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In 1907, local farmers created the Brenham Creamery Company to use the excess cream brought in from regional farmers to make local butter. Not too long after, the creamery began to make ice cream which was delivered by horse and wagon to town residents. In 1930, that small operation became Blue Bell Creameries after the wildflower growing naturally in Texas fields. Now, Blue Bell Ice Cream is notorious with Texas, and for good reason; not only is the ice cream delicious, but the Blue Bell Ice Cream flavors are incredibly creative. Check them out at bluebell.com!
After consuming half-gallons of Blue Bell, I'm ranking the best 20 flavors of Texas' best ice cream. On this list, you won't find the hyper-seasonal, limited-time ones, save for a few select choices. Instead, I went for the fan favorites, the popular choices, and the flavors Blue Bell is simply known for. So grab your spoon and dive in with us as we rank the most popular Blue Bell ice cream flavors to find the very best.
20. Blue Bell Coffee
If you love coffee like I do, you might've had higher hopes for Blue Bell Coffee, but unfortunately, this won't be a half-gallon I regularly pick up at the grocery store. Granted, it beats out 10+ other Blue Bell flavors that didn't make this list, but there was something about just the coffee flavor that wasn't spectacular.
It might have to do with the fact that I can't resist the famous Blue Bell swirls and delicious additions to the ice cream. Maybe some chocolate-covered espresso beans would have taken this over the top. In fact, it would make an excellent brand new flavor. Hint, hint Blue Bell.
19. Blue Bell Bride's Cake
I don't want to be a Scrooge of love, but oh boy. Where Blue Bell's Coffee lacked excitement, it just feels like Bride's Cake is trying to cram too much into one spoonful and it's just sub-par when compared to the other flavors they feature regularly.
Come at with me this almond ice cream with white cake pieces and amaretto cream cheese ice cream, and I might not turn down a spoonful, but there are many other flavors I'd go for before this one.
18. Blue Bell Pistachio Almond
Unpopular opinion alert: Pistachio ice cream is hardly just right. Blue Bell makes the best pistachio I've ever tried, so before you throw your phone across the room, know that I respect it, of course.
However, not even the crunchy, roasted almonds could save this bright green ice cream from the depths of my freezer, getting frost-bite as I constantly picked another pint from the stack.
17. Blue Bell Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream
This tastes a bit like cherry pie with vanilla ice cream a la mode. You can taste the perfect simplicity of this half-gallon with sweet maraschino cherry halves mixed in.
However, to me, it just feels like cherry vanilla ice cream is less than the sum of its parts if that makes sense. I would rather have plain vanilla ice cream, or maybe just a cherry pie. Plus, when you have strawberry-vanilla ice cream as an option, I don't see why you would ever choose cherry vanilla instead.
16. Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
The Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough flavor, when compared to the Cookies 'n Cream (spoiler: it's coming), is just like expecting a chocolate chip and biting into a raisin instead.
My gallon didn't have nearly as many chocolate chip cookie dough chunks as it did dark chocolate chips, which had a lot to do with the lower ranking. After all, I could've gotten Chocolate Chip...
15. Blue Bell Cookie Two Step
While I enjoy cookies, this Cookie Two Step flavor didn't take the top prize. Hints of brown sugar, combined with chunks of chocolate crème-filled cookies and tasty chocolate chip cookie dough pieces are mixed with vanilla ice cream.
For me, this flavor is way too sweet.
14. Blue Bell Strawberry
Don't get me wrong, the Blue Bell Strawberry is delicious! But it leaves something to be desired. This classic ice cream flavor features ice cream made with succulent strawberries.
13. Blue Bell The Great Divide
Blue Bell The Great Divide is a decent choice, featuring Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream and rich Dutch Chocolate Ice Cream. However, it's greatly overshadowed by its cousin, Ultimate Neapolitan.
If you can't decide between chocolate and vanilla, it makes sense to get this one. However, with another option that offers strawberry as well, this flavor doesn't feel very necessary. Plus, if you're looking to mix it up, why not go for one the really flavorful and tasty options like Rocky Road or Cookie Two-Step?
12. Blue Bell Butter Crunch
Once I found a half-gallon of Butter Crunch, and only found pints of it after that fateful trip. However, there is really nothing like plain vanilla ice cream sprinkled with crunchy chocolate peanut butter candy. Where Blue Bell could've used chocolate, they knew that vanilla would be just the right amount of flavor to complement and highlight the peanut butter.
I am here for this flavor, and if you find any half-gallons around, please let me know because I can't keep buying three pints only for myself. Why didn't it rank higher? Blue Bell just consistently cranks out better flavors than this.
11. Blue Bell Ultimate Neapolitan
When I first started this journey of Blue Bell flavors, I was convinced that nothing would top my favorite flavor of Ultimate Neapolitan. Of course, this is because I'm indecisive and could never decide whether I wanted chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry.
After trying almost every Blue Bell flavor I could find, though, this flavor didn't even make the Top 10. Its simplicity is comforting, but if you're going to go for a plain flavor of Blue Bell, just get the best plain flavor you can.
10. Blue Bell Pecan Pralines 'n Cream
This is the ice cream that'll turn a pecan-hater into a pecan-believer. Blue Bell's Pecan Pralines 'n Cream has a rich praline sauce swirled into vanilla ice cream and is flecked with praline-coated pecans. I mean, how can you go wrong when you're topping your pecan pie with ice cream?
I bought this flavor expecting to feel fairly underwhelmed, but what I found was that not only do I love pecans for all of their health benefits, but I also love pecans in ice cream.
9. Blue Bell Strawberries & Homemade Vanilla
I consider this ice cream to be as much a staple as Homemade Vanilla, but it is inherently a summertime flavor to me. Similar to the previous flavor Peaches & Homemade Vanilla, the ice cream blended with ripe strawberries just didn't have enough strawberry chunks to make me forget about Homemade Vanilla sitting in its very own container.
However, the milkshake I made with this ice cream was out of this world, and that is what scooted it barely into the Top 10.
8. Blue Bell Moo-llennium Crunch
You're probably thinking, 'She didn't like Banana Split Sundae because there was too much, and she loves Moo-llennium Crunch?!' And you are correct. The trio of nuts (roasted pecans, chopped almonds, and walnuts) combined with dark chocolate chunks and creamy caramel bits makes this comfort in a carton.
I put this on a slice of pumpkin pie and felt like I finally understand the real purpose of pairing ice cream with pie. Now that is magic.
7. Blue Bell Rocky Road
Show me a person who dislikes Rocky Road from any ice cream company and I'll show you a real Scrooge. Just kidding, but anyone who dislikes Blue Bell's Rocky Road isn't thinking straight. I think the problem with other Rocky Roads is that the ice cream base doesn't hold its own well enough to the other flavors (see Banana Split Sundae).
The miniature marshmallows and roasted almonds set in a rich dark chocolate base are just decadent enough to make every bite feel luxurious and not empty.
6. Blue Bell Banana Pudding
No one understands the appeal of banana pudding until they've had a good Southern banana pudding. I grew up in a family that regularly served banana pudding, and Blue Bell's flavor does the dish justice.
The banana ice cream, whipped topping, and vanilla wafers combination tastes just like my Mammaw has handed me a styrofoam bowl of it with a plastic spoon and to bring me back to that favorite memory, Blue Bell has done its job well.
5. Blue Bell Mint Chocolate Chip
Mint is my favorite flavor of ice cream, from anywhere and on any day of the week. The best ice cream is flavorful without being overpowering, which is so hard to mess up that I had high hopes for Blue Bell Mint Chocolate Chip.
Well guess what! This flavor completely blew me away. This comes down to Blue Bell's mint ice cream and just how creamy it is. As a mint ice cream expert, I can tell you that other mint ice creams are often too overpowering with mint, but Blue Bell is just right. And the distribution of semi-sweet chocolate chips? Perfection.
4. Blue Bell Dutch Chocolate
Here is what I want in a plain chocolate ice cream: a rich, chocolate bite that doesn't make me feel like I'm eating a cold mouthful of chocolate chips. Here is what Blue Bell Dutch Chocolate is like: a bite of fresh cream and thick chocolate that tastes fresh and oh-so-smooth.
If you've never had that experience when eating chocolate ice cream, you haven't had one of Blue Bell's best flavors yet. Not grainy or lacking in additions, this just might be the best chocolate ice cream on the planet.
3. Blue Bell Buttered Pecan
When I was a kid, my dad would order Buttered Pecan ice cream and I would gag just at the thought of ice cream without chocolate or strawberry. Now, after Blue Bell Buttered Pecan, I can admit that he was so right.
Perfect for when you're not craving something heavy and chocolatey, this butter pecan ice cream base with salted, roasted pecan halves is just exciting and tasty enough to satisfy that hard-to-describe craving. The thick pecan halves really bring the whole carton home. Where I ate it all in about two days.
2. Blue Bell Cookies 'n Cream
You know what kind of ice cream is typically so underwhelming that it's ridiculous some brands would even sell it? Cookies and cream flavors. And it is a mark of Blue Bell's incredible ingredients and quality to say that Cookies 'n Cream is their second-best flavor, but here I am saying it anyway.
Long before there was cereal milk to add to desserts, Blue Bell was the first to release cookies and cream flavor and they were the only ones to do it right. This vanilla ice cream swirled with chocolate créme cookie chunks is literally what ice cream made from the milk in Oreo Os would taste like. The cookies are always soft (Breyers, I'm looking at you) and every single bite has a taste of the perfect marriage between chocolate cream cookies and vanilla ice cream.
1. Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla
This is it. Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla is the best dang flavor of ice cream they offer and before you really light me on fire in the comments for this choice, let me ask you: When was the last time you had a plain vanilla ice cream that you actually craved buying again?
Blue Bell's Homemade Vanilla is the perfect ice cream because it is so wildly tasty that it is the best pick for anything needing an ice cream pairing. For Thanksgiving, it goes with every pie on the table. For Christmas, it goes with every single rum cake slice you'll inevitably eat. In the summertime, it tastes best on a waffle cone three scoops high and in the winter, it is even better in a big bowl with warm hot fudge drizzled on top with some roasted pecans just for good measure. It's hard to make a classic taste so good, but Blue Bell figured it out long ago.
Did your favorite flavor make the list? I'm open to trying new flavors, especially the seasonal releases like Peppermint, Peppermint Bark, and Pink Camo 'n Cream. Who doesn't love peppermint ice cream and a camouflage pattern in your carton? Check back in regularly for updates on Blue Bell's newest flavors and releases. Meanwhile, I'll be petitioning to make Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla the official national ice cream of America.
The post was originally published on August 17th, 2018.