Make Your Own Ice Cream Cones…On a Panini Press!

It's the taste of summer...homemade ice cream cones!

This one is worth screaming from the rooftops. YOU CAN MAKE ICE CREAM CONES WITH YOUR PANINI MAKER! Easily! With no special ingredients! And they’re good!

Get ready for your inner child to leap with joy once that familiar sweet, cookie smell you love from the ice cream parlor wafts about your kitchen. If you’ve ever watched the ice cream folks make cones, all they do is place some batter on a shallow waffle iron, press out the batter and shape the cone. It finally occurred to me…couldn’t we do the same thing on a panini press? The answer is: absolutely.

A simple batter, with ingredients you might already have on hand

For the cone batter, I looked to this super-helpful post on the Cupcake Project blog.  Stef offered tips for pressing and rolling ice cream cones on a traditional waffle cone maker as well as a link to pastry chef Gale Gand‘s cone batter recipe on the Food Network website. You probably already have most of the ingredients on hand: heavy cream, vanilla, powdered sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and cornstarch. That’s it.

Place a heaping tablespoon of batter onto the panini grill

I made up a batch of the cone batter, applied a dollop to the panini grill (a heaping tablespoonful seemed about right), closed the lid, and waited anxiously for a little over a minute.

We're ready to roll!

This amoeba-with-ridges may not resemble the perfectly round discs that a regular waffle cone maker produces, but keep the faith…it’ll be worth it.

Lay your cone mold on the hot cookie - gotta work quickly!

It was easy enough to make my own cone mold. All I did was draw a big circle on the back of an old file folder (in truth, I traced the outside of a roll of blue painter’s tape), cut it out and taped it into a cone shape. For those of you without a roll of blue painter’s tape, I’ve made a little template for you.

At this point, the cone is very hot off the press. Be tough! You’ve got to work quickly to shape your cone before it cools (like less than 10 seconds). Position your mold in the center of the cone, leaving a little space at the edge…

Roll the cookie around the mold

…to allow the cone to fold over on itself at the bottom without leaving a hole. You know that ugh feeling when the drip-drops of ice cream on your sneakers let you know there’s a hole in your cone.

It's an ice cream cone!

The cone miraculously sticks itself together and, after about 10 seconds or so, holds itself in place for good.

Ice cream cones!

Hooray – ice cream cones!

By the way, they are actually really good ice cream cones. You get big vanilla flavor along with hints of spice from the cinnamon and nutmeg. They’re crisp just like they should be. It turns out that the amoeba shape that the panini grill produces, once rolled, actually makes a more even-edged ice cream cone than the traditional waffle cone maker. Ha! So maybe this way is even better. 🙂

I hope you’ll all be grilling off tons of ice cream cones this weekend – and while you’re at it, go ahead and fill them with some incredible Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream!

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Make Your Own Ice Cream Cones on a Panini Press

Adapted from Gale Gand’s Waffle Cone recipe on the Food Network website

Prep time: 40 min (including rest time) | Cook time: 30 min | Total time: 1 hr 10 min

Yield: 14 ice cream cones

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a medium bowl with a whisk or electric mixer, whip the cream and vanilla together until it is mousse-like. Sift the remaining dry ingredients together in another bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the cream and stir to make a batter. Let the batter sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the panini grill to medium high heat (about 375°F).

For each ice cream cone:

  1. Place a heaping tablespoonful of batter onto the grill and close the lid, completely pressing the batter. Grill for about 90 seconds or until the pressed cone is browned but still malleable; it will be an oblong shape. Carefully transfer the pressed cone to a cutting board or piece of waxed paper.
  2. Position your cone mold (download a template and instructions for making a mold here) in the center of the pressed cone, leaving about 1/2″ of space between the long edge of the pressed cone and the pointed end of the cone mold.
  3. Working quickly and carefully (the cone will be very hot!), roll the pressed cone around the cone mold to shape it.
  4. Leave the cone on the mold for about 10 seconds to set the shape.

NOTE: After some testing on different grills, it seems that this recipe works a little better on grills like the Breville Panini Press where the grates close a bit more tightly together. The Cuisinart Griddler doesn’t close quite as tightly, so it gives somewhat thicker cones.

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KathyPanini Happy, online since 2008, is more than just a sandwich blog. Here, you'll find hundreds of my original panini recipes, my guide to choosing a panini press and a whole lot of other creative uses for the panini press.
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127 Comments

  1. Ingenious! I’ve been dragging my heels about buying a panini maker, but this could definitely tip the scales for me.

    Posted 6.3.11 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      It’s my personal goal to get you off of the panini maker fence, Lydia! Lol, if I have to bring you one to the log cabin myself. 🙂

      Posted 6.3.11 Reply
  2. I have alwasy wanted to make homemade ice cream cones- but I suppose it always seemed intimidating! This looks so easy and my kids will LOVE it! Thanks Kathy!

    Posted 6.3.11 Reply
  3. This is such a fun idea. I can’t wait to try it! My waffle maker has deep holes, so I think my panini press will work better for making cones. And, these sound like delicious cones.

    Posted 6.3.11 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      Yes, it’s the shallow ridges on the panini maker that really make it possible. Always fun to find more and more uses for this machine!

      Posted 6.3.11 Reply
  4. Sarah wrote:

    WOW! This is a genius idea! I applaud your creativity! 🙂

    Posted 6.3.11 Reply
  5. CherylK wrote:

    I am impressed!! I found your link on TasteSpotting and was intrigued with the photo. This is something I need to try…I don’t have a panini grill but since finding this site, I’m just going to have to spring for one!!

    Posted 6.3.11 Reply
  6. This is so creative. I love the idea of making my own ice cream cones. I’m going to to make a gluten-free version. Thanks so much for sharing this great idea!

    Posted 6.3.11 Reply
  7. kellypea wrote:

    I sit down to my Friday am tweets and everyone’s a twitter over these. NICE! Happy weekend to you, Kathy 🙂

    Posted 6.3.11 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      Same to you, Kelly – gorgeous forecast for today. 🙂

      Posted 6.3.11 Reply
  8. Aunt Angela wrote:

    Ummm… Seriously!! Can’t wait to try this! What a great idea to do for a summer party (or I guess anytime!) 🙂

    Posted 6.3.11 Reply
  9. What a terrific idea! Today is the first day of summer vacation for my kids and this will for sure be going on our “recipes to try” list. It will no doubt be tops on the list. So glad I finally broke down and bought my panini press earlier this year…can’t wait to try this and our homemade strawberry cheesecake ice cream. Thanks!!

    Posted 6.3.11 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      I can attest that the cones go fabulously with strawberry ice cream, Brenda! 🙂 Hope your kids love it!

      Posted 6.3.11 Reply
  10. Jessica wrote:

    Too cool! I’m finally picking up an ice cream maker on the way home from work… which obviously means I’ll be needing to make cones too!

    Posted 6.3.11 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      Obviously! Sounds like there is a tasty weekend in store for you. 🙂

      Posted 6.3.11 Reply
  11. This is such a fabulous idea, I never would have thought to make ice cream cones at home! I bet it smells wonderful like Ben & Jerry’s:-)

    Posted 6.3.11 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      Glad I’m not the only one who loves that smell. 🙂

      Posted 6.3.11 Reply
  12. Genius idea! And this is coming from someone who owns a waffle cone maker. 🙂 Homemade ice cream cones are incredible.

    Posted 6.3.11 Reply
  13. Amy wrote:

    At first I thought it said “make you’re own ice cream” on the press (I missed the “cone” part) and I was like “WHAT WHAT WHAT?” Lol. I’m totally totally making these. Awesome.

    Posted 6.3.11 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      Lol, Amy. Making the actual ice cream on the press would require many orders of magnitude more patience and technique than I possess. 🙂

      Posted 6.3.11 Reply
  14. Shumaila wrote:

    You are brilliant! This sounds so do-able. I dont think I’ll ever stop getting stumped by the creativity the food blogging world keeps throwing at me! Thanks for sharing!

    Posted 6.3.11 Reply
  15. These are genius!!! So, is the texture very crisp like a cone? Or a little more soft like a waffle? Either way, I’m mesmerized by these and can’t wait to try making them. 😉

    Posted 6.3.11 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      They’re crisp, but not as durable as a store-bought sugar cone. Not soft like a waffle, except for those few seconds as you’re rolling them around the mold. You should definitely try them, Carolyn!

      Posted 6.3.11 Reply
  16. Ashley wrote:

    Hm, I use a George Foreman grill instead of a panini maker, I wonder if it’ll work? I’ll have to try!

    Posted 6.3.11 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      It would be worth a try!

      Posted 6.3.11 Reply
  17. Carolyn wrote:

    I just love this…I can hardly tell you how much I love it. Shared it on stumble, it’s just too good to keep to myself!

    Posted 6.3.11 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      Thank you so much, Carolyn – I appreciate it!

      Posted 6.3.11 Reply
  18. Felicia B. wrote:

    Awesome idea!! Time to crank up the ice cream maker! What can be better than homemade ice cream with homemade waffle cones?!

    Posted 6.3.11 Reply
  19. That’s such a cute idea!! Too bad I don’t have a panini press. Don’t throw anything at me k? lol 🙂

    Posted 6.3.11 Reply
  20. Totally doing these this weekend. Why bother trying to fit into my pants anymore???

    Posted 6.3.11 Reply
  21. OMG, you’re a genius. This is such a great idea!!

    Posted 6.3.11 Reply
  22. brilliant, I can almost smell the sugar and cinnamon!

    Posted 6.3.11 Reply
  23. Maria wrote:

    SO COOL! I can’t wait to try this!

    Posted 6.3.11 Reply
  24. Kristen wrote:

    This is so brilliant!! You always come up with the most awesome things to do with your panini press but this is my favorite!

    Posted 6.3.11 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      Thanks, Kristen! Coming up with new ideas is the most fun aspect of writing this blog. 🙂

      Posted 6.3.11 Reply
  25. I love this idea. So much more fun to eat ice cream in a cone.

    Posted 6.3.11 Reply
  26. Mika wrote:

    My father has one of those panini press, I should give this a try, sounds brilliant… ^_^

    Posted 6.3.11 Reply
  27. This is such a great idea! I’m def going to try it– thanks for the inspirations!

    Posted 6.4.11 Reply
  28. Marly wrote:

    You defintely get all you can out of that panini maker! This is so creative and fun!

    Posted 6.4.11 Reply
  29. Great idea! I’ve got a press and I bet my kids would be thrilled to make these!

    Posted 6.4.11 Reply
  30. What a brilliant idea! I love learning new ways to use kitchen appliances

    Posted 6.4.11 Reply
  31. Penny wrote:

    I tried to make this using a gluten-free flour, as I cannot gluten due to having Celiac Disease. I didn’t have much luck at all. Has anyone else tried to make these gluten-free. They smelled wonderful but didn’t even come together into anything resembling a cone. Thanks in advance.

    Posted 6.4.11 Reply
  32. Shaina wrote:

    Oh my gosh, I LOVE this!

    Posted 6.4.11 Reply
  33. Oh no, you’re terribly. You have now given me the final excuse to buy a panini maker. Mine broke and I never replaced it, because honestly, what I used it for could be done with other (smaler or bigger) appliances too. But now I need one again! This really is sheer genius!

    Posted 6.5.11 Reply
  34. Aggie wrote:

    How cool is this! you are amazing…I love your creativity!!

    Posted 6.5.11 Reply
  35. What a neat idea! I’ll definitely try these with the grandkids when they come for the summer.

    Posted 6.5.11 Reply
  36. Louise wrote:

    Oh no! Now I’m going to need to buy an ice cream machine and a panini press!!! How clever. Stef has a wonderful blog and I must say, you have done a fabulous job yourself explaining the process and tantalizing my ice cream cone urge. I will find room for two new “tools” if it kills me!!! I’m so saving this post:)

    Thanks for sharing, Kathy…

    Posted 6.5.11 Reply
  37. What an incredible idea! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

    Posted 6.6.11 Reply
  38. I’m so trying this. What a brilliant idea!

    Posted 6.6.11 Reply
  39. Just found the best lower fat ice cream recipe and now this??? It very serendipitous so I am making these this weekend! Thanks!

    Posted 6.6.11 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      All signs are pointing to ice cream! 🙂

      Posted 6.6.11 Reply
  40. This is genius! Those cones are so pretty and I bet all panini maker owners will be forever grateful 🙂 Kathy the panini queen!

    Posted 6.6.11 Reply
  41. I’m not really the target market for ice cream comes (lol) but this is still definitely very cool!

    Posted 6.6.11 Reply
  42. Jeanette wrote:

    Kathy, you are definitely the queen of panini! How inventive – I may have to get a panini press just to make these for my kids!

    Posted 6.6.11 Reply
  43. Tracy wrote:

    Oh my goodness, this is amazing! Love it!!

    Posted 6.6.11 Reply
  44. What a great idea! I hate the idea of buying too many things that only serve one purpose like a pizzelle marker would so this is just a genius idea.

    Posted 6.7.11 Reply
  45. Such a great idea!! I can’t wait to try these out!! Thank so much for sharing!

    Posted 6.7.11 Reply
  46. Totally genius. A homemade cone trumps those cardboard flavoured ones you get in a box any day.

    Posted 6.7.11 Reply
  47. very fun post! Hello from Italy by the way…

    Posted 6.8.11 Reply
  48. Monica wrote:

    This is seriously clever. Fabulous photos, too. I’m doing it!

    Posted 6.8.11 Reply
  49. This is brilliant! Another reason to get the panini press out of the cupboard! The cone & ice cream look delicious!

    Posted 6.8.11 Reply
  50. Shani wrote:

    Cool! I just discovered your blog. This is such an awesome idea – I can’t wait to make these cute cones and get some extra use out of my panini press!

    Posted 6.9.11 Reply
  51. Nichol wrote:

    I never imagined making my own cones, this is such a great idea. I need a panini press!

    Posted 6.10.11 Reply
  52. OMG! You are a genius! I never use my panini press, but waffle cones? Heck yes! (Glad I found your blog on The Kitchn, now maybe I will use my panini press to make sandwiches again, thanks to your site.)

    Posted 6.10.11 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      Thank you so much, Ivy – and thanks for the heads up about The Kitchn!

      Posted 6.10.11 Reply
  53. Jean wrote:

    Epic! Absolutley brilliant!!! I am so glad I discovered your blog today! Thanks Kitchn!!!
    I, too use a George for my panini making. I am so excited to try these. I gave my husband an ice cream maker for his birthday and he’s getting Jeni Britton Bauer’s new ice cream book for Father’s day. This will be awesome!!!
    And if I can’t get them rolled absolutely tight enough. I’ll just use Martha’s trick of dropping a mini marshmallow in the bottom of the cone before scooping ice cream on top 🙂
    You rock!

    Posted 6.10.11 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      Thanks so much, Jean! I hadn’t heard of the marshmallow trick – that’s the perfect solution! I definitely want to check out that ice cream cookbook – I get the Jeni’s emails and am always so enticed by her flavors. 🙂

      Posted 6.10.11 Reply
  54. a m a n d a wrote:

    Awesome idea. You’ve given me yet one more reason why I need to add a panini press to my kitchen arsenal! Thanks for a great post.

    Posted 6.11.11 Reply
  55. Lena wrote:

    Couldn’t you just use a funnel to create the ice cream cones? I mean, it’s cone shaped already…..and sturdier than paper. Or is there some problem with the funnel that I’m not aware of ?

    Posted 6.11.11 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      I’m sure you could try a funnel. I just don’t happen to have one. It might be a challenge to close the hole at the bottom.

      Posted 6.11.11 Reply
  56. What a fantastic idea, Kathy! I can’t wait to surprise my kids with these cones.

    Posted 6.11.11 Reply
  57. I so love this idea ! For this, I’m gonna have that panini press I always wanted to buy. I’m gonna do it ! Thank you so much for sharing, I can’t wait to try.

    Posted 6.12.11 Reply
  58. Melanie wrote:

    What a clever idea! I love using my panini press to make sandwiches, but I never in a million years would have thought of making ice cream cones with it!

    Posted 6.12.11 Reply
  59. Nella wrote:

    Great post! You know, they sell krumkake molds (http://www.fantes.com/images/16634.jpg) that I bet would be great for making cones too.

    Posted 6.15.11 Reply
  60. Nella wrote:

    Um wait, this one is pointier and better for closing the cone on the bottom: http://www.fantes.com/images/16633krumkake.jpg I got it from this website http://www.fantes.com/krumkake.html

    Posted 6.15.11 Reply
  61. Lewyintheuk wrote:

    Best idea I’ve seen in a blog in ages! I can’t wait to try this out!!

    Posted 6.16.11 Reply
  62. These are unbelievable and exactly what I was looking for! I am making them this weekend for homemade drumsticks. Thank you so much for sharing, Kathy!

    Posted 7.8.11 Reply
  63. What a terrific idea! I gotta try this one. 🙂

    Posted 7.26.11 Reply
  64. Lua wrote:

    Can you use milk as a substitute to heavy cream?
    Great idea with the panini maker!
    Thanks

    Posted 8.7.11 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      I haven’t tried it with anything besides heavy cream, but my guess is that using milk, which has less fat, might result in a somewhat less crisp cone and thinner batter. Worth experimenting, though!

      Posted 8.7.11 Reply
  65. Jill wrote:

    I failed miserably at this! I’ve had this page bookmarked for months and finally tried them. Mine came out too thick even though the press was pushed down all the way. They were sort of cakey and broke apart when I tried to shape them. They were still delicious and we ate them like cookies. I don’t know what I did wrong . . . whip the cream too much?

    Posted 9.5.11 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      Eek – something definitely was off. Which grill did you use?

      Posted 9.5.11 Reply
      • Jill wrote:

        Sorry I missed seeing the reply. I have a Cuisinart Griddler.

        Posted 10.3.11 Reply
        • Kathy wrote:

          It’s possible that the Griddler doesnt close as tightly as the Breville panini press I was using. I’ve since bought a Griddler and while I haven’t tried the ice cream cones with it I did try making tortillas and noticed they weren’t quite as thin as I’d like.

          Posted 10.3.11 Reply
  66. emmycooks wrote:

    Man, I am so confident about my ability to grill a sandwich without one, but this is almost enough to make me need a panini maker! I humbly suggest pairing these with a no-ice-cream-maker salted caramel ice cream: http://emmycooks.com/2012/06/07/salted-caramel-ice-cream-no-ice-cream-maker-required/ 🙂

    Posted 7.5.12 Reply
  67. Britt wrote:

    I also just tried this recipe with my breville panini press and ended up with a puffy crumbly mess.

    Don’t waster your time with this unless you have a pizzelle press.

    Britt

    Posted 7.19.12 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      Hi Britt – Which Breville press do you have? Did you close the lid all the way to flatten the dough? I’ve made this recipe many times on my Breville, including twice last week, and it has consistently worked but you do need to press the dough all the way flat.

      Posted 7.19.12 Reply
  68. anonymous wrote:

    can i use a grill toaster?

    Posted 11.8.12 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      I’m not sure what a grill toaster is?

      Posted 11.8.12 Reply
  69. Scott_D wrote:

    I am currently making these. Thank you. I found that once I put the batter on the panini press if I spread it around very quickly with an offset spatula I could control the shape better. I also cut the recipe to only use 1 cup of cream. I added a tablespoon of almond flour, leaving out one tablespoon of regular flour.

    Posted 4.6.13 Reply
    • Kathy Strahs wrote:

      Great suggestions, Scott!

      Posted 4.6.13 Reply
      • Scott_D wrote:

        Oh, I forgot. To plug up the holes I melted some chocolate chips and dribbled it down in. And the 1/3 recipe makes 8-10 small cones.

        Posted 4.6.13 Reply
  70. Maria wrote:

    A great idea to make ice cream cones at home. My kids will love these!

    Posted 4.14.13 Reply
  71. Bunny wrote:

    Gosh, that sounds so cool.
    one question though- the original recipe uses 3 cups cream for 1.5 cups flour/sugar etc. but you use 1 cup heavy cream for the same 1.5 cups flour/sugar etc. Is this a mistake [and so I 1/3 the entire recipe] or not [and so I should 1/3 just the cream]?
    Thanks!

    Posted 8.4.13 Reply
    • Kathy Strahs wrote:

      Hi Bunny – The food network version of the recipe changed at one point and I’m not sure why. People discussed the change in the comments on that site a bit. Anyway, I’ve always used a cup of flour to 1-1/2 cups cream (including all afternoon last weekend during a demo at Whole Foods!) so I can confirm that 1 cup of flour works. 3 cups of cream would be much runnier – too runny for the panini press for sure.

      Posted 8.4.13 Reply
  72. Debbe wrote:

    Could you use a pizzelle maker for these?

    Posted 8.9.13 Reply
    • Kathy Strahs wrote:

      Worth a try?

      Posted 8.9.13 Reply
  73. gary wrote:

    your recipe calls for one cup heavy cream recipe that you told me to go to says 3 cups heavy cream which is it that’s a big difference

    Posted 9.23.13 Reply
    • Kathy Strahs wrote:

      Hi Gary – you’ll see in the comments on that food network recipe there was actually a bit of discussion about the 1 cups vs 3 cups. I’ve always used 1 cup – it creates a thicker, dough-like batter that is better for making cones on the panini press, as it doesn’t spread off of the plates.

      Posted 9.23.13 Reply
  74. jasmin wrote:

    they look great!
    but i was wondering because i am vegan at home that do you think it would work if i used coconut cream instead of normal thick cream?

    Posted 7.22.14 Reply
    • Kathy Strahs wrote:

      I’m afraid I’m not too familiar with making vegan substitutions, but the coconut cream might be worth a try. P.S. Sorry for the much delayed response to your question, it got buried under a bit of spam, yikes! ~Kathy

      Posted 4.30.15 Reply
  75. Angela wrote:

    Hi! Great idea, thanks Do you know if these cones stay crispy for a while? Ie, if I make it one day, will it survive for 24-48 hours until party day?

    Thanks!

    Posted 4.30.15 Reply
    • Kathy Strahs wrote:

      Hi Angela — They’re really best the same day (even better if real-time!). I might save them for 24 hours in an airtight container, but not 48 hours. ~Kathy

      Posted 4.30.15 Reply
  76. Amy Smeltzer wrote:

    Bet you could make cannoli shells in a similar way by adding cocoa powder to the recipe and make tube shaped instead of a cone.

    Posted 4.16.20 Reply