Restaurants and food publications may be turning their thoughts to fall, but we’re still hanging onto summer. There are two weeks till school begins and a month till the fall equinox, so bring on the ice cream! One of my biggest cooking triumphs this summer was figuring out a recipe for dairy-free drumstick ice cream cones, or old-fashioned nutty buddies as you might know them.
Dairy-Free Drumstick Ice Cream Cones (aka Nutty Buddies Copycat)
Everyone in my family enjoyed these chocolate “dipped’ cones, especially when they realized they could fill them with any flavor of dairy-free ice cream they wanted! It’s been fun to bring a little of summer’s magic home during such a quiet few months.
Kids can Make Dairy-Free Drumsticks
Kids can help with every stage of making these, especially when they melt chocolate Alisa’s way. Speedily filling the cones with softened ice cream may be a little frustrating for younger chefs, but everyone will have fun decorating the cones with painted on melted chocolate and chopped peanuts. Kids can also choose alternative toppings such as other nuts or sprinkles if they would like.
Dairy-Free Drumsticks or Nutty Buddies you can Buy at the Store
Now that we’ve made our own, there’s no turning back. But if you want a tasty convenience, there are a few brands available at grocery stores.
- Jolly Llama Cones – This newcomer has met with rave reviews, and is currently available in the U.S.
- Valsoia Italian Cones – Despite the soy-sounding name, these dairy-free cones are filled with almond milk gelato. There are versions available in the U.S. and Europe.
- Yours Truly Sundae Cones by Tofutti – These are elusive, but still being produced in the U.S., according to the company.
- Non-Dairy Drumsticks – Nestle created this vegan version of their iconic novelty, but it’s only available in Canada.
If you can’t locate any of these, it really is fun to make your own dairy-free drumstick ice cream cones. Just pick your favorite dairy-free ice cream, and get started!
Special Diet Notes: Dairy-Free Drumstick Ice Cream Cones
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, optionally tree nut-free, optionally soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian.
- Melt the dairy-free chocolate chips using Alisa's method. Whisk in the coconut oil.
- Remove the ice cream from the freezer to let it soften.
- Lay the ice cream cones on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Use the cardboard inserts from the box of cones to slightly prop up the tops of the cones. (See photos)
- Drizzle approximately 2 teaspoons of chocolate into the tips of the cones.
- Freeze the cones for 2 to 3 minutes to let the chocolate harden.
- Quickly divide one pint of softened ice cream among 4 cones.
- Repeat with the remaining two pints of ice cream and remaining 8 cones.
- If the ice cream in the cones begins to melt while you are filling them, put the sheet pan of cones back in the freezer for a few minutes. You can fill one cone at a time and place them in the freezer one by one if you would like, but I found it easier to fill them all at once.
- Let the cones freeze for at least one hour.
- Re-melt the remaining chocolate if necessary, and remove the cones from the freezer.
- Use a silicone pastry brush to paint the chocolate on the tops of the cones and down the sides of the cones about 1 inch. (I actually found it easiest to paint the cone edge first then the tops of the cones, but you can try both ways to see what you think.)
- Sprinkle chopped peanuts on the top of each cone as soon as you finish painting it with chocolate. I found it easiest to gently press the peanuts into the tops with the palm of my hand.
- Freeze the cones for at least 15 to 30 minutes before serving.
- Store any remaining cones in an airtight container in the refrigerator.