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If you love ice cream as much as we do, you know it’s not just for summertime. Or at least, it shouldn’t be, with all the different kinds now available that can be shipped right to your door! There’s a lot going on in the world of ice cream at this moment in time, with new flavors and new ideas as well as more companies working on making ice cream accessible to everyone—even those with food allergies or limitations in their diets. Ice cream is a way to treat yourself and the ones you love kindly, to make a moment that’s only about indulging in something special—because really, can anyone actually think about their troubles while eating ice cream?
Most of the ice cream available for shipping are in packs of more than one pint, but the economics and the common sense of this work out pretty well—the shipping costs can be lower than ordering just one pint and once it’s in your freezer you’ll have it there for the next time you need it! This selection of ice creams was created to show you the best of what’s out there right now, in all its expansive, inclusive glory.
Here, the best mail order ice creams to treat yourself.
Best Overall: Greater's Ice Cream
If you've never tried French Pot ice cream, now's the perfect time! Graeter's ice creams are unique. They're being made by the same method they've been using at this Cincinnati ice cream parlor since they opened in 1870. The specialized technique they've developed can produce only 2 gallons at a time so this is truly a "Slow Food" product made by artisans.
A custard-based ice cream with a very high butterfat content, the texture is dense, rich, and creamy with concentrated fresh-tasting flavors. With 22 flavors to choose from, there's something for all tastes: Try the S'mores, the Oregon Strawberry, the Vienna Coffee, or the all-time-bestseller Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip. The "Choose Your Own 6 Pints" is perfect for testing, tasting, and undoubtedly falling in love.
Best New Flavors: Malai Signature Ice Cream, 4 Pints
Malai Ice Cream is all about small-batch ice cream in some very enticing and sophisticated flavors, such as Rose with Cinnamon Roasted Almonds, Masala Chai, Orange Fennel, and Sweet Milk. These internationally influenced flavor profiles are the future of ice cream—and the hand-churned low-air texture of the final product intensifies both the flavors and the sensation of richness. End result: This tastes like luxury! For a very special dessert, make some delicious jalebi to serve along with the ice cream.
Best Keto: Rebel The Maverick Mixed Case Ice Cream, 8 Pints
Rebel is lactose-free, no sugar added, full fat, low-carb keto ice cream. For people on the keto plan, each container clearly specifies how many net carbs per pint—which ranges from 4 to 8 grams, depending on the flavor. The flavor selection in this collection consists of a pint each of Triple Chocolate, Vanilla, Salted Caramel, Coconut Almond Swirl, Black Raspberry, and Peanut Butter Fudge but other flavor selections are also available.
Best Dairy-Free: Crank & Boom Dairy-Free Ice Cream Collection, 6 Pints
Crank & Boom out of Lexington, Kentucky uses locally-sourced ingredients to make great traditional American ice cream flavors such as Chocolate Fudge Ripple, Cookies and (No) Cream, Banana + Chocolate, Strawberry Fields, Bourbon & Honey, and Coconut Cream Delight in a dairy-free form that won’t make you feel like you’re missing anything at all. They use coconut cream as their base and a small-batch handcrafted method that gives a smooth texture with intense flavors. Any of these ice cream flavors could be paired with a good Kentucky bourbon.
Best Mochi: My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream Mixed Pack, 6 Count
The combination of the Japanese sweet mochi put together with creamy ice cream is absolutely irresistible. Add to that the fact that these are basically finger foods (you can pick one up and pop it in your mouth whole if you like!) and everyone’s in for a fun, delicious experience. This set of six boxes includes a lot of flavors to try: Cookies & Cream, Sweet Mango, Green Tea, Double Chocolate, Ripe Strawberry, and Mint Chocolate Chip. Make it a special occasion by whipping up some Japanese rice crackers as an accompaniment!
Best Dark Chocolate: Proper Deep Chocolate Ice Cream, 6 Pints
Chocolate ice cream is something some of us just can’t live without. Make it dark chocolate ice cream and the “we scream for ice cream” isn’t just a saying, it’s a fact. This deep chocolate ice cream from Proper Ice Cream is made in small batches from the finest Valhrona cocoa and Lindt chocolate, handcrafted with no artificial flavors or coloring. Take a look at the color of this ice cream, and compare it to others, because to get that color this deep and perfect some of the others just might be using artificial coloring!
Best for Gifting: Life Raft Treats 'Not Fried Chicken' Ice Cream Bucket, 9 Pieces
Created by pastry chef Cynthia Wong, a six-time James Beard Award finalist, this looks like a bucket of fried chicken, but take a bite, and guess what? The drumstick is actually made from waffle ice cream on a “bone” made from chocolate-covered cookie with a white chocolate covering and crushed corn flakes that looks like a battered crust on a fried chicken drumstick! These are amazing, utterly delicious, and tons of fun! The ingredients are all high-end, too.
Life Raft Treats ships Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Best Ice Cream Sandwiches: La Newyorkina Babka Ice Cream Sandwiches
This is true innovation in the form of an ice cream sandwich made with an outside of rich handmade chocolate babka baked with a hint of cinnamon and a lot of Mexican chocolate that’s sandwiched with smooth vanilla ice cream. Made by Fanny Gershon of Newyorkina (which was launched in Brooklyn in 2010 and inspired by Gershon's Mexican roots), this combination is simply out-of-this-world delicious and extremely Instagrammable!
The decadent ice cream sandwiches come in a pack of six and are available to ship Monday-Friday.
Best for Parties: Williams Sonoma Baked Alaska & Crème Brûlée Mini Ice Cream Cakes, Set of 12
If you’re looking for an ice cream dessert for a special occasion, these mini ice cream cakes are tremendously elegant, to the point where they give people the idea that a private chef must be in your kitchen! The package comes with a selection of two types—Baked Alaska and crème brûlée—with six of each. Really wow your guests at your next dinner party or elevate an engagement party with minimal work on your part (simply pull them out of the freezer when it's time and enjoy frozen). These would also be wonderful for an afternoon tea party (they are picture-perfect, after all), following a nice selection of tea sandwiches.
They are shipped frozen and can be stored unopened in the freezer for up to three months so you can plan ahead for all your soirees.
Best Allergen-Free: A La Mode Speed Bump & Cooks Ice Cream, 6 Pints
A La Mode ice creams are made by people who take allergens seriously. With no nuts, eggs, or sesame, these ice creams are really excellent options for those who want to avoid certain ingredients. In this collection are two flavors: Cooks, which is a vanilla ice cream base stirred with chocolate fudge and a vanilla and chocolate cookie mix in, and Speed Bump, which is a chocolate ice cream base mixed with chips of white and dark chocolate along with marshmallows.
Looking for something light? Rebel Ice Cream (view at Amazon) is all of the fun with none of the heaviness. Seeking a stand-out moment? Definitely go for “Not Fried Chicken” Ice Cream Bucket from Life Raft Treats (view at Goldbelly). In the mood for self-care? Grab some of those Babka Ice Cream Sandwiches from La Newyorkina (view at Goldbelly) for yourself—you deserve it!
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Karen Resta is a writer specializing in food culture and history, cooking, pastries, and restaurants. She's also a former pastry chef and has traveled to Budapest, Kyiv, and Paris during their Fashion Weeks as a photographer and writer, always finding the best authentic pastries along the way.