DQ Blizzard Vs McDonald's McFlurry: Which Is Better?

It's fun to watch rival outlets one-up each other when adding novelties to their menus. It took McDonald's, the undeniable king of fast food, a full 10 years after DQ introduced the arctically cool Blizzard in 1985 to come up with a whimsically-named copycat, the McFlurry, in 1995. Despite the difference in monikers, both desserts hit the market as modern twists on super-sturdy milkshakes featuring each restaurant's soft serve blended with myriad mix-ins. While the Blizzard is famously so thick and fluffy that you can turn a Blizzard upside-down without it falling out of the cup, the truth about the McFlurry is that it also stays put when inverted.

Two tasty items with such obvious overlaps surely have a few differences that make them distinct from one another. Not content to remain idly curious about which of these creamy creations ices out the other, we pitted Blizzard against McFlurry in a spoon-to-spoon comparison to see what, if anything, makes one of them special enough to choose over the other. Though at first glance they appear to be twin treats from different chains, there's a clear winner in the battle for your tastebuds and dining dollars.

Soft serve quality

There's no question about it: McDonald's soft serve is a super-sweet order. Although it has 5% milkfat rather than the 10% required to qualify as actual ice cream, McD's frozen dairy dessert enchants diners regardless. It's been featured on the menu in cones and sundaes for decades, showed up in a ridiculous TikTok trend called "coning", and even underwent a fast-food makeover in 2017 that removed artificial ingredients, making it a more trustworthy indulgence, even though the machines seem to be endlessly broken or undergoing maintenance.

DQ's ice cream is no slouch, either. The monarch of sub-zero snacks started with soft serve and has carried the tradition forward for over 80 years. Similar to McDonald's, DQ's soft serve also contains 5% milkfat, a feature that helps keep it soft even when frozen. Unlike McDonald's, however, DQ's formula includes some not-so-natural ingredients including artificial flavors and Polysorbate 80, an emulsifier that is approved by the FDA but may be associated with health issues (per Foods).

While flavor and texture are drivers in the battle between soft serves, knowing you're getting only natural ingredients from McDonald's puts the Golden Arches ahead from the jump.

Flavors and add-ins

McDonald's keeps the selection of McFlurry flavors trim, rarely venturing away from the core mix-in duo of Oreos or M&Ms added to a strictly vanilla soft serve base. Variations arise from time to time, such as Peanut Butter Crunch and Strawberry Shortcake. But there's no telling when these surprise sensations will show up, which means you'd better like cookies and cream or chocolate candy flavors in your McFlurry. You may not be getting any other options for a while.

In stark contrast, DQ offers an overwhelming array of Blizzards, with cookie, cake, candy, and syrup elements that let customers practically create their own signature treats. New flavors are introduced regularly, sometimes as seasonal specials and sometimes as fun promotional tie-ins for movies like the Jurassic Chomp. But knowing you can tweak the recipe to your own whims means you can tinker endlessly to find flavors that work for you.

When it comes to flavors and add-in selection, the Blizzard is the hands-down winner, and the McFlurry is simply an also-ran.


Depending on your appetite when you visit DQ, you may be in the mood for a colossal Blizzard so huge it makes the evening weather report. At other times, just a taste might be enough to satisfy. No matter what quantity you're craving, DQ has you covered, with everything from a 6-ounce mini to a 20-ounce large. There are more than enough possibilities to get you through your cravings to keep you chill.

Looking for more than a 12-ounce McFlurry? Then be ready to order two at a time — McDonald's offers no size variation for its sugary snow-themed dessert. Rumors abound online about an 8-ounce snack-sized McFlurry, but there's no evidence of this petite treat on Ronald's current menu. The reasoning for this restrictive sizing is unknown, but one thing is likely: You'll pay more by ordering up a second serving than you would if upsizing were possible.

The Blizzard pulls ahead in the race for options when it comes to serving size, with one-trick-pony McFlurry being left in its very chilly wake.


A 6-ounce mini Blizzard comes in at $4.89, while a 12-ounce small is $5.69, only $0.80 more for double the content. You'll pay $6.49 for a 16-ounce medium and $6.99 for a 20-ounce large, making the price per ounce less, but also adding fewer extra ounces to the larger cups than to the smaller cups. The idea of paying almost $5.00 for 6 ounces of anything is pretty alarming, which may be how the Queen gets her subjects to size up and pay a little more.

The single-sized McFlurry also has a single-sized price of $4.49 for the 12-ounce cup. This is $1.20 less than the 12-ounce Blizzard, a notable difference considering the 6-ounce Blizzard is a frosty $0.40 more as well. Discerning diners who take each frozen delight for a test spin are bound to notice the glaring difference, even without breaking out the calculator to run the numbers. We should note that specific prices may vary by location, but the disparity between McDonald's and DQ will likely hold true wherever you are.


The Blizzard has become a signature snack for DQ, a distinctive item that other restaurants have replicated through the decades. Hit the drive-thru or customer counter at any location and you'll see oversized advertisements proclaiming all the wondrous flavor combinations you can enjoy whenever you want. Seasonal items like Pumpkin Pie may not be on the daily menu, but you can be sure they'll show up when the moment is right to make your holidays chilly and bright.

The McFlurry hasn't budged from the menu since McDonald's introduced its weird, oversized square straw, making it easy to order a tasty finish to your Big Mac meal if you so desire. But aside from the once-in-a-blue-moon special flavor, there's no seasonal excitement or promotional buzz to be had. 

In the realm of availability, even though both items are permanent fast-food fixtures, only DQ takes pains to make fun things happen throughout the year. The point goes to DQ.

The verdict: The Blizzard is the cool winner

We ordered a 12-ounce Oreo Blizzard and an equivalent McFlurry, dipped our spoons deep into the cups, and scooped out a super-sized taste of each. The first notable difference was the quantity of mix-ins; both treats might feature Oreo cookies, but the McFlurry had at least twice as many crushed-up crumbs swirling through the soft serve as the Blizzard. Both cups were also supremely fluffy at first, but the Blizzard began to melt immediately, detracting from the "hold it upside-down!" thrill. Then, we took a bite of each and realized that, while McDonald's may have an all-natural formulation, the flavor of its soft serve was disappointingly artificial, while the Blizzard had a much creamier flavor. 

The Blizzard cold-cocks the McFlurry in the number of mix-ins, sizes, and price points, as well as flavor and creativity. Even with a more natural take on soft serve, the McFlurry freezes up next to the Blizzard. Having a range of options and an overall winning flavor is a knockout combination that hands DQ the crown.