Arrow-right Camera
Subscribe now

July is National Ice Cream Month and here are the top-selling flavors at Spokane-area shops

By Adriana Janovich For The Spokesman-Review

To help you celebrate National Ice Cream Month, here’s a roundup of the top five bestselling flavors at three locally owned Inland Northwest ice cream shops.

Does your favorite flavor make the top five?

The Scoop

Chocolate, vanilla, salted caramel, a rotating sorbet and a rotating coconut-based ice cream are regularly available. “We have to have those,” said owner Jennifer Davis, who bought the Scoop in 2011 and opened a second location in 2020.

Each draws from a pool of 150 house recipes. The South Hill shop carries 14 flavors, while the Kendall Yards shop offers 18. Most are made from a simple base of milk, cream, sugar and salt. They don’t contain preservatives, gums, eggs or other stabilizers and emulsifiers, which prolong shelf life.

That’s one of the things that makes the Scoop stand out. Another is that Davis has been using liquid nitrogen to make her ice cream since 2014. The method, she said, features fewer ingredients and creates a “creamier texture.”

And, technically, liquid nitrogen itself doesn’t count as an ingredient. The liquefied gas cools the ice cream and evaporates.

Salted Caramel – made with caramel syrup and brown sugar – is “hands-down the top flavor,” Davis said. “If we don’t have it, people lose their minds. It’s the new vanilla. It’s a go-to.”

Mud Pie, the Scoop’s second-best top-seller, features super-creamy chocolate pudding ice cream with Oreo crumbles.

Giants’ Milk and Cookies, an ode to Tormund on “Game of Thrones,” features sweetened condensed milk and buttery Lotus Biscoff cookies. “It’s like ice cream for giants,” Davis said. “It became a super-star hit, and it just never stopped being popular,” even after the fantasy TV series ended in 2019. “It’s sweet and salty and crunchy and creamy. It’s one of those things that’s so simple and so perfect.”

Cookie Butter Cookie Dough features housemade chocolate chip cookie dough mixed into cookie butter ice cream.

Orange Dreamsicle and Banoffee Pie tie for fifth place. “Orange Dreamsicle is a classic,” Davis said. “People say it reminds them of when they were little and would get those orange-and-vanilla ice cream cups.” Missing is the taste of the wooden spoon – and that’s just fine. Banoffee Pie features a cookie butter base, toffee bits and perfectly ripe bananas – “not green, not brown. They can’t be muffin bananas. They have to be perfect,” Davis said. The result? “You taste real banana. It’s not sweet. It’s not fake. And it enhances everything.”

Rounding out the top 10 or 12 are these two honorable mentions:

• The Scoop adds Nutella to its signature base for a rich and luxurious chocolate-hazelnut ice cream.

Roast House Coffee and Cream is made from Roast House’s medium-bodied F-Bomb coffee. “It’s something we don’t make daily. But it’s so good,” Davis said. “It takes an extra day to make. And it’s always F-Bomb. We don’t use any other coffee.”

If you go: The Scoop

On the South Hill: 1001 W. 25th Ave.

In Kendall Yards: 1238 W. Summit Parkway

On the web:

Sweet Annie’s Artisan Creamery

This small-batch, woman-owned and women-run creamery uses organic grass-fed milk and cream in most of its ice cream, which is all churned on site. Sauces, toppings and add-ins – such as brownie bites and hot rum caramel sauce – are made by hand on-site, too. The shop features 16 flavors: 14 signature offerings plus two rotating seasonal options. There are always three vegan offerings made with coconut milk.

The Bee’s Knees is butter-flavored ice cream with swirls of raw honey and homemade honeycomb candy. “That’s our signature flavor,” said Annie Stranger, who founded Sweet Annie’s in 2015 as a pints club. The storefront opened in 2020.

• To make Bourbon Bananas Foster, “we roast the bananas in brown sugar and mixed them in with our base and bourbon flavoring,” Stranger said.

Five-Star Chocolate features “a high-quality cocoa powder. It’s really rich and delicious,” Stranger said. “But it’s not so dark that kids get turned off. The whole idea is that everybody’s going to like it.”

Malted Milk Jam is malted ice cream with “milk jam,” which is “like dulce de leche,” Stranger explained. “We buy raw milk and we cook it down until it’s caramelized, and we swirl it into the ice cream. It’s an amazing flavor. I pair that with chocolate, and it’s heavenly.”

Crunchy Peanut Butter features bits of housemade soft peanut brittle folded into peanut butter ice cream.

That’s the all-around top five. But tops for kids is , made with fresh strawberries. In summer, Stranger sources them from local farmers.

If you go: Sweet Annie’s Artisan Creamery

Where: 1948 N. Harvest Parkway, Liberty Lake

On the web:

Panhandle Cone and Coffee

Panhandle Cone and Coffee opened in Sandpoint in 2015, in Moscow in 2019 and in Coeur d’Alene in 2021. Each shop features 10 regular flavors, plus four seasonal and four nondairy offerings. Of the nondairy offerings, three are staples and one is seasonal. That’s 18 in all. The top five are all among Panhandle’s regular 10 flavors.

Salted Caramel and Brown Butter Cookie is “by far the most popular,” said Jason Dillon, Panhandle Cone and Coffee owner and ice cream-maker . “We make our own brown butter cookie, and we make our own caramel as well. It’s a little sweet and a little salty, and the cookie kind of pushes it over the top. It’s just one of those flavors that works really well.”

• The tang of buttermilk cuts the sweetness of the huckleberry jam from Montana’s Huckleberry Haven in Panhandle’s second bestselling flavor: Buttermilk Huckleberry.

• Milk and cookies are a classic combo, and Chocolate Chip Cookie is meant to echo that quite possibly perfect pairing. It features vanilla ice cream with chunks of chewy, housemade chocolate chip cookies. Dillon has been using the same cookie recipe at home for nearly 30 years as a special treat, and this flavor is one of his own personal favorites. “It’s one I eat a lot of,” he said. “It’s simple, but it’s just really good.”

Orange and Dark Chocolate Freckles features blood orange ice cream with Askinosie Chocolate freckles. The freckles are made from single-origin chocolate that’s “just barely melted,” Dillon said. “We whisk it in with a really thin whisk so that it melts in your mouth.”

• Rounding out the top five is Just Plain Chocolate. When Panhandle first opened, it didn’t carry chocolate ice cream, instead offering other flavors that included chocolate in them. One indignant customer found it “criminal” that the scoop shop didn’t carry “just plain chocolate” and left without getting any ice cream. This one is for her. It features cocoa powder as well as melted chocolate, which work together to provide “a really rich chocolate flavor.”

If you go: Panhandle Cone and Coffee

Coeur d’Alene: 849 N. Fourth St.

Moscow: 511 S. Main St.

Sandpoint: 216 N. First St.

On the web: