I Tried Van Leeuwen’s New Spring-Inspired Ice Cream Flavors and One Stood Out from the Rest
As Kitchn’s not-self-appointed ice cream queen, I am always here for a frosty taste test. Ice cream is perfect for all seasons and is the perfect snack for any time of day. So when Van Leeuwen announced the release of its spring lineup, I was immediately contacted by our fab Grocery Editor, Mara Weinraub, and faithfully given first dibs to sample them ahead of their launch date.
The seven flavors are available nationwide at Walmart stores from March 20 through May 28. This limited-edition lineup includes the now INFAMOUS ranch-flavored ice cream collab with Hidden Valley. (I found the garlic and onion flavor overpowered the French ice cream, but allium stans and vampire slayers may very well disagree. If you’ve tried it, let me know what you think in the comments!)
While I was appropriately (IMO) apprehensive about the ranch flavor, I was salivating at the other six: Limoncello Cake, Strawberry Shortcake, Blood Orange Chocolate Chip, Carrot Cake, Sweet Maple Cornbread, and Honey Graham Cracker. All were worthy of a double-scoop sundae, but one truly stood out from the rest. Let’s take a look!
Limoncello Cake, $4.98 for 1 pint
This was my absolute favorite of the bunch! I love lemon, especially in desserts. In frozen form, I’ve seen it as a sorbet flavor more often than not. It’s bright and refreshing, but can feel too overwhelming palate-wise. This ice cream variation just hit the spot.
The lemon flavor comes through, but is tempered, thanks to the creaminess of the ice cream and the chewy brown-sugar cake bites. It’s the perfect spring (and even summer) flavor, and I can see myself popping over to Van Leeuwen’s SoHo location to get a scoop for lunch.
Strawberry Shortcake, $4.98 for 1 pint
This is creamy and sweet and has a pretty mellow strawberry flavor. (I could totally go for more strawberry jam-ness.) The cake bits were a welcome treat and evenly distributed; They were in every bite of the rich vanilla ice cream, which is exactly where I want them to be.
Blood Orange Chocolate Chip, $4.98 for 1 pint
I was the most curious about this one, and it was fun to try! The citrus notes were distinct, yet not overpowering. The flavor tasted more like vanilla with chocolate chips, and the citrus added a tangy bite. If you’re unsure about this combo, I recommend sampling a scoop to start.
Honey Graham Cracker, $4.98 for 1 pint
This tastes like a box of graham crackers in ice cream form! There are big chunks of graham cracker pie crust and, similar to the Strawberry Shortcake pint, at least one chunk in every bite. The brown sugar ice cream is full of spices. It’s nostalgia in a pint.
Carrot Cake, $4.98 for 1 pint
As a veggie-hater, this pint actually makes me think about trying carrot cake. Maybe. And I despise carrots. The cheesecake ice cream is creamy, spiced, and has tons of yummy cake chunks.
Sweet Maple Cornbread, $4.98 for 1 pint
When you open this pint, you’ll immediately smell maple. It’s delightful. The cornbread chunks were also well-distributed. (Kudos to the R&D team for mastering the ice-cream-to-mix-ins ratios in these pints.) At times, I even tasted more cornbread than maple in the ice cream. Cornbread heads, this one’s for you!
Which of these flavors are you most excited about? Tell us in the comments.