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.
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, 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 Groom's Cake
I don't want to be a Scrooge of love, but oh boy. Where Blue Bell's Coffee lacked excitement, it's almost like Groom's Cake is trying to cram everything into one spoonful and it's just sub-par when compared to the other flavors they feature regularly.
Come at with me this chocolate ice cream flecked with chocolate cake pieces, chocolate coated strawberry hearts, swirls of strawberry sauce, and chocolate icing, and I might not turn down a spoonful, but there's no way I can finish a whole bowl. And I like to finish whole bowls of Blue Bell.
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 Southern Blackberry Cobbler
This Southern Blackberry Cobbler takes just like a scoop of my favorite cobbler. You can taste the perfect simplicity of this half-gallon with its buttery, flaky pie crust pieces and blackberries. The luscious blackberry flavor is a delightful surprise, especially when you taste the slightly tart berry.
So why is it only 17? I really find this enjoyable in the summertime, but past that, it's never in my freezer. Go ahead, tear me apart in the comments. I understand.
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 Milk Chocolate
In the same way I was hoping to be wow'd by the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Blue Bell's Milk Chocolate just didn't cut in comparison to another high-ranking chocolate flavor on this list.
The smooth milk chocolate ice cream, blended from coca, fresh milk, and cream, felt a little too boring and (do I say it?) to richly sweet to enjoy a whole bowlful. Every bite felt like it was missing something necessary and I couldn't put my spoon on it.
14. Blue Bell Banana Split Sundae
Oh Banana Split Sundae. You're not a bad flavor! You just, have a lot of things going on. Blue Bell's classic banana ice cream features crushed pineapples, maraschino cherries, chopped roasted almonds, chocolate sauce swirls, and strawberry sauce swirls.
Where I needed more from Milk Chocolate, I definitely wanted just a tad less from Banana Split Sundae and the almonds are to blame. I love a good salty crunch, but with everything else going on, this half-gallon sat at the back of my freezer until I unearthed it weeks later.
13. Blue Bell Peaches & Homemade Vanilla
If this ranking were based on color alone, all fruit flavors of Blue Bell would be in the Top 10, and Peaches & Homemade Vanilla would be at the top. I mean, have you seen how pretty that coral ice cream is? It's enough to make you wish it tasted just a little bit more special.
And that's a good way of putting it. All of Blue Bell's flavors taste good, of course, but the pristine simplicity of the Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla was off-set by ripe peaches that just fell flat. Would I eat this in the warm sunshine of a hot summer day? Of course! Would I eat it at home on the couch? No way, I want a more comforting flavor.
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 compliment 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.
Ready to break into the Top 10?
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 as a staple as Homemade Vanilla, but it is inherently a summertime flavor to me. 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.
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 is just decadent enough to make every bite feel luxurious and not empty.
6. Blue Bell Banana Pudding
No one understands the appeal in 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
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 flavor 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 an 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 anyways.
Long before there was cereal milk to add to desserts, Blue Bell was the first to release a 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.