We're talking soft serve wrapped in cotton candy, soft serve stuffed into a cream puff, soft serve on top of a stack of pancakes...the extra-ness goes on and on.
Lemon Soft Serve
Credit: Copyright: The Walt Disney Company

Remember when "let's get soft serve" meant heading to Carvel for a swirl cone topped with rainbow sprinkles?

Those were simpler times. In today's world, soft serve can be pickle-flavored and even made into a pie. Sometimes, it feels like it's intended more for Instagram than it is for eating. But that wacky Instagram bait is pretty fun to look at, so, in honor of National Soft Serve Ice Cream Day on August 19, we've rounded up the most over-the-top cones out there. They're eye candy on their own, and if they inspire you to go out and get a cone, even better.

Here are 13 of the craziest soft serves we could find around the world, from gold-encrusted ice cream in Tokyo to churro cones in New York City:

Rainbow soft serve from Daily Chico in Tokyo

If you thought sushi and sumo wrestling were the prime reasons to visit Japan, think again. This epic cone is stacked with eight different flavors: Strawberry, Coffee, Milk, Chocolate, Matcha, Banana, Grape and Ramune Soda.

Cotton candy-wrapped soft serve from Milk Train in London

This cutesy shop has everything an Instagrammer could ever want, from a picture-worthy sign that says, “Ice Cream Makes You Happy” to cones that are literally wrapped in cotton candy.

Oh, and during Easter, they did soft serve in a chocolate egg:

Next-level toppings at Soft Cream in Los Angeles

When we say “next-level” we really mean it. This L.A. spot takes toppings to mean artful (and edible) decorations, and they win the decorating game, period.

What-a-Melon soft serve from Dominique Ansel Kitchen in New York City

Dominique Ansel is known for his inventive creations, from Cronuts to frozen s’mores, and his soft serve is just as worthy of praise. This watermelon soft serve is served inside of an actual slice of watermelon, but the black seeds have been replaced by hand-cut dark chocolate.

Unicorn soft serve pancakes and soft serve-topped waffles at Frisson Coffee Bar in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

Who says soft serve needs to come in a cup or a cone? This Malaysian breakfast spot sure doesn’t, judging by the rainbow pancakes and chocolate waffles that they top with perfect soft serve swirls.

Gold leaf soft serve from the Arashimaya district in Tokyo

It might be plain-old vanilla soft serve, but it’s covered in real gold leaf. If that isn’t extra, we don’t know what is.

Fish cones at Taiyaki NYC in New York City

Riffing on the traditional Japanese dessert taiyaki—a waffle-like batter shaped into a fish and often filled with red bean paste—these unicorn fish cones have risen to Instagram fame.

Smoking soft serve at 720 Sweets WEM in Vancouver

This soft serve’s on fire! Not really, but it is smoking hot. The Canadian dessert spot uses dry ice to make their product pop.

Marshmallow two ways at Soft Society in London

While these cones don’t have all the tricks that some of the others do, the torched marshmallow is pretty great—and the shop seems to offer two different versions, one with a ring of browned Marshmallow Fluff, the other topped with a giant toasted marshmallow.

Crazy churro cones at Union Dough in New York City

We’re not sure if these churro vessels should be called cups or cones or bottomless doughnuts, but we’re down with it. This NYC kiosk is backed by nuts.com, and the desserts are inspired by the chimney cones found all over Budapest and Prague.

Mini macaron toppings at Nadége Patisserie in Toronto

This French patisserie tops their soft serve with the tiniest macarons. They’re so cute that they make us want to pack our bags and fly to Canada just for a taste.

Puff Creams from Popina Canteen in Vancouver

A lobster roll and fried chicken shack that also does soft serve? Pretty much our dream come true. But Popina has taken things one step further with their puff creams, which make us think that soft serve should be mandatory for all cream puffs from here on out.

Build Churr-Own at The Loop Churros in Los Angeles

That’s right, this California joint lets you customize everything about your soft serve AND your churro, from glaze to drizzle.

Share the craziest soft serve you've ever had by tagging us @foodandwine!