The Most Iconic Ice Cream Flavor in Every State
Summer is here and we're all screaming for ice cream. But which flavor? Well, that depends on where you live...
Alabama: Butter Pecan
Alabama’s state nut is the pecan, so is it any wonder folks in Alabama love this ingredient in their ice cream? Butter pecan is always a favorite at ice cream parlors statewide.
Alaska: Eskimo Ice Cream
This ice cream is definitely unique to Alaska! Akutaq, more commonly known as Eskimo ice cream, isn’t quite a traditional ice cream. It’s a mixture of whipped fat and berries like cranberries and blueberries. Today it’s commonly made with the addition of cream and sugar for a sweeter treat.
Arizona is home to Sweet Republic, a small scale ice creamery. This brand, distributed throughout the state, comes up with new flavors regularly. One of the most iconic, though, blends ice cream with the state’s Mexican influence. What results is Horchata, a creamy combo of ice cream and cinnamon.
Arkansas: Banana Nut
There’s no Southern dessert that matches up to the flavors of a good banana pudding. Unless you count a banana ice cream. In Arkansas, banana nut is always a winner.
According to the California Dairy Press Room, California has been the nation’s top ice cream producing state for at least two decades. And guess what flavor is in the highest demand? Why it’s not one flavor at all. It’s three, although it’s known by one name: Neapolitan, which is made of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, all lined up side by side. If you’re a fan of this tri-flavored treat, here’s our collection of 9 top-notch Neapolitan recipes.
Colorado: Root Beer Float
Back in 1893, Frank J. Wisner invented the root beer float that we all know and love. Today, you don’t have to mix the two ingredients together to get that great flavor—you can enjoy a scoop of root beer ice cream on its own! Though if you do want to make a float, we recommend these root beer brands.
Connecticut: Almond Joy
When it comes to candy bars, Almond Joys have got to be up there! Dark chocolate combined with coconut and almond is a classic combo. Invented in New Haven back in 1946, the candy bar was a success. We think it might be even better when those ingredients are swirled into ice cream!
Delaware: Mint Chip
For the last three years and running, mint chip has been Delaware’s fave, based on how often Delaware folks tweet about it. Who can blame them? Mint and chocolate is an iconic combo.
Florida: Orange Cream
Floridians love their oranges and they love their ice cream—it’s the best way to cool off on a hot day. Put these two ingredients together for an amazing citrus treat: Dreamsicle ice cream.
Georgia: Peach Anything
Home to the best peaches in the country, it’s no surprise that Georgia is also home to lovers of all peach flavored ice creams. Folks flock to High Road Craft Ice Cream in Atlanta for their Bellini ice cream. But Georgian home cooks make their own renditions of peach ice cream, too! Just check out this recipe from Marguerite Ethridge in Americus, Georgia.
As America’s most exotic destination, you can expect an exotic flavor to rank as one of the top ice creams. On the islands, Hawaiians love ube ice cream. Ube is a type of purple-hued yam that’s native to tropical locales. It has a sweet, vanilla-esque flavor with some floral notes—sounds delish to us! And with that beautiful lavender color, we aren’t surprised why this ice cream flies off the shelves and out of the ice cream shops.
Huckleberry is the state fruit of Idaho, so it’s no wonder locals love to incorporate the berry into all kinds of treats like this huckleberry cheese pie and ice cream. The tart huckleberry makes for a great compliment to creamy sweet ice cream and you can find the combination at local ice cream shops statewide.
Illinois: Chocolate Malt
Back in the day, Chicago-based Walgreens stores served up malted milkshakes at the counter and helped popularize the drink nationwide. While the chain may have stopped serving ice cream, folks in Illinois never lost their taste for chocolate malt—now they prefer it by the scoop instead of served up in a glass.
Indiana ranks second in the nation in ice cream production (second only to California). It also happens to be where Edy’s Ice Cream is headquartered. This brand receives consistently good reviews for its stellar chocolate ice cream from all sorts of media outlets (Taste of Home included—check out our test!), so it’s no wonder the flavor is one of Indiana’s favorites, too!
Iowa: Bunny Tracks
Ice cream giant Blue Bunny calls Iowa home. Outside of vanilla, Bunny Tracks is the brand’s most popular flavor. The combination of vanilla ice cream, caramel, fudge swirls, chocolate-covered peanuts and peanut butter is too good to resist!
Shutterstock/Regina M art
Kansas: Purple Pride
At Kansas State University, the Call Hall Dairy Bar is an ice-cream tradition, and while vanilla sells more scoops, and there are 40 core flavors available, nothing screams “K-State Purple Pride” like the blueberry ice cream known as “Purple Pride.” Annually, the dairy bar goes through about 250 three-gallon tubs of it! “Purple is our color and the color we bleed and eat through the amazing ice cream Call Hall sells,” according to the K-State Collegian.
Kentucky: Bourbon Vanilla
Leave it to Kentucky to blend their most popular export into ice cream for a tempting treat. Flavors like bourbon-vanilla, bourbon-pecan and bourbon-praline are popular statewide.
Louisiana: Praline Pecan
Walk the streets of New Orleans and you’ll stumble on confectionary after confectionary selling homemade pralines. These delicious treats made from brown sugar, cream, butter and pecans are a must for tourists and locals—whether you eat them solo or mixed into a creamy ice cream.
Maine is famous for its blueberries. These tart berries make a great addition to all kinds of treats—just check out all these blueberry recipes—including ice cream!
Maryland: Maryland Mud
We’ve all heard of Mississippi Mud before, but what about Maryland Mud? This ice cream, created in Baltimore, consists of a chocolate base with chocolate chips and Oreo pieces. This one’s for the chocolate lovers (so are these decadent desserts)!
Massachusetts: Maple Nut
It’s maple walnut ice cream that is closest the hearts of those who live in Massachusetts, according to New England Today. Creamy maple ice cream studded with crunchy walnuts is hard to beat. Try whipping up a batch of these maple walnut crisps, and see if you don’t find yourself mesmerized.
“The origins of Superman ice cream are a bit of a mystery,” according to Michigan Live, but that doesn’t stop Michiganders from gobbling down this super sweet treat by the gallon each summer. This yellow, red and blue ice cream is typically a blend of cherry, lemon (or vanilla) and Blue Moon ice cream (skip ahead to Wisconsin to hear more about that mystery flavor!).
In addition to Superman ice cream, you know you’re from the midwest if you’ve tried any of these foods!
Minnesota: Salted Caramel
The home cook from Montevideo, Minnesota, who gave us this recipe for Warm and Cozy Spiced Cider points out that Minnesota folks “take winter seriously.” But when it comes to ice cream flavors, they’re all about beach-y sunshine and sea salt breezes. According to Walmart, the flavor that flies off the shelf in Minnesota, more than all others is Sea Salt Caramel!
Mississippi: Mississippi Mud
Of course, Mississippians love Mississippi Mud ice cream. This ice cream starts with a chocolate base swirled with fudge, chocolate cookies, nuts and sometimes even some coffee. The result is a super-rich ice cream that no one can resist!
Missouri: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Did you know that the waffle cone was invented in St. Louis during the World’s Fair in 1904. Thank you, St. Louis for that amazing treat! Now 100+ years later, Missourians like to fill their cones with cookie dough ice cream according to Twitter.
Out in the wilderness of Montana, you can bet there are plenty of s’mores being made. And you can bet there are plenty of s’mores ice cream, too! Revamp your s’mores at home with these tips and grab a big scoop of ice cream to eat alongside.
Nebraska: Butter Brickle
Sure, Nebraska folks like to tweet about cookie dough-flavored ice cream, but the classic Nebraska flavor happens to be Butter Brickle, which was invented right in Lincoln at the Blackstone Hotel in the 1920s. If you’ve never had it, you’ll want to get on that. It’s a sweet cream ice cream base studded with small, crunchy pieces of golden-brown toffee.
Nevada: Dark Chocolate
Like Las Vegas, Nevada’s ice cream of choice is a bit over the top. Super rich, decadent dark chocolate ice cream definitely has a home in the Silver State. This dessert is so lush that it doesn’t need an accompaniment.
New Hampshire: Pumpkin
Folks in New Hampshire take their pumpkin seriously—it’s their state fruit! While we typically associate the squash with fall baking, it works well in ice cream too when combined with all those warming spices like cinnamon and clove.
New Jersey: Watermelon
In New Jersey, folks like to embrace all that summer has to offer—maybe even heading down to the shore. There, folks love summery ice cream flavors like watermelon. Tourists and locals alike flock to Friendly’s across the state for a slice of their trademark Wattamelon Roll—that’s watermelon and lemon combined with chocolate chip seeds. Yum!
New Mexico: Chocolate-Chili
New Mexico is known for its tasty cuisine that turns up the heat—just check out these New Mexican recipes. Of course, the state’s most iconic ice cream flavor brings the heat as well. A rich chocolate with just a hint of chili really adds a kick to the simple dessert.
New York: New York Cherry
When it comes to ice cream, New Yorkers know how to do it right. Sweet and tart New York Cherry ice cream is the state’s most iconic flavor. We love it because it pairs so well with some homemade hot fudge on top!
North Carolina: Wolf Tracks
Howling Cow Ice Cream is located on the North Carolina State University campus, sources its milk from the school’s Dairy Research and Teaching Farm, and is famous for its amazing ice cream, but especially for its Wolf Tracks flavor, which combines chocolate and vanilla ice cream, fudge chunks and mini peanut butter cups. “A must-try if you ever find yourself at NC State,” says an NC State student writing for Spoon University.
North Dakota: Rhubarb Pie
When it comes to ingredients, North Dakotans embrace all things local, like rhubarb. This tart ingredient has a starring role in a handful of the state’s best recipes, and it makes for a great addition to North Dakota’s most iconic ice cream flavor: Rhubarb Pie.
Ohio: Chocolate-Peanut Butter
It should be no surprise that the Buckeye State’s favorite ice cream is chocolate with peanut butter cups. This play on the classic buckeye treat makes for a super tasty combo (obviously!).
Oklahoma’s state fruit is strawberries. While these berries can be used in sweet and savory dishes, maybe the best strawberry creation of all is ice cream. Sweet and slightly tart, we think it goes great with a few chocolate shavings on top!
Oregon: Berries and Cream
The Beaver State is home to a handful of wild berries—from blueberries to blackberries to marionberries. When it comes time for desserts, Oregonians love to mix in these fresh finds wherever they can, including in ice cream.
Based on the sheer volume of brownie-flavor ice cream tweets coming out of Pennsylvania, it seems that there’s no ice cream flavor more beloved in Pennsylvania than good ol’ brownie. Could it have something to do with the fact that Hershey’s is a Pennsylvania staple and has been for as long as anyone can remember? Speaking of which, have you tried the Hershey’s Gold bar yet? Yum!
Rhode Island: Espresso
Rhode Islanders can’t get enough coffee. In fact, coffee milk is their state beverage. It’s no wonder, then, that this tiny state loves Espresso ice cream for a little pick me up.
South Carolina: Pay Day
In South Carolina, boiled peanuts are the state’s official snack food. When South Carolinians are enjoying dessert instead of a simple snack, they still reach for peanuts—just accompanied by caramel and vanilla ice cream.
South Dakota: Cookies ‘N Cream
While there is some debate, South Dakota State University claims that the state is the home of this classic ice cream flavor. And who wouldn’t want to claim Cookies ‘N Cream for themselves?
Love this classic combo? Try these recipes.
Tennessee: Cotton Candy
Cotton candy was invented in Nashville in 1897. Many years later the treat’s popularity endures, although you’re just as likely to find it as a flavoring as a candy itself. Tennesseans love their creation, especially when swirled into ice cream.
Texas: Homemade Vanilla
Brenham, Texas is home to Blue Bell Creameries. While the brand is popular across the country, Texans count themselves among the brand’s biggest fans. Of Blue Bell’s dozens of flavors, one consistently rises to the top: Homemade Vanilla. Sweet and simple, this ice cream goes well with these Texas-sized desserts.
Utah: Cherry Chip
Utah’s state fruit is the cherry, so it stands to reason that the most popular flavor in the state relies on its tart flavor. Unlike New York, Utahns like their cherry ice cream with a little something extra: chocolate chips! This flavor is good on its own, but try sandwiching it between two cookies for a decadent ice cream sandwich.
“With a color as bright as bubblegum and the undeniable taste of wintergreen,” according to Daily Break, teaberry ice cream is only found in New England. It’s made from the teaberry, which is also found only in New England (naturally!). Vermont ice cream lovers crave a nice teaberry cone when they’re not devouring their home state’s Ben & Jerry’s latest flavor.
Virginia: Caramel Apple
Home to Jamestown, the first American colony, it stands to reason that the state’s iconic ice cream flavor would be as American as apple pie (or close to it). Caramel Apple combines flavors we all love with one of Virginia’s premier crops: apples!
Washington: Everything Coffee
The state that brought us Starbucks tweets a lot about coffee ice cream. Espresso milkshake from Ferdinand’s, anyone? Anvil espresso flavor from Brain Freeze Creamery? Or how about a double scoop with double chocolate doughnut from Shrug’s Soda Fountain and Creamery? The list goes on and on!
West Virginia: Black Walnut
In West Virginia, folks can’t get enough of black walnut ice cream. This nutty flavor is served up at sweet shops across the state like Austin’s in Kenova (which is often considered the best place to get a scoop).
Wisconsin: Blue Moon
It’s the color of Smurfs and has a taste that everyone loves, but no one can quite identify (is it Froot Loops? Is it almond? Is it marshmallow? Is it animal crackers?!). We’re talking about Wisconsin’s signature ice cream flavor: Blue Moon. Its origins are unclear but seem to be linked to someone who worked at Milwaukee’s Petran Products in the 1950s, according to Atlas Obscura.
Wyoming: Oatmeal Cookie Dough
Who doesn’t love a cowboy cookie? These oatmeal cookies are loaded with all sorts of tasty ingredients from chocolate chips to coconut. Now take that cookie dough and mix it into ice cream and you’ve got a real winner (and the state’s most iconic ice cream flavor).