Puffle Kerfuffle

The puffle cone is the latest Asian import to excite dessert lovers

Raindrop cake isn’t the only Asian treat making waves on Instagram of late. The puffle cone, a Hong Kong-style egg waffle (a.k.a. gai daan jai) that’s twisted into a cone shape and topped with ice cream, is making social media foodies drool, leading some to proclaim it “the dessert of the digital age.” 


The first dessert shop in NYC to specialize in Hong Kong egg waffles, Eggloo has received much fanfare for its modern twist on the classic gai daan jai recipe. Puffle flavors include original, chocolate, and matcha, while ice cream and toppings range from the traditional to the more playful, such as Pocky biscuits, mochi, and condensed milk. Chinatown native Mike Tan, who grew up down the street from where his shop now sits, founded Eggloo after missing the puffles of his youth, when a local woman used to sell the treats from a nearby street cart that has long since shuttered.


Cauldron Ice Cream in Santa Ana, CA is one of the first publicized purveyors of puffle in the U.S. and “the home of the OG #Pufflegang,” but the egg waffle isn’t the shop’s only star: its all-natural ice cream is likewise garnering acclaim. Homemade in small batches, new flavors like Vietnamese Coffee and Earl Grey Lavender are created and rotated each month to ensure that customers stay surprised and delighted. The combination has been such a runaway hit (with lines up to three hours long) that the shop had to close for a week to devise a strategy for meeting growing demand.


Americans aren’t the only ones embracing this Asian import. Though puffle purveyors across North America are currently few and far between, Canadians can nonetheless indulge their cravings at Bang Bang Ice Cream in Toronto, which serves up an interpretation of the dessert called the “Big Bang Cone.” The treat is served on its own or with a scoop of the shop’s premium ice cream, which includes playfully named flavors like the tea-inspired “Thank You Very Matcha” and “Love Oolong Time”—further evidence of tea’s growing popularity as both a sweet treat and a coffee alternative.