Every Salt & Straw Holiday Ice Cream Flavor, Ranked

Every ice cream lover has a favorite flavor — but some only come around but once a year. Whether you're fond of pumpkin pie or peppermint stick, the holiday season is one of the sweetest times for fans of this quintessential frozen treat. It seems no matter how cold it gets outside, dessert devotees are always ready and waiting to try the latest limited-edition scoops, shakes, and sundaes. And this year, they're in luck: Salt & Straw has crafted one of its most irresistible winter flavor series to date.

The Portland, Oregon-based chain has achieved icon status in the world of ice cream, thanks to its slow-churned, sustainable products, carefully selected ingredients, and community-oriented business practices. A handful of Salt & Straw's holiday offerings are returning favorites from previous years' collections, such as Gingerbread Cookie Dough and Dwanta's (better known as Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's) Teremana Spiked Eggnog. Of course, there are some scrumptious new selections for Salt & Straw fans to sample, too, like the raspberry jam-laced Chocolate Sugar Cookie Dough.

Right now, ice cream connoisseurs can taste each limited-edition offering at Salt & Straw locations across the country, or have them delivered to their door by ordering online. Even better, there's no need to deliberate at the scoop shop counter or checkout window over which one to try first. We ranked all five releases in order of their deliciousness to bring you a comprehensive guide to the best of the best Salt & Straw holiday flavors of 2023.

5. Almond Brittle with Salted Ganache

Salt & Straw's Almond Brittle with Salted Ganache may be ranked last in our lineup, but we feel it's necessary to issue a disclaimer. Every flavor we tried from the company's holiday collection was a winner in our eyes (and hearts). Almond Brittle is arguably the most indulgent, featuring thick swirls of chocolate fudge and savory points of sensational almond brittle. In true Salt & Straw fashion, it's an extraordinary experience from start to finish — but it's almost more brittle than ice cream, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

If you loathe digging through pints of ice cream in search of your favorite pieces, you'll fall head over heels for Almond Brittle. Other ice cream brands may offer fudge swirls, but Salt & Straw's Almond Brittle contains more of a chocolaty avalanche. As you dig into your dish, you'll see that each spoonful reveals more mouthwatering mix-ins than the last. The almond brittle pieces are divine, with an almost smoky finish, and the salted chocolate ganache is a magical match for them. Some may find Almond Brittle slightly over-the-top, but we can't think of a more appropriate choice to satisfy a sudden craving for something salty and sweet.

4. Gingerbread Cookie Dough

One of our favorite seasonal treats to enjoy growing up was Kemp's Gingerbread Men, a cheerful gingerbread-flavored twist on the classic ice cream sandwich. Though we'd say it's far more sophisticated than Kemp's recipe, Salt & Straw's Gingerbread Cookie Dough gave us a delicious trip down memory lane. Beyond that, it's also one of the most aesthetically pleasing options from Salt & Straw's holiday lineup, with gorgeous auburn and cream swirls that resemble a slice of marbled pumpkin loaf.

Interestingly, Gingerbread Cookie Dough is inspired by another tasty treat that comes directly from the pages of Salt & Straw owners Kim and Tyler Malek's family recipe book. According to the chain, Grandma Malek's "Cry Baby" cookie, a merry, molasses-tinged creation, is carefully blended into cookie butter before mingling with gingerbread and dark rum royal icing-flavored cream. The result is a beautifully balanced, sweetly spiced dessert that's sure to delight any gingerbread fan. It genuinely tastes like freshly baked biscuits have been swirled into the mix, unlike the chalky, ice crystal-coated chunks so often found in store-bought cookie-flavored ice creams. With Willy Wonka-esque precision, Salt & Straw perfectly captured the taste and texture of a holiday classic in Gingerbread Cookie Dough, netting the flavor a respectable spot in our ranking.

3. Toasted White Chocolate & Peppermint Almonds

Landing third in our Salt & Straw roundup, Toasted White Chocolate & Peppermint Almonds is a pleasant confection made with chopped SkinnyDipped Almonds. While white chocolate is known to stir up divisive feelings from foodies, the chain's toasted white chocolate is a far cry from the sugary sweetness you might associate with something like Nestle's discontinued Alpine White Bar. According to Salt & Straw, the toasting process gives this classic recipe an entirely new taste. "We bake white chocolate chips until they're golden brown, to make an ice cream that's insanely good," the company writes.

Although Toasted White Chocolate & Peppermint Almonds is one of the most delicate flavor combinations in Salt & Straw's seasonal series, it took us some time to assess our feelings about it. While the white chocolate component is certainly toned down, thanks to toasting, we thought this ice cream tasted noticeably sweeter than its counterparts. If we could compare it to another frozen treat, we'd say it was quite close to the comforting chocolate and vanilla flavor of paper-lidded kiddie sundae cups. That subtle, nostalgic sweetness, paired with delightfully chewy bits of chocolate-coated almonds, quickly grew on us. It may not be the flashiest flavor, but Toasted White Chocolate & Peppermint Almonds is certainly one of the strongest releases from Salt & Straw's holiday collection.

2. Dwanta's Teremana Spiked Eggnog

In case you weren't aware, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has an alter ego — and a favorite cheat meal dessert. The two come together in Salt & Straw's Dwanta's Teremana Spiked Eggnog, a sharp-looking custard ice cream infused with Teremana Reposado Tequila, Amontillado sherry, agave, and holiday spices. And fans of "The Rock" who aren't eggnog enthusiasts, rejoice. Salt & Straw has also collaborated with its famous co-owner, Dwanta, to produce two limited-edition Handcrafted Ice Cream Cakes in flavors both Naughty (caramel, chocolate, and whiskey) and Nice (peanut butter, jam, and coconut).

Still, even the eggnog-opposed may be surprised by Dwanta's Teremana Spiked Eggnog. Many of us have tried this holiday flavor from other ice cream brands, but Salt & Straw's version is unparalleled. By the second our brains processed our first bite, we were hooked. As with every product from the Portland, Oregon-based chain, the ice cream itself is exceptionally rich. The addition of top-shelf tequila and sherry adds incredible dimension, creating a uniquely sweet flavor that reminds us of a grown-up cream soda. The slight tang of spirits interwoven with the custardy base is irresistibly good, and even taste testers who were neutral toward eggnog couldn't shy away from seconds and thirds. Moreover, we loved how easy this flavor was to scoop — making it perfect for holiday party plans involving cake and ice cream. Regardless of where you stand on eggnog, we implore you to try this Salt & Straw favorite while it lasts.

1. Chocolate Sugar Cookie Dough

When you think of sugar cookies, you don't typically think of chocolate. Yet, Salt & Straw has forever changed the way we'll view this classic dessert with its Chocolate Sugar Cookie Dough ice cream. As soon as we laid eyes on this tempting treat, we were in awe of how beautiful it looked. It has a luscious, milk-chocolaty ice cream base flecked with garnet-colored swirls and generous mounds of — you guessed it — buttery sugar cookies. We'd never seen anything like it before, and couldn't wait to give it a try.

Our eyes didn't deceive us — this striking concoction is nothing short of phenomenal. It's worth noting that this selection is the only vegan offering from Salt & Straw's holiday collection. That said, our taste testers were completely oblivious to this fact, repeatedly commenting on its creaminess. If you've sampled some sad vegan ice creams in the past, the heavenly mouthfeel of Chocolate Sugar Cookie Dough will instantly wash away those unfortunate memories. What's more, we were smitten with the ribbons of raspberry jam, which provided a brilliant, fruity bite against the chocolate cream. The cinnamon-dusted sugar cookie pieces took things over the edge, tasting remarkably soft and fresh despite being nestled under layers of ice cream. Best of all, the vegan dessert is made from upcycled barley milk — a huge bonus for sustainable snack enthusiasts. Given its outstanding performance in virtually every category, Chocolate Sugar Cookie Dough was a shoo-in for first place in our ranking.

How we selected the best Salt & Straw holiday flavors

Salt & Straw sent Tasting Table five samples to try, from returning favorites such as Dwanta's Teremana Spiked Eggnog to newcomers like Chocolate Sugar Cookie Dough. In order to rank the best flavors from the chain's holiday collection, we graded each seasonal ice cream on several factors, from their overall flavor profiles to their presentation and consistency. We also gave flavors additional points for bonus categories, such as the use of sustainable ingredients, unique mix-ins, and scoopability.