The Reason Your Homemade Ice Cream Cones Turned Out Soggy

Ice cream cones aren't the most popular recipe to make at home, but to if you want to impress guests or wow your kids with a 100% from-scratch scoop shop experience, a lack of cones would be remiss. The biggest pitfall is that small errors can result in ice cream cones that are too soft and malleable. While it seems counterintuitive, a thinner and more delicate batter is the key to a hard, crunchy texture.

If your ice cream cone batter is too thick, the cones won't cook all the way through, turning soft and limp. Your batter should be thin enough to drip from your stirring utensil, but not so thin that it won't crisp up while cooking -– too much liquid is another potential cause for soggy cones. Beyond the batter's consistency, two other important factors are temperature and time. 

Waffle cones, for example, crisp up due to the caramelization of sugar, so they need higher heat and a longer cook time than, say, a plain sugar cone. Cooking at too low of a temperature or too short a duration will result in disappointment. Always follow your recipe closely for best results. Don't give into the urge to tweak the batter, or get so excited that you pull the cones out of the oven or waffle maker prematurely. There are also plenty of tips to follow if you want to keep your cones crisp for days to come.

How to store your ice cream cones to keep them crisp

Even if your ice cream cones turn out crunchy and delicious, they can still lose their crispiness if stored improperly. To protect their texture and prevent sogginess, store your cones someplace cool and dry, as heat and moisture will spell disaster. Seal ice cream cones in an airtight container — whether you have homemade or store-bought cones on hand, don't make the food storage mistake of leaving them in an open box. 

When properly sealed and stored, homemade cones should last up to a week at room temperature, and up to two weeks in the fridge. However, you should avoid storing them in the freezer, because ice crystals will ruin the cones' texture. Another easy way to protect your cones from softening is to store them with a sacrificial bread slice. The bread will soak up any moisture in the container, and your ice cream cones will stay perfectly crispy. 

Of course, it's also a good rule of thumb to only make as many cones as you can eat within a few days, so they don't go to waste. If you're having a blowout ice cream party, feel free to cook multiple batches, but for a more low-key occasion, make only a few cones. You'll both save time and the stress of eating ice cream multiple times day just to use up the leftovers (not as fun as it sounds, we promise).

How to prevent ice cream from sogging up your cones

After going through the effort of making ice cream cones and storing them in the ideal conditions, the last thing you want is for your ice cream to sog them up. Fortunately, there's a fun (and tasty) hack you can try for the best ice cream experience of your life. Just coat the inside of your cones with melted chocolate. Once the chocolate hardens, you have a delicious barrier between your ice cream and cone, for a crispness that lasts to the final bite.

Alternatively, coat the inside of your cones with Nutella, peanut butter, caramel, or marshmallow spread — which you can make at home with marshmallows and just one other ingredient. Not only will your cone remain crispy, but you get some additional flavors with your leak-free ice cream treat. While you're at it, why not coat the rims of your cones with your dessert spread of choice and roll them in sprinkles, mini marshmallows, or crushed pretzels and nuts? You'll create a stunning and delicious effect with little effort.

That being said, if you don't have time to fully insulate your cones, you can at least add a mini marshmallow or dab of chocolate to inside of each one, right at the bottom point. This keeps your ice cream from dripping out of the cone, so that the only messy part of the experience is getting hot fudge on your face (and not your pants).