Last Updated: Feb 10, 2021 @ 11:00 am.

What's the best ice cream mix? To find out, we fired up our ice cream machine and did a blind taste-test with 8 brands. Which was the creamiest? Best for a party? Here are the winners.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the home and families since 1994. To keep things independent, we don't take money or freebies from brands we review! Our work is 100% reader-supported!


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Best Vanilla Ice Cream Mix

Wowsa! Great vanilla flavor
The Madagascar bourbon vanilla is the star here—and we loved it! Sweetened with cane sugar (no corn syrup). Super fine and smooth. No GMO's, no artificial flavors or colors.
$12.95 ($1.04 / Ounce)

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Best Vanilla Ice Cream Mix: Triple Scoop Ice Cream Mix

It’s a tough job, but someone had to do it.

We took eight brands of ice cream mix and set out to find the best of the best. To keep things fair, we did a blind taste test and had ice cream enthusiasts rate each on flavor and yumminess.

Vanilla may be the finest of the flavors—and the winner of the best ice cream mix for vanilla is Triple Scoop, said our testers. Wow, this stuff is amazing! We loved the smooth and consistent flavor of this vanilla . . . it won hands-down.

What We Liked

• Smooth and easy vanilla flavor. We thought this mix tasted best, compared to others that sometimes were too over or underpowered.

• Premium ingredients like Madagascar bourbon vanilla and cane sugar.

• Makes two 1 quart batches.

• No gums or emulsifiers.

• No GMO’s, artificial flavors, colors, preservatives or corn syrup solids.

• Other flavors include mint chocolate chip and cake batter if vanilla isn’t your bag.

• Made in the USA.

What Needs Work

• Requires half and half plus heavy whipping cream (1.5 cups each). Most ice cream mixes we tested just required milk–so this one may require a bit of advance planning if you don’t have that in your fridge.

• Pricey.

• Some folks find it too sweet. We didn’t think so, but we know some folks prefer a “drier” vanilla profile. This probably isn’t the best choice in that case!

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Best Flavor Variety Bundle

Makes 6 quarts of ice cream
Creamy and smooth, Junket ice cream mixes are a throwback to the flavors you remember as a kid. Loved these perfectly-sized boxes that make chocolate, strawberry and vanilla ice cream. Gluten-free.
$22.28 ($0.93 / Ounce)

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Best Flavor Variety Bundle: Junket Ice Cream Mix Bundle

Yes, this brand traces its roots back to 1874 in Denmark . . . but the company recently updated its flavors to add more emphasis on “natural” ingredients.  So we did a taste test with the new recipe. The verdict: thumbs up!

Junket’s ice cream flavors are a throwback to the classic ice cream flavors you remember as a kid. No “lavender with honey” concoctions here . . . just chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, included in a bundle.

What We Liked

• Six individual boxes = six quarts of ice cream! The individual box size is convenient—other mixes come in larger boxes, which inevitably leads to spills and waste. We think Junket’s packaging is a good solution.

• Use these mixes as a base and add in some additional flavors to taste. We thought the texture was creamy, but the flavors aren’t intense. The chocolate could be more chocolatey, but that’s our tastes. We added in chopped strawberries to boost the taste of the strawberry mix. 

• Gluten free.

• Made in the USA.

• Chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, 2 boxes each.

• Simple ingredients. Vanilla has natural vanilla flavor; chocolate has Dutch-processed cocoa; strawberry has strawberry and beet juice (for color).

• Requires 1.25 cups of whole milk and 3/4 cup of heavy cream to make.

• Hint: you can use half and half instead of milk to make creamier ice cream.

What Needs Work

• Pricey.

• Contains corn syrup.

• Must completely dissolve powder in liquid to avoid gritty texture. This takes a bit of effort with a whisk for a couple of minutes.

• Strawberry flavor can brick. We didn’t see this in our tests, but we see reports that the strawberry powder can “brick” or clump together. That means it turns into a solid mass that requires you to break it up before you can mix it.

Best Splurge Ice Cream Mix: Nostalgia Ice Cream Mix

Yes, this mix is pricey, considering it just makes 2 quarts (from each packet) of ice cream—but we were impressed with the flavor. It easily beat out several other brands to land a spot in our winner’s circle, according to our taste testers.

Here’s more:

What We Liked

• 3 flavors: vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.

• Add milk and heavy cream = smooth, rich flavor.

• Easy to make.

• Vanilla is amazing, coming close to our top pick (Triple Scoop) in richness and vanilla yumminess.

What Needs Work

• Pricey.

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do hands-on testing—we buy the products with our own money and evaluate with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

Photo at top of article: Sebastian Coman Photography

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