19 Jeni's Ice Cream Flavors, Ranked Worst To Best

Jeni's is an ice cream brand that prides itself on taking the time to do things right: from kettle-toasting sugar over a fire for its famed Salty Caramel flavor to steeping Intelligentsia espresso grounds in cream for its Coffee with Cream & Sugar ice cream. It's not afraid to try out the unexpected — we're talking about the brand that made the Everything Bagel ice cream.

Founder Jeni Britton Bauer has serious chops: She's a James Beard Award winner and cookbook author who got her start working in a French bakery during school. This Columbus-based brand is a Certified B Corp that uses grass-grazed cream as the base for all of its creative flavors. Jeni's is found in grocery stores nationwide and it ships pints directly from its official site.

We tasted some of the most popular Jeni's flavors (including some seasonal flavors) ranking them from worst to best by considering flavor, texture, and whether the flavor lived up to its name.

19. Wildberry Lavender

One of the brand's oldest flavors, Wildberry Lavender took last place in our tasting. Jeni's has been making this flavor for 20 years using lavender buds, orange zest, and blackcurrants. While we considered it one of the best ice creams of 2017, it didn't stand up to the competition in this tasting.

The gorgeous purple hue of the ice cream was appealing and it had a strong lavender smell. The ice cream was creamy and smooth in texture with a sweet dark berry note. However, the lavender overwhelmed the berry, and the orange distracted from both of the other flavors. While we can see how a scoop of this with some pound cake would be nice on a hot summer day, overall we found this flavor to be overpoweringly floral — like eating perfume.

18. Buttercream Birthday Cake

This pint was one we were looking forward to trying and were disappointed with. It's definitely a pretty pint with brightly colored, dye-free rainbow sprinkles throughout. The flavor was on point: It tasted exactly like a slice of vanilla birthday cake with (limited) buttercream frosting and vanilla ice cream. It was vanilla-forward without being over the top.

The issue was in the execution: There are simply too many sprinkles interrupting the creaminess of this ice cream to truly enjoy it. The cake pieces were on the small side (more crumb-like than chunks) and they were a little dry. Between the drier-tasting cake crumbs and the massive amount of sprinkles, the texture of this ice cream wasn't enjoyable. It felt like an overzealous child had mashed a slice of cake into a too-small scoop of ice cream.

17. Middle West Whiskey and Pecans

Made using whiskey from Middle West Spirits, an Ohio-based distillery founded in 2008, this flavor was released in 2011, according to Middle West Spirits. This pint has a strong, pleasant whiskey scent and the ice cream was creamy but fell on the bland side.

There are faint notes that Jeni's suggests we would taste: vanilla, butterscotch, and honey, but they weren't as strong as we would have liked. The site also suggests we'd taste coconut flavors, but we didn't find that to be the case. The pecans were the largest disappointment here. They were less crispy and chewier than expected and not as salty as they should have been to balance the sweetness of the ice cream. This isn't a bad flavor by any means, but it was a little bland.

16. Pumpkin Cake Roll

This seasonal Jeni's flavor is a pint with a beautiful orange and cream-colored swirl that would be a fantastic dessert on Thanksgiving. Made using specially grown buttercup pumpkins with cream cheese frosting, a spiced brown sugar swirl, and spiced vanilla cake pieces (via Jeni's), this flavor was too subtle to be ranked higher.

We expected soft bits of cake because rolled cakes tend to be spongey and delicate, but the cake pieces were dense and dry. We didn't find as many of them as we'd expected in the pint we tasted, either. The cream cheese frosting flavor was hit or miss — strong in some spots and absent in others. We enjoyed the level of spice but found ourselves wishing the pumpkin flavor was amped up a little.

15. Skillet Cinnamon Roll

Jeni's Skillet Cinnamon Roll ice cream, one of our favorite seasonal treats that's not pumpkin spice-flavored, is the ultimate mash-up between two of our favorite treats. As huge cinnamon roll (and ice cream) fans, we were excited to try this one. Unfortunately, the cinnamon roll pastry pieces were dense — and almost undercooked — and not fluffy. The word "skillet" had us assuming these pieces would be golden brown and delicious. The amount and dispersal of the pastry are on point — we just found ourselves wishing they were better.

The caramel swirl wasn't quite sweet enough, and though we enjoyed other Jeni's flavors with a cream cheese base, we couldn't taste it over the overpowering amount of cinnamon, which is a shame because it's one of the brand's best base flavors. It's an interesting concept but could have been done better.

14. Cookies in Cream

Cookies in Cream is a classic flavor, and Jeni's pulls out all the stops including using "scratch-made" dark chocolate cookies, and flecks of white chocolate to accent a vanilla-flavored base. We didn't detect much vanilla, perhaps due to the darkness of the chocolate in the cookies. The white chocolate flecks that are supposed to take the place of the cream in traditional Oreo-like cookies weren't detectable either — we didn't realize it contained them until reading the pint.

The cookies (made using Fair Trade cocoa, notes the site) had a grittiness to them (perhaps because they are gluten-free) and the pieces are small and evenly dispersed; there are no chewable chunks of cookies. The small size and prevalence of the cookie bits made this ice cream feel grainy. This flavor can be (and has been) done better.

13. Honey Vanilla Bean

This is another Jeni's take on a classic. Using honey to accent vanilla beans was a great idea in theory. In reality, it leads to an underwhelming — dare we say boring — pint of ice cream. The vanilla flavor is muted for something named Honey Vanilla Bean, and despite the visible vanilla bean flecks throughout. The honey flavor is present on the back end but is weak; without knowing it was honey, we aren't sure we would be able to pick it out.

The ice cream was deliciously creamy and nicely balanced as far as sweetness goes. This isn't a bad pint of vanilla ice cream by any means, but it's screaming for some toppings or a slice of cake to liven it up. We've had worse vanilla ice creams before, but we've also had better.

12. Coffee with Cream & Sugar

Jeni's claims its Coffee with Cream & Sugar flavor "tastes exactly the way coffee smells," which is absolutely true. Made using Intelligentsia coffee, notes the site, this flavor is well-balanced. On the first bite, the sweetness of this pint seemed muted and the coffee flavor hits strongly. The more we ate, the more subtle the coffee strength seemed and the sweeter the pint tasted.

There is an extremely low level of grittiness from the coffee flecks throughout the pint, but it's only noticeable if you're truly searching for it and savoring a bite slowly. This had a much earthier flavor than most coffee ice creams, which true coffee lovers will appreciate, but it won't be converting anyone who isn't already a fan of java-flavored pints.

11. Brown Butter Almond Brittle

This Jeni's flavor created in 2009 stems from a love of krokan, a Norwegian "toffee-like candy made with butter, almonds, and caramelized sugar." Anyone who doesn't love almonds need not apply. The almond flavor is almost overpowering, although the brown butter flavor is present and well-paired.

The candy in our pint was chewy and we found ourselves wishing it was a bit more crunchy and salty. The roasted almond flavor of the candy was enjoyable and the pieces were nicely distributed so there was some in nearly every bite, but it didn't interrupt the creaminess of the buttercream ice cream base. We didn't taste buttercream in the base, which seemed more like a basic (but yummy) vanilla. A gooey ripple throughout added a welcome textural difference to the candy and ice cream base.

10. Milkiest Chocolate

Jeni's likens Milkiest Chocolate to a "fine Swiss bar" and explains that evaporated milk adds a concentrated milk flavor and "delightful chewiness." All of this rang true for us. The ice cream was very smooth and creamy, and there's a definite extra level of chewy density to the ice cream's texture that isn't present in the other flavors.

It does in fact taste like a high-end milk chocolate bar — this is about as related to a Hershey's bar as bottom-shelf whiskey is to Pappy Van Winkle. Despite its restrained level of sweetness and upscale taste, this is also a kid-friendly flavor that adults will enjoy as well. We think it would be particularly good in a milkshake or as the base of a sundae, but it's just as enjoyable plain.

9. White Chocolate Peppermint

A seasonal flavor we wouldn't mind eating year-round, White Chocolate Peppermint features a peppermint cream base with "white chocolate speckles" and a touch of salt, according to Jeni's. The peppermint flavor is on the subtle side but strikes the perfect balance between fresh-peppermint herbal and the artificial white chocolate peppermint candy of your youth. The mint leaves a welcome and pleasant cooling sensation on your palate — not as strong as a candy cane, but more of an after-dinner-mint vibe.

We couldn't detect the salt, although it may be why this pint didn't taste overly sweet like white chocolate-flavored foods often do. The white chocolate bits weren't very prevalent in our pint, but we enjoyed the subtle pink-swirled color and found this to be nicely reminiscent of white chocolate peppermint bark.

8. Boston Cream Pie

Boston cream pie, the cake with the confusing name, has origins in early American history. It's an unusual ice cream flavor that lends well to being translated into ice cream. The unique base for Jeni's Boston Cream Pie flavor is a creamy salted vanilla custard with layers of yellow cake pieces and dark chocolate fudge sauce.

There was a thick layer of a delicious, goopy dark chocolate sauce at the top of this pint that overwhelmed the other flavors of the first few bites because we didn't dig deep enough for a more representative bite. The vanilla cake pieces were smaller than a pea, well dispersed, and well balanced against the creamy base. The cake was soft and layers of fudge lower in the pint were thinner, accenting the salted vanilla custard well.

7. Darkest Chocolate

Jeni's named this flavor Darkest Chocolate to warn you: You need to love dark chocolate to enjoy it. Jeni spent five years perfecting this one, using Fair Trade cocoa, and according to Jeni's site, not much else. There are only six ingredients in this ice cream and the bittersweet cocoa powder is doing all the heavy lifting. There is a dryness to this flavor, like biting into a chocolate bar with a higher-percentage cocoa content.

Despite the high amount of chocolate in this pint, it's still on the creamy side, though not nearly as creamy as the Milkiest Chocolate flavor. The texture is denser than other flavors, leaving behind a long-lasting dark chocolate flavor as a high-end dark chocolate truffle would. This isn't as kid-friendly as some of Jeni's other flavors, but it absolutely delivers on the promise of its name.

6. Green Mint Chip

Chocolate chip mint ice cream was popularized thanks to being the dessert at Princess Anne's wedding in 1973, and Jeni's Green Mint Chip is a flavor fit for royalty. From the muted, dye-free green color to a balance of flavor and texture, we thought it was just right.

Unlike many of the other flavors, the chips in this pint were nicely crunchy, although perhaps a little dry — we wished they were slightly larger and a little creamier in texture. The ice cream base itself was perfectly creamy and a nice contrast to the crispy chips.

The level of sweetness was perfect, as was the level of the peppermint. This is a well-balanced, more refined-tasting version of the green mint chip ice cream you enjoyed as a child.

5. Blackout Chocolate Cake

Chocolate lovers, this is the pint for you. Jeni's calls this pint a "quadruple threat" thanks to its ultra-chocolatey base, chocolate cake chunks, "extra-bitter chocolate fudge, and chocolate pieces." It is, indeed, four times as good as you're imagining.

The cake pieces were well-sized and soft for being frozen cake, bordering on underbaked like a fudgy brownie. The bitterness of the fudge sauce helps tame the sweetness, and the chocolate pieces, while delicious, aren't very noticeable. The ice cream has a slight dryness on the palate, similar to the Darkest Chocolate flavor, and the base is accordingly a little thicker than other flavors. No pint of chocolate ice cream could be more chocolatey. This decadent flavor will appeal to the chocolate-obsessed in your life, including children.

4. Salty Caramel

Jeni's Salty Caramel puts all other caramel-flavored ice creams to shame. Made by caramelizing sugar in a kettle over fire (via Jeni's), this pint has a deep nuttiness that other caramel ice creams are lacking. We found ourselves noting a sugary almost campfire-toasted marshmallow quality (without the marshmallow flavor.)

This pint may be saltier than you're expecting, as it was created thanks to a misunderstanding about the salted caramels of Brittany, France between Jeni and her at-the-time boss, a French chef. The high-than-average salt level balances out the sweetness of the caramel and the fresh dairy cream notes without coming across as overly salty.

This ice cream has been Jeni's signature flavor since 1996 and it's easy to taste why: It's the perfect salted caramel ice cream. It could not be done any better. Another scoop, please!

3. Gooey Butter Cake

This was the biggest surprise of the tasting. While Gooey Butter Cake sounds good, we weren't ready for how good this pint would be. Jeni's claims this tastes like "the best blondie you've ever tasted," and it's not hyperbole. It's. That. Good.

The tanginess of the cream cheese ice cream base is a tasty foil to the caramel-butterscotch caramel ripple throughout. The cake pieces were well-sized and well-dispersed, and while we noticed the larger pieces were a little dry, the gooey sauce more than made up for it.

We expected a flavor called Gooey Butter Cake to be overly sweet and perhaps too gooey, but this flavor had us clamoring for another spoonful until the pint was demolished. We will be keeping this flavor on hand at all times from here on out.

2. Sweet Cream Biscuits and Peach Jam

We've ranked the Sweet Cream Biscuits and Peach Jam flavor before and noted how fresh the peach flavor is. In fact, Jeni's sources its peaches from The Peach Truck in Nashville, Tennessee and use salty sweet-cream biscuits to balance the summer-fresh flavor of the fruit.

We found ourselves enjoying the sweet cream biscuits in this flavor more than the vanilla cake in many of the other pints. They were fluffy yet crumbly in the best way possible, and they played well against the velvety, gooey peach jam, which tasted homemade and was the ideal texture.

A slight tang from the buttermilk ice cream base rounded everything out to create an ice cream that tastes like a scoop of summer in a bowl. This is another flavor that couldn't be improved upon.

1. Boozy Eggnog

Jeni's seasonal Boozy Eggnog flavor is spiked with Uncle Nearest whiskey, a small-batch Tennessee brand that we named one of the best whiskey brands in America. There is a definite whiff of whiskey on opening the pint, but it's not overwhelming.

This was our favorite pint because it tastes exactly as you would expect. The salted custard eggnog base is sweet but not cloying with the perfect level of nutmeg. We didn't taste the salt in the salted custard base, but it may have played a part in balancing the sweetness of the eggnog.

This was also one of the creamiest pints we tasted and the whiskey level is well done — it accents the eggnog well but isn't too boozy for teetotalers (or kids) to enjoy paired with fresh-baked holiday cookies.