16 Halo Top Flavors, Ranked
Because low-cal ice cream doesn’t have to mean low on flavor.
When Halo Top unleashed a roster of low-calorie ice cream packed in colorful pints in the early 2010s, the “joke” was that the newly single set could have their sad frozen dessert without guilt. We’re leaving that trope behind and, in this decade, embracing Halo Top’s light ice cream for what it is: a low-sugar, protein-packed treat that is legitimately great-tasting.
Pints clock in between 240 and 360 calories. And, thanks to an ever-growing keto-friendly line with two new flavors, even the diet-abiding can dig into Halo Top.
Halo Top shares shelf space with pint pioneers Häagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry’s, and is undeniably everywhere now, amassing adoring followers at every corner of the freezer aisle. Its brightly designed labels beckon with flavors like Blueberry Crumble, Chocolate Cake Batter, Mango, and Sea Salt Caramel.
But how does Halo Top really stack up against itself? As the resident, self-proclaimed ice cream connoisseur, it seemed only fitting that I sample each flavor. Halo Top’s Keto and dairy-free lineups has been excluded from this ranking because we're talking ice cream here. Nineteen pints and a frightening amount of spoons later, here’s how they each hold up.
Have you ever dined in one of those grandiose, fancy establishments where in between courses a smart-suited server brings you some strange, unconfirmed substance piled with pillowy foam? It doesn’t taste like much, but you’re told it cleans your palate to prepare you for upcoming courses. Well, meet Halo Top’s verifiable palate cleansing pint: pistachio. The neon green ice cream bears no resemblance or taste to the tree nut, although it does have a wonderfully creamy consistency and would certainly play a reliable understudy if said fancy restaurant were to ever run out of that foam stuff.
15. Caramel Macchiato
Is it a good or bad thing (or maybe you don’t care) that all of Halo Top’s coffee iterations are suspiciously reminiscent of Starbucks Frappuccinos? I suppose if you’re into slurping frothy, sugar-laden blended drinks heavily drizzled with caramel and crowned with pillows of whipped cream, then you’re golden with this flavor. Upon tasting this, though, you may find yourself slipping back into your 10-year-old Ugg boots and putting on Nora Jones.
14. Cookies & Cream
OK, but where are the cookies? There’s plenty of cream, for sure, but the cookies? Non-existent. Which just leaves us at 50-percent flavor delivery with the “& cream.”
13. Blueberry Crumble
While the perma-seasonal flavor seemingly harks back to summers spent spooning burst blueberries piled with sugary dough clusters, this pint results in that rather thick, blueberry yogurt-like taste. That’s not bad necessarily if you like a bit of tang. The big hunks of pie dough swirled throughout certainly don’t hurt either.
12. Chocolate Mocha Chip
Here’s chocolate mocha chip in a nutshell: a mousse-like chocolate base churned with bitter espresso and bits of chocolate.
11. Oatmeal Cookie
Oatmeal Cookie almost tastes too healthy…even for low-cal ice cream. The vanilla-based ice cream is speckled with bits of cinnamon, but what kills it for me are the whole oats folded into the ice cream. They’re much too tough to munch on, especially because they’re uncooked, and a rather unwelcome surprise when you’re expecting something more similar to an actual oatmeal cookie. But then again, if it was littered with hunks of cookies, it surely wouldn’t be 280 calories.
10. Vanilla Bean
Here’s the innocuous vanilla—one that’s not too vanilla, dare I say. It’s splattered with vanilla beans (a nice treat!), but it has that kind of thick, curdled taste of unbranded, grocery store vanilla ice cream.
9. Candy Bar
Melt down a Snickers bar, and voilá: Candy Bar ice cream. The creamy chocolate ice cream isn’t merely spotted with roasted peanuts (and plenty of stevia, of course), there are swirls of caramel, too. That first lick comes a deep-seated hankering to repeatedly listen to that sweet, sweet sound of tearing open a wrapped candy bar in a dead silent movie theater.
8. Birthday Cake
How can you say no to anything streaked with rainbow sprinkles? And let’s be honest, everyone at some point in their life has dreamt of sitting down and eating a whole cake in one sitting. No, just me? Well, the big dreamers like myself can realize such fantasies with a polka dotted pint and large spoon in hand.
Once upon a time, dear ones, Gogurt was all the rage. Nowadays, as a jaded yogurt consumer, I can infer the point of creating strawberry Gogurt was so parents of vegetable- and fruit-hating children could convince their perturbed offspring that this tubular product was a supplement for Earth’s bounty—as well as a dessert. If you were one of those children, here’s that same exact flavor, finally (!) in actual dessert form. The best part is that you don’t have to worry about unexpected, flying spurts of yogurt staining your clothes.
6. Red Velvet
It should come as no surprise that Red Velvet, chocolate cake’s red food coloring–enhanced cousin, is wonderfully packaged into crimson ice cream form, one peppered with hunks of brownies. And it should come as no surprise, then, that the whole pint boasts 350 calories, which among the highest caloric count of Halo Top’s line. Don't worry, I’m still cradling the pint, fishing out those brownie pieces, and watching my tongue turn cherry red.
It’s the simplest and classic flavors where Halo Top excels. That’s the case for their chocolate, which leans closer to milk than dark and reminds me of licking a Fudgsicle. A light chocolate taste is refreshing and cool as it slides down your throat. Will it satisfy your chocolate cravings? Certainly, but at a cost: It’s far too easy to eat it straight from the pint, only to look down and discover the spoon has scraped the cardboard bottom.
4. Peanut butter cup
This is exactly like peanut butter —except an ice cream version tossed with massive clusters of peanut butter and chocolate peanut butter cups. It's fantastic; need I say more?
3. Sea Salt Caramel
Fact: Earth’s greatest gift to humankind is definitively anything flecked with shards of sea salt. That salty-sweet combo is an eruption of magic and heaven and puppies on your taste buds. If you’re the monster who prefers to keep savory separated from sweet, you’re certainly entitled to your opinion. (And also wrong.) For everyone else who’s on the right side of history, you’d be remiss not to dive into this pint brimming with bits of salt and ribbons of sticky caramel.
2. Mint Chip
The mint here is, delightfully, not that fake green color, but more of an off-white cream, punctured by a slew of mini chocolate chips scattered throughout the carton. The flavor is robustly peppermint—importantly it’s dissimilar to your Tom’s toothpaste—and it feels and tastes so much like a fully sugar-drenched version that while you’re shoveling spoonful after spoonful of it into your mouth you’ll question how the whole pint is only 320 calories.
1. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Between the rounds of soft cookie dough and liberal peppering of chocolate chips, chocolate chip cookie dough is easily Halo Top’s best flavor. It’s the kind of ice cream that doesn’t leave you feeling disgustingly ill after consuming only a handful of licks. Perhaps most importantly, though, is Halo Top’s willingness to channel the visceral nostalgia of a youthful, fast metabolism: days spent scraping raw cookie dough from the depths of a mixing bowl and licking drippy, cookie dough-studded cones plopped precariously atop cake cones. So from all your devoted fans, thank you from the bottom of our now stevia-caked hearts, for transforming our beloved cookie dough into ice cream. We’ll go ahead and eat a ton.