It is with a heavy heart that I confirm pumpkin season is on its way out for the year, but I'm absolutely stoked for what may be the most wonderful time of the year when it comes to food offerings. From peppermint hot chocolate and apple cider; from cozy soups and slow cooker stews; from traditional cultural cuisines to classic Christmas dinner, there's something for everyone during the holidays.

Inspired by my Spoon colleague who set out to find the best fall ice creams at Whole Foods, I rounded-up the best holiday ice cream flavors being offered this season — and don’t worry, Thanksgiving still gets its moment in the Daylight Saving sun.

Whether you’re home or away for the holidays, don’t fret. These holiday flavors are available nationwide, at places like your local neighborhood Walmart, the big-box supermarket chain, or your local artisan ice cream shop. Some ice creams can even be shipped right to your front door with services like Goldbelly.

Without further ado, here are the 26 of the best holiday ice cream flavors for 2021.

Salt & Straw’s “Friendsgiving Series”

Known for their sometimes savory, slightly out-there, yet always delicious flavors, Portland-Based scoop shop Salt & Straw is giving every foodie’s favorite holiday a “Friendsgiving Series” worth melting for.

This year’s five-pint offering is available for shipping and includes Thanksgiving-inspired scoops for every part of the meal: Parker House Rolls w/ Salted Buttercream to start; Caramelized Turkey & Cranberry Sauce for a main course; a side of Sweet Potato Pie w/ Double Baked Almond Streusel; all rounded out by Candied Walnut Cheesecake and vegan Pumpkin & Gingersnap Pie for dessert.

Malai Ice Cream

Inspired by the traditions, culture, and heritage that India brings, Malai Ice Cream brings a taste of India in every bite thanks to their spice forward flavors and creamy textures. In honor of Thanksgiving, Malai is introducing two limited edition desserts tp share at your Friendsgiving table: a Fruits & Flowers ice cream pie and a Besan Burfi ice cream pie.

The Fruits and Flowers ice cream pie is reminiscent of an Indian “dried fruits” plate and features a rose ice cream atop a blended date, raisin, walnut, and orange zest filling in a tea biscuit crust. The second dessert, a Besan Burfi Ice Cream Pie, is a collaboration with baker and cookbook author Hetal of  @milkandcardamom. This pie features toasted chickpea flour fudge spiced with cardamom, or besan burfi, with a chocolate cookie crust and a hazelnut chocolate crunch topping.

Both pies are shipping nationwide via Goldbelly until Nov. 21 (use code GOLDB3LLY for $20 off) and are available for pickup in Malai’s flagship store in Brooklyn, NY until Nov. 24.

Van Leeuwen Ice Cream

Van Leeuwen’s motto is “A life without anything good is bad” and in their book, Pumpkin Cheesecake is great. The specialty ice cream company announced recently that the typically-autumnal flavor is sticking around — at least through Thanksgiving — alongside other seasonal flavors such as Buttermilk Gingersnap or vegan Bourbon Vanilla Apple Crisp.

If you’re ready for Christmas, though, no need to fret — fan-favorite Peppermint Stick made the nice list again this year, and will be back in scoop shops & available for shipping nationwide.

Little Debbie’s Christmas Tree Cakes Ice Cream

Holland-based company Hudsonville Ice Cream is putting their own spin on the nostalgic dessert cake with a cake-based ice cream. The Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes ice cream can be found exclusively at Walmart. It features a white cake ice cream base with pieces of pound cake, green sprinkles and a red frosting swirl reminiscent of the 1980s snack cake mixed in.

Halo Top

Ring in the holiday season with one of Halo Top’s most beloved seasonal flavors: Gingerbread House. This festive pint full of merry, mouthwatering nostalgia is sure to have your taste buds full of joy from the combo of light gingerbread ice cream, ginger cookie bites and swirls of rich icing.

This sweet treat comes with 19 grams of protein per pint – no baking mess required.

Blue Bell Ice Cream

Blue Bell Ice Cream’s holiday flavors include Milk & Cookies, Peppermint, and their take on the classic French Vanilla. But it may be their newest seasonal offering that takes the cake — er, cookie.

Blue Bell is bringing the merry with their Christmas Cookie ice cream: a sugar cookie ice cream featuring bits of chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, and sugar cookies with red sprinkles and a green icing swirl throughout.

Talenti Gelato

While it may seem similar to ice cream, Talenti gelato is made from scratch with the finest ingredients from around the world, using an old world process that creates an intensely flavorful dessert with smooth, velvety texture.

For the holidays, Talenti took white chocolate peppermint gelato and mixed in semi-sweet chocolate flakes to create Peppermint Bark Gelato — a treat that they’ve dubbed “winter in a pint.”


If you aren’t a fan of the traditional pint, Spoon University favorite My/Mochi is coming in hot (or cold) with a seasonal take on the traditional Japanese dessert

Consisting of rice cake pounded into a paste, My/Mochi will be stuffed with Cool Peppermint ice cream this Christmas season, making it a far better stocking stuffer than coal, IMO. 

Ample Hills Creamery

Brooklyn-based Ample Hills Creamery is bringing the nostalgic factor with a flavor inspired by grandma’s Christmas cookies — Nonna D’s Oatmeal Lace Cookies, to be exact.

Want to have your cake and eat it in ice cream too? The shop is also are highlighting “Amployee Favorite” Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, and even bringing back candy-inspired Peppermint Pattie for the holiday season.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

Jeni's boasts a "uniquely smooth texture and buttercream body, with bright flavors" that they attribute to their whole ingredients and lack of synthetic flavorings, dyes, or off-the-shelf mixes. This year's line-up includes three returning holiday favorites (White Chocolate Peppermint, Cognac & Gingerbread, and Sugar Plum), plus two new flavors: Pistachio Macaron and Mexican Hot Chocolate.

Fun fact: the Mexican Hot Chocolate recipe was inspired by one of Jeni’s first EVER flavors developed.

However you may celebrate, we wish you a merry holiday season filled with delicious ice cream — 'tis the best dessert season, after all!