6 Milk Bar Ice Cream Flavors, Ranked

Milk Bar, the hit brand from renowned and beloved chef Christina Tosi, is likely best known for its glamorous yet creative Milk Bar cakes. You know the cakes, even if just by pictures of the quintessential Cereal Milk Birthday Cake. It's a "naked cake" with all its layers visible at first glance and little and little cake "truffles" on top. But Milk Bar doesn't stop there. The dreamy bakery also offers cookies, a basically equally famous signature gooey pie, and now, a lineup of decadent ice cream pints that you can buy at many grocery stores. And what's cake or pie without a generous scoop of good ice cream on the side?

We received samples of several Milk Bar ice cream flavors in order to provide our own rankings. Although we did not cover the entire line-up, Tasting Table had the opportunity to try six Milk Bar ice creams: Milk Bar Pie, Cereal Milk, Chocolate Mint Cookies & Cream, Birthday Cake, Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookie Crush, and Cornflake Marshmallow Chocolate. We evaluated the flavors on composition, taste, texture, and how well each pint matched with its intended theme. Overall, each and every flavor was wonderful, making this taste test extremely hard. We had to go back for multiple spoonfuls to compare and contrast — that's how grueling it was. The results clearly show that there's something delicious for everyone.

6. Birthday Cake

This, dear reader, is a major upset. Our tasting team is unabashedly and unanimously in favor of non-cake foods tasting like cake. Cake-flavored cinnamon rolls, cake-flavored granola bars, cake-flavored cereal ... all good things. But cake-flavored ice cream has to be the best iteration of all, the ultimate dessert mashup, and no one seems better equipped to take it on than Milk Bar. Since this is the first flavor under discussion, we simply have to point out that the consistency of each Milk Bar ice cream is close to perfect. 

It's a dense, custardy, noticeably rich recipe that never tastes airy, icey, or like there's a speck of wasted space. Bite after bite, regardless of flavor, is a luxurious tasting experience. The same goes for this pint of Birthday Cake, but despite our avid love for cake-flavored ice cream, we still ranked it last because it was just barely tipping into cloying territory. The flavor is spot-on, and the crumbles of cake were our favorite part. It's that swirl of frosting that convinced us that there is some merit to the phrase "you can have too much of a good thing." This pint also stays too solid, even after the ice cream has melted a bit. Naturally, the other phrase that comes to mind is "have your cake and eat it, too," though, and if you love birthday cake flavor, we haven't tasted this good of an iteration in a long time.

5. Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookie Crush

This Milk Bar ice cream is the second upset for a team that will eat anything if there's peanut butter on it — especially chocolate. When it comes to ice cream, we usually pick the chocolate peanut butter concoctions first. For this theme to be ranked near the bottom goes to show how ridiculously good the top Milk Bar ice creams are. 

As for this pint, we found that it was much heavier on the chocolate than the peanut butter. The chocolate base tastes right between milk and dark chocolate, neither too creamy nor too bitter. Unlike the Birthday Cake flavor, where the frosting swirl was a little much after the first few bites, the best part of this one was the swirl. It is incredibly fudgy and decadent. However, it dwarfs the peanut butter cookie pieces and flavor, which we found a tiny fault with. Peanut butter needs to be a respected equal to chocolate, not a supporting character. On the positive side, it is a luxuriously smooth ice cream in its consistency.

4. Chocolate Mint Cookies & Cream

According to one of the taste testers, Milk Bar's mint variety is the best chocolate and mint ice cream they have ever tried. And that includes variations like mint chocolate chip, grasshopper, et cetera. Milk Bar's Chocolate Mint Cookies & Cream pint is a decidedly decadent, jam-packed ice cream consisting of a mint-infused chocolate base, Oreo-adjacent cookie pieces, gooey chocolate "cookie batter," and a thick green mint swirl. It clearly holds no punches when it comes to flavor. If you're not the biggest fan of either chocolate or mint, particularly together, go for any other flavor in the Milk Bar freezer. 

If this profile is one you often choose at your local grocery store or ice cream parlor, run, don't walk to the Milk Bar website. The most crowd-leasing part was the deep wells of rich chocolate better: The most polarizing part is that mint swirl, which looks like the exact consistency of toothpaste (but only very, very slightly tastes like it.) A little goes a long way, but it is still doubtful that this ice cream will last very long around people who appreciate it. Mint can be a wondrous ingredient when utilized with attention to detail, such as in these 14 refreshing mint recipes.

3. Cereal Milk

When you are eating cereal, particularly something along the lines of Captain Crunch or cornflakes, the best part of the whole experience might just be at the very end. Yes, we're talking about the part where you get to drink the leftover milk at the bottom of the bowl after it has soaked in all the sweet, nostalgic flavors of the cereal itself. 

Milk Bar has taken that simple pleasure one step further by churning that milk into ice cream. Well, not exactly, but you get the idea. The Cereal Milk ice cream pint is the perfect representation of that perfect moment in your day, elevated from breakfast to dessert. All those milky, sugary, but somewhat wholesome notes are present in this pint. 

The taste of cereal infuses the ice cream base, and there's a bit of slightly crunchy, chewy clusters that create an excellent mouthfeel. It was not quite as exciting as some of the other Milk Bar flavors we tried, but it was certainly worth tasting. It would be a lovely scoop atop some homestyle bread pudding — or even better for the full breakfast-for-dessert effect, Eggo waffles.

2. Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow

Knowing how wonderful the Cereal Milk flavor was and how good all the chocolate elements of Milk Bar pints had tasted so far, the odds were good that this Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow flavor would taste amazing. Imagining how all the elements — cookie dough ice cream, the vintage golden cereal, classic chocolate chips, plus gooey, squishy marshmallow — would come together was hard, however. The consensus: We had no idea what we were missing.

This ice cream isn't just good; it's great. Chocolate tends to overpower whatever else dares to challenge its supremacy, but the chocolate flecks in this pint humbly share the stage equally with the other two flavors. The marshmallow makes the ice cream extra custardy, and it felt velvety yet light on our palates. 

The game-changer was, however, the cornflakes. That golden, buttery taste infiltrated every bite in a delightfully sneaky way and truly took us back to eating the last few cornflakes out of a pool of flavored milk. Be sure to watch out for the cornflake clusters; our favorite bites were when we dug out a hefty spoonful that was like a crunchy, crispy, buttery ball of goodness. We're still thinking about how ingenious this flavor creation is. With so many ideas being thrown into ice cream, from the gimmicky to the glorious, it's always good to find a solid A+ addition to the canon.

1. Pie

Ironically, the Milk Bar ice cream pint that had us going back most for "just one more" spoonful is the one with the shortest name. Pie is not a pie per se, but the flavors of the magical, signature Milk Bar pie, which are incorporated into a high-quality ice cream. The website describes the pie as "a sticky, buttery, salty-sweet filling in a buttery oat-cookie crust," and though we have yet to try the pie itself, we can envision what a slice tastes like after enjoying this ice cream. The ice cream base is dappled all over with brown sugar-scented flecks of toasted oatmeal cookie crumbs, and if that doesn't sound mouthwatering, well, then what does?

That would be enough for a great, incredibly complex ice cream, but once again, it's the Milk Bar swirl that pushes this pint into first place. The gooey butter pie filling is captured in a thick ribbon that goes perfectly with the ice cream base. The swirl isn't overly sweet, but it's definitely decadent. The pint is worth stocking up on just for the hint of infamous pie weaving its way through the rest of an excellent ice cream base. Overall, we deem this one of our favorite ice creams we tasted and tested in all of 2023. We're grateful to Milk Bar especially for finding a way to give us both a bestselling pie and a high-quality ice cream in one amazing dessert.