REVIEW: Milk Bar Ice Cream

Milk Bar Ice Cream Pints

Update 12/8/21: We also reviewed the seasonal Gingerbread House and Candy Cane Chocolate Chip Cornflake flavors.

If The History Channel created a “Food That Built America ’00s Edition” episode, Milk Bar and its founder Christina Tosi would be top billing. I mean, c’mon: you can’t deny Compost Cookies, Cereal Milk Soft Serve with Cornflake Crunch, and Crack Pie were unlike anything we’d ever seen until she burst onto the scene.

The first Milk Bar bakery opened in NYC in 2008, and I would have kind friends haul back packages of cookies for me until I could see that neon pink cursive sign for myself years later.

So, what’s the big deal? Tosi’s James Beard-winning culinary genius is tapping into nostalgic flavors like cereal milk and creating the perfect * chef’s kiss * balance of sweet and salty. I’ve found this true in all her delicious desserts at her flagship bakeries to her newest grocery store items.

The latest to hit shelves are Milk Bar Ice Cream Pints in four glorious flavors that are sure to make OG and new fans giddy. Here’s the rundown:

  • Birthday Cake: A love letter to Milk Bar’s signature sprinkle flecked layer cake with unfrosted sides, this flavor brings the same delicious layering effect with birthday cake-flavored ice cream, birthday crumbs, and ribbons of birthday frosting. All the celebration, any day of the week.
  • Cereal Milk: The flavor that started it all. Cousins to the Milk Bar bakery-favorite soft serve offering, this pint combines a Cereal Milk ice cream base with salty-sweet cornflake crunch. Tastes just like the bottom of your cereal bowl.
  • Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow: An ode to the bestselling cookie that combines an irresistible combination of cornflake crunch, chocolate chunks, and gooey marshmallow swirls throughout a cookie dough ice cream.
  • Milk Bar Pie: Deep vanilla ice cream swirled with a gooey butter filling and toasted oat crumble reimagines Milk Bar’s signature pie in ice cream form.

I figured they all be legit because of the Milk Bar brand. However, I also had a good feeling because the receipt detailed “Frozen Custard,” which signaled to me that this would be full flavor compared to an airy, less than 10% milkfat frozen dairy dessert.


Milk Bar Pie Ice Cream Spoon

I didn’t really know where to start, so I just dove in with the Milk Bar Pie variety. My fellow OGs know this as Crack Pie. Folks newer to Tosi’s empire may ask, “What kind of pie?!” and there ain’t no shame in that either.

I imagined that deep vanilla would be like a sweet cream ice cream, but it tasted more like caramel ice cream with the honey-like sweet notes smoothed out with a buttery richness. The oat crumble was more like crushed oats, but it cued the actual dessert’s crust very well. Unlike a cheesecake graham crust or flaky pie dough, it’s pretty flat. However, the creamy base was so dominant that the crumble didn’t taste particularly oat-like to me. All it did was get stuck in my teeth per usual with oat.

I briefly considered getting the actual dessert shipped so that I could eat a Crack Pie a la mode with Crack Pie ice cream. Excessive? Most definitely.

Purchased Price: $5.99
Size: 14 oz
Purchased at: Whole Foods
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 220 calories, 13 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 55 milligrams of cholesterol, 220mg of sodium, 0 grams of fiber, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 16 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.

Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow

Milk Bar Cornflakes Ice Cream Spoon

But, I did try something similar with the Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow (C3M)!

First, I tried it on its own and WOWZA. I could not get enough of the marshmallow flavor, which was like having ooey gooeyness goodness around the campfire without all the flame, char, and ash! The cookie dough ice cream base really complemented and brought out the ‘mallow. The rest of the ingredients helped to seal the deal. There was great texture from the chocolate chips, which were more like rectangular chunks reminiscent of Ben & Jerry’s inclusions.

Additionally, the cornflake crunch was not soggy but not a frozen flake either, so I considered it just right on the texture spectrum. And guess what? They tasted just like cornflakes. Said corn flavor was as comforting as my childhood cereal.

Milk Bar Cornflakes Ice Cream Spoon Sandwich

As Milk Bar also sells a grocery-exclusive version (read: different from the ones in their bakery) of their cookies in the same exact flavor, I decided I would also use them to make an ice cream cookie sandwich. This is not a cookie review, so I’ll just concisely say that the ice cream MADE the sandwich – the key again being the marshmallow goodness. I’d prefer to eat it on its own, though!

Purchased Price: $5.99
Size: 14 oz
Purchased at: Whole Foods
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 300 calories, 19 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 110mg of sodium, 0 grams of fiber, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 20 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

Cereal Milk

Milk Bar Cereal Mik Ice Cream Spoon

I was eager to try the Cereal Milk one after getting a taste of how good the cornflakes were in the C3M variety.

The pint itself really looked like the bottom of the cereal bowl with pieces of yellow cereal flakes peppered throughout. The ice cream itself was a bit more complex than just a sweet cream as I picked up on some saltiness. It wasn’t overwhelmingly so, though! I would liken it to putting a sprinkle of sea salt on a chocolate chip cookie and how that pinch really brings out the flavors.

When I had a spoonful with a density of cereal bits, the cornflakes definitely became more pronounced, and the texture turned into that of soggy cereal. I do prefer the cornflake crunch available as a topping in her bakeries, though. Maybe it’ll make it to shelves soon, so I can use it as a pint topping!

Purchased Price: $5.99
Size: 14 oz
Purchased at: Whole Foods
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 270 calories, 17 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 170mg of sodium, 0 grams of fiber, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 17 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

Birthday Cake

Milk Bar Birthday Cake Ice Cream Spoon

Unintentionally saving the best for last, Birthday Cake was stellar. My first impression was that it was a bit sweeter than the others, as I’ve come to expect from cake batter ice creams. Additionally, as I was scooping, I saw unappetizing white bits that reminded me of ice chunks.

However, I was so wrong. They MADE the flavor as soon as my mind caught onto the taste of frosting. It reminded me of the childhood birthday cakes from the grocery store and brought me back to simpler and joyous times. This is the Tosi magic right here, folks.

The crumbs, though, seemed like an afterthought to me. I didn’t detect any added flavor or texture. As for the sprinkles, they did their job to add festive colors and a bit of that typical grittiness when you chomp them. I know that may sound unpleasant, but it reminded me of being a kid and eating allllllll the sprinkle-laden desserts. Birthday cake-flavored ice cream is never at the top of my list, but I will definitely keep this one stocked in my freezer!

Purchased Price: $5.99
Size: 14 oz
Purchased at: Whole Foods
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 300 calories, 19 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 85mg of sodium, 0 grams of fiber, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 23 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

Milk Bar Ice Cream Pints Top

What a foray into precious grocery store space, Milk Bar! It’s a strong effort that should be rewarded with fellow shoppers snatchin’ up the pints for a treat unlike anything else in the frozen aisle today!

12 thoughts to “REVIEW: Milk Bar Ice Cream”

  1. Four for four! The fourfecta? Quadfecta? Whatever it is, that’s a mighty impressive success rate. Guess we’ll have to try the Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow first, since Milk gets extra props for single handedly making cornflakes cool again.

  2. It’s great to see these offerings getting such high reviews. But ouch, that price (and so, a realistic serving might come to $3). I’m still the guy who waits for the supermarket’s sale on Ben & Jerry’s and then stocks up some, at $2.50 or $3.00 a pint (and a real 16-oz. pint at that, not a Milk Bar/Haagen-Dazs/etc. fake pint).

  3. Anyone tried ordering Frozen things from Amazon Whole Foods Prime? lol. This review made me at least wanna try the Birthday Cake one. It says 2 hour same delivery with Prime. My nearest Whole Foods is a 35 minute drive away. Hope it doesn’t all melt in the summer if I decide to try it.

    1. I’ve never tried to order frozen things from Whole Foods, but I had bad luck ordering ice cream with Instacart. Hopefully Whole Foods would be better service, but my ice cream I ordered from Instacart was soup by the time it got to me. It made me really mad because he clearly didn’t even put it in a cooler, which the website states they do. Luckily, I was able to get a refund, but still annoying.

  4. I am a fan of Christina Tosi’s but these aren’t chocolatey enough for me as I am admittedly a chocoholic.

    I wanted to comment simply to to applaud this thorough, excellent review!

  5. I would like you to do a review of their cookies, if possible! I tried them and they were just….okay. Sweet but with no discernible flavors. But I want to know if the others are worth trying!

  6. I had bought hopes when I saw Milk Bar branded ice cream at target but was so let down by these. The birthday cake was sickeningly sweet and the frosting swirls were like eating a mouthful of the cheapest canned frosting. The milk cereal one reminded me of creamed corn and I just couldn’t enjoy it once I realized how rediculous corny it tasted. I’m afraid to try any other flavors at this point…

  7. The Cereal Milk one is absolutely my favorite ice cream, followed by Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow. I grabbed them on a whim because I couldn’t decide on anything else and dang! So, SO good. I haven’t tried any of their others (limited selection locally) but I love birthday cake stuff so that sounds good and their mint chocolate take is probably great too; buying them online is hella expensive though!

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