Whether it’s a hot summer’s day, a birthday party cake, a breakup snack, or a just because you can; ice cream has and will always be the ultimate refreshing comfort food.
Some of the flavors we will be mentioning today, you might already be very familiar with, but hopefully, you learn about some new and interesting ones. All these flavors are exceptional and we simply cannot rank them.
These are some of the best ice cream flavors around today; let’s see how many you can try this year!
Most Popular Ice Cream Flavors
Fun fact, but vanilla ice cream is by far the most popular ice cream flavor in the world – nothing even comes close! Not that surprising considering how extremely versatile it is.
Vanilla ice cream can be served with virtually any dish and can also be paired with virtually any flavor. Those made from real vanilla pods or even paste are something extraordinary and much better than even store-bought vanilla ice creams (although, some of those are also really good!).
Chocolate ice cream is up there as another top ice cream flavor worldwide, even though it was the first flavor invented in 1692 – are you just as shocked as we are?
This flavor can be made with various forms of chocolate and with varying intensities. Try a dark chocolate (65-80%) ice cream. The bitterness of the chocolate and the sweetness of the ice cream base are very well balanced and complement each other beautifully.
You can also try triple chocolate ice creams, which usually consist of chocolate ice cream, chocolate fudge or sauce, and chocolate chips, chunks, or shaving for texture. White chocolate ice cream is also very good, albeit very sweet.
Either way, no matter what combination of chocolate, no one can argue that chocolate ice cream isn’t divine! Ideal for making chocolate milkshakes.
3. Salted Caramel
If you have never tried a salty-sweet flavor combination, do yourself a favor and start with this one. Salted caramel has always been one of our favorite flavors and when we found it in ice cream form, boy-oh-boy were we excited.
The salt helps enhance the flavors of the caramel without overpowering it. Serve salted caramel ice cream with some chopped nuts, chocolate chips, or extra sea salt flakes!
4. Tropical-flavored Ice Creams
This category is too broad to split up into individual sections as they are all equally delicious and refreshing. Tropical flavored ice creams include all flavors made from tropical fruits like mango, passion fruit, litchi, pineapple, papaya, and many more.
All these flavors are more often used in sorbet forms, but their creamy, silky smooth forms are equally refreshing and the mouth-feel perfection. It is the perfect ice cream for themed parties or vacation desserts.
5. Lemon Custard
Just like “salty-sweet” is a brilliant flavor combination, so is sweet and sour. We use it in our sauces, stir-fries, and candies all the time, so why not ice cream too?
Lemon curd is the perfect sweet-sour ice cream flavor ever! The lemon, although definitely adds a sourness, is well-balanced with the sweetness of the custard and enhanced the vanilla flavor. This ice cream flavor is best consumed alone as it doesn’t pair that well with other foods.
6. Rocky Road
The rocky road flavor profile has become increasingly popular over the decades, not only for its delicious flavor but also its appealing texture.
Rocky road is a must-try and consists of chocolate ice cream, chopped nuts, and marshmallows. There are many variations, but traditionally either almonds or walnuts are used. We even teach you how to make rocky road ice cream at home.
7. Rum & Raisin
Rum & Raisin is an ice cream that is definitely more popular in some areas of the world than others. Personally, we’re obsessed.
This ice cream is very unique as it is one of the few that contains alcohol (rum) with dried fruit pieces (raisins). This flavored-ice cream is much richer compared to other flavors, and if you haven’t had it before, go find some now! You’ll thank us later.
8. Mint Chocolate Chip
This is a very controversial flavor, and like most things, you’ll either love it or hate it. We’re more on the side of loving it, but to be honest, we haven’t had ice cream that we don’t like.
Mint chocolate chip is very refreshing and almost crisp. The addition of the chocolate chips not only adds another complimentary flavor but also some crunchy texture.
Another classic ice cream flavor we’ll certainly not overlook is strawberry ice cream. Although it was initially made from fresh strawberry puree, today they’re mostly made using strawberry extract.
If you can find ones with actual strawberries, you’ll be in for the treat of your life! It’s refreshing, has amazing texture, and is packed with flavor!
Sometimes, you can even find a strawberry and black peppercorn ice cream – just as delicious. The peppercorn balanced out the sweetness and adds that something extra.
10. Cookies & Cream
Another very old and much-loved flavor enjoyed by kids and adults. Cookies and cream are usually made from vanilla ice cream and chocolate cookies, but who follows the rules anymore.
Today you’ll be amazed at how many different cookies and cream flavors are available. They combine any flavor ice cream, with any flavor cookie. This is a very fun ice cream and you can even make it at home!
11. Bacon Ice Cream
A savory-sweet ice cream, who would’ve thought?! This is definitely a very rare ice cream flavor and can probably only be found in artisanal ice cream shops or at markets. That being said, we’d go to the ends of the earth to find it again.
Bacon flavored ice cream is made with bacon-infused milk or custard and is usually also paired with maple syrup for that added sweetness.
Neapolitan ice cream is perfect for those who can’t decide what you want. It is a side-by-side combination of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream – classic and simplistic.
There are also historical variations of this ice cream, especially from Italy, where they used pistachio, vanilla, and cherry to represent the Italian flag. You’ll also find many others, all being equally inspiring and delicious.
13. Nut-based ice cream
This is another one of those ice cream categories that are much too wide to break up. Although nuts are usually used as garnishes in ice creams, there are a few nut-flavored ice creams as well. A personal favorite is almond, pecan, walnut, and pistachio.
These ice creams can be paired with many other dishes and have very unique and complex flavor profiles. The addition of chopped nuts or dried fruits adds more flavor and a pleasant texture.
14. Hokey Pokey
This is a traditional ice cream flavor from New Zealand but can be found in other parts of the world as well.
It is a very interesting ice cream consisting of plain vanilla ice cream, garnished with honeycomb toffee chunks and a honey-toffee syrup.
It’s a very sweet ice cream so might not be for everyone, but certainly has to be tried at least once. You do also get variations of Hokey Pokey, but the main flavors will remain the same, just in different forms.
15. Green Tea or Matcha
By now everyone has heard of matcha, so it isn’t surprising that it quickly became ice cream. Even if you don’t like the tea by itself, it is certainly a must-try in ice cream form.
It has a very unique grassy flavor that when paired with the sweetness of the custard, is something incredible.
16. Beer Ice Cream
Did somebody say beer? Yes, please! These ice creams, like the bacon ones, are more artisanal and harder to find.
The darker and bitterer beers are used when making beer ice cream and sometimes the alcohol (ferment-flavor) is still present in the ice cream itself. They are very well-balanced ice creams that are refreshing in more ways than one and make a great topic for conversation.
17. Moose Tracks
This is an ice cream flavor created by Denali Flavors Inc., so if you don’t have access to their ice creams, you probably won’t be able to taste this one.
It is described as vanilla ice cream with “peanut butter cups and famous Moose Tracks fudge”. Whatever those products might actually be, it is very hard to replicate at home with common substitutes, so try the real thing rather than a knock-off.
Ube is a very sweet lavender-colored purple yam and when transformed into an ice cream, creates this very unique and satisfying flavor and deep purple color.
This is a very popular flavor in Hawaii so might be hard to come by in other parts of the country and world.
Cherry is a surprisingly popular ice cream flavor around the world, and especially in the United States. What makes this flavor great is that different types of cherries are often used in different areas, which creates a variety of flavors.
The sweeter varieties are usually used, but ice creams made from sour cherries are very unique and also a must-try.
Cherry ice cream is often used along with other flavors such as chocolate, almonds, and mint, and usually has some form of texture, even if it is only cherry pieces.
If you’re a big fan of Turkish-delight, then you’ll love this ice cream version. This is another very sweet ice cream and is also often garnished with nuts and herbs like mint.
You can also easily make some at home by mixing some rose syrup with plain vanilla ice cream
21. Peanut Butter
Is there anything peanut butter doesn’t taste good in? Peanut butter sandwiches, cookies, cakes, and now even ice cream. This is not a very new ice cream flavor, but it is still just as popular and exciting.
Peanut butter ice cream is also very versatile and can be paired with several dishes like vanilla cake, chocolate chips, and plain cookies (for ice cream sandwiches or garnish).
We also love it when our peanut butter ice cream has some texture with added crunchy chopped peanuts or even peanut brittle
22. Nut-brittle ice cream
Speaking of brittle, we’ve covered the nut-ice creams, but we haven’t yet discussed other interesting ways they can be incorporated.
We’ve seen a tremendous rise in brittle-flavored ice creams which are basically nut-flavored ice creams, with added nut-brittles. A brittle is made of chopped nuts set in a sugar syrup or caramel. When chopped, it creates beautiful texture and crunch and adds extra caramel sweetness.
23. Spiced-ice creams
Yes, another revolutionary culinary creation. We have a friend who works in the artisanal ice cream game and who recently told us about spiced ice creams.
These include anything from plain black pepper, to chili, to cumin, cinnamon, star anise, or cardamom – literally, anything! Now, these ice creams aren’t necessarily very enjoyable on their own, but when paired with the correct dessert ice creams, or even savory meals, they’re phenomenal!
24. Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups
This is like a combination of salted caramel and peanut butter-flavored ice cream, but better, Reece’s has also been used to create delicious and mouth-watering desserts for many years now, and their ice cream is just as exceptional.
The best part, the chunky pieces of course!
25. Cookie Dough
Remember when you were younger and your parents never allowed you to have cookie dough? Well, when this trend took off and you could finally have that treasured cookie dough, as a kid we all went ballistic – still do, to be honest.
There is just something about cookie dough that makes people go crazy. Be it the chewy texture, or the raw and sweet flavor, or just the fact that it was forbidden food – no one can argue that this flavor isn’t scrumptious.
What makes this type of ice cream great is the multiple flavors you can have. Traditionally it is made from vanilla-flavored ice cream and chocolate chip cookie dough, but today there are many variations including peanut butter, caramel, chocolate, and much more.
26. Mars Ice Cream
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard of mars ice cream. The bar itself is amazing but can you believe they’ve made it into an ice cream. This has to be one of my favorite ice cream flavors.
You’re likely aware of the superhero but are you aware of the ice cream? The tri-color ice cream first appeared in Michigan.
The ice cream itself contains so many different flavors that you’ll be left overwhelmed by the end of it. Good luck guessing all of the flavors, there really are quite a few of them. This treat is commonly referred to in other countries as rainbow ice cream.