The Best Trader Joe’s Ice Cream Flavors, Ranked

The best Trader Joe’s ice cream is delectable and inventive. Even if the flavor is unconventional, it can become an instant classic. TJ’s loves to take a traditional ice cream flavor and add their own signature flair: a unique ingredient here, an offbeat flavor combo there. It’s always a risk, and sometimes it really pays off—and hey, sometimes it doesn’t. That’s okay! We’re here to scoop out the winners and separate the cones from the clones.

So, what’s the best ice cream at Trader Joe’s? You asked, and we were happy to run to the nearest store, fill up a cart with over a dozen tubs of ice cream (and absolutely nothing else), and spook one of those cheery, charismatic TJ’s cashiers. Seriously, when we do rankings like this (the best wraps at Trader Joe’s, the best dips at Trader Joe’s, etc.), those poor cashiers never know what to say. Is it rude to ask if we’re doing okay, mentally? Is it rude…not to ask? No one accounted for Sporked writers in the TJ’s employee handbook, let me tell you. 

As much as we prize creativity, for this taste test, we were grading on flavor and flavor alone. Could we imagine trying these for the first time at an artisan ice cream parlor, paying $8 per scoop, and leaving satisfied? If not, they don’t belong on this list. And to clarify, we didn’t include sundae cones, mochi, or ice cream sandwiches here; we stuck to ice cream you can spoon straight out of the tub. By the end of it, seven flavors stood out from the rest. From traditional classics to more imaginative concepts (like Trader Joe’s cookie butter ice cream and Trader Joe’s banana pudding ice cream) these were best Trader Joe’s ice creams that really hit the sweet spot. 


Trader Joe's Ube ice Cream

Best TJ’s Ice Cream!

Trader Joe’s Ube Ice Cream

From ube mochi to ube pancake mix, Trader Joe’s is having an ube moment right now (and not for the first time). I had high hopes for their ube ice cream, and it didn’t disappoint! While you can’t escape the starchiness of ube-flavored desserts, the texture here is still pretty creamy. The ube itself is sweet, earthy, and nutty (almost pistachio-like), with notes of coconut and vanilla. It’s a risky flavor trend that actually works well in this format, and that’s what we’re looking for in the best Trader Joe’s ice cream—but we know they can do even better. 

Credit: Merc / Trader Joe’s

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

Trader Joe’s Banana Pudding Ice Cream

Best TJ’s Ice Cream!

Trader Joe’s Banana Pudding Ice Cream

Trader Joe’s Banana Pudding ice cream is pretty remarkable. A bite with all of the ice cream’s components—the banana, the sea salt caramel swirl, the soft vanilla wafer pieces—totally transports you. Suddenly you’re in a Southern granny’s kitchen eating a bowl of sweet, creamy banana pudding with lots of Nilla Wafers. It’s unique and tantalizing. Our main gripe with it, though, is that the banana tastes a little fake (my colleague Jordan Myrick said it almost tastes like banana marshmallow candies). You may not notice it at first, but the more you eat, the more apparent it becomes. If you’re sensitive to artificial fruit flavors, this might not be the best Trader Joe’s ice cream flavor for you. But we highly recommend everyone try it! The elements harmonize beautifully. 

Credit: Merc / Trader Joe’s

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

Trader Joe’s French Vanilla Ice Cream

Best TJ’s Ice Cream!

Trader Joe’s French Vanilla Ice Cream

Trader Joe’s French Vanilla ice cream might not be the best store bought vanilla ice cream you’ve ever had, but it comes pretty close. It’s extra churned and creamy, with a custard-like texture. The strong vanilla bean flavor actually tastes authentic and not artificial. Personally, I’m the weirdo on the Sporked team who prefers vanilla ice cream to pretty much any other flavor, so I have to nitpick. I wish it was a tad sweeter and contained visible flecks of vanilla bean. But it’s still obviously one of Trader Joe’s best ice creams. In the sea of unique and offbeat dessert flavors, I’m happy to report they still know how to make a tried-and-true classic taste good.

Credit: Merc / Trader Joe’s

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

Trader Joe’s Coffee Bean Blast Ice Cream

Best TJ’s Ice Cream!

Trader Joe’s Coffee Bean Blast Ice Cream

Do you order bold, extra roasted, carefully sourced coffee from a hippie shop—and then drink it black? If so, buy this, immediately. The coffee bean flavor here is intense, rich, and robust. The makers of this ice cream didn’t stop with flavor—they went one step further and mixed bits of finely ground French Roast Colombian coffee beans into it. You can taste the literal coffee grounds in every spoonful. No one else seemed to mind, but in my opinion the coffee grounds contribute a little bit of a burnt aftertaste. If you’re sensitive to overroasted coffee, you might not like this. That’s just my warning! Don’t let it give you the wrong idea. As one of the best Trader Joe’s ice creams, Coffee Bean Blast completely wowed us! We were java jumpin’ with joy. 

Credit: Merc / Trader Joe’s

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

Trader Joe’s Fudgy Cookie Dough Ice Cream

Best TJ’s Ice Cream!

Trader Joe’s Fudgy Cookie Dough Ice Cream

With a vanilla ice cream base riddled with chocolate chips and chocolate chip cookie dough, this Trader Joe’s Fudgy Cookie Dough ice cream is an absolute yin-yang chocolate-vanilla dream. But what about the fudge, you ask? Fantastic question. The special touch is here is a swirl of sea salt fudge that ties the whole thing together—and makes it one of the best ice creams at Trader Joe’s by a mile. The cookie dough pieces have a granulated sugar texture that makes them so yummy and addictive. The sea salt fudge is quite salty, which for salt queens like myself, balances the sweet elements beautifully. We’ve got to update our cookie dough ice cream ranking soon, because this little TJ’s ice cream absolutely deserves a spot. 

Credit: Merc / Trader Joe’s

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Trader Joe’s Dulce de Leche Ice Cream

Best TJ’s Ice Cream!

Trader Joe’s Dulce de Leche Ice Cream

The worst thing about Trader Joe’s extra sweet, buttery smooth Dulce de Leche ice cream is that it won’t stick around forever. Too many TJ’s shoppers will go their whole lives without ever trying this limited edition flavor, and that depresses me. In their product description, TJ’s notes how simple the ingredients are (milk, sugar, butter, egg yolks), which is quite surprising, because this ice cream has incredible depth. The caramel-cream blend feels intricate and layered. It’s the most decadent, rich, and handmade-tasting flavor on this list, in my opinion. Sporked team member Liv Averett mentioned that this would be the best Trader Joe’s ice cream to eat with salty pretzels—a comment that changed the trajectory of my life forever. Thanks, Liv. Thanks, Trader Joe’s. I finally know what love feels like. 

Credit: Merc / Trader Joe’s

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter Ice Cream

Best TJ’s Ice Cream!

Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter Ice Cream

Listen to me: I’m not a Trader Joe’s superfan. It’s not even in my top three grocery stores, to be totally transparent with you, reader. But TJ’s has done something truly ingenious here, and I mean ingenious. Trader Joe’s cookie butter ice cream is a work of ice cream art. It has huge, crisp yet crumbly pieces of Speculoos cookies, aka spiced Belgian gingerbread cookies. The ginger balances the sweetness of the ice cream so well. It’s inventive. Scrumptious. Heavenly. Dulce de Leche made me believe in love, but this? This is true love’s kiss. And the best ice cream at Trader Joe’s!

Credit: Merc / Trader Joe’s

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Other Trader Joe’s ice cream flavors we tried: Mint Chocolate Chip, Ultra Chocolate, Vanilla Bean Oat Non Dairy


About the Author

Ariana Losch

Ariana Losch is a Sporked contributor, webcomic writer, java junkie, and bad TV enthusiast. She only ever feels at peace laying out on a beach like a kebab, roasting in the sun; sadly, she can never move back to Florida, her home state, because there simply isn’t enough good Mediterranean food. You can find her overstaying her welcome at just about every LA coffee shop, working on a screenplay and avoiding all eye contact. (She is embarrassed to be there, please leave her alone.)