We tried the cult-favorite ice cream brand's four new vegan flavors.
Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams
Credit: Courtesy of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams.

We’ve called Jeni Britton Bauer an ice cream maven before—after all, she’s the founder of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, has a James Beard Award-winning cookbook (Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home) and is known for her rich, inventive flavors like Gooey Butter Cake and Wildberry Lavender. Next up? A dairy-free ice cream line—the first for the brand—which is set to launch nationwide on March 14 at Jeni's Scoop Shops and online, and will eventually be in grocery stores as well.

The vegan ice cream is made with a coconut cream base, as opposed to the coconut or almond milk other brands would use, which ensures that the super-creamy reputation of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream is maintained. There are four flavors total: Cold Brew with Coconut Cream, Dark Chocolate Truffle, Texas Sheet Cake (chocolate cake crumbles, bittersweet fudge, cocoa), and Roasted Peanut Butter & Strawberry Jam. And now, for the big question: how does it taste? As a frequent ice cream consumer none too familiar with dairy-free variations, I was pretty curious.

I got my hands on the Dark Chocolate Truffle and Cold Brew—and they both lived up to the Jeni’s name. The Cold Brew is a mix of Slingshot Coffee cold brew sorbet with coconut cream, which I found to be a nice textural pairing—the taste was similar to a latte, and definitely one I would try again. The Dark Chocolate Truffle, on the other hand, was especially creamy, and the texture was pretty on-par with your standard ice cream—I didn’t miss the dairy at all. You could still taste the coconut slightly behind the chocolate, but if you’re into coconut, this is definitely a worthy dairy ice cream substitute.

In other dairy-free ice cream news, Häagen-Dazs Spirits—a new line of booze-infused ice cream that launched last month—also includes a non-dairy flavor among its ranks, Amaretto Black Cherry Almond Toffee. I got to taste test that as well, and it was yet another nice creamy alternative to traditional ice cream—so you can try it while you wait for the Jeni's line to officially launch. Tempted? Learn more about the new Spirits line here.