Sugar Cone vs Waffle Cone: What’s the Real Difference?

While I’m a strong proponent of ice cream as an anytime food, weather or time of day be damned, there’s no denying that a delicious frozen treat on a hot summer day can’t be beat. And while my ice cream treat of choice is a milkshake, some of you prefer your ice cream on an ice cream cone. But what kind of cone? Sugar cone or waffle cone? 

If you’ve ever been confused about what exactly the difference is between waffle cone vs sugar cone, this is the article for you. 

What is a sugar cone?

We all know what an ice cream cone is, generally speaking, yes? It’s that sweet wafer-y thing that keeps you from getting ice cream on your hands. A sugar cone is typically made with flour, brown sugar and occasionally molasses, vegetable shortening, and oat fiber. It is smaller and sturdier than its cousin, the waffle cone, and much more likely to be mass produced than made in-house. Sugar cones are great vessels for single or double scoops of ice cream sans toppings. 

What are waffle cones made of?

A waffle cone is typically made from a combination of flour, salt, egg, sugar, butter, and milk. (Baskin Robbins’ waffle cones also include a dash of cinnamon and some recipes call for other flavorings like vanilla.) These cones are more likely to be made in-house. They are larger and less sturdy than a sugar cone. You can find versions of waffle cones at the grocery store, but they’re harder to track down than sugar cones. Waffle cones are great for holding both scoops of ice cream and toppings—so you can enjoy a sort of handheld sundae. 

What’s the difference between a sugar cone and a waffle cone?

At first glance, these two cones might look very similar. But there are a few key differences. First, as noted above, the recipes for sugar cones and waffle cones are slightly different. Notably: There aren’t usually eggs in sugar cones. Sugar cones are made to be sturdier, while waffle cones are more crumbly.  

Besides this, waffle cones are often actually sweeter than sugar cones, so don’t assume you’re getting less sugar just because of the name. Finally, these two cones have slightly different shapes. Sugar cones have flat tops, while waffle cones have a rounded, less uniform edge.

What about cake cones?

It’s true, there is a third contender in the race for most delicious ice cream cone—the cake cone.

Cake cones are the squat, flat bottomed, squishier ice cream holders that often come with soft-serve ice cream. They are far less sturdy than sugar or waffle cones, but you can stand them up by themselves thanks to that flat bottom. These are undoubtedly the least classy version of ice cream cone. 

There are truly a cone-a-copia of cones, and now you’re a cone expert! Which is your favorite? 

About the Author

Matt Crowley

Matt Crowley is a comedy writer living in Los Angeles. He likes maple-flavored snacks, loves every kind of cheese, and is slowly learning to accept mushrooms.

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