Turns out there are far more than 31 flavors, and some of them are likely to surprise you. When it comes to this cool and creamy dessert, the sky’s the limit — and some unusual taste combinations work remarkably well. So check out this list of unexpectedly delicious weird ice cream flavors to keep your taste buds entertained this summer. And if you’re still craving the cool stuff, check out these recipes for making your own ice cream truck treats.
1. Potato Chip & Chocolate Chunk
Sweet and salty is a winning combination, and potato chips and chocolate epitomize it. This ice cream combines all the goodness of a cool creamy dessert with the salty crunch of potato chips and the rich sweetness of chocolate. Basically, you can’t go wrong. The base of this ice cream comes from this recipe from the New York Times, which is a great starting point for unique mix-ins.
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
- 1 cup gently crumbled potato chips
- 1/2 cup chocolate chunks
- In a medium saucepan, simmer the cream, milk, sugar, and salt until the sugar dissolves. Turn off the heat.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks. While continually whisking, add a third of the hot cream into the yolks, then whisk the yolks back into the pot with the cream. Add the vanilla.
- Heat the cream and yolk mixture over medium-low heat until it’s thick and coats the back of a spoon.
- Strain the mixture through a fine sieve, allow to cool to room temperature, then chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours of overnight.
- Churn the ice cream in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once it looks like it’s thickening, add the crumbled potato chips and the chocolate chunks. Keep churning another five minutes or so until it’s a nice thick texture, but still soft.
- Homemade ice creams are best eaten fresh, but will last for a week or two in the freezer.
2. Olive Oil-Saffron with Burnt Caramel Swirl
Source: Food 52
Who would’ve thought that this cooking staple would make for such an appealing ice cream flavor? Combined with potent saffron and sweet caramel, it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Source: A Cozy Kitchen
Nope, there aren’t bits of doughnut in it. Even better, this ice cream is infused with the baked goods’ flavors. This is done by soaking doughnut pieces in milk that becomes the base of the ice cream.
4. Coconut Avocado
Source: My Recipes
This smooth dessert is a bit savory and a bit sweet — and it tastes delicious with hot fudge.
5. Chunky Elvis
Source: Snappy Gourmet
Talk about the ultimate indulgence, this heavy hitter has all the right flavors and bits of bacon which give it a little salty crunch. You likely won’t have leftovers.
6. Ricotta Cannoli
Source: Cooking Classy
This is a fun twist on the classic Italian dessert: a ricotta based ice cream, packed with bits of cannoli shell, chocolate chip, and pistachios.
7. Strawberry Fennel
Source: Food 52
Though it’s an unexpected ice cream addition, fennel plays a supporting role in this lightly sweet berry ice cream and doesn’t overpower.
8. Marshmallow Cereal
Source: The Baking Robot
Ice cream for breakfast? It seems perfectly reasonable if there’s cereal in it. By soaking milk in your favorite marshmallow cereal, the ice cream is deeply infused with its flavor.
Grab a Lucky Charms® coupon before you start making this delicious treat!
9. Roasted Pineapple with Mascarpone & Black Pepper
Source: Apartment 2B Baking Co.
The little bit of black pepper here adds warmth to balance the sweet roasted pineapple. And you don’t even need an ice cream maker for this one!
10. Cantaloupe Prosciutto
Source: Food Recipe
Ever had prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe? This dessert replicates that unique and tasty combination. To make it, you’ll mix crispy prosciutto into a cantaloupe ice cream base.
11. Tomato Basil
Source: Zaika Zabardast
This classic duo works just as well in an ice cream. Plumped tukmaria (basil seeds) add a bit of crunchiness, and balsamic drizzled on top is the perfect finishing touch.
12. Cheddar Cheese
Everyone loves ice cream and everyone loves cheese, but few have thought to put them together. Still, it’s an unexpectedly scrumptious combination, and you need only four ingredients to make it.
Source: A Beautiful Mess
You might think lavender is for flavoring hand soap and potpourri pillows, but it makes for a fragrant and delicious ice cream as well.
14. Honey & Thyme with Candied Thyme
A perfect balance of herbal and sweet, this combination of honey and thyme is light and refreshing. A candied thyme garnish is the perfect finishing touch.
15. Balsamic Blueberry Goat Cheese
Source: The Kitchen McCabe
Blueberry and balsamic are a tangy combination, perfectly mellowed out by goat cheese. That beautiful blue hue is the natural result of roasted blueberries.
16. Turmeric & Candied Ginger
Source: The Sassy Kitchen
This spice is famed for its yellow color and starring role in curry, but who knew it had such potential as an ice cream flavor? Pair it with candied ginger for a touch of chewy sweetness.
17. Orange Blossom Fig & White Chocolate
Source: Lambs’ Ears and Honey
Refreshing citrus pairs perfectly with fig and super sweet chocolate. Be sure to use fresh orange juice for the best flavor.
18. Buttery Popcorn
Source: Cook Like a Champion
Even better than munching on popcorn while watching summer blockbusters, scarf down buttery sweet ice cream instead. Pair it with salted caramel for the ultimate indulgence.
19. Peach & Jalapeño
Source: The Realistic Nutritionist
Don’t be afraid to add some spice to your sweet. Each spoonful of this unique dessert is creamy, fresh, and comes with a jalapeño kick.
20. Butternut Squash
Source: A Brown Table
Pumpkins get all the glory, but this autumn gourd is just as (maybe even more) delicious, and an amazing ice cream base. Caramel sauce is an ideal topping.
Source: Tasting Table
Cucumbers have their skeptics, but this ice cream may sway them. Juice from Persian cucumber is used to create this dessert, making it especially light and refreshing.
These flowers don’t just look pretty. Their fragrance can be used as an infusion to make a decadent and delicate ice cream.
23. Cilantro Lime
Source: Cooking Divine
The slight spice of cilantro herb pairs well with a smooth ice cream base, which is counterbalanced by tart lime.
24. Beet with Mascarpone, Orange Zest & Poppy Seeds
Not only do beets create the most beautiful hue, but their sweet savory pairs beautifully with the zest of orange. Poppy seeds add a bit of crunch.
25. Indian Carrot Halva
Source: A Brown Table
This one-of-a-kind ice cream is based on the popular Indian dessert, halva. The dense, sweet confection is lighter and more refreshing in this form.
Ice cream might be a summer tradition, but you can (and should) shake it up with these out-of-the ordinary flavors. Unexpected tastes are the perfect way to refresh and impress friends and family, whether as an everyday dessert or party finale.