14 Best McDonald’s McFlurry Flavors & 5 Alternatives
With the dawn of the McFlurry, McDonald’s introduced a sundae-style ice cream with toppings. And while the likes of Dairy Queen were already serving ice cream for a while, McDonald’s went one step further with their ingenious cup and spoon design. Here you’ll find the best flavors.
The McFlurry: nothing is quite as good for a hot day, a treat on a bad day, or a treat on a good day for that matter. This delightful dessert was first introduced at a Canadian McDonald’s in New Brunswick. It’s made up of whipped soft serve vanilla ice cream, but what really makes it unique are the toppings.
McDonald’s cleverly introduced the idea of cookies and candy whipped into the ice cream by a machine. Where other similar ice creams could only ever be topped with various sauces and crumbles, the McFlurry is like a made-on-demand ice cream treat of your favorite sweets.
The odd-looking square McFlurry spoon was designed to fit perfectly onto their stirring machine. This allows McDonald’s to blend each ice cream on demand, avoiding cross contamination and potential allergens.
It also means you can get really creative with your ice cream choices. If you’re wanting to make your McFlurry bespoke, for instance, you can do so for a small extra fee.
What McFlurry Is
McFlurry ice cream is the same as the soft serve ice cream McDonald’s use in their sundaes and cones. The unique cup and spoon are what make the McFlurry: these allow for a selection of cookies or candies to be added to the ice cream.
The spoon is attached to a machine, which whips the toppings into the cream. This creates a kind of bespoke ice cream from scratch. It’s been a popular choice for decades, so much so that other fast food chains have long been trying to copy the McFlurry.
Where McFlurry Is From
Interestingly, the McFlurry did not start as a nation-wide McDonald’s own invention. It was created by a franchisee in New Brunswick, Canada in 1995.
Ron McLellan came up with the first McFlurry, which was soon marketed at a selection of test regions. Its popularity led to the McFlurry becoming a US and Canada-wide staple by 1998, swiftly followed by the rest of the world.
What McFlurry Flavors Are Made Of
McDonald’s use a mixture of UHT milk which and methylcellulose, used as an emulsifier. Since 2016 McDonald’s has started replacing artificial flavors with natural alternatives.
The more natural ingredients make it a relatively simple treat, which you might even wish to replicate at home. Flavors are made using a range of crumbled or crushed toppings, such as Oreos, Twix, or candies.
In other countries, you’ll frequently get regular dessert flavors too, such as dulce de leche or matcha green tea.
Origin of McFlurry
When the McFlurry was first created in the ‘90s, there were only a few flavors available. The original sweeties and cookies stirred into McDonald’s’ delectable vanilla soft serve were Oreo, Nestle Crunch, M&M’s, Butterfinger, and Heath.
Nowadays flavors vary slightly based on the location you’re in, though some of the originals still come as standard. There are some truly original and unusual flavors available at McDonald’s franchises across the globe.
Our top 10 most unusual flavors you’ve previously been able to get world-wide are:
- Durian fruit in Southeast Asia — just don’t smell this one before eating it
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup in the USA
- Pineapple Oreo in Colombia
- Pirulin (a kind of nutella-filled wafer) in Argentina
- Stroopwafel and caramel in the Netherlands
- Matcha Green Tea in Japan
- Cadbury’s Creme Egg in Canada
- Bubblegum Squash and marshmallows in Australia
- Terry’s Chocolate Orange in the UK
- Horlicks Malaysia
Amount of Sugar and Calories in McFlurry
A regular McDonald’s McFlurry contains 510 calories and 60g of sugar. For comparison, there are 35g of sugar in a 330ml can of Coca Cola.
The average American consumes 3,600 calories per day, though the recommended amount is much lower than this.
This means the occasional McFlurry ice cream treat won’t harm you, but you probably shouldn’t have one every day. For some lower-cal alternatives, read our recommendations below.
The Best McFlurry Flavors You Need to Try
McFlurry flavors tend to change seasonally. Some of the originals are still around and generally available in most places. Other flavors are only available in select locations or for short periods of time.
We’ve compiled some of the best flavors, from original to unusual, you must try if you’re a McDonald’s McFlurry fan.
One of the first flavors introduced way back in 1995, the Oreo McFlurry remains a classic today. It’s a delightful combination of McDonald’s soft serve vanilla ice cream and crunchy Oreo cookie pieces.
What’s more, the white Oreo cream seems to melt into the ice cream base, creating an ice cream that truly tastes like it’s freshly made of whipped up Oreo cookies. At 510 calories, it’s fairly standard, and a treat you’ll want to come back to time and time again.
2. Chocolate Pretzel
It’s sadly not always available and not in all American locations. You’ll understand this sentiment well if you’ve ever had a Chocolate Pretzel McFlurry.
This particular treat combines delicious McDonald’s vanilla soft serve ice cream with chocolate-covered pretzel chunks and lashings of caramel sauce. It will set you back 670 calories — essentially as much as a decent-sized meal — but it’s so delicious that you won’t care.
Another original flavor combo, M&M’s just never seem to go out of style. The colorful chocolate candies swirled into McDonald’s own soft serve vanilla ice cream remind us of funfetti birthday cake.
This particular combination tastes a little bit like a really good, rainbow-colored birthday cake, too. At 640 calories per regular-size McFlurry, this is a fairly calorie-rich treat. It’s worth it though.
This original flavor isn’t always on the menu, but it’s a real treat when you can get it. The Nestle Butterfinger McFlurry marries McDonald’s own vanilla soft serve with generous chunks of Butterfinger.
The mixture of peanut butter and chocolate is particularly good. If you can’t get it, a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup McFlurry comes close. Though the extra swirls of caramel in the Butterfinger McFlurry are what really make it extra mouthwatering.
Another caramel-based flavor that’s sadly mostly available in the Netherlands. It still had to make the list though, as it’s renowned for being one of the most delicious McFlurry flavors you can get your hands on.
This creamy treat combines McDonald’s own vanilla soft serve ice cream with chunks of crisp waffle and caramel sauce. Honestly, what could sound better than that?
Tips for Ordering and Customizing Your McFlurry at McDonald’s
Ordering a flavor as it is from the menu is always a fine choice. But did you know that you can customize and ‘pimp’ your McFlurry at McDonald’s?
Simply add extra toppings for about $0.30 and make your McFlurry your very own special creation. You can order double servings of toppings, extra sauce, or mix and match.
Vary with the Different Flavors
If you like both M&M’s and Oreo cookies, you can pay extra to have both in your McFlurry. Alternatively, double up on your favorite flavor. Extra Oreos are always a great idea, especially if you’ve ever eaten all of the cookies from your McFlurry only to be left with plain ice cream.
Match with the Right Sauce
Did you know that you could also match your McFlurry with any of the sauces McDonalds have on offer? For example, you might wish to spruce up your M&M’s McFlurry with extra caramel sauce or your Butterfinger McFlurry with extra chocolate.
Additional Hacks for Your Perfect McFlurry
If the tips above are not enough to make your bespoke McFlurry extra special, here are more: Add hot fudge to your iced treat for a bargain dessert that looks and tastes fancy. Add hot fudge followed by an extra topping for the ultimate Gelateria-style treat. Prego.
Best Alternatives to McFlurry Flavors
Whether you can’t get to a McDonald’s or want something with slightly less calories, there are plenty of alternatives around. Below, we’ll talk you through some of the most popular McFlurry substitutes, their calorie contents, and why they’re great treats. Some may even surprise you.
Ben & Jerry’s
If you like having more options or have specific dietary requirements, Ben & Jerry’s are a great alternative for you. They offer a vast selection of flavors as well as ice cream tubs that are dairy free, certified gluten free, and even options for your dog.
Ben & Jerry’s also have a selection of frozen yogurt alternatives. For example, they sell a froyo version of their popular Cherry Garcia flavor, which contains 230 calories. The standard is 260 calories per tub.
If ice cream isn’t really your thing and you prefer a dairy free alternative that’s lower in calories, try a Starbucks Refresher. These fruity iced drinks are available in a large selection of summery flavors, including Mango Dragonfruit, Pineapple Passionfruit, and Strawberry Acai.
A regular Mango Dragonfruit Refresher in their Grande size will only set you back about 90 calories. The Mango Dragonfruit Lemonade version is a little sweeter and about 140 calories for a Grande.
KFC Sundaes aren’t calorie-friendly but they’re a very close alternative to a McDonald’s McFlurry. What’s nice about KFC’s ice cream sundaes is that they’re similar but offer different flavors you may wish to try.
KFC have a Chocolate Aero Sundae and a Milkybar Sundae. The Milkybar Sundae has around 295 calories per tub. This one is a surprising McFlurry alternative as it does appear to contain significantly less calories.
Burger King has recently launched their BK Blast, which is an almost identical copy of the McFlurry.
Even the main flavors, Oreo and Smarties, seem to be trying to duplicate the original McDonald’s McFlurry flavors. They’re made with, you guessed it, vanilla soft serve ice cream and Oreo or Smarties pieces.
Calorie-wise they’re not going to be very different either, so it’s up to you to see which you prefer, the original McFlurry or the new BK Blast.
Dairy Queen Blizzard
An all-American original: the Dairy Queen Blizzard was first introduced in 1985, though Dairy Queen has been serving ice cream since the ‘40s.
The Blizzard is a mixture of a tub of Ben & Jerry’s and a McFlurry. The flavors are blended on site, but they seem to be mixed in a lot more than they are in a McFlurry.
You can add pieces of candy, brownies, or cookies, as well as sundae toppings. Some popular flavors include S’mores ice cream, Oreo, and Cotton Candy.
The Copycat McFlurry
Not technically an alternative as you can’t get this at any shop. However, you can easily copy McDonald’s’ popular Oreo McFlurry at home. To do so, you’ll first want to whip up some standard vanilla ice cream and a splash of whole milk in a blender. Doing so will create a similar effect to soft serve ice cream.
Don’t add too much milk though, or you’ll end up with a milkshake. Crush Oreos in a food-grade plastic bag and add the chunks to your ice cream. Stir and voila, you have a copy of an Oreo McFlurry.
What makes this little recipe a great alternative is the control you have over the ingredients. This is a good option if you’re pregnant or can’t have dairy.
Making your ‘McFlurry’ at home decreases the small chance of listeria of a store-bought one. Replacing regular vanilla ice cream and milk with dairy free options allows you to enjoy the same popular treat from McDonalds, but dairy-free.