Picture this: a heap of creamy, soft serve ice cream drizzled in a stream of warm, gooey chocolate sauce, showered with sprinkles and brownie pieces, all stuffed in a Nutella-lined, cinnamon- and sugar-dusted cone made entirely of donuts! If you haven’t heard of this pastry pleasure yet, let me fill you in. The donut ice cream cone is what sweet dreams are made of and one of the latest dessert mashups to go viral.

Central European Origins

San Diego Ice Cream Cone

Donut Bar San Diego

Donut cones may be a relatively new thing in North America, but over in Central Europe they’ve been happily stuffing their faces with delicious cones made of dough for years. Trdelník is a popular cylinder-shaped “street sweet” also called a chimney cake (or kürtőskalács in Hungarian) that’s spun over a flame until golden then rolled in sugar, cinnamon, and walnuts. It wasn’t until recently that a café in Prague, Good Food Coffee and Bakery, had the brilliant idea to fill the cones with ice cream. Instantly, our news feeds were flooded with food porn from lucky travelers eating the temptatious treats while the rest of the world was left with a desire for donut cones with no sign of relief in sight. The good news is we no longer have to cross the Atlantic for a proper poke. A handful of shops right here in North America are bringing soft serve ice cream back in a delectable, doughy way with their own spin on the donut cone.

Moving to America

Datz Dough Donut Ice Cream Cone

Datz Dough, Tampa

Datz Dough in South Tampa, Florida started serving donut ice cream cones as a one-time promotion back in March 2016 when the hype all began. It was a Nutella-lined doughnut cone coated in cinnamon sugar, filled with jelly doughnut-flavored soft serve ice cream and topped with bacon caramel popcorn, whipped cream, and a cherry. The donut ice cream cones were so popular that Datz Dough decided to permanently add them to the menu, switching the toppings and flavour combinations each week. Garden Creamery in San Francisco just added Malasada Chimney cones to their delicious lineup, and San Diego’s Donut Bar is already expanding our waistlines with its hot new menu item—you guessed it—a donut cone stuffed with soft serve and covered with tasty toppings. And how’s this for a tease: Koala Kolache in Houston, Texas recently posted a picture on their Facebook page of a soon-to-be launched sprinkled donut ice cream cone that has our tongues wagging in excitement.

Each of these shops have their own take on the summer treat, but if you want an authentic, European-style donut cone without actually going to Prague, you can make a much shorter trip north of the border to Eva’s Original Chimneys in Toronto. Once there, you can indulge in a Dream Cone coated in cinnamon and stuffed with Nutella, butter toffee bits, salted caramel brownie chunks, chocolate sauce and real cream vanilla soft serve; or try an Apple Pie donut ice cream featuring a cinnamon coated chimney filled with vanilla soft serve, apple pie preserves and dusted in more cinnamon.

The ice cream cone, once just a convenient vehicle for our soft serve, is now the best part of an ice cream thanks to donut cones. I can’t wait to see where donut shops will take this cylindrical confection to next.

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