Food

Ice Cream Sandwich Taste Test

Ice Cream Sandwich Taste Test

What’s better than an ice cream sandwich on a scorching summer day? It embodies everything good and true and makes no mess, as long as you eat it quickly enough. To discover the best sandwich on the market, I enlisted a group of perspiring family members (including two adults, a 13-year-old, a nine-year-old and a five-year-old) to try six different brands. Here, they reveal their honest opinions…

Ice Cream Sandwich Taste Test

Each ice cream sandwich was cut into one-inch squares and delivered to the group separately, so they had no idea which one they were tasting. (They were later rewarded with full-size sandwiches of their choice.)

Ice Cream Sandwich Taste Test

SIXTH PLACE: North Star
Price: $3.99 for six sandwiches

Reactions:
“Tastes like half-and-half.”
“Oh, I remember these.”
“Too creamy.”
“They really biffed it on this.”
“I like these.”

Ice Cream Sandwich Taste Test

FIFTH PLACE: Target’s Market Pantry
Price: $2.99 for 16 minis

Reactions:
“If a drive-through served ice cream sandwiches, it would be this.”
“I like the cookie, not the cream.”
“When can we try the other ones?”
“Frothy.”
“I like these.”

Ice Cream Sandwich Taste Test

FOURTH PLACE: SO Delicious (Dairy Free)
Price: $4.75 for eight sandwiches

Reactions:
“This is weirding me out.” [Ed. note: Eats entire piece.]
“Not too sweet.”
“Is this organic?”
“Okay.”
“I like these.”

Ice Cream Sandwich Taste Test

THIRD PLACE: Julie’s Organic
Price: $6.99 for six sandwiches

Reactions:
“Wait, is this banana flavor?”
“This cookie is really sticking to my finger.”
“Yeah, there is more cookie on my hand than on the ice cream.”
“The cream has a tangy taste.”
“I like these.”

Ice Cream Sandwich Taste Test

SECOND PLACE: Blue Bunny
Price: $5.50 for eight sandwiches

Reactions:
“Chocolate cookie is really holding up compared to the others.”
“Love this kind.”
“The idyllic ice cream sandwich.”
“Mom is going to be so mad I’m so sticky.”
“I like these.”

Ice Cream Sandwich Taste Test

FIRST PLACE: Klondike

Price: $5.50 for six sandwiches

Reactions:
“More?”
“Addicting.”
“Hands-down favorite.”
“Marshmallow-flavored ice cream surrounded by a brownie.”
“I like these.”

Ice Cream Sandwich Taste Test

Final verdict: Klondike was the crowd favorite, but if you give anyone an ice cream sandwich on a hot day, chances are they will say what Zelma (age five) said every time: “I LIKE THESE.”

What do you think? Do you have any favorites?

P.S. A perfume smell test, and one-ingredient ice cream.

(Photos by Stella Blackmon. Thanks to Rosie and Millie for letting me give their kids sugar highs.)

  1. Kelly says...

    I know I’m late to the game with the comments, but I’m combining this idea (taking the fan favorite!) with the tater tots idea for having friends over tomorrow. And beer. I’m pretty excited. :)

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Hahaha, awesome, Kelly! Too fun.

  2. Em says...

    I love this post, and I love ice cream sandwiches :) Well done, Stella!

  3. Laura R says...

    Love this!!

  4. “I like these” was definitely my favorite part. So sweet and genuine.

  5. emma says...

    On the klondike one, I found the comment “addicting” so amusing because those ice cream sandwiches contain high fructose corn syrup. While it’s not the healthiest, it is the most addicting substance in generic food today. It was produced as a cheap way to fatten up livestock so they’d keep eating more.

  6. yael steren says...

    Umm – how psyched were the kids when they found out they got to do an ice cream sandwich taste test?!?!?! That sounds like the best idea ever!!! If only I had the metabolism I did when I was a kid, lol! Loved this post – super cute! xx yael

  7. Denise says...

    Just fyi, Real Simple did the same test and the Whole Foods’ 365 brand won :) guess I’ll have to try all of these!

    • Courtney says...

      The Whole Foods 365 ice cream sandwiches are amazing! I concur. :)

  8. Kato says...

    I like this made me laugh out loud! Sounds you had a blast for this post!

  9. Katie says...

    LOL thank you for this! Ice cream sandwiches have always been my favorite summer dessert.

  10. Talia says...

    This was so much fun to read!

  11. L says...

    Blue Bell ice cream sandwiches are everything!!! I grew up eating them through every summer in Texas and still love them.

  12. Ashley says...

    oh my gosh i love this post. it’s just so happy. sometimes the world makes me anxious or fearful, and that’s when an ice cream sandwich taste test post is exactly what i need. thanks, stella!

  13. yordanista says...

    what about toffutti cuties, guys!? the mint chocolate chip flavor is superb and their portion sizes are perfect.

  14. Amanda says...

    Hi there! I want to let you guys know that I ran out today to buy the winning ice cream sandwiches for my boyfriend and I. Well… we’ve both eaten two each tonight! ??Thank you for the yummy recommendations!

  15. Sarah says...

    I just tried a Coolhaus ice cream sandwich (out of LA) at my local PNW gourmet grocery and it was so good! Too expensive to be compared to this nice lineup but wow, what a treat!

  16. Katie says...

    This post just totally brought a smile to my face. I loved slowly discovering that (who I guessed to be the 5 yo) kept saying “I like this” :) Soooo adorable! I agree with others that It’s It should be on this list, although honestly it’s a bit much! I can only eat half or I regret it instantly.

  17. Melanie says...

    This made me laugh out loud
    ” I like these”
    ?

  18. Jess. says...

    “I like these.” LOLOLOL This is very sweet.

  19. amanda june says...

    oh what an amazing post topic. i love ice cream sandwiches — they taste like childhood to me. we live in china and are back for the summer, and they were my big craving this time. the klondike ones are pretty good, but i actually found that a grocery store brand (stater bros.) tasted perfectly like i remembered. nostalgia in frozen form! i picked up the market pantry ones from target the other day and was SO disappointed. the wafer is too hard, ice cream totally meh. you win some you lose some!

  20. adele says...

    The first fight my partner and I had was about ice cream sandwiches. We walked for hours, going from convenience store to convenience store looking for the classic ICS. I kept veto-ing the options because the gas station brands have too much air in the ice cream: I was on the hunt for the perfect ICS, but for him, the ICS was just an excuse to be together… 8.5 years later, he now understands the value of good ice cream.

    The moral of the story is, communication is important in relationships… but nothing beats a good ice cream sandwich. :)

  21. Lucy says...

    And then there are the chocolate chip/vanilla ice cream cookiewiches at Costco, which are on an entirely different level. Mind blowing, I tell you. And in a pack of twelve. Try not to eat the majority of them yourself in the course of one week….(looking around guiltily).

  22. Stephani says...

    Trader joes has the most sinful ice cream sandwiches…has mini choc chips on the edges. To die for!

    • Amanda says...

      Agreed! Even vanilla-ice-cream-disparaging partner loves them. The ice cream is super creamy and the cookies somehow stay soft and delicious, not frozen and hard.

  23. Minna says...

    This taste test means nothing without Trader Joe’s Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches. They win, hands down.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh yum! i’m going to pick some up today!

  24. Rachel Elise Simmons says...

    but where are the “It’s-It’s”?!

    • Rochelle says...

      Yes, those are the best.

    • Lila says...

      Agree!

    • Gen says...

      Recently found some in Portland OR tho my understanding is they originated in the Bay Area.

    • Rachel Simmons says...

      They originated in S.F.!

  25. I’m hosting a summer dinner party tonight and I might need to swing by a grocery store on my way home to round out my menu with some Klondike bars. :)

  26. Tammy says...

    I laughed every time I read, ‘I like these.’ xD It’s just too cute and I loved this…I’m not surprised that Klondike and Blue Bunny battled it out for top-those are my two favorites! :D

  27. Irina says...

    I remember being served an ice cream sandwich (I think it was a Klondike) as part of an airplane meal once. It was an unexpected treat! (I may also have eaten my husband’s because he is not a fan of vanilla ice cream or chocolate cookies. He’ll take a scoop of stracciatella ice cream any time, though!)

  28. tracy says...

    so fun and zelma’s constant “i like these” had me cracking up – and reminds me of my 5 year old!

  29. Our very favorite ice cream sandwich is the Trader Joe’s cookie ice cream sandwich. They are so delicious and usually outranks the sandwiches you can get at an ice cream shop! We joke that our third child, Lucy was basically grown in utero solely on them!

  30. Nathalie says...

    I love Ben and Jerry’s! Real cookies with cookie dough ice cream . . . probably a million calories but so good.

  31. What a fun summer activity that I’m sure the kids were thrilled to take part in. Julie’s are our family’s go to ice cream sandwich and I love that it’s organic. Our other favorite ice cream treat are Bubbies Mochi Ice Cream. Thanks for sharing and have a lovely (and cool) summer.

    XOXO, Amy

  32. Kate W says...

    Ooooh I love this post! Is this part of a series? It should be! I love that you included kids in the sample!

  33. Lisa says...

    I grew up in South Africa, and ice cream sandwiches weren’t really I thing (I don’t think I had one until I was in my 20s). This meant that when I read American books and it talked about eating ice cream sandwiches, I was VERY confused, imagining people eating ice cream on bread and thinking “well that’s just gross”. Now I know better … and in Cape Town there’s an ice cream sandwich shop where you can choose from a variety of cookies (including churro cookie – what?!) and ice cream flavours, as well as toppings. It’s amazing

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, a CHURRO ice cream sandwich?!?!?! get me to that shop!

    • Auste says...

      Next time you’re in Los Angeles you need to stop by Churro Borough in Los Feliz! Ridiculously good.

    • Michele says...

      They also have churro ice cream sandwiches right outside of Disneyland! Yum!

    • Dee says...

      In Singapore, they actually put ice cream in buns! Its a common street food there, and Its actually good :)

  34. I was so surprised that the kind I remembered from childhood wasn’t included. It was the only kind I can remember most places even selling. But it turns out, (of course!) it is a Montana creamery, Wilcoxson. Their red logo is pretty ubiquitous around Montana and Northern Wyoming. I still love their ice cream sandwiches, all wrapped up in their silver foil-and-paper wrappers :)

    • Sasha says...

      The strawberry ones!!!! So so yummy. Wilcoxsons are what I grew up eating too :) Even though I know they aren’t a national brand, I was expecting to see them here too!

  35. Lauren Lyons says...

    Zelma’s respones were so cute, but I kept thinking, as I was reading the post, that in the end you were going to announce that the “I like these” comments came from one of the adults. ;)

    • Ashley W says...

      me too!!

    • Talia says...

      Me too! :)

  36. Ashley says...

    I like this.

    :) :) :)

  37. Carolyn says...

    Lol, this is so cute. Love it.

  38. Vicki says...

    I’m with Zelma! I have a feeling we’d get along famously.

  39. Jacqueline says...

    I LOVE Mad Minis! They’re small so not super indulgent, and are made with all real ingredients. Black Raspberry is my favorite flavor!

    http://www.madminifoods.com/

  40. Arwen says...

    Adding to the chorus here, but It’s It are absolutely the best.

  41. The Julie’s are by far my favorite ever!

  42. Aly says...

    so cute!!

  43. OMG I would for sure be the one saying “I like these” every time!

  44. Bluebell FTW!

  45. Stephanie says...

    If you live in Portland, OR, drop everything and go to Ruby Jewel (or to New Seasons where they sell RB’s premade ice cream sammies in the freezer aisle). You’re welcome.

    • Jen says...

      Yes! I lived across the street from Ruby Jewel in Portland. I moved back to Northern California a couple of years ago and guess what I found in the freezer at a local Whole Foods recently? Seeing that Ruby Jewel ice cream sando was like bumping into a long lost friend :)

  46. Gen says...

    Yes! Klondike forever and ever!

  47. katie says...

    Here in the PNW, Tillamook Tillamookies win every time! They’re waffle cone sandwiches around the besssst ice cream. 100% recommend.

    • Sarah says...

      Yessssssss! The Vanilla Tillamookie is mind-blowing because of that waffle cone cookie.

  48. aga says...

    “I like these.” LOL!

    • aga says...

      I’m guessing that that was one of the kids or one of the adults was stoned. lol!

    • Emma says...

      Investigative reporting level expert.

  49. Kacie says...

    We have been obsessed with TJ’s chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches this summer! Definitely add them to your “try next” list. It’s both a blessing and a curse that they are only sold in a 4 pack! :)

  50. Maggie says...

    So cute and funny. Well done!

  51. Sara D says...

    If you are from the Richmond, VA, area, you have to try Nightingale Ice Cream sandwiches. Amaaaaaaaazing.

  52. Katie says...

    Zelma gets it.

  53. Cute post! My recommendation is Tillamook ice cream sandwiches, they have a hazelnut flavor that is to die for!

  54. Carmen B. says...

    It’s-It, hands down, is the best ice cream sandwich.

    • Dawn says...

      It’s It, forever and always!!

    • allie says...

      Its its….the one and only.

    • Sarah P. says...

      It’s-It!!! Yesssss.

    • cgw says...

      YES! And if you are lucky enough to live close to the factory (raises hand), you can also get flavors they don’t sell at the stores.

    • Alex says...

      My eyes scrolled the options and I said to myself, “Wait, no it’s it??” No other ice cream sandwich compares!

  55. Hilary Tschoepe says...

    Lovely and humorous responses by your family! Thanks for this post.

  56. shannon says...

    I LIKE THESE hahahaha! These posts about crowd-sourced reviews are so fun! I also loved the perfume one.

    Also, I think someone already mentioned this, but It’s-It makes hands-down the best ice cream sandwiches. It’s ice cream in between oatmeal raisin cookies, and the whole thing is dipped in chocolate (https://www.itsiticecream.com). They have them at King Soopers in Colorado, but I haven’t seen them anywhere east of there. They are based in San Francisco. If you see them, buy them FAST and then try not to eat the whole box at once.

    • Nancy says...

      It’-Its are so so addictive. Been loving them since I first moved to San Francisco. We’ve found the best price at Costco in Anchorage of all places.

    • Fahm says...

      I was so surprised these weren’t included! Ate them all the time growing up! Must be a Northern California thing.

  57. Angela says...

    This is the cutest post!! Brilliant idea, guys. Now excuse me while I go eat Klondike ice cream sammiches…

  58. Carrie says...

    This was a cute post but I have to say, I can’t wait to start seeing the fall themed posts come rolling in! I am SO excited for Autumn’s arrival.

  59. Zoe says...

    Dude, I love the Julie’s ice cream sandwiches, I’m surprised those didn’t win! There’s something grainy about the ice cream like there’s sugar crystals in it or something and I’m very into it. However they are super expensive so maybe it’s time to try one of the other front runners.

  60. Rebecca says...

    I love Fat Boy minis! They’re supposedly only 100 calories, but taste delicious and you can eat them a little leisurely because they’re minis! But I loved the “I like these” comment because that’s kind of how I feel about any ice cream sandwich!

  61. Tofutti Cuties! My favorites as a lactose-intolerant child, and still my favorites as a now lactose-tolerant adult. Vanilla is the best :)

    • LeighTX says...

      Yes! Shout-out to Tofutti Cuties, they are awesome.

    • Lauren says...

      I just bought some after not having had in 20 or so years, and they totally hold up!

    • Darcy says...

      These are the best, lactose intolerant or not. (And no worries about being mixed up with dairy industry ugliness.)

  62. TNelly says...

    Zelma for the win!!

  63. Summer says...

    So funny – I’ve just recently discovered the Target Market Pantry ones and they’re MY FAVORITES! The ice cream is like softserve! LOOOVE!

  64. Lori! says...

    “I Like These” :)

  65. brianna says...

    I love the mini mint chip sandwiches from Trader Joe’s. I can’t have dairy anymore, but those were so good. And they were small, so no guilt if I ate two.

  66. Helen says...

    Being from northern California, I’m partial to It’s-It.

    • cgw says...

      The only REAL ice cream sandwich. LOL

  67. Lisa says...

    My new favorite is Tillamookies. The cookie is a waffle cone dipped in chocolate so it maintains its crunch. I have been eating a mint chocolate one every single day this summer.

  68. Kirsten says...

    My new favorite summer activity has been making my own ice cream sandwiches because they are so customizable! And actually only take about 5 minutes to throw together if you already have cookies and ice cream on hand…

  69. Andrea says...

    Oddly, one of the summer themes in our household has been ice cream sandwiches (the other 2017 theme is picnics). Our leading favorite is the Whole Foods house brand ice cream sandwich. The ice cream tastes like ice cream and the sandwich has a nice sugar tone to it. WF also makes awesome root beer float cups in their store brand line (and I am not a WF shopper normally).

  70. Janine says...

    Ooh, yes! Klondike kills it every summer. In addition to the sandwiches, we buy the Klondike Bar 6-packs in a few flavors for when we host people. No one ever turns us down. The Dark Chocolate and Cookie Dough Swirl bars are especially good!

  71. Kate says...

    I love when the chocolate part sticks to my fingers! There’s something so nostalgic about it. I always try to eat as much of the ‘bread’ part as I can without the ice cream falling out, then I eat the ice cream, then that last bite that I was pinching with my fingers…..summer heaven!!

    • Lydia says...

      This is my method too!

  72. Amanda says...

    I guess they are technically a bit different than a traditional ice cream sandwich, but as a Bay Area native, I have to give my vote to It’s-It! They are definitely the best (and I think you can find them in grocery stores across the country now).

    • Liz says...

      oh yeah well duh! it’s-it are the best in the world. But you can’t get em anywhere but in the bay!

    • You can you can!! They have them a few places in Seattle! I’d try talking to a store about getting them! Its it are the very best ice cream cookie sandwiches of all time. Last time we were in SF my sister surprised me with a trip to their factory, and we ran in and full of excitement shouted “we’re here for the tour!” and the teenage kid behind the gift shop desk was like “we don’t have a tour.” hahahaha. But we bought a lot of swag and ice cream anyway.

    • Carmen B. says...

      I’m in SoCal and It’s-Its are in almost every grocery store.
      For sure, the best ice cream sandwich out there.

  73. Kelly says...

    It’s a different type of cookie (oatmeal) but It’s It are the best!

  74. LaurenB says...

    mmmm….
    please taste test the variety of Trader Joes sandwiches next. :)
    I’m dying to know how the new “Brownie crisp coffee ice cream sandwiches” are, and they also have s’mores flavor, mini mint sandwiches, and a soy ice cream version too.

    • Jaymie says...

      The TJ brownie coffee ice cream sandwiches are to die for! The brownies are not crispy at all…chewy like brownies should be. Ah-mazing!

  75. Kellyn says...

    Toffuti Cuties are amazing! I love the mint ones :-)

    • Lydia says...

      They’re the best! A lot of my family have dairy allergies so I grew up in a mostly dairy-free household. I was always begging my mom to get me my own dairy-full versions of cheeses, yogurts, etc. but Toffuti Cuties were the one thing that I preferred over the “real-deal”

    • Darcy says...

      Their mint is great.

  76. Lauren E. says...

    I vividly remember the major disappointment of finding out these were the offering on hand at “Free Ice Cream Day” in elementary school. Like, what, no drumsticks?!

  77. Molly says...

    Too cute! Off to the grocery store : )

  78. Ashley says...

    The SO Delicious ice cream sandwiches with the coconut milk ice cream are my new favorite treat. They are also low cal so I can justify eating more than one, which I like.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      I have heard wonderful things! I can’t wait to try those next :)

    • Courtney says...

      YES! I love them!!

      I did a dairy hiatus and these were my special treat; I’m long done with the dairy break, but these are still always in my freezer. My 4-year-old loves them too!

  79. I had a feeling quickly on that that the “I like these” comments were coming from the 5 year old, but I enjoyed pretending it was one of the adults the whole time.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Hahaha

  80. Katie says...

    FYI for those that are dairy free, Trader Joe’s also makes delicious soy mini ice cream sandwiches :)