Update 9/9/22: We also tried the Tapatio Mexican Hot Chocolate one! Click here to read our review.
Don’t look now, but the madmen and madladies in the Van Leeuwen Ice Cream flavor factory are at it again. From the demented dessert doctors who previously brought you Mac & Cheese, Pizza, and mustard-inspired ice creams comes their new limited edition Fall offerings at Walmart that are positively… pedestrian?
Well, mostly pedestrian.
See, there’s a Mexican Hot Chocolate version featuring Tapatio Hot Sauce (which wasn’t available during my first Walmart visit, but psssst, check back here in a day or two.) The fact is, other than the Sweet Potato and Marshmallow Casserole variety, these are all kind of straightforward. They even snuck in a Strawberry release (which I couldn’t find, so it’s not reviewed here) and the only weird thing about it is that “strawberry” is one of the least fall flavors imaginable.
Before I tried each flavor myself, and for no real reason other than “this might be funny,” I did a blind taste test with three children — my daughter (Stella, 8) and two of her friends (Emrie, 7, and her sister Norah, 5). “From the mouths of babies,” or whatever that saying is.
Wildberry Layer Cake
While I couldn’t distinguish individual berry flavors, this was overtly berryish. There weren’t really any large chunks, but almost every bite was fruitful. The yellow cake was there, but it didn’t do much, flavor-wise. Texturally, it added an odd chew; it frankly seemed like an unnecessary inclusion. Norah shouted, “RASPBERRY BREAD!” And one of the other two made a puking noise. I actually enjoyed it a bit more than “puking noise.”
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 270 calories, 16 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 95 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 24 grams of sugar (18 grams of added sugar), and 4 grams of protein.
Hazelnut Fudge Cookie
Okay, so the kids’ reviews on this one ranged from “it tastes red” (?) to “cinnamon? Or chocolate-vanilla-banana!” Kids are bad at this. Anyway, the fudge here is overwhelming, but in a delightful way. (But is there any other way for fudge to be overwhelming?) That said, I couldn’t detect much in the way of hazelnut. The “cookies,” according to the label, are “Speculoos,” which I had to Google. They are a “Belgian shortbread biscuit” with a gingerbread-like flavor. Mostly, they just tasted like crumbled-up cookie bits. Still a winner, though.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 310 calories, 17 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 85 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 37 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 27 grams of sugar (22 grams of added sugar), and 5 grams of protein.
Sweet Potato Marshmallow Casserole
The one I expected to like the least turned out to be my favorite. With whole mini marshmallows (taking me back to their Campfire S’mores variety, which I passionately love) and mild notes of cinnamon and caramel that carry throughout, SPMC is creamy and sweet and sinfully delicious, a surprise given that I generally don’t care for the actual Thanksgiving side dish. All of the girls picked up on the caramel and marshmallows (obvious flavors), and they all loved it until I told them what it was. Then it was “disgusting” and “are you kidding me?!” Kids are the worst.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 290 calories, 15 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 85 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 33 grams of sugar (20 grams of added sugar), and 4 grams of protein.
Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll
And now, the one that I was expecting to like the most, but… okay, well, I didn’t like it the least, but I will say that I was pretty disappointed. See, I’m a Pumpkin Guy. I’m a Cinnamon Roll Guy. Ergo… I mean, come on! But here’s the deal— there was a TON of caramel. And that’s fine, but what WASN’T fine was the complete lack of pumpkin. And while there were cinnamon roll bits, they were small and muted in taste, leaving me once again pining for my beloved Ben & Jerry’s Cinnamon Buns (aka the worst discontinuation they’ve ever made). On paper, this had the chance to be amazing. In reality, it was only meh. One of the girls said it tasted like “caramel corn,” and my daughter, weirdly, said this one sounded gross. Like… the actual sound in the bowl. Yeah, I don’t know.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 300 calories, 17 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 85 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 35 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 29 grams of sugar (24 grams of added sugar), and 4 grams of protein.
Purchased Price: $4.98 each
Size: 1 pint
Purchased at: Walmart
6 thoughts to “REVIEW: Van Leeuwen Walmart Fall 2022 Ice Cream Flavors”
I’ve stopped buying any of Van Leeuwen’s flavors. They never hit the right mark for me, even the “safer” flavors.
As an elementary teacher, I feel you with how kids react. I’ve found that it’s best to not tell kids what they’re eating before you give it to them. Even then, kids tend to be the harshest critics! I bring my kids some snacks/candy from Japan every year because I lived there for 4 years and they had the rudest reactions. It was stuff I loved, so I kind of took offense. But then I had to realize that they were in second grade and it wasn’t a real gauge of how good something tastes.
Oh, for sure. That’s why I blindfolded them and didn’t tell them what they’d eaten until after. Haha.
? that sounds like mr when I had my niece and nephews try the weird flavors and guess what they were.
Speculoos are also known as Biscoff (or Lotus Biscoff) and is the flavor behind “cookie butter”. If you’ve never had cookie butter, do yourself a favor and buy some RIGHT NOW and smear it on toast.
anticipating reviews of the last set of flavors that are out now