The 10 Best Mail-Order Ice Creams in 2021

The best gourmet ice cream on the market today delivered right to your door!

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The Spruce Eats / Chloe Jeong

Our Top Picks
These internationally influenced flavor profiles are the future of ice cream.
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They use coconut cream as their base and a small-batch handcrafted method that gives a smooth texture with intense flavors.
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For people on the keto plan, each container clearly specifies how many net carbs per pint.
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The combination of the Japanese sweet mochi put together with creamy ice cream is absolutely irresistible.
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This handcafted ice cream is made in small batches from the finest Valhrona cocoa and Lindt chocolate.
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Best Nut and and Egg Allergen-Free:
A La Mode Speed Bump & Cooks Ice Cream at Walmart
These are really excellent options for those with food allergies.
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This looks like a bucket of fried chicken, but take a bite, and you get delicious ice cream, chocolate, and waffle cone.
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These are made with rich handmade chocolate babka with cinnamon and Mexican chocolate that’s sandwiched with vanilla ice cream.
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These mini ice cream cakes are tremendously elegant and a perfect dessert for a special occasion.
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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. Considering the challenges of the past year, ice cream is a way to treat yourself and the ones you love kindly, to make a moment that’s only about being cared for and nourished with 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. We’re sure you’ll find the right ice cream  just for you!

Looking for creative ways to use all that ice cream? Try these sundaes, some ice cream sandwiches or a Baked Alaska!

Best New Flavors: Malai Signature Ice Cream, 4 Pints

malai-signature-ice-cream
What We Like
  • The flavors can't generally be found elsewhere

What We Don't Like
  • The texture is excellent but does not have the thick buttery mouthfeel of some others

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.

Shipping Details: Ships Monday and Wednesday of each week

Best Dairy-Free: Crank & Boom Dairy-Free Ice Cream Collection, 6 Pints

crank-and-boom-dairy-free-ice-cream
What We Like
  • Rich flavors

  • No dairy

What We Don't Like
  • Flavors available are pretty traditional

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.

Shipping Details: Ships Monday through Thursday of each week

Best Keto: Rebel The Maverick Mixed Case Ice Cream, 8 Pints

rebel-maverick-mixed-case-ice-cream
What We Like
  • Great taste in a healthy eating oriented ice cream

What We Don't Like
  •  Must be eaten at a certain temperature to avoid tasting “icy”

Rebel is lactose-free, no sugar added, 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!

Shipping Details: Ships daily

Best Mochi: My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream Mixed Pack, 6 Count

My-Mo-Mochi-Ice-Cream-pack
What We Like
  • Easy to snack on

What We Don't Like
  • People either love mochi or hate it

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!

Shipping Details: Ships daily

Best Dark Chocolate: Proper Deep Chocolate Ice Cream, 6 Pints

proper-ice-cream-deep-chocolate
What We Like
  • Seriously good dark chocolate flavor

What We Don't Like
  • Dense rich texture can be too much for some people

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!

Shipping Details: Ships Monday through Friday

Best Nut and and Egg Allergen-Free: A La Mode Speed Bump & Cooks Ice Cream, 6 Pints

a-la-mode-variety-pack-ice-cream
What We Like
  • Allergen free but tastes very close to traditional ice cream

What We Don't Like
  • Limited flavors

A La Mode ice creams are made by people who take allergens seriously. With no nuts, eggs, or sesame, these 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. If you’re worried that you may have a food sensitivity or allergy, check out these at-home food sensitivity tests!

Shipping Details: Ships daily

Best for Gifting: Life Raft Treats 'Not Fried Chicken' Ice Cream Bucket, 9 Pieces

life-raft-treats-fried-chicken-ice-cream
What We Like
  • Extremely amusing with a fantastic texture and taste

What We Don't Like
  • High price point (but worth it)

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 with crushed corn flakes that looks like a battered crust on a fried chicken drumstick! These are amazing, utterly delicious, and tons of fun! Created by pastry chef Cynthia Wong, a six time James Beard Award finalist.

Shipping Details: Ships Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Best Ice Cream Sandwiches: La Newyorkina Babka Ice Cream Sandwiches

la-newyorkina-babka-ice-cream-sandwiches
What We Like
  • Creative combination and utterly delicious

What We Don't Like
  • High price point (but worth it)

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, all made by Fanny Gershon of Newyorkina. This combination is simply out of this world delicious and extremely instagrammable!

Shipping Details: Ships Monday through Friday

Best for Dinner or Engagement Party: Williams Sonoma Baked Alaska & Crème Brûlée Mini Ice Cream Cakes, Set of 12

baked-alaska-creme-brulee-ice-cream-cakes
What We Like
  • Creative combination and utterly delicious

What We Don't Like
  • High price point (but worth it)

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 selection of two types - Baked Alaska and Creme Brulee - allow for even more personalization. These would also be wonderful for an afternoon tea party, following a nice selection of tea sandwiches.

Shipping Details: Ships daily

Final Verdict

Looking for something light? Rebel Ice Cream at Amazon (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!

What to Look for in a Mail Order Ice Cream

Ingredients

If you have allergies, always check the ingredients to be certain. Ice cream ingredients vary quite a bit - so much so that the FDA standard allows “cream” to be an optional ingredient. There are vegan ice creams as well as many other varieties, as well as the premium ice creams with quality ingredients which will necessarily be more expensive.

Flavors

Ice cream in the US is becoming more global in terms of flavors, and there are many new flavors and combinations available. Trying new flavors of ice cream is a delicious way to learn more about the food cultures of the world.

Texture

The texture of different ice creams can range from light and icy to rich and full of mouthfeel. Butterfat content determines texture, as does the method of manufacture. Higher butterfat content creates a richer mouthfeel and ice cream with less air in the blend creates a denser mouthfeel. Mix-in ingredients also change the texture of the ice cream.

Shipping

Ice cream is commonly shipped today to consumers by makers who follow well-practiced methods of keeping the product frozen and safe to eat, but it’s always good to order from a company with experience in shipping. 

To learn more, read What is Ice Cream?

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

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 and always the best ice cream along the way. She now spends a lot of her free time baking at home and recommends quality within your given budget. Having the right tools available and knowing how to use them well (it can take practice, like anything else) makes all the difference, and she curated this list with that in mind.

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