Summertime! Independence Day! Summertime always makes me excited for backyard barbecues finished off with homemade ice cream. I remember anxiously sitting on the back porch of my parents’ home, watching the ice cream maker churn, waiting for a scoop of sweetness plopped on top of my cone. It was always a challenge to get all the cones topped off and passed out without some tipping over, and an ice cream cone tray would have been really handy back then.
My own little family continues the tradition of making homemade ice cream regularly, and we’ve even started making our own delicious waffle cones! In the few days since I made this wooden ice cream cone tray, we’ve already used it several times. It solves the problem of tipping cones, and make serving a crowd simple, which is perfect for our Fourth of July and other summer celebrations.
I’m also sharing a recipe for this strawberry and blackberry swirl ice cream, which is just the perfect amount of sweet without being over the top, and icey rather than too creamy (as I find most homemade ice cream to be.) In addition, you’ll find our favorite coconut waffle cone recipe below. The red, white, and blue of these cones makes them a fun treat for the Fourth of July, or anytime.
The ice cream cone tray has metal legs to keep the cones upright off the counter or table, and metal handles for easy gripping and passing around. I love having somewhere to put the fresh waffle cones to keep their shape as they harden, and it’s pretty too.
To make this ice cream cone tray you’ll need:
a piece of birch plywood measuring 10″ x 15″
a power drill with a phillips head, wood 1/4″ drill bit, and a 1 3/4″ hole saw
sander or sand paper
pencil, ruler or straight edge
two 6 1/2″ heavy duty door pulls
two 3 1/2″ cabinet pulls
optional white paint for the edges
- Measure 5″ from the long end, and make a faint line along the lengthwise center point.
- Measure 3 1/2 inches in from each of the long sides and draw two more lines lengthwise, dividing the tray into 5 sections.
- Measure 1″ inch from the edge on the short ends, and make a line. This will be where the handles go.
- Measure 1 3/4″ from that line and make another across the board widthwise. This will be where the first row of cone holes goes on each end.
- With the ruler running along the long end of the board, mark at the center point, or 7 1/2″
- Measure and mark on either side of the center line 1 3/4″. This is where the middle rows of cone holes will go.
- Draw faint lines as a grid along all of the marked measurements, and draw circles around the center points where the lines meet
- Using the 1/4″ drill bit, drill pilot holes for each of the 12 cone holes.
- Drill the holes with the 1 3/4″ hole saw, making sure to drill a little more slowly to accommodate the wide diameter of the holes. This step may take some time, and a couple different batteries or a corded drill, which is what I ended up switching to. It’s worth the time! Sand all of the holes and edges of the tray.
- Measure and mark 1 3/4″ on either side of the center line at the 1″ end line to place the tray handles. You’ll want to drill and secure these first, because the bottom handles will cover these holes.
- Drill holes through the tray at the marked centers, and then thread the handle hardware through the bottom, screwing it into the handles on the top.
- Measure 3 1/4 from center on the bottom and drill small pilot holes for the door handles that we use as tray legs. If the accompanying hardware is longer than 3/4″, switch it out so the screws don’t go through to the top side of the tray.
- Screw in the handles on both sides of the tray.
- Optional: paint the edges of the tray, as I did. You could also paint the whole thing if you want too!
Now you’re set with a new ice cream cone tray, it’s time to make cones and ice cream!