The 20 Best Winter Ice Cream Flavors

When the weather outside is frightful, you probably want to curl up inside with a cozy blanket and a hot spoonful of apple cobbler. But while warm desserts might be the hug you think your belly needs, seasonal ice cream flavors are another way to get into the mood for the holidays. With every flavor under the sun including gingerbread, eggnog, and peppermint, there is bound to be a holiday flavor to suit any set of tastebuds. 

While we would argue the best way to eat holiday ice cream is straight from the pint with a trusty metal spoon, you can also add a scoop of your favorite seasonal ice cream to a cup and cover it with espresso for a take on an affogato. Or, add a medley of toppings and holiday sprinkles for a seasonal sundae. And before you ask, eating ice cream for breakfast on Christmas morning is okay. Here are some brands offering delicious holiday ice cream flavors this season. 

Breyer's Frozen Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Breyer's is one of the most recognized names in the ice cream manufacturing world. This season, Breyer's is bringing back its frozen peppermint hot chocolate ice cream for its cult-like following. This ice cream is made with sweet churned vanilla ice cream with swirls of chocolate ice cream, peppermint ice cream, and chocolate chips. 

We love that this ice cream doesn't taste like bad mint toothpaste and is often cheaper than other competitor flavors. This ice cream is only sold in 1.5-quart containers, so you must be committed to finishing the entire pint. But, we think the ice cream's smoothness and its little bit of festive cheer will make this an easy sell. You could certainly do worse when it comes to grocery store holiday ice cream flavors. All you need to do is add marshmallows.

Talenti Peppermint Bark Gelato

Talenti is a manufacturer of gelato, sorbet, and layered desserts available in most major grocery stores. Unlike traditional ice cream, gelato has a lower fat content (because more milk than cream is used in producing it) and a creamier texture. Gelato can come in many of the same flavors as conventional ice cream, and Talenti has mastered that formula with its peppermint bark gelato. You won't miss the unctuous texture of ice cream with this smooth-blended gelato, flavored with a white chocolate peppermint base with flakes of semi-sweet chocolate churned in. While we would recommend pairing this ice cream with a guilty pleasure Hallmark movie and warm blanket, we could also see serving a scoop as an after-dinner treat for any holiday dinner party. 

N!CK's Peppermint

For people looking for a lighter ice cream option this holiday season, look no further than N!CK's Swedish-style light ice cream. Each pint of peppermint ice cream contains less than 300 calories and 5 grams of net carbohydrates. Fear not, though — N!CK's does not skimp on the flavor. Each pint is swirled with peppermint flavor infused with flecks of peppermint bark. It's the perfect choice if you want to avoid getting bogged down by the creaminess of traditional ice cream, especially when you still have presents to wrap for the holidays on a time crunch. 

And for folks who are still on the pumpkin spice bandwagon of the fall season, N!CK's also offers a seasonal pumpkin spice swirl light ice cream with chunks of pecan mixed in. But you should plan to move fast before the oasis of autumnal treats is replaced by everything holiday.

Alden's Organics Peppermint Twist

Alden's Organic is a smaller-scale ice cream manufacturer that produces delicious, organic dairy and non-dairy ice creams. The peppermint twist ice cream is a limited edition flavor that comes in both 1.5-quart packages and ice cream bars. You'll find delicious hues of red and white in each bite along with the flavors of peppermint and white chocolate swirls. 

Alden's Organic includes chopped peppermint candy pieces in their ice cream — which is more mint-forward than other holiday peppermint ice cream offerings on the market. There is a fair distribution of these pieces throughout the ice cream, so your molars won't feel like they're going to town on a candy cane. The bars come individually packaged in boxed of three with a delicious chocolate coating and easy-to-hold stick for easy (and joyful) eating. We warn you that it may be hard to just eat one.

Halo Top Gingerbread House

Halo Top is another well-recognized name in the low-calorie ice cream scene. Halo Top offers a gingerbread house ice cream with 360 calories and 16 grams of protein per pint. You'll find the delicious flavors of cinnamon, molasses, and warmth in each pint. Currently, gingerbread house is Halo Top's only seasonal ice cream and there is no representation for the dairy-free side either. While we would like to see more offerings from Halo Top in its seasonal flavor department, gingerbread isn't a flavor seen all too often in seasonal ice creams. And if you're looking for a more inventive way to eat this flavor, consider using your broken gingerbread cookie as chips and scooping up some holiday spirit from your Halo Top pint.

Blue Bell Christmas cookies, eggnog, and peppermint bark

Blue Bell offers several holiday-inspired ice cream flavors including Christmas cookies: a sugar cookie ice cream base with chunks of chocolate chip cookie cookies, sugar cookies, and snickerdoodle cookies dotted with red sprinkles and swirled with green icing. Although it might sound like a lot going on at once, this ice cream is a Christmas miracle.

Blue Bell has the best selection of holiday flavors compared to other brands on our list. Its peppermint bark flavor is made with mint ice cream littered with dark chocolate and peppermint bark pieces. The peppermint flavor is a bit more simple with just a mint ice cream with peppermint pieces while the eggnog rounds out the group with a whole half-gallon of creamy nutmeg flavor with a whipped topping swirl.

MyMochi cool peppermint mochi

Ice cream mochi are small pockets of ice cream covered in a layer of glutenous rice dough. Although traditional Japanese ice cream mochi only comes in four flavors (mango, matcha green tea, strawberry, and chocolate), MyMochi has expanded its traditional mochi flavored ice cream to include a cool peppermint mochi ice cream. These tiny pillows are made of minty ice cream with mint crunchy pieces interspersed and wrapped in a layer of soft mochi dough. Not only does this dessert have the perfect variation in texture, but these ice cream mochi are perfect for eating one — or the whole box. And unlike other scoop-ables and novelties on this list, you won't have to worry about washing yet another bowl and dish in an already busy holiday season. 

Jeni's Mexican hot chocolate

Jeni's Mexican hot chocolate ice cream started the company's entire lineup of creative and delicious ice cream flavors. The brand blends a smooth chocolate ice cream with flecks of hot Vietnamese cinnamon and a bit of hot cayenne. It's the perfect blend of sweet heat. The flavors are immaculate and smooth and provide a reprieve from the drowning sweetness that comes with many wintertime ice cream flavors.

For folks looking for other seasonal holiday flavors, Jeni's also offers a boozy eggnog with sweet whiskey undertones, white chocolate peppermint (it's like peppermint bark, made all the more perfect with a hint of sea salt), oh-so-nutty pistachio macaron, and a cranberry crumble with the essence of brown sugar and walnuts. But, we're partial to the Mexican hot chocolate, if you couldn't tell.

Kemps eggnog and candy cane

Kemps is an ice cream brand with a distribution range across the United States. Its eggnog-flavored ice cream is one you'll want to have on your list this year for its nostalgic flavor and mild blend of spices, and all you need is some booze to go with it. We could easily foresee the creaminess of this eggnog ice cream as the base for a spiked milkshake — just add more eggnog at your discretion. For those who aren't fans of eggnog, Kemps also makes a candy cane ice cream with a vanilla base and chunks of red and green peppermint candy sprinkled throughout. This variety is a bit more juvenile and fun, yes, but who doesn't love a candy cane during the holiday season? 

So Delicious Dairy Free snickerdoodle

There has to be at least one option for the dairy-free folks, right? So Delicious Dairy Free makes a cashew-milk based snickerdoodle ice cream with delicious swirls of warm cinnamon and sugar. The ice cream is also gluten-free, and certifiably delicious. And for those folks eyeing the "cashew" component of this vegan ice cream, think again. Cashews, along with the help of coconut milk, mimic the texture and creaminess of traditional ice cream. 

So Delicious' dairy-free ice cream line also contains almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, oat milk, and the new "Wondermilk" (made with a medley of alternative milks for maximum creaminess). We only wish there were more holiday flavor options to choose from — along with a way to purchase even larger containers of So Delicious. 

Favorite Day hot chocolate marshmallow swirl and peppermint bark

Target's in-house brand Favorite Day offers two holiday flavors — peppermint bark and hot chocolate marshmallow swirl. The former is flavored with a peppermint ice cream base, flakes of chocolate, and a candy cane swirl. The hot chocolate ice cream combines a chocolatey ice cream base with a marshmallow swirl and a touch of cinnamon. Both of these ice creams are relatively affordable and come in ample 1.5-quart servings.

If you're looking for something a little different than ice cream, Target also sells snowman buttons, which are tiny frozen brownie dough balls that work as a quick snack or as a topping for your favorite ice cream flavor. If you can resist eating all of the buttons in one sitting, we recommend pairing them with either Favorite Day flavor.

Häagen-Dazs peppermint bark

Häagen-Dazs is a go-to ice cream brand in the pint department, so we were pleasantly surprised to see Häagen-Dazs peppermint bark come around this holiday season. You'll get the full-body creaminess that Häagen-Dazs is so well-renowned for, as well as a creamy white chocolate ice cream base with tossed with dark chocolate and peppermint candy pieces. The biggest downside to buying this flavor is its comparative price to other competitors, especially because Häagen-Dazs is exclusively pints rather than any larger sizes. Plus, you get what you pay for when you go with Häagen-Dazs, so it might be worth keeping a pint of the good stuff locked in the back of your freezer for when last-minute holiday cravings emerge.

Edy's peppermint

Edy's is the ice cream parents buy for birthday parties. It's a rather low-investment ice cream that is available in large containers and doesn't skimp on the creamy nostalgic flavor. If you're looking to bring the same magic as a kid's party at the bowling alley, pick up a container of Edy's peppermint ice cream this season. You'll get a double dose of peppermint from the peppermint candy pieces blended into peppermint ice cream, though the mintiness and sweetness blend nicely.

While this ice cream is perfect for scooping straight into an awaiting bowl, we could also see plunging it into a bowl of chocolate syrup and sprinkling it with more holiday cheer — and by "holiday cheer" we mean sprinkles, of course.

Mayfield Creamery peppermint stick and snow cream

Mayfield Creamery offers two limited edition seasonal flavors including peppermint stick, made with a peppermint ice cream base along with red and green peppermint candies, and snow cream, a super creamy vanilla that is marketed to taste like "filling a bowl with freshly fallen snow, milk, sugar and flavoring with vanilla." Do we think it's a gimmick to sell more vanilla ice cream? We'll let you decide. In the meantime, we'll enjoy the peppermint stick ice cream sandwiched between two homemade peppermint patty cookies in our version of a holiday cookie sandwich. These cookies are the perfect textural addition to peppermint stick ice cream, especially when the cookies are coated in a thick layer of decadent melted dark chocolate.

McConnell reindeer tracks, peppermint stick, and eggnog & snickerdoodle swirl

McConnell's is one of our favorite high-end brands of ice cream for both its flavor and variety. Its holiday lineup includes a twist on the all-too-common peppermint ice cream called reindeer tracks, which is made with decadent chocolate ice cream, peppermint candy, and chewy chocolate cookies. We love the pairing of chocolate and peppermint, especially when cookies are involved. For the ice cream classics lovers out there, McConnell's also makes a peppermint stick ice cream with organic peppermint, vanilla, and peppermint candy pieces. But, we recommend going for the reindeer tracks for the novelty.

McConnell's has also used its ingenious ice cream-making skills to concoct a hybrid of holiday flavors with its eggnog and snickerdoodle swirl ice cream. You'll find the perfect blend of cookie chunks and nutmeggy eggnog flavor.

Oddfellows holiday movie night collection

Oddfellows is no stranger to making fun ice cream flavors. This year, their holiday movie night collection ($69.99 at the time of publication) contains five flavors that you're bound to find nowhere else. Buddi's Spaghetti Sundae is a maple ice cream base interspersed with chocolate cookie crumbs, mini marshmallows, M&M's, Sno-Caps, and corn nuts — made to mimic Buddy the Elf's favorite food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup (via Cleveland19). 

Moosenog, meanwhile, includes an eggnog ice cream with an upgrade of peanut butter cups and fudge swirls. Banoffee Pie is perfect for somewhat adventurous eaters; it has a banana ice cream base, graham soil, and Dulce de Leche swirl. Chocolate ice cream traditionalists will enjoy the Oh Fudge with malted milk chocolate ice cream, brownies, and fudge. The Razzleberry Dressing rounds out the bunch with the fruitiness of blackberry and raspberry jam. You'll love having a case of Oddfellows in your freezer for holiday movie nights, no matter what you're watching.

Ample Hills Creamery peppermint pattie

Ample Hills peppermint pattie ice cream takes our favorite holiday flavors to a more personal level. The company blends a peppermint ice cream with its made-in-house peppermint patty cookies and peppermint-infused fudge. Each pint makes a good scooping ice cream, but as the website notes, can also be paired with your favorite hot chocolate or hot mocha latte. It's like a Girl Scouts Thin Mint cookie made better.

Ample Hills has scoop shops in New Jersey, New York, and California, is available in select grocery stores, and will also ship ice cream straight to your door. And with a flavor that tastes like the nostalgia of a peppermint patty cookie, we would argue that shipping these pints straight to your freezer is worthwhile. 

Salt & Straw holiday collection

Salt & Straw is a delicious ice cream brand known for its innovative flavors. For folks who don't have the pleasure of living near a scoop shop, Salt & Straw will ship to your door with a minimum purchase of five pints. The brand offers several holiday flavors like spiked eggnog with flavor notes of vanilla, sherry, nutmeg, and dark agave and gingerbread cookie ice cream. 

But our two favorite seasonal flavors from Salt & Straw are a bit more unconventional. Its almond brittle with salted ganache is the perfect truffle-y and brined chocolate mixture that's flavorful and uniquely mature. We also love that Salt & Straw has a seasonal vegan option: the great cookie swap. This flavor is perfect for folks who can't decide what kind of cookie to pick from the cookie tray. You'll get undertones of snickerdoodle cookies, marionberry thumbprints, almond bark, molasses cookies, and coconutty macaroons. It's chaotic — but oh so beautiful.

Serendipity Brands frrrozen hot chocolate

Serendipity is making us reimagine how we think about our favorite cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter day. Its Frrrozen Hot Chocolate is made with hot-chocolate flavored ice cream, chocolate shavings, and a creamy whipped topping swirl. We would recommend pairing a scoop of this ice cream with a shot of espresso for a mocha-infused affogato. 

For folks who want the same flavor of the hot chocolate ice cream but in a warm format, Serendipity also offers Original Hot Chocolate Mix and Mocha Frrrozen Hot Chocolate Mix to make your own at home — just bring your own marshmallows. Your heart can feel as good as your tastebuds with Serendipity Brands, since a portion of each purchase is donated to the Rare Impact Fund, which is committed to raising awareness around mental health and self-care.

Tipsy Scoop holiday collection

Nothing goes quite like the holiday season like booze. And there's no shortage of it with Tipsy Scoop's holiday collection. The Holiday Favorites 5-pack includes a sampler of some of Tipsy Scoop's holiday-inspired ice creams like the Sugar Cookie Martini infused with vodka, Minty Hot Chocolate infused with creme de menthe, Ballotin Caramel Turtle Chocolate Whiskey, Waffles and Whiskey (with yummy brown sugar syrup), and Cookies and Cream Mudslide. Each pack (priced at $72 at the time of publication) is a great gift set for the holiday season, it even comes with a gift box perfect for underneath the tree.

For folks who like the charcuterie part of the holidays, Tipsy Scoop also has you covered with a collaboration with Murray's: a wine and cheese ice cream collection. This six-pack of pints includes two pints of each Brie & Bubbles, Blue Cheese & Port, and Chardonnay & Goat Cheese. Albeit unconventional, these ice cream flavors are bound to make you think about something other than the blustery weather outside.