Hello, friends! Over the past few weeks, JtB Editor Abby Mallett and I have been doing the laborious work of eating pint after pint of Jeni’s Ice Cream. Our incredibly tedious work has resulted in our deepest thoughts on some of Jeni’s most popular flavors.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream was founded by Ohio-based Jeni Britton in 2002. You’ll find her innovative flavors in pints in loads of grocery stores across the US, online, and in Jeni’s scoop shops nationwide. Jeni’s Ice Cream is certainly far from the most economical ice cream choice but with grass-fed dairy and loads of mix ins…. well, it’s a luxury item and wow wow wow it’s a delicious one.
Abby and I each tried three famous Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream flavors and our thoughts are below. You can also find three years of Abby’s Jeni’s Ice Cream reviews in highlights on her Instagram page. They are an absolute DElight.
This post is not sponsored. We’re just two ladies who at eat a lot of ice cream on your behalf (well, it was for us too… and for science).
• Sweet Cream Biscuits with Peach Jam – In order to tell you about this ice cream I first have to tell you about my favorite bite of peach pie. The best bite of peach pie comes after most of the pie has been devoured. It was all wonderful but the very best moment is when I have to tilt my dessert bowl to the side to scrape the last bits of lightly spiced peach pie juice onto a spoon with remnants of melted vanilla ice cream and the last few crumbs of pie crust. A pint of Sweet Cream Biscuits with Peach Jam is an entire pint of that last perfect peach pie bite. The buttermilk ice cream base adds a light tang to the ice cream while the ribbons of peach have me aching to make my first peach pie of the summer.
• Strawberry Pretzel Pie (in collaboration with Dolly Parton) – As a child, my favorite flavor of ice cream was strawberry. Well… strawberry if bright blue bubble gum ice cream (with actual balls of bubble gum) was not an option. Jeni’s Strawberry Pretzel ice cream is a cream cheese base, pretzel streusel, and ribbons of strawberry jam. Do you remember back to the days when you were a kid, navigating how to eat your first ice cream come? Go with me on this. Jeni’s Strawberry Pretzel Pie tastes exactly like having my first strawberry ice cream cone. The cone inevitably melts faster than I can eat it so my mom places the whole messy and mushy strawberry ice cream and cone in a cup and hands me a spoon. This isn’t defeat because there’s still ice cream but the strawberry has seeped through the custard and the cone has become more chewy than crisp. A different sort of perfect. That is this ice cream exactly.
• Everything Bagel – First question, who gave Jeni permission? Second question, are we willing to bend our brains enough to try this ice cream? Absolutely yes. Jeni’s Everything Bagel ice cream is a cream cheese base (duh, right?) with something called Everything Bagel Gravel – a crunchy, streusel-like mix in. Here’s the thing, you know what makes Everything Bagel seasoning so distinct and bagely? Onion and garlic flakes. To answer your inevitable question – yes there are prominent notes of onion and garlic in this ice cream. Yes it’s weird. Yes it works. Am I mad? No. Put me down for one scoop and one scoop only.
• Brambleberry Crisp – The most welcoming of the flavors. It’s inviting and warm yet bright and brilliant. It beckons you to sit and stay a while. Chat. Would you like some tea? I was just putting on the kettle. It’s as comforting as an oatmeal cookie and easily just as reliable. But the “brambleberry” (a mix of black currants and blackberries) offers a zingy complexity beyond apple or blueberry that makes you dig to find more ribbons. The crisp is still crispy finishing with a lingering brown sugar kiss. The combination is effortless and addicting. Getting this flavor will never disappoint you – just like pie and ice cream will never disappoint you.
• Gooey Butter Cake – We will take this layer by layer. Dig into this and hit the cream cheese ice cream. It’s not as sweet as the base in Brambleberry Crisp – there’s a subtle tang there. And just as you settle in to a new taste a river of caramel floods your mouth. It overtakes your senses. It’s everything a caramel should be rich and incredibly buttery and balanced and your mouth closes and there it is – the pièce de résistance – CAKE. Deeply buttery, caramelized CAKE. The first time I had this flavor I ate the entire thing in one sitting. This is the flavor I recommend most to people outside of Sweet Cream Biscuits & Peach Jam (see above) and Middle West Whiskey & Pecans. This spans occasions – it can start and sustain relationships. Are you happy? Grab it. Crying? Get it. That monthly visitor? OHO. OH LEMME FIND IT. The serving size is a pint. It is not scientifically possible to eat a little and put it back in the freezer. It’s a crime against humanity.
• Texas Sheet Cake (dairy-free) – I tasted this flavor and immediately shouted, “Damn!” The chocolate is so rich and deep you have to marvel at it. The balance of milky/coconut creme based chocolate and the dark stripe of fudge is perfection. If you’re a die-hard Jeni’s fan, she makes her fudge on the stovetop from cocoa, sugar and water. I’d imagine this is what it tastes like – so purely chocolatey it borders on bitter. While this is reminiscent of a Texas staple, this immediately reminds me of a midwest one – Portillo’s Cake Shake. A chocolate shake mixed with an entire slice of their iconic chocolate cake (bless). You take a sip of your shake and are hit by creamy, chocolate ice cream, chocolate ganache frosting, and fudgey cake. It’s not for everyone but it has held its ground here in Chicago at least. The coconut creme base of Texas Sheet Cake holds it’s ground but it’s not overpowering – it lends a familiar fudge bar consistency. This is a perfect dairy-free dessert.
You can find your own bundle of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream here! Do you have your own favorite? Dish in the comments below. Have fun, friends!