Waffle cones are my favorite type of ice cream cones. They are thin and crunchy, offering a perfect balance of textures and flavors with ice cream, and can hold more ice cream than other types of cones.
Who doesn’t like that?
Waffle cones are named after and also look like (rolled over) waffles, which, as we all know, aren’t traditionally vegan.
So, are waffle cones vegan?
Waffle cones made fresh at scoop shops are usually not vegan, as they contain eggs and dairy. Most waffle cone recipes also use white sugar, which is a controversial ingredient in the vegan community.
However, some commercially sold varieties may be dairy and egg-free. Most would still contain the controversial ‘sugar,’ though.
Do Waffle Cones Have Eggs?
Even though waffle cones look similar to, and often confused with, sugar cones, they are different. One of the most basic differences between the two types of ice cream cones is that waffle cones almost always contain eggs when made the traditional way.
This shouldn’t be a surprise considering waffle cones were first made from actual waffles, which contain eggs.
Most waffle cone recipes call for egg whites, but some also use whole eggs. In any case, they make waffle cones non-vegan.
Do Waffle Cones Contain Dairy?
They usually do.
Like waffles, most waffle cones contain dairy. However, the exact form of dairy used can vary from one recipe to another.
The most common types of dairy used in waffle cones include:
- Heavy cream
Some ice cream shops and waffle cone manufacturers also use whey, which is a by-product of the cheese-making process.
NoteWhile the primary and most apparent reason for vegans to avoid eggs and dairy is that they are animal products, there are also ethical aspects to it, as commercial egg and dairy industries are major contributors to animal cruelty.
What Are Waffle Cones Made Of? A Vegan Analysis of Waffle Cone Ingredients
There is no single, universally-followed recipe for waffle cones. Every manufacturer seems to have its own version of the waffle cone recipe. But whenever it’s non-vegan, eggs and dairy are always the key culprits.
In addition to these two indisputable non-vegan ingredients, waffle cones also contain sugar, a controversial ingredient in the vegan community.
Fun FactWaffle cones have more sugar than ‘sugar cones.’
To gain a deeper insight into why waffle cones are often non-vegan and how to determine when they are not, you must know what they contain and their status in the vegan community. Let’s take a look at all the ingredients commonly used to make waffle cones to figure that out.
Most waffle cone recipes use all-purpose flour; however, some call for bread flour. Both come from the same source, i.e., wheat, which is 100% vegan.
What makes the two types of flour different is that all-purpose flour is milled from either hard winter wheat or a blend of hard and soft wheat (in 80:20 ratio, respectively), whereas bread flour is milled from hard spring wheat.
Bread flour has a higher protein content than all-purpose flour. But both are vegan.
Most waffle cone recipes use white sugar, which is a controversial ingredient in the vegan world because of the use of bone char in its commercial refinement process. Many vegans avoid refined sugar for this reason.
But some do not on the premise that it’s practically impossible to avoid refined sugar as it’s used in a huge majority of commercial food products.
Some waffle recipes may use a combination of white and brown sugar, while some exclusively use brown sugar.
Contrary to what some people may believe, brown sugar isn’t unrefined. It’s made by adding molasses to refined sugar, so it’s no different than white sugar for vegans.
Unlike sugar, salt is always vegan. Not only is it never extracted from an animal source, but it’s also never processed with animal derivatives. So, there is no reason to have any doubts about the vegan status of salt.
All varieties of salt are 100% vegan, including sea salt that some waffle cone recipes call for (others use regular table salt)
All waffle cone recipes use some type of fat to enhance the flavor, maintain a balance of tenderness and crunchiness, and give the cone its beautiful brown color.
The traditional recipe calls for butter, but many commercial brands and waffle cone manufacturers now use vegetable oil to lower their costs.
Butter, as we all know, comes from dairy and hence, is non-vegan. However, vegetable oil is vegan-friendly.
As discussed earlier, most waffle cone recipes use eggs. They act as a binding agent and give the batter a luscious, smooth consistency, ensuring the waffle cones do not break apart when pressed in the waffle maker or rolled into cone shapes.
They also work with the fat to give waffle cones a crispy, crunchy texture.
But eggs, as is common knowledge, are not vegan.
In addition to butter, which is essentially a dairy product, most waffle cone recipes use milk or heavy cream to give the batter the right consistency and improve its taste.
Regardless of what type of dairy is used in a waffle cone, it makes it unsuitable for vegans.
Vanilla extract is the most common flavoring agent used in waffle cones. And it’s 100% vegan in both natural and synthetic forms.
Natural vanilla extract is made by soaking vanilla beans in a mixture of alcohol and water, whereas the non-natural version is made with synthetic vanillin, the chemical compound naturally found in vanilla beans.
Are Baskin Robbins Waffle Cones Vegan?
Baskin Robbins offers two varieties of waffle cones – Fresh-Baked Waffle Cone and Fancy Waffle Cone with Sprinkles. Both are made fresh in-house every day. But sadly, they are not vegan-friendly.
Both varieties of Baskin Robbins’ waffle cones are made the same way using the same ingredients, which include eggs and dairy in the form of whey.
In addition to these two primary non-vegan ingredients, the Baskin Robbins waffle cone also contains sugar, palm shortening, and artificial flavors, all of which are controversial ingredients in the vegan community.
For those who may not know, many vegans avoid artificial flavors and palm oil. While both are essentially plant-based, artificial flavors are often tested on animals and palm oil production contributes to deforestation.
These are strong enough reasons for many vegans to avoid these ingredients.
Here’s the complete list of Baskin Robbins’ waffle cone ingredients for your reference:
The Fancy Waffle Cone contains various other non–vegan ingredients in the chocolate topping and sprinkles.
Are the Cones at Ben and Jerry’s Vegan?
They are not. Although Ben & Jerry’s website doesn’t provide lists of ingredients for their ice cream cones, they clearly stated in a Tweet a few years ago that their ice cream cones are not vegan.
Are Sugar Cones Vegan?
Sugar cones are often confused with waffle cones as they also have a similar waffle pattern. However, the two are different. Sugar cones are firmer and aren’t as big as waffle cones.
In terms of vegan-friendliness, the status of sugar cones is a little tricky. While they do not contain animal-derived ingredients, they have sugar and also often contain natural and/or artificial flavors, all of which are controversial ingredients in the vegan world.
The answer to whether sugar cones are vegan-friendly or not can vary for different vegans.
Are Cake Cones Vegan?
Cake cones aren’t vegan. Like waffle cones, they also contain eggs and dairy and hence, are not suitable for those on a plant-based diet.
The Verdict – Can Vegans Eat Waffle Cones?
Mostly, they cannot. Waffle cones typically contain eggs and dairy, or at least one of these animal ingredients. All waffle cones also have sugar, which is a disputed ingredient among vegans due to the use of bone char in the commercial refining process.
If you avoid refined sugar, you can’t eat waffle cones. But if you don’t mind eating commercially refined sugar, you may find some waffle cone varieties that are free of animal ingredients, such as those from Keebler and Joy Ice Creams.
Got your hands on vegan waffle cones and are now looking for plant-based ice cream? Here are the Best Vegan Ice Cream Brands in the country.