It’s a wondrous and slightly anxiety-inducing experience to behold 15 different ice cream pints open before you—all perfectly thawed and ready to be sampled. This was the situation I found myself in when I visited the Ben & Jerry’s headquarters last summer. Along with other members of the media, I scooped and savored each flavor to my raging dopamine delight. As the year passed, I continued to enjoy a pint of B&J on occasion to recall that Willy Wonka-esque day. In my humble (yet extremely stubborn) opinion, here are all the Ben & Jerry’s Non-Dairy flavors ranked from fine to best (because let’s be honest, there are no bad flavors here).
15. Cherry Garcia
I have never truly understood the craze surrounding this cult flavor. I’ve sampled both the dairy version (pre-vegan) and the non-dairy version, and while I was pleased to note that they taste the same, the flavor itself never really excited my palate. If this chocolate-cherry combination makes you do backflips, this pint may be higher on your list.
14. Coffee Caramel Fudge
As a person who works best beside a cup of coffee, I typically gravitate toward coffee-flavored sweets. This is good, but I would prefer fewer chunks and swirls and more straight, velvety coffee flavor. Of course, that’s not the B&J way, and this flavor holds true to the brand’s dedication to mix-ins.
13. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
I welcome the controversy over this ranking, as I know this classic flavor is a favorite among millions. There’s a reason why the company launched its vegan cookie dough chunks, after all. Although this ice cream is tasty, the product is just shy of hitting that childhood nostalgia note for me.
12. Chocolate Fudge Brownie
As one of the first non-dairy Ben & Jerry’s flavors launched in 2016, this pint made my heart pitter-patter with delight four years ago. However, that was before I realized what those Flavor Gurus (yes, that’s what they’re called) can really do. The Chocolate Fudge Brownie is a lot of … chocolate. Yes, it’s redundant, but when I pop open a pint, I expect a bit more variation in flavor.
11. Peanut Butter Half Baked
The name of this ice cream certainly does not reflect the innovation behind it—the complexity of its components is not half-baked at all (sorry, bad pun). Peanut butter and chocolate ice creams are marbled together and studded with fudge brownies and peanut butter cookie dough. If the Chocolate Fudge Brownie is too one-note, this might be just a smidge too much.
10. Crème Brûlée Cookie
One of the newest flavors to the Ben & Jerry’s collection, this caramel-y treat is made with sunflower butter instead of the brand’s original almond milk base. The result is an exceptionally rich and creamy ice cream without a hint of sunflower flavor. While the texture is nothing short of divine, the taste is very sweet. However, if presented with a Burnt Caramel ice cream ribboned with salted caramel and globs of brown sugar cookies, I wouldn’t say no.
9. P.B. & Cookies
If you’re a fan of Oreos dipped in peanut butter, you need to try this flavor. It had its run in scoop shops and has since been retired to pint-only. I enjoyed this vanilla ice cream swirled with chunky peanut butter and studded with chocolate sandwich cookies, but if hard-pressed, I slightly prefer Oreos slathered with peanut butter and dipped in cashew milk.
8. Coconut Seven Layer Bar
While Jerry informed us that he could never get through a pint of this flavor, I thought it was outstanding. Just like the dessert, there’s a lot going on here, but it works. Coconut ice cream acts as the glue between the ample fudge chunks, walnuts, and streaks of graham cracker and caramel swirls. It’s a refreshing outlier to the dominant chocolate and cookie-based flavors.
7. Cinnamon Buns
If given the choice between a decent cinnamon bun and this ice cream, I’d choose the ice cream. I loved the perfectly spiced, not-too-sweet cinnamon base that’s loaded with gobs of tender cinnamon bun dough and a wonderful cinnamon streusel swirl. I definitely have to practice restraint whenever a pint of this is within my reach.
6. Chocolate Caramel Cluster
I am not the biggest chocolate-meets-caramel fan, but this flavor changed my perspective. The peanut bits add a crunch element and balance out the smooth fudge chunks and velvety chocolate ice cream. The whole flavor combination is brought together with a salted caramel ribbon. During last year’s sampling extravaganza, I went back for seconds of this flavor.
5. Chocolate Salted ’n Swirled
This barely edged out ahead of the Chocolate Caramel Cluster. Instead of peanuts and fudge, this caramel-y chocolate ice cream is studded with huge chunks of chocolate sandwich cookies. The cookie bits become perfectly soft and toothsome when blended with the ice cream— replicating an icebox cake texture. It’s legit.
4. Mint Chocolate Cookie
Just shy of my top three is this marvelously minty sunflower butter-based pint. Relatively simple by Ben & Jerry’s standards, mint ice cream is dolloped with huge chocolate sandwich cookies. Yep, that’s it, and it doesn’t need anything more.
3. “Milk” & Cookies
Think cookies and creme, but exponentially superior in every conceivable way. Simple vanilla sunflower butter-based ice cream acts as the blank canvas for chocolate chip cookies, chocolate sandwich cookies, and chocolate cookie swirls. It’s essentially a sundae in a pint—just add vegan whip and a cherry.
2. Caramel Almond Brittle
This was unexpectedly my clear favorite until my #1 pick debuted this past winter. My tastes heavily lean toward chocolate and dough, but Ben & Jerry’s surprised me with this outstanding flavor combination. Silky smooth almond ice cream pairs perfectly with a salted caramel swirl and hunks of crunchy almond brittle. It’s perfect in every way.
1. Netflix & Chill’d
When it comes to the top Ben & Jerry’s non-dairy flavor, resistance is futile. This over-the-top flavor somehow does not exceed the “too much” barrier and delivers on the ultimate indulgence. I will forever be enamored with this peanut butter ice cream that is decked with fudge brownies and a salted pretzel swirl. How do they even create a swirl out of salted pretzels? My mind is blown, and my senses are overloaded with delight whenever I treat myself to this flavor. Hat’s off to you, Ben and Jerry, for continually pushing the boundaries of what vegan ice cream can be.
Tanya Flink is a Digital Editor at VegNews as well as a writer and runner living in Orange County, CA.
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