The most popular Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavors, ranked worst to best

Ranking ice cream flavors is not a task to be taken lightly. Especially when the flavors in question are Ben & Jerry's. Just as there's more than one way to skin a cat, there are umpteen ways to rank Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavors.

There are those who rank flavors according to what sells the most. Other rankings consider public opinion, such as Influenster's community of consumer reviewers, thousands of whom eagerly rate Ben & Jerry's products. Then there are both card-carrying and casual members of the fooderati, i.e. food columnists who actually get paid to taste test multiple scoops with the goal of anointing their own critical, if subjective, best and worst flavors. And let's not forget the nutrition-minded folks at Eat This, Not That! who rank each flavor according to its healthiness (or lack thereof).

While all of the above methods have their pros and cons, each limits itself to one set of criteria. Enter Mashed, who decided to combine all of these findings into our own exclusive, all-inclusive, and vaguely scientific ranking of Ben & Jerry's flavors.

15. Ben & Jerry's Milk & Cookies

Sometimes it's just the way the cookie crumbles, but ranking 15th in flavorfulness is no mean feat. Although "Milk" & Cookies starts with a basic foundation of vanilla ice cream, things get complicated fast with the addition of chocolate chip and chocolate chocolate chip cookies, along with chocolate cookie swirl, seemingly for good measure (and chocoholics).

It didn't do well in terms of nutrition, considering it's been slammed for containing soybean oil, which has high levels of inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids.

Those who love the flavor nurse a nostalgia for retro childhood pleasures such as the wholesome act of dunking a homemade chocolate chip cookie into a glass of rich, creamy milk. Detractors, however, are also purists who accuse Ben & Jerry's of "messing with" the even more classic cookies and cream. As offended consumer reviewer spookym griped, "I never dunked my cookies in vanilla flavored milk when I was a kid."

14. Ben & Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk

Although New York Super Fudge Chunk didn't rank on Ben & Jerry's Top Ten Flavors of 2019, it's second on its list of long-standing flavors that have been around for decades. According to the company, New York Super Fudge Chunk was an edible "I'll show you!" reaction to a 1985 New York Magazine review that dissed Ben & Jerry's ice cream for being "pleasant enough, but not thrilling" while noting that the "chips and bits seem rather sparse."

In full-on revenge mode, Ben set out to discover just how many different types of chunks could be packed into a single pint of chocolate ice cream. His five-part response consisted of pecans, walnuts, fudge-covered almonds, and chunks of both white and dark chocolate. Moreover, the final version of New York Super Fudge Chunk contained 40 percent more chunks than any of Ben & Jerry's pre-existing flavors. Take that, New York Magazine

Overall, this multi-textured homage to equally multi-faceted NYC gets a lot of love and very little hate. The Los Angeles Times claims New York Super Fudge Chunk is the epitome of what we love about Ben & Jerry's; i.e. ice cream we can chew as well as lick. Thrillist ranked it fourth of all Ben & Jerry flavors, while pointing out a tragic flaw of this otherwise scrumptious pint: the addition of white chocolate. We'd probably leave that part out.

13. Ben & Jerry's Vanilla

Vanilla is one of those fundamental flavors that can split both ways. On one hand, it can be seen as basic and bland, not to mention monochromatic. As HuffPost put it after ranking Ben & Jerry's Vanilla 36th out of 39 flavors: "solid, but not exciting." Ranking it last, The Independent minced even fewer words, asking "Why bother?"

Yet, vanilla is also an uncomplicated classic, elemental, if not downright essential. Amidst all the multi-flavored and multi-textured chunks, chocolates, swirls, nuts, and flakes that have become hallmarks of Ben & Jerry's ice cream ethos, vanilla is an outlier, daringly subversive in its single-monikered simplicity. Although you can savor it solo, this Vanilla ice cream is also an all-round sweet treat enhancer (how many people are going to pile a scoop of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Core onto their apple pie?).

As Thrillist, who ranked it tenth out of all Ben & Jerry's flavors, points out, for all the "flavor-mashing zaniness" of Ben & Jerry's offerings, the stripped-away simplicity of Vanilla is a reminder that the company actually knows how to make exceptional ice cream. There's also the fact that Vanilla is undisputedly and scientifically Ben & Jerry's healthiest flavor, boasting the second-lowest sugar content and lowest calorie count of all its ice creams.

12. Ben & Jerry's Mint Chocolate Cookie

One of Ben & Jerry's most traditional flavors, dating back to 1991, Mint Chocolate Cookie seduces those who live for the contrast between the frosty sharpness of peppermint ice cream and comforting sweetness of chocolate sandwich cookies. Ben & Jerry's ninth best-selling ice cream of 2019, this classic flavor combo's staying power seemingly stems from a nostalgia factor similar to that of its creamy cousin, Milk & Cookies.

Interestingly, Mint Chocolate Cookie's most innovative aspect — swapping traditional chocolate chips for chocolate cookie chunks — is a point of contention. While Los Angeles Times critic Lucas Kwan Peterson cops to being a "chip person," he admits that excavating a big chunk of cookie from your ice cream is more exciting than skimming your spoon along a sea of chocolate chips. The diehards at HuffPost admit no such thing, taking the flavor to task for abandoning the chips (and diluting the mint). Meanwhile, as far as health matters, Mint Chocolate Cookie is one of Ben & Jerry's more nutritionally sound options (ranking eighth), with relatively low sugar and high protein content.

11. Ben & Jerry's Strawberry Cheesecake

Ben & Jerry's Strawberry Cheesecake seems to be one of those flavors that the masses line up for while critics wonder what all the fuss is about. Seemingly, the fuss has to do with the fact that the ice cream's creaminess and strawberry-ness is offset by a crumbly graham cracker swirl. Many fans claim this swirl is the best part, including reviewer MandyLou, a self-proclaimed "tunnel-digger" whose only gripe is that there isn't enough of it.

Admittedly, some of the love for this flavor stems from it being the rare Ben & Jerry's offering that doesn't feature chocolate (yes, some people actually hate chocolate!). Strawberry Cheesecake is highly rated on Influenster and ranks seventh in Ben & Jerry's Top Ten Flavors of 2019. It also earns nutritional accolades as Ben & Jerry's third healthiest flavor.

Overall, however, the critics aren't so enthusiastic. The Independent admits the ice cream compares well to an actual strawberry cheesecake before snidely adding that strawberry cheesecake would never be a "sensible person's" dessert of choice. Thrillist concedes to the flavor being "solid" but underwhelming when compared to Ben & Jerry's more exotic options. Then there are the radically unimpressed folks at Reviewed who refer to it as "the worst of the best," accusing the strawberries of having an artificial taste and the usually beloved graham cracker swirl of being soggy.

10. Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey

Another one of Ben & Jerry's archival flavors, Chunky Monkey has been alive and swinging since 1988. Over the decades, many have gone ape for this flavor composed of banana ice cream generously riddled with chocolatey fudge chunks and crunchy walnuts.

That said, a lot of the affection for Chunky Monkey ultimately depends on where you stand on the issue of banana ice cream. Upon ranking it second best out of all Ben & Jerry flavors, Thrillist's Will Fulton confessed to being "totally biased" in that he believes banana ice cream to be among the most unique snack food tastes on the planet. Apart from being weird and unforgettable, he also swears that Chunky Monkey is one of the better store-bought ice cream experiences available to humankind.

The Los Angeles Times found the banana flavor to be a bust, lacking the almost booze-like sweetness of a bonafide, super-ripe banana. From a health perspective, Chunky Monkey also comes up short. Despite replacing the vegetable oils of its other flavors with "good" HDL-friendly coconut oil, it nonetheless ranks as one of Ben & Jerry's least nutritious flavors.

9. Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Therapy

When you consider that the average American consumes 9.7 pounds of chocolate a year and that chocolate is America's favorite ice cream flavor, it's a no-brainer that so many Ben & Jerry's addicts would find themselves sprawled on a couch indulging in Chocolate Therapy.

The thing about Chocolate Therapy is that it's a really intensive form of therapy. The doubling down on chocolate ice cream with swirls of chocolate pudding ice cream, to which chocolate cookie chunks are added, dials up the volume of chocolate exponentially. Chocolate addicts will get their fix and then some. The Los Angeles Times aptly describes the flavor as "We heard you liked chocolate, so we put chocolate in your chocolate." However, the excess of chocolate can definitely be a bit overwhelming.

Despite the over-the-top chocolate flavor, Chocolate Therapy shockingly ranks as Ben & Jerry's second healthiest flavor — proof that the "therapy" is no mere misnomer.

8. Ben & Jerry's Peanut Butter Cup

Peanut Butter Cup has a fervent following that swears by the doubly nutty whammy of peanut butter ice cream reinforced by a meteor shower of peanut butter cups.

Presumably in a state of full-mouthed ecstasy, HuffPost's affirmative reaction to the flavor was "Yes, yes, and yes." An equally enthusiastic Thrillist observed that its "one-dimensionality" — i.e., narrow focus on peanut butter — kept the flavor from achieving championship greatness. Strict allegiance to the peanut butter cause was no obstacle in The Independent's declaring Peanut Butter Cup to be the best of all Benny & Jerry flavors, praising it as "perfection in ice cream form." 

However, if you think that all that peanut butter is providing extra health benefits, you'll be shocked (as we were) to discover that, from a nutritional standpoint, Peanut Butter Cup is the worst B&J flavor! Not only does a single serving contain more than half a day's worth of saturated fat, it also packs more calories than a McDonald's burger with a side of order of (small) fries!

7. Ben & Jerry's Americone Dream

Endorsed by late-night host Stephen Colbert — whose maniacally grinning face adorns the pint container — Americone Dream pays homage to a sweeter, simpler time in America's flavor past. The old-fashioned base is no-nonsense vanilla, which then goes to town (or the county fair) with a sweet-salty swirl of caramel and crunchy waffle cone pieces dipped in old-school fudge.

Separately, these components are fairly, albeit deliciously, straightforward. However, when mashed together, they create the kind of ice cream alchemy that's made it one of Ben & Jerry's Top Ten Flavors of 2019. Thrillist touts Americone Dream as being Ben & Jerry's best vanilla-based flavor. The Los Angeles Times, which ranks it fourth overall, gives a jubilant shout out to the waffle cone pieces for pushing the flavor over the edge into ice cream nirvana.

Unfortunately, they also push it towards nutritional hell. Americone Dream's ingredient list provides a wake-up call to the high levels of saturated fat and added sugars that transform the delicious flavor into a weight-watcher's nightmare.

6. Ben & Jerry's Cookie Dough

It seems as if the glorious practice of mixing ice cream and raw cookie dough has been around forever. Who knew that the concept was actually invented by Ben & Jerry, way back in the mid-'80s?

In 1984, an extremely inspired customer added the idea for the flavor to the suggestion board at Ben & Jerry's original scoop shop, in Burlington, Vermont. At the time, it seemed like a delirious fantasy, but the flavor fiends at Ben & Jerry's were determined to make it a reality. It took several long years to tweak the texture, taste, and consistency of the cookie dough until Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough was worthy of mass enjoyment via purchased pints.

Since its 1991 roll-out, many have copied the now-iconic flavor, but none have surpassed the original. Despite having been around forever in flavor years, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough was Ben & Jerry's fourth best-selling ice cream of 2019. While some critics accused it of being boring compared to the more exciting 21st-century iterations available, you don't mess with a classic, even if it does have an unimpressively high carb count.

5. Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie

Although Chocolate Fudge Brownie is a pretty simple flavor, as HuffPost reminds us, it's also "true happiness". Without getting too excited about it, most critics acknowledge as much, although few include it among their top five flavor rankings. However, digging chewy brownies out of a frozen sea of chocolate seems to be a pretty universal indulgence, and it's certainly something that probably most people can get down with.

The top-trending flavor received a very high rating from close to 4,000 Influenster reviewers, and it was Ben & Jerry's fifth best-selling ice cream of 2019. You can even feel halfway good about indulging if you're tryingg to watch your intake of sweets. Due in part to its relatively high fiber and protein content, Chocolate Fudge Brownie unexpectedly turns out to be one of Ben & Jerry's healthier flavors. At least you don't have to give up your chocolate.

4. Ben & Jerry's The Tonight Dough

The Late Show host Stephen Colbert may be in competition with The Tonight Show's Jimmy Fallon in terms of TV viewership. But when it comes to Ben & Jerry's ice cream eatership, the Fallon-endorsed The Tonight Dough seems to universally trump Colbert's Americone Dream.

The Tonight Dough, for better or for worse, is the flavor in which Ben & Jerry tried to include everything (delicious) but the kitchen sink. We're talking about two flavors of ice cream (chocolate and caramel), two flavors of cookie dough (chocolate and peanut butter) and — in a last-minute show of restraint? — one type of cookie (chocolate). Remarking that Fallon, who was part of the creation process, seems to be an overachiever, The Los Angeles Times notes that The Tonight Dough also tries too hard to appeal to too many different segments of the ice cream-loving population.

It's precisely its over-the-top extravagance that led Thrillist to crown The Tonight Dough as Ben & Jerry's best flavor. While dissing the "gruesomely punny name," critic Will Fulton went so far as to declare that it was the best thing that Jimmy, Ben & Jerry have ever done. Viewed all the excess involved — including a prodigious amount of slow-digesting fat — The Tonight Dough is also one Ben & Jerry's most nutritionally challenged flavors (yet another category in which it triumphs over Americone Dream).

3. Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia

In Ben & Jerry's choco-centric universe, there aren't a lot of fruit flavors that make it this far. Although it features delicious flakes of fudge, the real stars of Cherry Garcia are the titular cherry ice cream and luscious whole cherries embedded in it.

Like its namesake, Grateful Dead lead guitarist and vocalist Jerry Garcia, this Ben & Jerry flavor has timeless appeal. The story of its creation is the stuff of legend. Back in 1986, an anonymous suggestion for the flavor was left on the bulletin board of a Maine scoop shop ... where it was promptly ignored. Undeterred, the fan of both Ben & Jerry's and the Dead sent a follow-up postcard to company headquarters. This time the message was received and transformed into the reality that has become Ben & Jerry's flagship flavor.

While acknowledging its historic importance, most critics' top rankings ignore Cherry Garcia in favor of younger, funkier, more exciting flavors. However, the fact that in 2019 — over 30 years after its debut — Cherry Garcia is Ben & Jerry's second best-selling ice cream of 2019 and ranks second on Influenster underscores the kind of staying power that befits a living (and lick-able) legend.

2. Ben & Jerry's Phish Food

With some Ben & Jerry's flavors, there's a singular, overwhelming, in-your-face reason for their success. With other flavors, there are many reasons. Phish Food is one of those other flavors.

Neither critics nor consumers cite it as the best Ben & Jerry flavor. As Ben and Jerry's sixth best-selling ice cream of 2019, Phish Food was ranked 3rd on Influenster. Even so, it seems to hold deep appeal for just about everybody under the sun. Die-hard Phish Heads surely devour Phish Food because it was co-created by the members of their favorite transcendental rock band. Like Ben & Jerry's, Phish hails from Burlington, Vermont, and likes to mix up musical styles the way Ben & Jerry's like to riff on ingredients.

But even Phish haters find lots to like about the band's namesake flavor in which chocolate ice cream jams with gooey marshmallow, swirls of caramel, and (cue the special effects): fudge fish! As HuffPost, who ranked the flavor third, rapturously muses: "There's something truly special about those fudge fish." Although probably alluding to the fish being delightful and delicious, it's important to note that they're also pretty decadent — not the best if you're looking for something on the healthier side.

1. Ben & Jerry's Half Baked

Although the name doesn't inspire much enthusiasm, the concept is anything but boring. For anyone who's ever walked into a scoop shop or supermarket and agonized over flavors, Half Baked has you fully covered. Torn between chocolate and vanilla? Half Baked has them both happily swirled together. Unsure as to whether you're in a baked (as in brownie) mood or raw (as in cookie dough) frame of mind? Half Baked — whose name alludes to the halfway point between the fully baked brownie and the fully unbaked cookie dough — offers you the best of both states of consciousness.

And so what if it barely crept onto Eat This, Not That!'s list of most nutritious flavors (coming in 14th out 15th due to its hefty carb content)? The critics acknowledge the simple genius of the recipe, giving it kudos for having the "Best Taste" (Reviewed), leaving everyone happy and being "so simple, yet so perfect" (via The Independent).

Half Baked really goes full on when it comes to popular acclaim. On Influenster, it ranks first out of all Ben & Jerry's flavors. But the biggest proof of its bestness is that ice cream lovers keep buying it in droves, year after year. Apart from being Ben & Jerry's top-selling ing ice cream of 2019, it was also number one in 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, and 2014. Nothing halfway bad about that!