Review: Jeni's New Hot Summer Spins Ice Cream Flavors Are Delightful, But Its Add-Ins Aren't Cool

Jeni's ice cream pints
Jeni's ice cream pints - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

When folks think of Jeni's ice cream, the word "premium" may come to mind. Although it's not as widely available as frozen confections by other companies like Ben & Jerry's, the Jeni's brand has clearly made a name for itself in the world of all things ice cream. Jeni's many ice cream flavors include whimsical products like Gooey Butter Cake, Blackout Chocolate Cake, and Boston Cream Pie. However, the brand is perhaps even more widely known for its release of seasonal varieties, including Jeni's holiday ice cream flavors.

This summer, Jeni's released its Hot Summer Spins collection, a selection of four new ice cream flavors and one returning favorite to enjoy poolside, or as a sweet finish to a barbecue dinner. We had an opportunity to sample these flavors and decide which ones are worth stocking up on in your freezer, and which you might skip.

Some recommendations are based on firsthand impressions of promotional materials and products provided by the manufacturer.

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What Is Jeni's Ice Cream?

two Jeni's ice cream pints
two Jeni's ice cream pints - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

Jeni's is no stranger to the ice cream game; it's been cranking out premium ice cream flavors for over two decades. Since it was started by founder Jeni Britton, Jeni's ice cream has surged in popularity among some of the best ice cream brands. Besides its whimsical and fun ice cream flavors, Jeni's is also known for not slacking on quality — even if it means that consumers are paying a premium price for these pints. But, you can rest assured that this B Corp brand makes its ice cream with Direct Trade ingredients, which ensures some of the highest standards for ethical sourcing in the industry.

Jeni's ice cream covers a wide range of flavors, including everything fruity, caramelly, and chocolatey. Its line of Hot Summer Spins ice creams build on the youthful nature of the brand with flavors like Sparkling Cherry Pie, Snow Cone Sorbet, Burnt Orange Dreamsicle, Tahini Oat Chocolate Cookies, and the returning Double Dough.

Where To Find Jeni's New Hot Summer Spins Flavors

Snow Cone Sorbet in bowl
Snow Cone Sorbet in bowl - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

If any of these Jeni's ice cream flavors appeal to you, it's best to think about getting your hands on them as soon as possible. Unlike its usual offerings, these ice creams will only be available for purchase in scoop shops and online via the Jeni's website starting on June 6, 2024 — and will only be available for a limited time.

If you're an ice cream lover, you may consider joining the brand's rewards program so that you can get early access to these flavors, starting on May 29. The pints can be purchased individually or as a set on the website, or they can also be ordered for local delivery on the Jeni's app. Shoppers may also find these flavors stocked by select wholesalers starting in late June.

Jeni's has scoop shops in cities across the entire country, including Austin, Scottsdale, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and San Diego. However, the option to order these pints to your doorstep is super convenient, and ideal for lazy-day ice cream cravings.

How Much Does Jeni's Ice Cream Cost?

Jeni's Sparkling Cherry Pie pint
Jeni's Sparkling Cherry Pie pint - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

All five pints of Jeni's Hot Summer Spins collection can be purchased for $58 on the Jeni's website, though you can buy individual pints of your favorite flavors online, too. Ice cream lovers can also find the new Hot Summer Spins flavors at select wholesalers, sans Double Dough, for around $10 to $12 each at the time of publication. And if you live close enough to a scoop shop, expect to pay between $6 and $9 for a cone or cup, depending on how many scoops you order.

I'm not going to lie to you: Jeni's ice creams are expensive. In an exclusive interview with Mashed, founder Jeni Britton explained why the brand's ice creams cost significantly more than average. "It's made with beautiful grass-pastured milk and incredible ingredients. Of course, we pay our farmers, makers, and growers ... [and] try to pay everybody fairly," she shared.

The uniqueness of the flavors is also a big draw for folks willing to shell out the money for Jeni's ice cream. Each pint is whimsical in a way that only ice cream can be. Its staunch supporters wouldn't think twice about forking over $11 for a uniquely flavored pint, but I'll admit that it seems excessive to pay that much money for ice cream. Only the taste test would reveal if I've been in the dark about Jeni's, and it was truly worth the cost.

Tast Test: Burnt Orange Dreamsicle

Burnt Orange Dreamsicle ice cream
Burnt Orange Dreamsicle ice cream - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

It's important to note that there is a difference between dreamsicles and creamsicles. The former is made with ice milk, which is not the same as the ice cream filling inside a creamsicle pop. Ice milk contains a noticeably lower amount of milk fat than ice cream, which means that the mouthfeel on a dreamsicle is slightly lighter, but ultimately has the potential to make the fruity orange stand out, rather than meshing into the mouthfeel of an ice cream with a higher fat content.

I was puzzled as to why Jeni's would be emulating a dreamsicle instead of a creamsicle on this mouthfeel factor alone. But, Jeni's spins the definition of a dreamsicle on its head by using burnt orange caramel and vanilla custard for this pint. The orange flavors are organic, vivid, and earthy, and perfectly complemented by the smoothness of the ice cream. As I expected, the sublime denseness of the custard really screams "creamsicle" rather than dreamsicle. Semantics aside, it's easy to appreciate the flavor of this ice cream because of how full-bodied it is. There's no cheap OJ flavor in sight.

The one opportunity for improvement in this ice cream, though, is the caramel itself. There are some tiny pockets of it throughout the pint, but not enough. A more profound swirl of caramel, in addition to the orange and vanilla ice cream, would make this pint even better.

Taste Test: Snow Cone Sorbet

Jeni's Snow Cone Sorbet pint
Jeni's Snow Cone Sorbet pint - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

Snow cones are at the bottom of my list of ice cream novelties. I highly doubt that anyone genuinely enjoys biting into the icy cold of a snow cone and feeling the little pebbles of watered-down syrup coat the back of their throat. Jeni's Snow Cone Sorbet, though, puts a luxury spin on the childhood classic with the flavors of blue brambleberry, watermelon, and pink lemonade sorbets swirled into a single pint. After pondering the flavor triad, I immediately thought about how this sorbet would fare in a punch bowl, floating alongside effervescent lemon-lime soda and sweet juice.

If snow cones tasted more like this sorbet, I would order them more frequently from beachside ice cream vendors. This sorbet lacked the mealy, icy quality of its namesake. Instead, the berries and the lemony undertones intertwined into one of the most refreshing sorbets I've ever enjoyed.

Now, I probably wouldn't have been able to identify the watermelon, brambleberry, and pink lemonade without reading the label, but when combined together, this trio works together in unmistakable harmony. Not to mention, the color of this sorbet is rich, dark, and tantalizing — which adds to the overall appeal of this frozen treat on a sweltering summer day.

Tast Test: Tahini Oat Chocolate Cookies

Tahini Oat Chocolate Cookies pint
Tahini Oat Chocolate Cookies pint - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

The Tahini Oat Chocolate Cookies flavor features milk chocolate and tahini ice creams interspersed with oat cookie pieces, for a taste that is supposed to resemble an icebox cake. The flavors of this ice cream alone give off major Mediterranean vibes, but I was initially worried about how the soft, earthy taste of the tahini would mesh with the more dominant chocolate ice cream.

It turned out that the best part of this pint was the mashup of tahini and milk chocolate. At first, it's easy to mistake the tahini ice cream for peanut butter, but after you swirl it around on your tongue, you can appreciate how the chocolate and sesame meet to make an ice cream that's not as overpowering as peanut butter, but still checks the box for nuttiness. The oat cookies are welcome in this ice cream, as they offer a subtle, toothsome mouthfeel and a youthful twist to a more sophisticated ice cream base. Overall, the mouthfeel of this ice cream was fatty, creamy, and whole — but it didn't really scream "summer" compared to other selections.

I was initially let down by the scarcity of cookie pieces in this ice cream — but after sampling the other flavors in this pint, I've decided it's not really an issue. I think this variety could have gone without the cookies and ended up just fine.

Taste Test: Sparkling Cherry Pie

Sparkling Cherry Pie ice cream
Sparkling Cherry Pie ice cream - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

I'm going to admit that cherry ice cream is one of my favorites. And historically, Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia hasn't done anything for me because of its underwhelming number of cherries. However, the Sparkling Cherry Pie ice cream from Jeni's kicks things up a notch with sour cherries, Sichuan peppercorns, tart cherry jam, and chunks of shortbread sprinkled throughout.

Did I get the firecracker flavor that I was expecting from this ice cream? Well, when I initially saw Sichuan peppercorns on the label, I anticipated something much more fiery and bright — like a flavor that would singe the back of my taste buds. But with every bite, I got a nuanced, balanced warmth that rounded out the tartness of the jam and the sour cherries. Whole cherries could have helped this pint a lot, but overall, the flavor contrast of the sour and the sweet was admirable, and something that other ice cream brands can learn from.

The major issue I had with this pint wasn't the ice cream base, but the shortbread. This was one instance where I was glad there wasn't a lot of an add-in ingredient blended into the mixture, because the cookies that were in there were soggy, as often is the case with shortbread-infused ice cream. I get that Jeni's was trying to emulate a pie crust, but the shortbread was a major misstep for this flavor.

Tast Test: Double Dough

Double Dough ice cream pint
Double Dough ice cream pint - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

There's lots to love about cookie dough — including the feeling of cheekily grabbing a spoonful from the bowl sitting on the counter. Jeni's packs up that same flavor and feeling of eating cookie dough into its Double Dough ice cream pint, which marries cookie dough into a brown sugar custard base. Is your mouth watering yet?

The brown sugar ice cream base of this ice cream is sublime. It was easy to decipher the caramel and the brown sugar at first bite because of how well the custard enshrouded my taste buds with distinct sweetness. In theory, I think Jeni's could have labeled this as a brown sugar ice cream, and walked away. This is because when you add the promise of cookie dough, I have an expectation that there will be cookie dough pieces in there. Instead, I had to parcel through the pint with the precision of an archeologist to unearth the smallest flecks of cookie dough. Notice how I didn't mention "chocolate chip" cookie dough, as it says on the label? That's because the chocolate pieces were seldom. "Sugar cookie dough" would have been a better title, but even that's a stretch considering the number of pieces in this pint.

I was also confused as to why this would be an addition to the summer collection. It's very, very sweet and, as a result, quite heavy. It's not the ice cream I would want to eat on a hot summer day.

The Verdict: Which Flavor Was The Best?

Jeni's ice cream pint
Jeni's ice cream pint - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

Based on all the flavors that I sampled, I would say that the best pints that Jeni's offers from its Hot Summer Spins lineup are the Tahini Oat Chocolate Cookies, the Sparkling Cherry Pie, the Burnt Orange Dreamsicle, and my unexpected favorite, the Snow Cone Sorbet. The biggest things that these flavors had in common were a mastery of different flavors that came together to create a cohesive ice cream that not only satisfied the craving for all things sweet, but also played to a more mature complexity that the Jeni's brand is known for. While these top flavors did have their faults, the overall experience made them worth eating again — as long as I am not the person paying for them.

Of course, when you make top picks of anything, something inevitably has to fall to the back of the pack. For me, that was the Double Dough. I just wish this selection had a little more going on that made it stand out from the crowd of other ice cream brands.

Are Jeni's Hot Summer Spins Flavors Worth Buying?

ice cream pints with spoons
ice cream pints with spoons - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

Despite all the things that Jeni's did right with its Hot Summer Spins collection, there were also faults at hand. The biggest problem I noticed across the entire collection was that although the bases were great, the add-ins — whether cookie pieces, caramel, or cookie dough — were lacking representation. If a brand promises these ingredients in its ice cream, it has to deliver. Unfortunately, Jeni's failed to do that with this summertime ice cream lineup, which is unfortunate.

I would consider going out of my way to buy this selection of summer flavors only if Jeni's took inspiration from a brand like Ben & Jerry's and gave its add-ins more airtime — or if it just nixed the add-ins entirely. That's not to say that Jeni's ice cream is bad, per se, because I genuinely enjoyed the base of each of these flavors. But, if I'm paying $11 for a pint of ice cream, I want it to have the best follow-through possible.

Static Media owns and operates Tasting Table and Mashed.

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