardelli melting wafers. They work wonderfully and have a great vanilla flavor.
- Colorful sprinkles. For this version smaller size sprinkles work best for coverage.
- Plastic fillable Easter eggs. These can be found at grocery stores, craft stores and online.
- Small candies to fill Easter eggs. Think Easter M&Ms, mini chocolate eggs, jelly beans etc.
- Unsalted Butter
- Kosher Salt
- Vanilla Extract
- Powdered (confectioner’s) Sugar
- Heavy Whipping Cream or Half and Half
Special Supplies needed
Most of the equipment required for these Easter cupcakes are regular things already in your kitchen. Here are two special things you’ll need:
Ice Cream Cone Baking Rack
It collapses for easy storage and is used to bake, decorate and hold the ice cream cone cupcakes. It’s affordable and worth the investment to make ice cream cone cupcakes for birthday parties, Valentine’s day, St. Patrick’s Day and other special occasions you need a special treat or easy dessert!
1M Frosting Tip and Piping Bag
Frosting the top of the dipped ice cream cone cupcakes is easy and makes the perfect spot for a filled egg to rest.
A 1M Wilton Frosting Tip and piping bag are needed for this step. These supplies are inexpensive and can be found online or in any stores with a baking section.
If you need some guidance this video should help!
Using Candy Melts
If you have not used candy melts in desserts, they look like flatter, larger chocolate chips.
They melt to a creamy consistency then harden making a great coating. They will coat the top of the baked cupcakes and the flavor pairs well with the vanilla frosting.
The one catch is all brands are not created equal for taste. Candy Melts can taste a bit waxy. We used Ghirardelli White Melting Wafers which melt well and have a wonderful rich flavor. Guittard is another high-quality brand.
There are many vanilla candy melts options to try. They can be found online or in crafting and kitchen stores with a baking area.
Ice Cream Cone notes
This recipe has been tested with both gluten and gluten-free cake mix and cones. Both work great.
Notes on Gluten-Free Ice Cream Cones
For gluten-free cones I like Goldbaum’s Sugar Cones though any sugar cones will work.
Goldbaum’s have great flavor and crunch, as well as are sturdy cones. They are usually available at Target and Walmart stores for a few dollars a package. There are multiple brands of gluten-free ice cream cones available on Amazon.com too.
Gluten-free ice cream cones can be a bit smaller than regular ice cream cones but still fit in the cone holder.
TIP: check the fit of your cone in the cone baking rack before dipping them.
If the cone sits low in the holder (not much sticking up over the holder), over dipping the cone cupcake can cause them to affix to the holder when the dipped surface hardens.
How to Make Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes – Step by Step
Don’t let the length of this recipe scare you! Even though there are many steps, they are all easy and broken down with photos and simple instructions.
Please refer to the recipe card for all the specifics of the recipe.
STEP 1. Preparation
Place a cone holder on a rimmed baking sheet. (photo 1; shown without the baking sheet)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
STEP 2. Make and Bake
Prepare the cake mix according to package directions.
Spoon cupcake batter into the cones filling them 2/3’s full and place in the cone holder(photo 2).
Bake 16-18 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
Keep the cones in the cone holder to cool (5-10 minutes; until they can be handled) (photo 3)
STEP 3. Dip
While the cupcakes cool, melt the 1 cup of candy melts according to package instructions. (photo 4)
Dip the top of cones in melted candy one by one. (photo 5 and 6) Do not dip past the top area of the cone (see photos).
Place back into the cone holder (photo 7)
After all of the cones have been dipped in melted candy, begin dipping cones in sprinkles (this allows the melted candy to set first) (photo 8). Place in the cone holder to set up (see below).
STEP 4. Frosting
Make vanilla buttercream frosting as directed in the recipe card below (photos 9-13)
Using a 1M Wilton tip (or a different large open star tip), fill piping bag and frost cones in a circular motion. (photo 14-15)
STEP 5. Finish
Fill clean plastic Easter eggs with desired candy (photo 16).
With a steady hand place the filled egg (photo 17) to the top of the frosted cone (photo 18). Place them back in the wire rack.
Recipe PRO Tips
- Don’t overfill cones or they will overflow down the cone when baking.
- Don’t rush the cooling process. When the cupcakes are comfortable to handle they can be dipped.
- Dip each of the cone cupcakes THEN roll each in sprinkles. This allows the melted candy to set.
- Make the frosting AFTER all cones are dipped and sprinkles added; this allows setting up.
- Do not fill the plastic Easter eggs with heavy candies or more than half full so they stay in place on top of the cupcakes.
How to Use Leftover Cake Mix Batter
This recipe will make 12 cone cupcakes and use about 1/4-1/3 of the batter.
What to do with the leftover cupcake batter?
- Increase the cupcake recipe to make more than 12 cupcakes. Increase the number of ice cream cones, dipping candy melt quantity and the sprinkles proportionately to the additional cupcakes (e.g. if you’ll make 24, double the cones, candy melts for dipping and sprinkles). The frosting makes a large batch and could be stretched over 24 cupcakes but would need to be increased for more than that.
- Bake a smaller size cake using a 6-inch pan if you have one or in a single layer cake pan.
- Bake some regular cupcakes to also enjoy or freeze for later.
- Make Cake Batter waffles!
- Or just discard it
Storing and Serving
These are best served the day they are made. The cupcakes can be kept at room temperature unless it’s very hot and humid.
Store and serve them in the cone cupcake rack.
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Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes for Easter
Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes
- 12 Sugar Ice Cream Cones regular or gluten-free
- 1 Box Favorite Cake Mix (Funfetti recommended) regular or gluten-free
- 1 cup High-quality Vanilla Candy Melts (I used Ghirardelli) see recipe Notes
- 1 5-ounce container Colored sprinkles smaller size works best for coverage
- 12 Plastic Easter eggs
- Small candies to fill Easter eggs (see recipe Notes)
- 2 sticks Unsalted Butter softened
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 4 cups Powdered (Confectioner’s) Sugar divided
- 3-4 tablespoons Heavy Whipping Cream or Half-and-Half divided
- ¾ cup High-Quality Vanilla Candy Melts melted
Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes
- Place a cone holder on a rimmed baking sheet and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare the cake mix according to package directions.
- Spoon batter into the cones filling them 2/3’s full and place in the cone holder.
- Bake 16-18 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
- Keep the cones in the cone holder to cool (5-10 minutes; until they can be handled)
Dipping the Cupcakes and Adding Sprinkles
- While the cupcakes cool, melt the 1 cup of candy melts according to package instructions.
- Dip the top of cones in melted candy one by one. Do not dip passed the top area of the cone (see photos). This will ensure they do not stick to the cone rack if they are smaller cones. Place back into the cone holder.
- Repeat until all cones have been dipped.
- Once all of the cones have been dipped in melted candy, begin dipping cones in sprinkles one by one. Replace in the cone holder to set up.
Making the Vanilla Frosting
- The bowl of a standing mixer equipped with the whisk attachment, cream together butter, salt, and vanilla.
- Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and 2 Tbs cream; beat until combined.
- Scrape the mixing bowl as needed and add the rest of powdered sugar. Mix until combined.
- Turn mixer on low speed and pour in the ¾ cups melted vanilla candy.
- Add the additional cream as needed for the consistency.
- When frosting is a smooth, thick consistency, whip frosting on high for 5 minutes. Frosting should be soft and fluffy.
Frosting and Decorating the Cupcakes
- Using a 1M Wilton frosting tip, fill piping bag and frost cones in a circular motion.
- Fill clean plastic Easter eggs with desired candy and top. Note: do not fill more than half full (see Notes below).
Originally published: April 2, 2019