What's more exciting than a fresh ice cream cone with all the fixings? Now you don't need to take a trip to the ice cream shop or grocery store for one. Add an ice cream cone maker to your small appliance collection for tasty treats anytime you like. Ice cream cone makers let you make cones or bowls with homemade recipes. Savvy home cooks also enjoy using ice cream cone makers to craft savory or spicy creations.
Whether you're planning an ice cream social or making yourself a sundae, make sure you have the right tool with our buying guide on ice cream cone makers. Our favorite model, Brentwood Appliances' Waffle Cone Maker, features an adjustable temperature setting and comes with a handy cone roller to give your cones a professional look.
Considerations when choosing ice cream cone makers
Some people invest in ice cream cone makers because they want to use one at their next party. Since they're making cones in large quantities, it's important to know whether the design is practical for party use. Some models make two cones at a time, whereas others have quick-cook settings. If you're willing to spend a little extra, you can get both.
There's no standard size when it comes to ice cream cones or bowls. It can be hard to determine size based off the hot plates, especially flat designs, so refer to the product information for exact creation specs.
Pattern type is usually a secondary concern in ice cream cone makers, but nonetheless, it's necessary to address. Most models have signature waffle prints, while others have flat, smooth discs.
Ice cream cone makers are accessory appliances, so before shelling out the money, determine whether it's worth the investment. Even if you plan on using it a few times, it's worth the novelty and entertainment factor. With that said, it's best to stick to the lower end of the price range if you only intend to use the ice cream cone maker occasionally.
Electric ice cream cone makers
Electric ice cream cone makers are essentially waffle makers, but in a different shape. They're convenient and generally easy to clean.
Nonstick heating plates: Electric models feature nonstick heating plates, which makes removal of the cone or bowl a breeze. It also means your creations heat more evenly with little effort on your part.
Indicator light: There's no guesswork involved with electric ice cream cone makers, as they come with indicator lights. They change colors when your plates have heated up and it's time to bake or when your cone is finished cooking.
Temperature controls: If you're persnickety about crispy cones, you'll appreciate an electric model with temperature settings. These are operated by dials and may come with a bit of a learning curve in terms of their levels of baking.
Handheld ice cream cone makers
Handheld ice cream cone makers are used on the stovetop. Traditionalists and seasoned home cooks enjoy their simple design, but those used to electric appliances may have mixed feelings about them.
Long handles: Handheld models feature long handles that extend away from the stove for safety reasons. They're usually outfitted with a heatproof grip, though if they're not, you need to use oven mitts.
Dual plates: These models usually have clamshell designs that must be fully closed for successful baking. They sometimes come with safety closures at the front and at the rear, and the clamshell design is held together by a sturdy hinge.
Budget-friendly ice cream cone makers cost between $15 and $26. If you prefer to make waffle cones or want more electric settings, expect to spend closer to $50. Commercial-grade models with more than one plate cost between $50 and $100.
Q. How long do I have to let the ice cream cone or bowl cool down before I can use it?
A. It's best to let your creations cool fully for several minutes before filling them with ice cream. Be sure to touch the inner cone area to truly assess the coolness.
Q. What's the best way to transfer batter into my ice cream cone maker?
A. You can use a ladle for easy pouring, but check for drips to minimize the mess. Another popular option is placing batter in a container that squirts. It's easy to control how much batter is dispensed, plus it keeps drips and mess to a minimum.
Our take: Adjustable temperature setting lets you play with the crispiness of your cones.
What we like: Comes with a "cone roller" for perfect-looking cones every time. Makes soft or crunchy waffle and sugar cones. Indicator light tells you when it's time to cook. Plates have 7-inch diameter.
What we dislike: Instructions could be written more clearly.
Our take: 4-inch deep bowls to enjoy your favorite treats and all the fixings.
What we like: Nonstick sides. Design makes removal easy. Some people enjoy making savory bowls for other dishes with adapted recipes.
What we dislike: Must open and close device with care.
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.