I Tried Trader Joe’s Most Popular Dessert, and Here’s How It Went

updated May 24, 2019
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(Image credit: Elisabeth Sherman)

I am usually the biggest proponent of eating as much ice cream as possible. At least in theory. But I think we can all agree that there are moments when a waffle cone stuffed with three heaping scoops leaves you feeling stuffed and a little sick. That’s why the idea behind Hold the Cone! Vanilla Mini Ice Cream Cones from Trader Joe’s is so ingenious: If you’re craving ice cream, but you don’t want to overdo it, a mini ice cream cone should be enough to satisfy your sweet tooth. And for $3 for a box of eight cones, they’re very well-priced.

The mini cones were recently dubbed the “best” dessert at Trader Joe’s, according to their loyal customers, so obviously I had to try them out for myself. Would they really satisfy my ice cream craving?

I decided to bring the box with me to a drinks date with friends (it is cold enough in New Jersey right now that they easily stayed frozen). After a couple of beers, I handed out a cone to each person — and saved one for myself, of course.

The cones went down in five bites or less, a perfect little snacking interlude. This isn’t your average plain vanilla ice cream — it tastes more like a smaller version of a Drumstick. The chocolate coating on top adds a satisfying crunch, and the ice cream goes all the way down to the bottom of the cone. This is a crucial element of a successful ice cream-eating experience; no one likes to chomp down a piece of plain, dry cone.

Given that the mini cones were a huge hit among my friends, I also got to thinking about how the next time I host a dinner party or have friends over to my place, instead of making my own dessert I’ll just grab a few boxes of these and hand them out.

Best of all, I didn’t feel too full and I didn’t want to immediately lay down after eating it. I’m guessing most people will be eating these at home, but the point still stands: If you like to treat yourself after dinner, but don’t want to commit to an entire pint of ice cream, this is the dessert for you. Trust me — it tastes great (it’s just chocolate coated ice cream, after all), and it is just the perfect amount to satisfy your sweet tooth. That’s a win-win in my book.