July 23, 1904 – Invention of the Ice Cream Cone

It is beyond me why this is not a national holiday. It was July 23, 1904, according to some accounts, when Charles E. Menches conceived the idea of filling a pastry cone with two scoops of ice-cream at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition, popularly known as the St. Louis World’s Fair. Other claimants to the honor also made or sold the cones at the Fair, so it is reasonable to assume the date is accurate, if not the person’s name. (You can read about some of the other claimants here.) It is also from the time of the fair that the edible “cornucopia,” a cone made from a rolled waffle, gained widespread popularity in the United States.


Ice cream had been invented long before, some say in the fourth century B.C. Over time, recipes for ices, sherbets, and milk ices evolved and were served in the fashionable Italian and French royal courts. After the dessert made its appearance in the United States, it was served by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Dolley Madison. It also was set out for guests at the inauguration of Andrew Jackson.

Find out more about ice cream cones at this Library of Congress website.

A man sells ice cream to children from a cart during the summer of 1918. Photograph by Paul Thompson, National Geographic.

And finally you will surely want to know about the recipe for ice cream cone cupcakes. The cones provide a great way for kids to enjoy cupcakes without the mess of pulling off and discarding cupcake pan liners.


Here’s a fairly easy recipe:


1 package dry cake mix (any flavor)
24 cake cup ice cream cones
water, oil and eggs per cake mix directions on box
Preheat oven to 350F.
Mix cake mix per directions on box. If using a white cake mix, divide mix into four separate mixing bowls and use food coloring to make different ice cream ‘flavors’.

Place ice cream cones in muffin pan and fill about 1/2 to 3/4 full.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until done.

Cool on a wire rack. Let cool completely if frosting.

Makes 18 to 24 cupcakes

Happy Ice Cream Cone Day!!


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12 Responses to July 23, 1904 – Invention of the Ice Cream Cone

  1. Margot says:

    I remember when the recipe (cone cupcakes) first came out. I was a room mother and took a batch for a party. They were a hit and mothers were calling me for my secret recipe! Fun memory.

  2. Lisa says:

    God love whoever discovered the ice cream cone. Ice cream just isn’t the same without the cone. Thanks for the recipe!

  3. Rita says:

    Yes, it should be a national holiday – and I love sugar cones! With swiss orange chocolate ice cream from my local deli.

  4. Alyce says:

    I can’t believe that the ice cream cone is that recent of an invention! It makes me hungry looking at all of those photos.

  5. Belle says:

    I have never seen an ice cream cone cupcake! These look like so much fun to eat. And I agree, it should be a national holiday!

  6. Bumbles says:

    Can we have a national holiday just for ice cream cone cupcakes?!?!?!

  7. BooksPlease says:

    I’ve never heard of ce cream cone cupcakes – they look delicious!

  8. Tara says:

    I’m in agreement – I want a national holiday for ice cream!

  9. M Denise C says:

    I’m definitely going to try to make those!

  10. Ladytink_534 says:

    Yeah, that should definitely be a holiday- or at least somewhat recognized! I mean, a lot of food has their own day, why not ice cream?

  11. cipriano says:

    I agree. Not only should this day be a National, no… INTERNATIONAL holiday, but this guy should have won the Nobel Prize.
    You know what I mean? Like in the Awesome Inventions department.

  12. Rebecca says:

    This totally SHOULD be a holiday! We should get off of work and no one goes to classes and we all have a huge ice cream sundae party! Yes! I think if we sent around a petition, we’d have no trouble getting signatures.

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