We Paid Someone to Eat Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream for a Year and Rate Each Flavor

After one year and more than 50 flavors, here’s how our Ice Cream Flavor Evaluation Specialist rated Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

Pints of Ben & Jerry's ice cream stacked on a grocery store freezer shelf.
Updated May 13, 2024
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Last summer, we hired the perfect ice cream enthusiast to help us figure out which Ben & Jerry’s flavors are "cream" of the crop. After more than a year of painstaking research, the results are in, and we’re ready to reveal our definitive list of the best Ben & Jerry’s flavors.

  • The Task: Try a new Ben & Jerry’s flavor every week for a year and report back on the results. That’s 52 flavors (well, one of them was for dogs), including seasonal and newly-released flavors. Our expert rated each on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the most delicious and 1 being not really worth your time.
  • The Expert: After reviewing more than 8,000 applications, we hired Amy Dwyer, an ice-cream-obsessed realtor from Westborough, Massachusetts, as our Ice Cream Flavor Evaluation Specialist. With more than a decade of ice cream taste-testing experience, Amy was tasked with hunting down more than 50 flavors at supermarkets and scoop shops over the last year.

So which flavors are worth it? Our expert gave us a list of the top 10, ordered from 10th-best to her #1 favorite. Read to the end to see which flavor she deemed best of the Ben & Jerry’s bunch!

Top-rated Ben & Jerry’s flavors

10. Peanut Butter Half Baked: 9/10

A mix of chocolate and peanut butter ice creams with peanut butter cookie dough and fudge brownies mixed in.

We chose Amy as our ice cream specialist partly because she planned to have her family review the flavors with her to get a greater variety of opinions. It also minimized flavor bias. Though peanut butter flavors are not normally a favorite, the Reeses-like peanut butter/chocolate combination made this flavor a hit among our expert’s research team.

Review: “Personally not a fan because I do not like peanut butter in ice cream. However, my assistants at home devoured it and said it was ridiculously good!”

9. Strawberry Marshmallow: 9/10

Strawberry non-dairy frozen dessert with marshmallow swirls and strawberry mixed in.

Strawberry Marshmallow is the only flavor with a non-dairy base to crack our top 10. It’s also one of two scoop-shop-exclusive flavors that made the top 10 list. Both of the scoop-shop flavors that made our list have “marshmallow” in their name.

Review: “I literally did everything I could to avoid any non-dairy options but was floored by how good this actually was. It reminded me of when I make homemade strawberry ice cream with its juicy strawberry flavor. Would totally have this again!”

8. Topped Dirt Cake: 9/10

Vanilla pudding ice cream with chocolate cookies and chocolate sandwich cookies mixed in, topped with a milk chocolate ganache and more chocolate cookie crumbles.

The newest category in the Ben & Jerry’s lineup is the Topped variety of flavors, which the company describes as “an ice cream sundae in a pint.” The line was introduced in 2021, and each Topped variety includes a spoonable chocolate topping.

Our expert tried seven different Topped pints for this project, with the Dirt Cake flavor being the best.

Review: “As my son said: ‘Whoever invented this flavor should be given a raise.’”

7. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Core: 9/10

Cookie milk ice cream with fudge chips mixed in a core of chocolate chip cookie dough

First launched in 2014, the Cores line of flavors is a relatively new addition to the Ben & Jerry’s product line. Unlike softer iterations filled with caramel or fudge, this cookie-dough-based core flavor was released in 2019, adding a tasty textural center.

Review: “You had me at hello with anything cookie dough, and this did not disappoint. I had it for breakfast, in fact.”

6. Phish Food: 9/10

Chocolate ice cream with fudge fish, marshmallow, and caramel mixed in.

Holding true to its Vermont roots, Phish Food has been a beloved Ben & Jerry’s flavor since it was launched in collaboration with the eponymous band in 1997.

While Ben & Jerry’s has introduced a number of celebrity flavors in recent years to mixed reviews, this classic continues to be a favorite among fans, including our expert.

Review: “This one takes me back to my 20's. Loved it then and love it now.”

5. Brewed to Matter: 9/10

Coffee ice cream with brownie batter and fudge chunks mixed in.

Coffee-flavored ice cream can be polarizing, but our expert praised this version for its balanced flavor. The bitterness of the coffee base pairs perfectly with the sweet chocolate mix-ins.

Review: “This was wicked good! Perfect tasting coffee, not too sweet, and well balanced with fudge and brownie swirls. Actually had myself a dish of it and not just a sample size.”

4. Everything But The: 9/10

Chocolate and vanilla ice creams with peanut butter cups, fudge-covered toffee pieces, white chocolate chunks, and fudge-covered almonds mixed in.

One of the “busiest” flavors in Ben & Jerry’s lineup, this flavor mixes two different base flavors and four different mix-ins. While high numbers of mix-ins can often be a sign of overcompensation, these flavors live in perfect, delicious harmony.

Review: “This was fantastic and I could not put my fork down!”

3. Marshmallow Sky: 9/10

Marshmallow ice cream with marshmallow, chocolate chip cookie dough, and chocolate chocolate chip cookie dough mixed in.

Only available at Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops (not in grocery stores), Marshmallow Sky is a cookie-dough-forward flavor with a literal blue hue. Its massive gobs of cookie dough earned high marks.

Review: “So good, and was as blue as the Florida sky where I tasted it!”

2. New York Super Fudge Chunk: 10/10

Chocolate ice cream with white fudge chunks, dark fudge chunks, pecans, walnuts, and fudge-covered almonds mixed in.

A perfect 10/10 score went to a flavor with a very unique name, even in the whimsical world of Ben & Jerry’s. New York Super Fudge Chunk was one of two flavors that received a perfect score. It was only slightly edged out by a classic.

Review: “A perfect blend of chocolates and nuts. Restrained myself from eating the whole pint! This may be my new favorite flavor.”

1. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough: 10/10

Vanilla ice cream with chocolate chip cookie dough mixed in.

When it comes to the best Ben & Jerry’s flavor, classics rise to the top. Fittingly, Ben & Jerry’s actually invented Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream at its first scoop shop in 1984, and it still earns a perfect score today.

Review: “A timeless classic and my all-time favorite flavor from Ben & Jerry's.”

Special recognition, Pontch’s Mix: 10/10

This flavor is a frozen dog treat with peanut butter and pretzel swirls

Review (from our expert’s pets): “The dogs did not come up for air for almost a full 10 minutes and were quite pleased with their doggie dessert. 2 paws up!”

Lowest-rated Ben & Jerry’s flavors

52. Topped Strawberry Topped Tart: 0/10

Sweet-cream ice cream with strawberry and pie crust pieces mixed in, topped with white chocolate ganache and sprinkles.

Part of the new Topped line of ice cream flavors, Strawberry Topped Tart lasted a single bite with our expert before she deposited the rest of the pint in the trash.

Review: “Took one bite and it went in the trash. Literally my least favorite flavor to date. Excessive sweetness. *shudders*”

51. Mint Chocolate Cookie: 2/10

Peppermint ice cream with chocolate sandwich cookies mixed in.

This flavor only warranted two bites before our expert called it quits. However, that one extra bite was enough to earn a score of at least two instead of the zero she initially gave Strawberry Topped Tart.

Review: “I took two bites and put my fork down. Enough said.”

50. Mint Chocolate Chance: 2/10

Mint ice cream with fudge brownies mixed in.

Of the three mint-based flavors our expert tried last year, two of them made her bottom-three ranking with scores of two out of 10. The third mint flavor (Minter Wonderland) garnered a score of just four.

Review: “Overall, lacked minty flavor and brownies were very dry. There is no chance I will be eating this flavor again.”

49. Cannoli: 2/10

Mascarpone ice cream with fudge-covered pastry shell pieces and mascarpone mixed in.

While opting for a mascarpone base may be daring, this Italian-inspired ice cream missed the mark. Likewise, the other flavor our expert tried with a mascarpone base (Topped Tiramisu) earned a score of just 3/10.

Review: “I love cannolis and I think I will stick with those instead.”

48. Milk and Cookies: 3/10

Vanilla ice cream with chocolate cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and chocolate chocolate chip cookies mixed in.

Given how highly our expert rated numerous cookie-dough-based ice creams, it appears that the “dough” part of the equation is much more important than the “cookie” part. This flavor earned the fifth-worst spot in our expert’s bottom-five flavors.

Review: “I think Santa would have been disappointed if I had left this out for him on Christmas Eve.”

Other trends we found

Ben & Jerry’s regularly comes out with new flavors (or re-introduces old favorites), including collaborations with companies and celebrities.

Described by the company as “an ice cream sundae in a pint,” Ben & Jerry’s Topped flavors include a spoonable chocolate topping in each pint. Another relatively new series, Ben & Jerry’s “Cores” flavors, include a concentrated core of toppings at the center of each pint. In general, our expert found the Cores (7.3 average score) flavors to be much better than the Topped pints (5.4).

When it comes to celebrity flavors, our expert tried three different celeb collabs as well as two flavors that are part of a partnership with Netflix. The celebrity flavors were not well-received in our expert’s eyes. Her ratings for the flavors produced in partnership with Jimmy Fallon (The Tonight Dough), Stephen Colbert (Americone Dream), and Chance the Rapper (Mint Chocolate Chance) averaged just 4.3/10.

The Netflix-collab flavors (the limited-release flavor Punch Line and the still-available Netflix & Chill’d) also scored low, with an average of just 4/10.

Insights from our ice cream flavor evaluation specialist

Sometimes, the journey is better than the destination. We talked to our expert, Amy, to find out what it’s really like to be a professional ice cream taste tester (and to eat this much ice cream in a year).

FBZ: What were the best and worst parts of this experience?

Amy: The best part for me was telling people about my “job” and seeing their joyful reactions. In conversations with people at various ice cream locations and even clients I work with, I tell them about the experience, and it brings me such happy energy. I have directed countless folks to the FinanceBuzz website to check out the article as well. I consider myself an ice cream celebrity of sorts. The hardest part was the ice cream hunting and gathering. Thankfully, I traveled a lot over the past year. If I had been local, I would have been hard pressed to find 52 flavors. Most grocery stores carry the same 10-15 flavors.

FBZ: So just how difficult was it to find a new flavor every single week? How many different places do you estimate you had to buy a pint or scoop from over the course of the year?

Amy: This was by far the biggest challenge. I must have gone to over half a dozen grocery stores, several Targets, Walmarts and convenience stores, and at least five Ben & Jerry’s store locations. At one point, mid-project, I had to put out a social media BOLO for help finding new flavors I had not tried. I will say, no matter what state I was in (MA, NH, VT, ME, FL, NC, WY, NM, CO) or what country I was in (St. Thomas and St. John), Ben and Jerry have prime real estate in the freezer section.

FBZ: Have you learned anything about your personal taste in ice cream? Anything that was surprising or unexpected?

Amy: I certainly tried flavors I would absolutely never have considered and was pleasantly surprised (Coconut Seven Layer Bar, Peanut Butter Half Baked, and the non-dairy Strawberry Marshmallow).

FBZ: Based on this project, what have you learned about Ben & Jerry's? What flavors or areas does it excel at, and where could it improve?

Amy: I think part of my love for local homemade ice-cream parlors over mass-produced grocery store brands is the creativity and variety. Ben & Jerry’s seemingly uses the same base flavors (vanilla, chocolate, coffee, peanut butter, strawberry) and then varies the same mix-ins via a swirl or a chunk (peanut butter, chocolate, cookies, brownies, etc.). I would like to see some more variety. How about a seasonal apple pie flavor or some summertime blueberry? How about lemon? As their roots are in Vermont, why not a maple syrup variety? I am salivating just thinking about that flavor. I can practically taste fall in New England …

FBZ: Would you recommend trying something like this to other ice cream lovers?

Amy: Absolutely.

Amy also let us know that this experience has given her the courage to try and take her passion for ice cream even further. She has hired a film crew to document an ice cream-based concept for a television show, and she’s working on branding in hopes of submitting her idea to Food Network. With any luck, we’ll be seeing more of Amy and her ice cream expertise in the future.

Amy also wanted to pass on these words:

“Remember, you miss 100% of the ice cream you don’t scoop.”

The full scoop on 52 Ben & Jerry’s flavors

Here are all 52 flavors Amy tried over the course of the year in alphabetical order. Be sure to see how she rated your favorite!

Flavor Base Flavor(s) Number of Mix-Ins Score
Boom Chocolatta Cookie Core Mocha and Caramel 3 8
Brewed to Matter Coffee 2 9
Butter Pecan (Scoop Shop Flavor) Buttery 1 3
Cannoli Mascarpone 2 2
Chance the Rapper's Mint Chocolate Chance Mint 1 2
Change is Brewing (Limited Batch) Coffee 2 4
Cherry Crumble (Limited Batch) Buttery 2 6
Cherry Garcia Cherry 2 6
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Vanilla 1 10
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Core Cookie Milk 2 9
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pint Slices Vanilla 3 8
Chocolate Fudge Brownie Chocolate 1 6
Chocolate Therapy Chocolate 2 8
Chubby Hubby Vanilla Malt 3 8
Coconut Seven Layer Bar (Scoop Shop Flavor) Coconut 5 7
Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch Coffee 1 5
Cookies & Cream Cheesecake Core Chocolate and Cheesecake 2 5
Dublin Mudslide Irish Cream 2 8
Everything But The Chocolate and Vanilla 4 9
Gimme S'more Toasted Marshmallow 3 6
Glampfire Trail Mix Chocolate 3 8
Jimmy Fallon's The Tonight Dough Caramel and Chocolate 3 6
Marshmallow Sky (Scoop Shop Flavor) Marshmallow 3 9
Milk and Cookies Vanilla 3 3
Mint Chocolate Cookie Peppermint 1 2
Minter Wonderland Dark Chocolate Mint 2 4
Netflix and Chilll'd (Netflix Original Flavor) Peanut Butter 2 3
New York Super Fudge Chunk Chocolate 5 10
Oat of This Swirled Brown Sugar 2 6
Peanut Butter Cup Peanut Butter 1 8
Peanut Butter Half Baked Chocolate and Peanut Butter 2 9
Peanut Butter World (Target Exclusive Flavor) Milk Chocolate 2 7
Phish Food Chocolate 3 9
Pistachio Pistachio Pistachio 1 4
Pontch's Mix (Dog Ice Cream) Dog Treat 2 10
Pumpkin Cheesecake (Limited Batch) Pumpkin Cheesecake 1 3
Punch Line (Netflix Original Flavor) Brown Butter Bourbon and Almond 2 5
Stephen Colbert's Americone Dream Vanilla 2 5
Strawberry Cheesecake Strawberry Cheesecake 2 8
Strawberry Marshmallow (Scoop Shop Flavor, Non-dairy) Strawberry non-dairy dessert 2 9
Sweet Cream & Cookies (Scoop Shop Flavor) Sweet Cream 1 5
Topped Chocolate Caramel Cookie Dough Chocolate 4 7
Topped Chocolate Milk & Cookies Chocolate 4 7
Topped Dirt Cake Vanilla Pudding 4 9
Topped Strawberry Topped Tart Sweet Cream 4 0
Topped Tiramisu Mascarpone 4 3
Topped Salted Caramel Brownie Vanilla 4 5
Topped Whiskey Biz Brown Butter Bourbon 4 7
Triple Caramel Chunk (Scoop Shop Flavor) Caramel 2 7
Vanilla Vanilla 0 8
Vanilla Caramel Fudge Vanilla 2 3
Wake & "No Bake" Cookie Dough Core Vanilla 4 7

The scoop on savings

No matter what your guilty pleasure is — whether it’s dessert or a savory treat — there are ways to save. Here’s the scoop on saving money on groceries:

  • Scan your receipts. An app such as Fetch can help you save money on groceries by scanning your receipts. You can earn rewards toward gift cards from retailers like Amazon.
  • Use a credit card to earn rewards on groceries. One of the best credit cards for groceries can help you earn rewards for your purchases (and even help you afford that extra dessert).
  • Find a side hustle. Even if you weren’t selected to be the Ice Cream Flavor Evaluation Specialist, there might be another side hustle that’s perfect for you. Take a look at our major list of side hustles to find the right one for you to make a bit of extra cash.

Author Details

Josh Koebert

Josh Koebert is an experienced content marketer that loves exploring how personal finance overlaps with topics such as sports, food, pop culture, and more. His work has been featured on sites such as CNN, ESPN, Business Insider, and Lifehacker.