Flavors of ice cream were pretty basic prior to Rocky Road being invented. Chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla are examples of what was available.
When Rocky Road was introduced in 1929, it became one of the first combination ice cream flavors. The first variation reportedly used chopped walnuts instead of almonds like today. Other ingredients included chocolate ice cream and marshmallows which are also used to make modern Rocky Road.
We’ve come a long way since the humble beginnings of Rocky Road ice cream. There are now several brands available to choose from that even the pickiest eaters will likely be able to find one they love.
Here are thirteen rocky road ice cream brands that you may wish to consider for your next dessert at home:
Rocky Road Ice Cream Brands
Rocky Road was reportedly invented by William Dreyer and Joseph Edy, founders of Dreyer’s/Edy’s Ice Cream. According to Braum’s, the original version of Rocky Road was created using the sewing shears of Mrs. Dreyer to cut the marshmallows into tiny pieces. The original Rocky Road also used walnuts instead of almonds.
Today, Dreyer’s has a whole collection of Rocky Road ice cream variations. The flavors include The Original Rocky Road, Brownie Brick Road, Chocolate Peanut Butter Park, Cookie Cobblestone, Mocha Almond Avenue, and Salted Caramel Pretzel Path.
We suggest sticking with The Original Rocky Road, especially if you’ve never tried this type of ice cream. It’s made with chocolate ice cream, marshmallow pieces, and crunchy almonds.
Ingredients: skim milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup, cocoa processed with alkali, mini marshmallows (corn syrup, sugar, modified corn starch, gelatin), roasted almonds (almonds, safflower oil, salt), whey, guar gum, carob bean gum.
Joseph Edy was a candy maker who helped start an ice cream empire with William Dreyer (featured above). In 1928, Dryer and Edy partnered to make an ice cream manufacturing business named Edy’s Grand Ice Cream. Edy’s eventually was renamed Dreyer’s. Then in the 1980s, Edy’s became the ice cream sold in the Eastern U.S. while Dreyer’s became the brand sold in the Western U.S. Froneri is the current owner of Dreyer’s/Edy’s.
Edy’s makes the same Rocky Road products as Dreyer’s (see Dreyer’s section above).
Breyers started in the mid-1800s when William Breyer began hank-cranking out ice cream made with the “finest ingredients”. Near the turn of the century, Breyers opened its first wholesale manufacturing facility where ice cream could be produced in mass. Today, this ice cream maker is owned by Unilever after previously being owned by Kraft when it was acquired in 1993.
Breyers Rocky Road features chocolate ice cream, swirled marshmallow, and roasted almond pieces. It’s made with 100% Grade A milk and cream that is derived from cows not treated with artificial growth hormones. All flavors and colors are natural.
Ingredients: skim milk, corn syrup, liquid sugar (sugar, water), water, almonds, fructose, cream, coconut oil, Dutched cocoa (processed with alkali), whey, sunflower seed oil, whey protein concentrate, guar gum, mono and diglycerides, carob bean gum, salt, carrageenan, natural flavor.
Tillamook is a dairy co-op based in Tillamook County, Oregon that began in 1909 making cheese. It wasn’t until 1947 that the company first started making ice cream that was sold locally. Today, Tillamook produces not only ice cream and cheese but also yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese, and butter.
Tillamook’s Rocky Road has chocolate ice cream with mini marshmallows and pieces of almond in it. This premium ice cream is available in 48-ounce carton size.
Ingredients: cream, skim milk, milk, sugar, almonds, cocoa (processed with alkali), corn syrup, pasteurized egg yolks, modified cornstarch, gelatin, tara gum, guar gum, safflower oil, salt.
Turkey Hill was started in the 1930s by Armor Frey who sold milk from his farm out of his car during the depression. However, it wasn’t until 1954 that ice cream production began and was sold locally. During the 1980s, expansion of its ice cream occurred outside of the local area and into Philadelphia. The people loved it there which certainly encouraged Turkey Hill to eventually expand to other locations.
Its Rocky Road ice cream is made in Conestoga, Pennsylvania using local milk. The ice cream contains Dutch-style chocolate, roasted almonds, and swirled marshmallows.
Ingredients: milk, sugar, marshmallow (corn syrup, sugar, water, egg albumen, pectin, xanthan gum, vanilla, natural flavor), corn syrup, roasted almonds (almonds, canola oil, butter, salt), cocoa processed with alkali, whey, nonfat milk, polydextrose, cream, calcium carbonate, propylene glycol monoesters, guar gum, mono & diglycerides, cellulose gum, carrageenan, vitamin a, vitamin d3.
The name, Häagen-Dazs, sounds European but it was actually started in the United States. It was created by Reuben and Rose Mattus in 1960 in The Bronx, New York. Its first products were chocolate, vanilla, and coffee ice cream. Strawberry ice cream was added to the product line in 1966 with many other flavors and products being introduced through the years. Froneri currently owns this ice cream brand.
Häagen-Dazs Rocky Road uses top-quality ingredients including chocolate ice cream with marshmallow swirls and roasted almonds.
Ingredients: cream, skim milk, sugar, corn syrup, almonds, cocoa processed with alkali, egg yolks, corn starch, safflower oil, egg whites, cream of tartar, salt, pectin, and natural flavor.
Similar to Tillamook featured above, Smith’s was started in 1909. It was founded by Peter and John Schmid who hand-cracked ice cream using milk from their dairy farm. Today, the brand is regional and operates plants in Ohio and Indiana. They make millions of gallons of ice cream per year under Smith’s, Ruggles, and other private labels.
Smith’s Rocky Road contains chocolate ice cream, chocolate-covered almond pieces, and swirls of marshmallow.
Ingredients: cream, milk, marshmallow (corn syrup, water, sugar, xanthan gum, potassium sorbate [to retain freshness], vanillin), water, sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, chocolate almonds (almonds, sugar, coconut oil, cocoa processed with alkali, milkfat, soy lecithin, natural flavors), whey, nonfat milk, cocoa (cocoa processed with alkali, salt, sugar, carrageenan, vanilla), stabilizer (cellulose gum, mono and diglycerides, guar gum, calcium sulfate, polysorbate 80, carrageenan, xanthan gum).
It is safe to say that Baskin Robbins knows a thing or two about ice cream considering they have made over 1,000 flavors since the 1940s. This ice cream brand, which was founded by Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins in 1945, is famous for its chain of ice cream stores across America and beyond. Its top flavors are mint chocolate chip, pralines ‘n cream, chocolate chip, jamoca almond fudge, and pistachio almond.
Bakin Robbins Rocky Road has the classic ingredients for this type of ice cream, including chocolate ice cream, almonds, and mini marshmallows.
Ingredients: cream, nonfat milk, sugar, corn syrup, marshmallows (corn syrup, sugar, modified corn starch, gelatin), roasted almonds (almonds, safflower and/or canola oil), chocolate liquor, cocoa processed with alkali, whey, stabilizer/emulsifier blend (cellulose gum, mono and diglycerides, guar gum, carrageenan, polysorbate 80).
Blue Bell was started in 1907 and was initially named Brenham Creamery Company after the city in Texas where it originated. They began by making butter with ice cream following shortly after. The company changed its name to Blue Bell in 1930.
Blue Bell Rocky Road is made with dark chocolate ice cream, roasted & chopped almonds, and mini marshmallows.
Ingredients: milk, cream, skim milk, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, almonds (almonds, canola oil, salt), marshmallows [corn syrup, sugar, modified food starch (corn), water, gelatin, tetrasodium pyrophosphate (improves whipping)], cocoa (processed with alkali), cellulose gum, vegetable gums (guar, carrageenan, carob bean), salt.
Prairie Farms is a farm-owned business with over 700 Midwest farms in its dairy cooperative. Its products can be found in 16 states consisting of many dairy products such as ice cream, cream cheese, milk, yogurt, cheese, iced tea, sour cream, and much more.
Prairie Farms Rocky Road is made with local milk that contains no artificial growth hormones. It has no high-fructose corn syrup and contains natural colors/flavors.
Ingredients: milk cream, sugar marshmallow ripple (corn syrup water, sugar, modified cornstarch titanium dioxide [color], vanilla), skim milk, chocolate-coated almonds (almonds, sugar, coconut oil, alkalized cocoa, cocoa, milkfat, soy lecithin, natural flavors), corn syrup cocoa (processed with alkali), whey, stabilizer (mono and diglycerides, guar gum, cellulose gum and carrageenan).
Umpqua Dairy began in Roseburg, Oregon in 1931 with $500 in capital. Its milk is sourced from Southern Oregon and its products are made at a plant in Roseburg, Oregon. The third generation of the original owner now operates the business which is now the largest family-owned dairy in Southern Oregon. While vanilla, vanilla bean, and chocolate peanut butter are Umpqua’s top-selling ice cream flavors, the company states that Rocky Road is close to the top.
Umpqua Rocky Road is a Dutch chocolate ice cream with roasted almonds and mini marshmallows.
Ingredients: fresh milk & cream, sucrose, corn syrup, nonfat dry milk, mini marshmallows (corn syrup, sugar, modified corn starch, gelatin), almonds (almonds, cottonseed oil, butter, salt), cocoa (processed with alkali), whey, cellulose gel, cellulose gum, mono & diglycerides, polysorbate 80, carrageenan, artificial butter pecan flavor.
Nick’s was launched in 2016 by Nick Lauthman, a mechanical engineer, with the help of friends and food scientists. Its ice cream has no added sugar and is keto-friendly. A plant-based fat called EPG is used to help keep the calories lower.
Try Nick’s Rocky Fjord, which is a Swedish-style light ice cream. A pint has only 370 calories and 9 grams of net carbs. Nick’s describes it as a “choklad” ice cream with chunks of nuts and marshmallows.
Ingredients: cream, dairy protein blend (water, milk protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, allulose), water, EPG (modified plant-based oil), soluble corn fiber, chicory root fiber, almonds, allulose, erythritol, cocoa powder processed with alkali, coconut oil, unsweetened chocolate, natural flavor, cornstarch, acacia gum, sunflower oil, salt, guar gum, tara gum, titanium dioxide for color, steviol glycosides, carob gum, sunflower lecithin, citric acid.
The company was started in New York City in 2008 and the ice cream is made in Brooklyn. Ben Van Leeuwen, Pete Van Leeuwen, and Laura O’Neill are the founders who began the business out of a yellow truck on the streets of New York. Today, its ice cream can be found at scoop shops, grocery stores, and online where you can buy ice cream, vegan ice cream, bars, and bundles.
When it comes to Van Leeuwen as a Rocky Road brand, the company makes a vegan (non-dairy) variety of this flavor. It features vegan chocolate ice cream made with cashew milk, candied walnuts, and vegan marshmallows.
Ingredients: cashew milk (filtered water, raw cashews), cane sugar, coconut cream, cocoa powder, walnuts, vegan marshmallows (tapioca syrup, cane sugar, water, tapioca starch, carrageenan, non-GMO soy protein, natural vanilla flavor), cocoa butter, organic virgin coconut oil, chocolate (cocoa butter, cocoa liquor,) organic brown rice syrup, salt, carob bean gum
Featured Image Credit – Annie/flickr