Cauldron: Not Worth the Scoop


Darsh Singhania

The rose-shaped vanilla ice cream with cinnamon and Oreos on a red velvet Puffle cone design

Darsh Singhania, Staff Writer

The Cauldron, an ice cream parlor chain with interesting flavors, cones, and ice cream design, started out as a small shop in a backyard in Orange County. In the last five years, it has expanded internationally, and a new location recently opened on 1088 E Brokaw Road in San Jose. 

As I walked in, the modern logo design and the upscale location made me excited to try the ice cream. The restaurant invoked both modern and retro styles, with bright teal highlights, exposed silver piping, and clean wooden tables. The employees made the ice cream from scratch right in front of me, using dry ice to cool down the cream, which emitted vapor and smoke across the counter. After creating the main mass of ice cream, she then added in Oreos and cinnamon. This process highlighted the main focus of the Cauldron and its menu gimmicks: futuristic yet retro. The smoke from the dry ice reflected on the neon lights above the silver pipes used to ventilate and hydrate the counter. 

Altogether, this parlor seemed gourmet upon first entering the shop, the actual dessert did not live up to this image. The menu contained many unique flavor combinations, put alongside eye-catching names like ‘Sun, Moon, and Stars’ made with three tea flavors, and ‘The Cauldron’ consisting of vanilla, cinnamon, and Oreos. The main gimmick of the restaurant is the Puffle cone and the rose-shaped ice cream. The Puffle is made of a combination of egg puff dough and waffle batter, which is then griddled in a specific iron until golden brown, hot, and crispy. I ordered The Cauldron on a red velvet Puffle cone with a rose pattern, as this order represented both the gourmet nature of the dish and the signature flavor of the ice cream shop. The experience of watching the ice cream being made from scratch was impressive; however, the taste left much to be desired. The vanilla ice cream was overly milky, with no unique flavor, causing it to be bland and difficult to eat. The texture was also not smooth, likely because it was made by the employees from scratch, and parts of the scoop were thicker than other sections. The Oreos on top were the only flavorful element of the ice cream, adding sweetness and a crunchy texture to break up the one-note vanilla. The cinnamon that was mixed into the vanilla was not potent enough to produce a noticeable change in flavor and therefore was impossible to taste. However, the Puffle cone was by far the biggest letdown, as it became cold and stale almost immediately after I received it. It lacked any flavor with a very chewy, unpleasant texture.

Ultimately, this dessert was not worth its price of $7.99, and would probably have been better without the Puffle cone entirely. The Cauldron puts on a gourmet facade but in reality, is overpriced for average ice cream place with a failed gimmick.

When I walked into The Cauldron, I had hoped for an upscale ice cream parlor with exclusive flavors and qualities that would give me a reason to come back for more. However, the ideas for these elements simply did not work in execution, as it was poorly done. At the end of the day, you would be better served by going to a different ice cream place where prices are cheaper and the ice cream has more character. Ultimately, Cauldron had a cool and unique aesthetic in its store, but this was not reflected in the flavors or attention to detail in the ice cream.