Among ice cream lovers, nothing says summer—or spring, winter or fall—like a Dairy Queen Blizzard and a red plastic spoon. Made with soft-serve ice cream and classic toppings such as candy and cookie crumbles, these blended frozen treats fall somewhere between sundaes and milkshakes: While they deliver all the bits and pieces of your favorite sundae bar, and yes, they are blended like milkshakes, they maintain a consistency that’s thick enough to stay in place when your cup is turned upside down.
Introduced by the restaurant in 1985, the first Blizzard Treats menu included four classic flavors: OREO, M&M’s, Butterfinger and Heath. Although new flavors are introduced on the regular thanks to delicious work done by DQ’s consumer insights and research, product development, and market testing teams, OREO Blizzards remain the top-selling flavor, according to a spokesperson for the brand.
But for us, it’s not a question of which Dairy Queen flavor is most popular or even which to order. The real conundrum is which flavor to order when.
As such, we enlisted a small panel of taste testers to dig a spoon into 11 of what are sure to be the summer’s hottest Blizzard flavors and prescribe a flavor for every feel. It was hard work, but someone had to do it. (For the record: Our blood sugar is still off the charts.)
Summer Dairy Queen Blizzard Flavors and When to Eat Them
For when you wish there were an ice cream truck right here, right now: Drumstick with Peanuts Blizzard Treat
You scream, I scream, we all scream for nostalgic ice cream! This Blizzard features chocolate-covered Drumstick pieces with peanuts and a vanilla soft-serve base—so everything except the ice cream truck song that haunts your hungriest dreams.
For when you can’t get out of sharing with your kid: Oreo Dirt Pie Blizzard Treat
With OREO cookie pieces, gummy worms and fudge crumble blended into DQ’s signature soft serve, this flavor was technically crowned “most likely to be enjoyed by a child too young to know better” since the gummy worms therein didn’t do much for tasters’ elevated palates. (They’d pregamed by tasting 26 Pop-Tarts). Otherwise, there were no complaints regarding the OREO chunks or fudge crumble.
Related: Best Pop-Tart Flavors
For when you wish you were in New York, New York: Caramel Fudge Cheesecake Blizzard Treat
When you inexplicably get the urge to wake up in the city that never sleeps, or feel like your vagabond shoes are longing to stray through the heart of it, this Blizzard flavor will hit the spot so far as your tastebuds are concerned: Our tasters, who all happened to be New Yorkers, quickly classified the cheesecake in this Blizzard as up there with New York’s best and declared the flavor, which also features fudge-covered salty caramel pieces, perfect for hot times, summer in the city (so long as you like cheesecake, of course).
For when the heat just won’t break: Girl Scout Thin Mints Blizzard Treat
Our tasting panel agreed they could easily live without mint chocolate chip ice cream after sampling this mash-up of everyone’s favorite freezer cookie and cool vanilla soft serve—particularly during the height of summer since the mint is so refreshing.
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For when you finish binging Bridgerton and nothing else will hit the spot: Very Cherry Chip Blizzard Treat
Once one taster declared this fancy-feeling flavor “refined,” no one could argue that it felt fit for royals. Less conventional than strawberry ice cream and inexplicably elevated compared to plain old chocolate chip, Very Cherry, made with cherry (duh) and chocolate chunks, might as well be eaten off silver spoons—pinkies up!
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For when you missed the county fair: Cotton Candy Blizzard Treat
Cotton candy sprinkles blended with vanilla soft serve delivers a flavor taster described as “surprisingly pleasant.”
For when you’ll just get one to share with your date: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Blizzard Treat
Vanilla soft serve? Good. Chocolate chip cookie dough? Better. If your date doesn’t like—hell, deeply appreciate—this universally appealing flavor, which, might we add, is laced with rich fudge, consider their litmus test failed and delete their account.
For when you need to eat your feelings: Choco Brownie Extreme Blizzard Treat
Move over, Ben and Jerry’s! While Parade doesn’t in any way endorse feeding your feelings, if ever there were an occasion to do so, you’d want this flavor on your spoon. With chewy brownie pieces, chocolate chunks, and fudge, our tasters deemed it almost too much to eat in a sane state of mind.
Related: Best Low-Carb Ice Creams
For eating all year-round: OREO Cookie Blizzard Treat
There’s nothing seasonal about this original Blizzard flavor: Our tasters agreed the OREO-laced treat would taste as good in sweatpants as it would in a swimsuit and shorts—that is, anytime when your sweet tooth beckons or comfort food is required.
For the ultimate slumber party sugar high: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard Treat
There’s chocolate, there’s peanut butter, there’s candy and there’s ice cream—all the makings of the sugar high your sleepover squad requires—and honestly, deserves!—blended into a single cup.
For when you can’t decide between candy and ice cream: M&M’s Milk Chocolate Candies Blizzard Treat
The candy chunks come in hot, as the kids say, in this classic cold confection. It’s the closest you’ll get to a sundae with the best bits in every bite.
All Blizzards were provided by Dairy Queen. Thank you Dairy Queen!
An extra special thanks to tasters Kristen Joyce, Xun Foo, Kerry White, Liz Wilson, Michelle Clemmens, Wendy Lew and Alyson Ryan for their ice cream enthusiasm!
Next Up: 18 Easy Homemade Ice Cream Cake Recipes