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Copycat Dairy Queen Crunch Cone

Did you ever come across this sweet treat at your local ice cream shop? Tasty Freeze called it Crunch Coat and Dairy Queen calls it the Crunch Cone! An addictingly crunchy treat that will have you saying goodbye to those crushed sundae peanuts you bought that one time!

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When was the last time you added a topping to your ice cream cone? I remember when I was a kid I used to LOVE getting my ice cream cone dipped into that thin candy wax coating that perfectly formed that crust around the cone adding this extra sweet pop of flavor to each bite. At the local Tasty Freeze near our house growing up, they would add little eyeball candy to it to make it extra special. It was at this moment I learned how much I love ice cream toppings. When I grew up I discovered this magical topping of sprinkles and crushed peanuts from my cousin called “crunchy coat.” I thought “I’ve had ice cream with crushed peanuts and sprinkles before and it was never this magical.” This was a total treat to my inner child figuring out the perfect ratio of candied peanuts to sprinkle. I had no idea this recipe would be so easy and I had no idea how much I would be using this with every scoop of my ice cream. Your kids will thank you for this one.

What’s more exciting than a pop of rainbow sprinkles on your ice cream? Peanuts! Candied peanuts or brittle sounds more complicated than it is. The recipe starts very simply with water and sugar in a saute pan over high heat. That’s the easy part. The hard part is just standing by and not stirring while you wait for your sugar to lightly turn brown. As the sugar mixture cooks and slowly starts to evaporate out all of the water, the bubbles will get slower and your sugar will start to turn golden on the sides. Very gently swirl the pan around to mix the evenly spread brown color. Add your crushed peanuts when the sugar mixture is very pale yellow with a wooden spoon. Stir your peanuts gently to coat each nut in sugar and you will watch the sugar start to harden around each piece. Pour your mixture out onto a non-stick mat or pre-greased parchment paper to let the sugar cool and harden. You did it!

It’s important to pre-chop your peanuts so most of the surface gets coated in sugar. When the peanut brittle cools you add it to a ziplock bag and then it’s time for the fun part of SMASHING the peanuts with a meat mallet. Crush them up to the size of your sprinkles then pour into a bowl. Toss with however many sprinkles your heart desires and remember that the more sprinkles you add the bulkier this stuff gets! Which I like because it stays in an air-tight container for months when you’re done. That’s the beauty of doing this at home. Say goodbye to that expensive little jar of crushed peanuts you bought to make sundaes for!

There’s nothing quite like sprinkles that get kids excited for food. Give these away in little goodie bags at your next kid’s birthday party. These are the fun treats kids want. It makes for an excellent Christmas gift or sundae station.

I’m excited to keep playing with this recipe to see what other fun variations of this nutty sweet topping can be! Chocolate sprinkles? Candied almonds or hazelnuts? I hope this recipe gets you as happy as this makes me. I promise there is nothing more exciting than seeing these beautiful colors come to life!

Yield(s): Makes 5 cups

5m prep time

10m cook time

10m inactive

Allergens: Nuts

When you share or print a 12 Tomatoes recipe,
you're making mealtime meaningful.
100% of the Share to Care sponsor fees fund meals for families in need. Learn More
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups unsalted roasted peanuts, crushed
  • 1 1/4 cup Betty Crocker rainbow sprinkles
  • Vanilla ice cream in a cake cone, for serving
  1. In a saute pan over medium heat, add water and sugar to the pan. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar is fully dissolved.
  2. Let sugar mixture cook until the sides start to brown and the bubbles become slow. Slowly and carefully swirl the sugar in the pan until the sugar is a light yellow color.
  3. Add chopped peanuts to sugar and gently stir until combined.
  4. Spread peanut mixture onto a silpat-lined sheet tray and let cool.
  5. Add cooled peanut brittle to a Ziploc bag and smash with a mallet into finely sprinkle-sized pieces.
  6. Toss with sprinkles and seal in an airtight container.
  7. Enjoy your ice cream.

Recipe adapted from