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I Tried 9 Cookies and Cream Ice Creams & the Best Was Rich and Chunky

Virtually every ice cream maker offers its own take on this classic flavor, but which one does it best?
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Let's face it: the ice cream aisle at the grocery store is a treasure trove of flavors, from old favorites to exciting new varieties. No matter what you fancy, there's something for you. A classic vanilla? Of course. A more adventurous rocky road? Naturally. Something in the middle? Cookies and cream is for you. I consider cookies and cream ice cream to be an elevated classic. It's the classic flavors but a bit more fun than just vanilla or just chocolate. It's the more fun version of dunking your Oreos in milk, and it's perfect for a hot summer day.

Just about every ice cream brand makes a version of cookies and cream (classic, I say!), but everyone's is a little bit different, which makes it fun to try them all out — and that's exactly what I did. While I didn't try every single one out there (I have my limits, and part of that is that I'm geographically bound to Manhattan and New Jersey), I did try many of the major brands that I could get my hands on. Let me just say, if you're a cookies and cream fan, there are a lot of great ones for you to choose from.

While I did rank the nine I tried, I would go so far as saying none of them are truly bad. (When it comes to ice cream, is there ever really a bad choice?) Now, go forth and have your ice cream!

Breyers Cookies and Cream

a container of breyers next to a bowl of ice cream
Photo: Hedy Phillips, Eat This, Not That!
Nutrition (Per Serving):
Calories: 200
Fat: 7 g (Saturated Fat: 4 g)
Sodium: 150 mg
Carbs: 31 g (Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 22 g)
Protein: 3 g

The cookies and cream flavor is a solid classic from Breyers. I picked up a pint for $4.39, and I have to say, it was the first time I'd had Breyers in a while. For an ice cream giant, I had high expectations. And, well.

The look: This ice cream looked appealing. It had quite a few cookie chunks (not too many, not too little), and they were evenly distributed. It looked creamy. It had all the makings of a great ice cream.

The taste: But it tasted like… nothing? Maybe not nothing, per se, but it was just very blah. The cookies had some richness to them, but the ice cream had next to no flavor, which was disappointing. I wanted more oomph from the vanilla.

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Halo Top Cookies & Cream

a container of halo ice cream next to a bowl of ice cream
Photo: Hedy Phillips, Eat This, Not That!
Nutrition (Per Serving):
Calories: 100
Fat: 2 g (Saturated Fat: 1 g)
Sodium: 105 mg
Carbs: 23 g (Fiber: 6 g, Sugar: 8 g)
Protein: 6 g

Halo Top's Cookies & Cream cost me $7.49 for a pint, and it's truly not a bad low-calorie option if you're on a healthy-eating journey and craving ice cream. It's certainly lower in calories, fat, and sugar than anything else on this list, but how does it compare in taste? Well…

The look: Acceptable enough. Though there are no large cookie chunks, it does have what appears to be cookie crumbles swirling throughout. It doesn't, however, have a creamy appearance that you expect from ice cream.

The taste: If you're familiar with Halo Top, you know that it doesn't taste the same as typical ice cream because it's lower in fat and sugar. It's not as rich and creamy. If you go in with that expectation, you won't be disappointed. This ice cream isn't bad, but it's not great. It doesn't have much of a cookies and cream flavor, but it can hit the spot if you're cutting calories and need a sweet treat.

Great Value Cookies & Cream

a container of great value ice cream next to a bowl of ice cream
Photo: Hedy Phillips, Eat This, Not That!
Nutrition (Per Serving):
Calories: 210
Fat: 10 g (Saturated Fat: 6 g)
Sodium: 110 mg
Carbs: 27 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 21 g)
Protein: 3 g

Walmart's brand of cookies and cream is a great budget-friendly option that doesn't skimp on flavor. I paid $1.72 for this pint (and there are plenty of other flavor options to choose from as well).

The look: While scooping this ice cream, it didn't look all that creamy—it seemed more icy. There also weren't a ton of cookie chunks; the pieces were a bit on the small side. There were plenty of cookie crumbles, though.

The taste: This ice cream tasted creamier than it looked! The vanilla flavor was weak, however. Most of the flavor comes from the cookie, which is a strong chocolaty taste. It's a rich chocolate cookie that has a fudgy texture, but the ice cream just tastes sweet rather than like vanilla.

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Friendly's Cookies & Cream

a container of friendlys cookies and cream next to a bowl of ice cream
Photo: Hedy Phillips, Eat This, Not That!
Nutrition (Per Serving):
Calories: 210
Fat: 10 g (Saturated Fat: 6 g)
Sodium: 90 mg
Carbs: 27 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 20 g)
Protein: 3 g

Friendly's feels like a blast from the past, but the ice cream brand is still kicking. Cookies & Cream is one of the many flavors the restaurant brand sells in grocery stores. I found this half gallon at Walmart for $4.24.

The look: There were a lot of cookie chunks in this ice cream and also plenty of cookie crumbles swirled throughout as well. It felt like a really balanced ratio of cookie pieces to ice cream.

The taste: Despite the balance, the flavor is all cookie and no ice cream. I can tell I'm eating ice cream—it is cold and creamy, after all—but the vanilla flavor just really isn't there. All I really get is cookie. Don't get me wrong, I love a chocolate cookie, but the "cream" is half of the flavor.

Talenti Cookies and Cream

a container of talenti gelato
Photo: Hedy Phillips, Eat This, Not That!
Nutrition (Per Serving):
Calories: 310
Fat: 15 g (Saturated Fat: 9 g)
Sodium: 100 mg
Carbs: 39 g (Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 31 g)
Protein: 5 g

Talenti's Cookies and Cream gelato is a unique addition to the list because it's in layers. I specifically shot the photo for this one still in the container so you'd get the full effect of how it looks before you dig in. A pint of this cost me $5.49.

The look: Before you scoop it, the gelato is gorgeous in all of its layers. You have a couple layers of ice creams, some swirls, and some cookies. There's plenty of texture to be had here, but this is one of those foods that's more about how it looks than anything.

The taste: It's not that this ice cream tastes bad—it doesn't! It's that the layers are really annoying. Good luck trying to scoop all the way to the bottom of the pint to get a proper bite with a little bit of everything. Each layer is really tasty. The gelato is rich and creamy, the cookie bits are delicious, but the layers are frustrating to actually tackle.

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Häagen-Dazs Cookies & Cream

a container of haagen dazs next to a bowl of ice cream
Photo: Hedy Phillips, Eat This, Not That!
Nutrition (Per Serving):
Calories: 320
Fat: 20 g (Saturated Fat: 13 g)
Sodium: 130 mg
Carbs: 31 g (Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 26 g)
Protein: 5 g

You can't go wrong with a classic like Häagen-Dazs. This flavor, which cost me $5.99 for a pint, can also be found in your local Häagen-Dazs scoop shop, but in case you don't have one of those nearby, it's likely in your local grocer's freezer as well.

The look: Holy cookie chunks! Of all the ice creams on the list, this one probably has the biggest cookie chunks, which is great for cookie lovers. The cookies are softened thanks to the ice cream, so they have some fudginess to them.

The taste: Häagen-Dazs' vanilla ice cream is more of a vanilla bean flavor, which pairs well with the fudgy cookies—and there are a lot of cookies. The chocolaty-ness of the cookies almost overpowers the vanilla ice cream, but chocolate fans won't be mad about that.

So Delicious Chocolate Cookies 'n' Crème

a container of so delicious cookies and cream
Photo: Hedy Phillips, Eat This, Not That!
Nutrition (Per Serving):
Calories: 250
Fat: 13 g (Saturated Fat: 9 g)
Sodium: 170 mg
Carbs: 33 g (Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 25 g)
Protein: 3 g

A rare cookies and cream flavor made with chocolate ice cream! Plus, it's dairy free. This frozen dessert is made with cashew milk. There are other dairy-free cookies and cream ice creams on the market, but this was the only one I could find, and it cost $5.66 for the pint.

The look: So Delicious' ice cream is light on chunks and mostly just looks like a chocolate ice cream with chocolate flecks throughout. It does have a really creamy appearance, though.

The taste: Making a dairy-free ice cream with a chocolate base is a great way to disguise any odd aftertaste. The rich chocolate here really masks the cashew milk in the base, though you still get a tiny bit of a dairy-free aftertaste that you're pretty much always going to have with a nontraditional frozen dessert. However, it's a really tasty, creamy treat. And there are so many chunky cookies!

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Ben & Jerry's Milk & Cookies

a container of ben and jerry's ice cream next to a bowl of ice cream
Photo: Hedy Phillips, Eat This, Not That!
Nutrition (Per Serving):
Calories: 380
Fat: 22 g (Saturated Fat: 11 g)
Sodium: 160 mg
Carbs: 39 g (Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 32 g)
Protein: 6 g

Ben & Jerry's take on cookies and cream is a bit different from all the othersm, but I think it still counts because it is still the same idea. The pint cost me $4.48 and the flavor profile is vanilla ice cream with chocolate swirl, chocolate chip cookies, and chocolate chocolate chip cookies. Non-traditional and yet still cookies and cream.

The look: Like you'd expect from Ben & Jerry's, the mix-ins are swirled throughout the ice cream. It's loaded with swirls and chunks—but not so much that you lose the ice cream. It looks well balanced and like a delicate blend of cookies and cream.

The taste: What a lovely texture blend of creamy ice cream, smooth chocolate swirl, and crunchy cookie pieces. This may not be the classic cookies and cream, but it still has all the flavor pieces of cookies and cream. The chocolate swirl brings in the flavor you'd normally expect from the cookie pieces but the actual cookie pieces bring in the crunch. It's a good thing this was only a pint, because it disappeared really fast and it's very high in sugar content.

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Turkey Hill Cookies 'N Cream

a container of turkey hill ice cream next to a bowl
Photo: Hedy Phillips, Eat This, Not That!
Nutrition (Per Serving):
Calories: 190
Fat: 10 g (Saturated Fat: 6 g)
Sodium: 105 mg
Carbs: 25 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 18 g)
Protein: 3 g

Growing up in Amish Country, Turkey Hill ice cream was always a fan favorite, so I had to pick up the Cookies 'N Cream flavor to try. The half gallon was $3.52, and I can confidently say that it will be gone in a flash at my house.

The look: There are chunks throughout as well as crumbly cookie bits everywhere. This ice cream is beautifully mixed together, and the vanilla ice cream is that perfect off-white color of old-fashioned vanilla.

The taste: When I think of summertime as a child, this is the exact ice cream that comes to mind. The vanilla of this ice cream is perfect. It's rich and sweet and the cookie pieces are a bold chocolate flavor that add just enough salty sweetness to punch through. The chunks are big enough to add crunch but not so big that they're annoying.

Hedy Phillips
Hedy is a freelance writer with years of experience covering buzzy food trends, wellness, and weight loss. Read more about Hedy