11 Store-Bought Cookies And Cream Ice Cream Brands, Ranked

With summer just around the corner, I needed to get the scoop on the best cookies and cream ice cream flavors. When it comes to ice cream, I consider myself a sundae sommelier. From mom and pop sweet shops to big name ice cream brands, I've tasted just about every ice cream flavor under the sun — and cookies and cream remains one of my favorites.

While it's the subject of some controversy, two students and a dairy plant manager at South Dakota State University claim to have invented the sweet flavor in 1979. Supposedly, the plant manager, Shirley Seas, told the students to crush up Oreos and put them in vanilla ice cream. It was an idea as simple as it was genius, and the flavor took off. Now, it's made by ice cream companies around the world.

But not all cookies and cream ice creams were created equal. I picked up popular, easy-to-find, and widely available brands of cookies and cream ice cream for this taste test. A quality scoop should have a flavor balance between the ice cream itself and the chocolate cookies, as well as a clear textural distinction between the two. In the end, only one could be crowned the top brand. So if you're looking for a cold, creamy treat this summer, read on to find out which cookies and cream ice creams to look for in your grocery store.

11. Halo Top

Halo Top ice cream is famous for its relatively low calorie count, which is front and center on the pint's packaging. While I admit that it's impressive that a whole pint of ice cream can contain only 310 calories, when I took a bite of Halo Top cookies and cream I was reminded of the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Everything has its price." In other words, what this ice cream lacks in calories, it also lacks in flavor.

To keep the calorie count low, artificial sweeteners like erythritol and stevia extract are used in place of sugar. The artificial taste comes through loud and clear and drowns out the natural milky taste of the ice cream. And I suspect another way they kept the calorie count so low was by whipping air into the ice cream, because this pint felt significantly lighter than some of the others. Lastly, instead of distinct chunks of cookies, specks of mashed cookies were spread thinly throughout the mixture, which gave it a boring, uniform taste and texture.

10. Gelato Boy

I've eaten a lot of cookies and cream ice cream in my life, but I'd never encountered a "salty" version of the famous flavor until I picked up this pint of Gelato Boy. I had high hopes for this cold, creamy concoction because of its attractive packaging and unique flavor. Sadly, Gelato Boy did not live up to my expectations.

When I peered into the top of this pint, I noticed that there were cookies that were well-blended into the ice cream and others that were left chunkier. Chunks generally add a nice textural diversity, so I plunged in with my spoon like I'd just struck a vein of gold. But when the tasting began, I noticed the chunks simply blended in with the rest of the ice cream and offered little textural value. In terms of flavor, Gelato Boy wasn't bad, but it also wasn't anything special. Perhaps there was a hint of saltiness, but it was not memorable enough to set the pint apart from the rest.

9. Breyer's

I was impressed by the size of the 1.5-quart tub of Breyer's and its comparatively low price. But when I picked it up to put it in my shopping cart, I noticed it was suspiciously light. It's clear that Breyer's whips air into its ice cream to give it more volume. It's not necessarily a bad thing, and most ice cream brands whip some amount of air in so that the product doesn't get too dense. But Breyer's adds too much air to its ice cream, which gives it a light mouthfeel and causes it to melt faster than any other ice cream that I tasted. 

The flavor of the vanilla ice cream wasn't bad, but it was a bit heavy on the ice crystals, which, in turn, gave it a slightly watered-down taste. The cookies, on the other hand, were crumbly, soft, and perfectly chocolatey. The pieces were also just chunky enough to make each bite of Breyer's unique. Overall, if you're looking for a budget option, Breyer's will do — but it's not fantastic.

8. 365 by Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods has historically had a reputation for being overpriced, but these days, it's easy to find a deal on quality items at the Amazon-owned grocer. Plus, many people believe Whole Foods is the best store for organic shopping, so I was eager to see how the store's 365 brand of cookies and cream ice cream would taste. 

The first good sign is that everything in this pint is organic. And the flavor of the vanilla is understated; it's not too sweet and has a dense, velvety texture. The cookies were good, too, but there weren't enough of them. Getting a bite with a nice, sizable chunk of cookie was just too rare to place this brand higher on my ranking. Most of the chunks were small and the ones that were larger were too mushy. Moreover, the way the cookies were blended in with the vanilla ice cream made each bite indistinguishable from the last. While it was a positive experience overall, 365 was missing the cookie component of a good cookies and cream flavor.

7. Dolcezza

When I saw Dolcezza's dulce de leche and cookies ice cream looking out at me from behind the freezer door, I thought I was going to fall in love. The pint has a simple, yet attractive package and I love to see a riff on the classic cookies and cream flavor so near and dear to my heart. I thought maybe a swirl of dulce de leche, a type of caramel made from sweetened condensed milk, was all I needed to satisfy my sweet tooth. And I was almost right.

The ice cream itself was near perfect; it had a light vanilla flavor with a creamy texture and a soft, golden stripe of dulce de leche running though it. But the cookies were ... not cookies. Instead of cookie chunks, the "cookies" in the Dolcezza pint were pea-sized, crunchy chocolate-flavored balls. While the faux cookies made for a light crunch that was somewhat satisfying, the ice cream lacked the large chunks of cookie that I was hunting for in a pint of cookies and cream.

6. Edy's

I'll admit it: Before I tasted this tub of Edy's, I didn't think I was going to like it. Like many cheaper, mass-produced ice creams, Edy's comes in a 1.5-quart container that's intimidatingly large for somebody who lives alone. And when I picked it up, I noticed that it felt lighter than I expected — an indication that lots of extra air was whipped into it to increase its volume, which was also the case with the low-ranked Breyer's ice cream. But, the flavor of Edy's pleasantly surprised me.

The vanilla ice cream was perfectly pleasant, and it knew exactly how to be a supporting cast member to the star of the show: the chunky chocolate cookies. Edy's cookies were just the right size, which made each bite of this ice cream its own unique flavor journey. And when I got a bite with a nice lump of cookie, it was chewy and texturally defined enough to distinguish it from its creamy surroundings. This tub of Edy's was priced more than the lower-ranked Breyer's and most of the smaller pints, but it's still a decent deal that you can find at most grocery stores. 

5. Ben & Jerry's

There are so many things to love about Ben & Jerry's. On top of the fact that Ben & Jerry's emphasizes responsible dairy sourcing, clever flavor names like Half Baked and Chunky Monkey make the pints stand out as fun and playful. And as veganism and plant-based eating has become more common, the company has kept up with the times by offering more non-dairy flavors, like this "milk" and cookies flavor made with oat milk instead of dairy milk.

The first thing to know about this flavor is that you're only going to love it if you love oat milk. A distinctly oat-forward taste is noticeable from the moment the ice cream hits your tongue. As an oat milk convert myself, I didn't have a problem with it. The texture is just like dairy ice cream and the chunks of cookie are chunky, crumbly, and appear just often enough to keep you digging for more.

4. Van Leeuwen

If this were a beauty context, Van Leeuwen would probably walk away with a sash and a tiara. The simple, pastel-colored pints look like rows of easter eggs ready to be plucked from the grocery store freezer. Van Leeuwen fans know that the company offers up creative renditions of rich and creamy French ice cream pints. What makes French ice cream thicker than other types is the addition of extra egg yolks and milk fat. You can taste the difference when you gobble up your first spoonful of this devilishly decadent frozen treat.

This cream itself is magnificent; it offers a velvety wave of fatty flavor that lovingly enrobes the tongue. The issue, however, is with the cookies — specifically their conspicuous absence. The flecks of cookie that you do find in this pint are not robust enough to lend this cookies and cream the distinctive cookie flavor needed to distinguish it from a regular vanilla ice cream.

3. Alden's

If you're looking for a quality tub of organic cookies and cream ice cream that's going to feed the whole family, Alden's may be the brand for you. While it's a bit pricier than other large tubs of ice cream that I reviewed, it's worth the couple of extra bucks. According to the Alden's website, the company sources dairy products from family-owned farms where the cows get "plenty of fresh air, graze a minimum of 120 days and eat feed that is 100% organic." And when you take a bite of Alden's, you can tell that the ice cream was made with milk from happy cows.

The vanilla ice cream is subtle, sweet, and super creamy. It envelops chunks of chocolate cookies (which are also made with organic ingredients) that are spread throughout the ice cream in a variety of sizes. So, sometimes you get the little flecks of chocolate, and every once in a while you catch the big kahuna with a substantial mouthful of cookie.

2. So Delicious

Some people might be surprised that a non-dairy ice cream made it so close to the top of the list of the best cookies and cream ice creams. But once you try a bite of So Delicious' chocolate cookies 'n' crème ice cream, you will wonder no longer. This was the only ice cream on the list that used chocolate instead of vanilla ice cream as a base, and I was initially concerned that the pint would be overwhelmingly chocolatey. But the chocolate ice cream is not so intense that it detracts from the dark cookie chunks that speckle the ice cream's luscious base.

While some non-dairy ice creams taste too much like the plant-based milk used to make them, So Delicious is made with cashew milk, which has a milder flavor than oat, soy, or coconut milk. Cashew milk has a naturally buttery profile and enhances the richness of the ice cream without being too distracting. In fact, I'd have a hard time distinguishing this ice cream from its dairy milk competitors. Even if you're not vegan, So Delicious is a pint worth picking if you find yourself in the freezer aisle with a craving for cookies and cream.

1. Häagen-Dazs

I love to root for the underdog, and I was expecting to single out a smaller ice cream company's cookies and cream flavor for the top spot. But, I guess there's a reason Häagen-Dazs has been around since 1960. The vanilla ice cream base is milky and sweet, providing a perfect backdrop for the chocolate cookies that are streaked throughout the pint. While you can tell that some air has been whipped into it to make it fluffier, it's still dense enough to give you a satisfying bite.

The smoothness of the ice cream highlights the texture of the cookies, which are light, crumbly, and strike a nice balance between chocolatey and sweet. Häagen-Dazs is also the best bang for your buck; it was more affordable than other brands on this list. While the name might seem European with its exotic-looking umlaut, Häagen-Dazs is an American brand that you can find in grocery stores across the country. Easy to find and even easier to eat, the flavor, texture, and price of this frozen treat was a tantalizing trifecta that earned it the distinction of my favorite cookies and cream ice cream.


After a brief treasure hunt for pints of cookies and cream ice cream, I lined up my flavor options to try and find the best one. A good cookies and cream is made of velvety ice cream that has the right balance of fat, sugar, and ice crystals. While most ice creams have air whipped into them for volume, it's important that there's the right amount of fluff without making it feel artificially voluminous.

The other crucial component in this formula are the cookies. They should be dense, crumbly, and chocolatey, and should be found in chunks rather than blended into the ice cream. Big cookie chunks ensure that each bite is unique depending on the amount of cookie in it, which keeps you digging for that perfect mouthful. There are plenty of variations of cookies and cream ice cream, and while some are more successful than others, the basic components that make for good cookies and cream remain the same.