Ben & Jerry’s Red Velvet Cake

by Rodzilla on February 24, 2011 · 48 comments

My main man Greg is my culinary confidant. My experience in all things food (even ice cream) pales in comparison. So when he shot me a text today with images of a new B&J pint offering, and a personal recommendation – I knew I had to have it.

So after work, I dropped by a local grocer to try my luck. I got lucky alright.  I’m not talking about that shitty key chain rabbits foot lucky, or even 20 dollar scratch-off ticket lucky – this was big time-fucking-super-status-jackpot-lotto-billionaire lucky (google it). That’s 3 new B&Jyou see, 2 of which I wasn’t even aware of, and one I’ve been hoping would come out for some time now.

That flavor is Red Velvet. Ben & Jerry’s version comes described as Red velvet cake batter ice cream with red velvet cake piece and cream cheese frosting swirl.” I expected the base color to be closer to a deep red velvet color, instead I was met with a gentle pink. Once I dug in I could easily see pockets of the cream cheese frosting swirl and chunks of red velvet cake.

Taste-wise the base is more cake batter than it is red velvet – a sweet, light flavor.  The red velvet chunks themselves are still very sweet, but much richer and more what I expect when I read “red velvet”.  The cream cheese frosting swirl is amazing as always- I feel that it is one of B&J’s best mix ins by far.

Another “lighter” offering

If you follow this site, or Ben & Jerry’s, cake chunks and a cream cheese swirl should sound familiar. This is a very similar design to their Carrot Cake flavor from October. I’m not sure this one is going to work for everyone – it’s not as “red velvety” as I expected it to be. That could be fixed by either bigger chunks or a richer base flavor. Regardless, this stuff is good in my book.

Grade: A-  

{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jess

I…need all three of these. Red Velvet is my absolute favorite!

2 approacheszero

Hey there Rod, where did you find these flavors?

3 Gigi


4 Mark D. (sugarpressure)

I guess I'll be stopping at the grocery store to find this tonight, thanks!

5 Alexandra

oh my goodness, I wonder when this one comes to Sweden *HA! NEVER* We only get the most common flavors here, but this one sounds amazing! And the other two in the picture too *drool* Thanks for showing =)

6 Jenna Z

What the hell foes Red Velvet cake even taste like? Red? Does it taste like RED?? I have had it on MANY occasions and cannot for the life of me figure out what the hype is about!

7 Anonymous

@ Jenna Z, depending on who makes the Red Velvet Cake, if one were to make a "true" red-velvet it would taste like beats, due to the actual red color should be coming from beats not the "food coloring" most people use to make red-velvet cake.

8 Anonymous

@Anonymous: Beets as food coloring is only there to enhance the natural red anthocyanin in the cocoa. "Red Velvet" is actually chocolate.

9 Rodzilla

Jess – I'd be curious to get your take on them

AZ – Martins super market – Western PA

Gigi – yes, you must. You've got quite the collection of B&J reviews, this should definitely be added.

Mark – let me know how you like it!

Alexandra – is Red Velvet a popular flavor in sweden?

Jenna Z – you mad? :p I see where you are coming from, but even if you red velvet isn't truly it's own flavor – cream cheese frosting will make anything good.

Anonymous 2 – hit it on the head. Though I will reiterate the base flavor of this ice cream is definitely cake batter. The cake pieces themselves are where you get more of a traditional red velvet flavor – I wouldn't quite call it chocolate though.

10 Anonymous

I had it and I thought it was amazing! So good that I'll skip breakfast for it.

11 Anonymous

Speaking of Greg, how the hell is he?

- PJ

12 Anonymous

Just like the Carrot Cake, this was a big disappointment. I bet if Haagen Dazs goes for this, they'll actually pull it off. Deep dark red ice cream that actually tastes like Red Velvet cake, with a nice thick stripe of (actual) cream cheese frosting running thru it…

13 Daniel

red velvet desserts suddenly seem all the rage, but ben n jerry's attempt is lacking. overall it tastes like a weak strawberry/cotton candy blend. i'd give it a B at best. for me it wasn't strong enough. the real deal is over @ Maggie Moo's, but for the same price as a pint you'll only get one sinful but memorable scoop.

14 rv

daniel i completely agree. i was expecting a cocoa flavor and it tastes fruity! first flavor i have not cared for.

15 Patty

After watching a segment on Ben & Jerry’s on The Food Network almost a year ago, my 10-year old daughter sat down at the computer and typed in the following ice cream flavor suggestion: “Red velvet cake batter ice cream with red velvet cake pieces and cream cheese frosting swirl”. She called it “Red Velvet Surprise” but even so, it’s “her” ice cream. So, if you like the new flavor, you have my daughter to thank for that! And if you don’t, to each his own, right?! :)

16 Patty

By the way, the Red Velvet Cake is actually Devil’s Food cake just died red with food coloring.

17 NC450

Ditto what Daniel said. These guys should have stopped by a Maggie Moo’s prior to developing this to see how to do it correctly.

18 Just Passing Thru

I found the Red Velvet Ice Cream at a local grocery store when out shopping yesterday. I am a huge fan of Red Velvet cake, so I knew I had to try this. I absolutely loved it. I disagree that it tastes too fruity, as commented by some above.

I think the red velvet flavor is rich enough to be satisfying, while at the same time not being too overpowering. It is after all an ice cream. Not a cake.

19 Sue

Where do you live where B&J pints are only $3.29? Lucky you…

Will have to go and try – I’m just still excited that they are finally offering Bonnaroo Buzz in pints at retail….

20 August Harley-Williams

I was extremely disappointed in the Red Velvet Ice Cream. I’ve had very good Red Velvet Ice Cream from Maggie Moos Ice Creamery and was expecting the same degree of good ice cream, especially from Ben & Jerry’s.

The main part of the ice cream tasted like regular cake batter ice cream. The chunks of ice cream were disappointing. The ice cream didn’t even taste like red velvet cake, it was a bad purchase. I’d give the Red Velvet Ice Cream a 2.5 out of a possible 5.

21 Andrea

I haven’t tried this one yet but I’d love to know if you’ve tried the regular cake batter and how you would rank that? I thought it was the best ice cream I’ve ever had!

Thanks for the great post!

22 Rodzilla

Well it sounds like I need to try Maggie-Moos,

@Andrea – I’ve only tasted the regular cake batter, but I wasn’t a huge fan. I thought this was much better, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. Thanks for commenting :D

23 jennifer


24 Rachel

As a fan of Red Velvet Cake, I’m hopefully going to try this tonight and hope that it’s good. I had the Maggie Moos one but actually HATED it. I don’t know if it was a bad batch or what but it was really gross and didn’t really taste like what it was supposed to.

25 PeaceBang

I picked this up today thinking that I wouldn’t love it enough to snarf it down like is usually my temptation with B&J’s. I was so wrong. It was amazingly yummy and I feel like I need to stockpile a lifetime supply because I sense this isn’t going to be a big seller.

26 Pat

so artificial tasting and gave me an upset stomach….tasted more like PINK GRAVY FAT
sometimes you guys try to hard and just need to keep it simple…
it was awful!!!!!!!

27 Tifne

I tried it about two weeks ago…it tasted kinda fruity to me…I still thought it was good…I was expecting the dark rich flavor from MaggieMoos….but it was still good!!…I did also try Blue Bunnies Red Velvet Cake by Duff Goldman..its really good also..and 3 times the ice cream for the same price!!! Maggie Moos wins by far on taste but deff not on price whats that stuff made of? its expensive!!!

28 tinanobina

disgusting. tastes like unsalty play-do

29 Southern Girl

This flavor is a disgrace. Red velvet is chocolate cake. There is no chocolate or cocoa in the ice cream. It tastes nothing like red velvet cake.

30 George

Just FYI everyone: Red Velvet cake is NOT a chocolate cake. It is a cake with some cocoa powder in it. A PROPER red velvet cake will have a slight cocoa flavor, but it is NOT a chocolate cake. The true flavor of the cake comes from a blend of buttermilk, vanilla and the cocoa. Devil’s Food cake is flavored with cocoa and coffee while chocolate cake is made with chocolate, not cocoa. Thus, all three cakes are distinctly different in flavor and (unless coloring is added) appearance.

31 NC Native

Daniel is absolutely correct! Maggie Moo’s is the only place to go for Red Velvet ice cream. I’m not sure why the Red Velvet flavor has been all the rage in recent years, but I grew up eating Red Velvet cake (licking the remains of the rich batter from the bowl…yum!) and Maggie Moo’s has nailed it. Their ice cream has all the same rich qualities as the cake batter. No need to go any where else.

32 Jamie

I thought it tasted exactly like red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. I absolutely LOVED it.

33 Sharalyn

I think that anyone who didn’t like this ice cream needs to get their taste buds checked… most delicious ice cream I’ve ever had. I am GLAD it wasn’t super rich… cake batter with the chunks is good but it’s that cream cheese frosting swirl that really did it for me. AMAZING!!!

34 Rebecca

B&J Red Velvet Cake was a huge letdown. I didn’t detect even the slightest hint of cocoa flavor OR a cream cheese swirl. It was like a really gummy strawberry ice cream.

35 LJ

OMG is this stuff AWFUL!!! It looks and tastes like my very least favorite flavor ice cream – Strawberry – EWWWW!!!! At least I got it on sale ($3.99 NYC area).

36 Amber Renèe

I like the B&J Red Velvet ice cream very much, but agreethat it’s kind of got a fruity flavor to it. maybe it’s the coloring bit mentally makes it taste seem fruity, but as well as the others think the cream cheese frosting really give it the flavor that prevails. I personally, love the cake batter ice cream with the chocolate frosting swirl. Half Baked was my ultimate favorite, now it’s definitely the Cake Batter ice cream that’s my ultimate favorite flavor!!

37 PJones

I’m a GRIT (girl raised in the south) where making red velvet cake is serious business. I consider myself a bit of a connoisseur in that regard and I’ve traveled all over and tried different cake shops flavor and most of them get it wrong. Southern style red velvet cake has a batter with a bit of cocoa flavor (a colored devil’s food cake is just crazy talk) and a cream cheese frosting that is light in texture (ran into a disaster of a cake in NY where the frosting tasted like cheese cake-yuck). Even big city high name cake shops (like Magnolia’s in Manhattan and Sweets in Boston) suck at making this cake. I don’t get too upset because this is an extremely difficult cake to get right. I prefer people too color with beet juice and not red dye 3.

Now to the matter at hand: Ben and Jerry’s Red Velvet ice cream totally hits my red velvet spot. I don’t need appearance (for those people complaining it’s not red enough-really?!?) to determine if it tastes good. Yes, it may look like strawberry at first but if your taste buds are unable to discriminate taste separate from sight close your eyes when you eat. Whenever I’m disappointed with a red velvet cake I’ve given a chance (Carolina Cupcakery in VA) or am looking for the true southern style (I love you Georgetown Cupcake in DC but vanilla cream cheese adulterates it a bit), THIS is the go-to ice cream.

I don’t know where Maggie Moos is, but I look forward to trying it. I only wish this Ben and Jerry goodness flavor was in my Virginia neighborhood.

38 Alexis


39 Beth

I’m eating this right now. It’s ok, but the blue bunny brand of red velvet is much much better. This one is almost too sweet

40 KB

Damn B&J, what a total let down! Arrrrgh. Tasted overly sweet w/ a ripe strawberry/cotton candy flavor mix and the cake pieces were gummy and gawd awful. Whatta bummer. Try try again.

41 WDS

These reviews are such an enigma and highlight the fact that the sense of taste is such an individual experience. That said, I think that Ben and Jerry’s ‘Red Velvet Cake’ ice cream is the best store-bought ice cream I’ve ever tasted, hands down. It is incredibly addictive and wonderful. I find the various sweet textures interesting and glorious. Yes, it is very sweet, but not overly sweet. The cream cheese swirls are sensuous and the overall taste is just amazing. No, I guess it doesn’t taste like the actual cake, but then the carton says “batter” not cake. However, it is SO GOOD that it doesn’t matter whether it tastes like the cake or not (though some people apparently have preconceived ideas about what it should taste like if it bears this title and their experience is colored by how well the product matches those notions) Just from a purely experiential point-of-view, I would give it a grade of A+++++++ !!!

42 Paul

I tried Ben & Jerry’s Red Velvet cake ice cream and it tasted more like strawberries than red velvet cake. I give it a 4 out of 10. I also tried the Blue Bunny and the Blue Bell versions of the Red Velvet cake ice cream. The Blue Bunny looked good but it had hardly no flavor. It was very bland and it had a ton of red food coloring. It’s almost like you’re eating sugar free ice cream. Very weak. I would give the Blue Bunny a 3 out of 10. Try it and see for yourself if you don’t believe me. The Blue Bell is the best of the 3 that I tried but they didn’t get it right either in my opinion. I didn’t taste any cocoa flavoring in the cake(red velvet cake is more than just Angels food cake with red food coloring as someone wrote earlier.) I would give the Blue Bell version a 6 out of 10. In my opinion, the best bet for now until someone gets it right would be to find a good slice of Red velvet cake and mix it with your favorite ice cream…I’m just sayin. The Red Velvet cake needs to taste like Red Velvet cake.

43 mattyc

This is the single handedly best ice cream i have ever had from b and j. I have NEVER taken the time to write about ice cream for god’s sake but this is absolutely incredible. I have never had anything like it. If you dont like it then you dont like yourself. Try it and prove me wrong.

44 Alissa

I gotta disagree with anyone thinking this ice cream tastes like Red Velvet Cake. This is the only time I’ve disliked a B&J flavor. It definitely tastes like cake or cake batter, that’s true. I can also taste cream cheese. I’m glad it doesn’t taste like red dye as I wouldn’t want it to, and I know red velvet is only supposed to have a note of cocoa under the buttermilk, but reading the ingredients, there isn’t ~any~ cocoa in this thing and you sure can tell while eating it. I’m not sure how you can have a true red velvet flavor without that.

From the B&J’s site;
Ingredients: Cream, Skim Milk, Water, Liquid Sugar (Sugar, Water), Corn Syrup, Dried Cane Syrup*, Cream Cheese (Pasteurized Milk, Cream, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Carob Bean Gum, Guar Gum), Cultured Lowfat Buttermilk, Wheat Flour, Egg Yolks, Sugar, Butter (Cream, Salt), Coconut Oil, Eggs, Vegetable And Fruit Juice Concentrates (Color), Natural Flavor, Salt, Guar Gum, Baking Powder (Sodium Acid Pyrophoshate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Corn Starch, Monocalcium Phosphate, Calcium Sulfate), Vanilla Extract*, Rice Protein Concentrate, Vinegar, Lactic Acid, Carrageenan. *Fair Trade Certified (Tm) Ingredients

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