Soft serve is a sweet treat that should be enjoyed whenever you feel the urge. Soft serve mix makes that possible with a number of options for making your own delicious desserts on demand. What's more, soft serve mixes aren't just reserved for making ice cream. You can also use them to make frozen yogurt, sorbet, and even custard. Whether you plan to make soft-serve for home or food-service use, you'll want to get the best possible option.
If you're looking for the best soft serve mix, then keep reading. We've compiled the following buying guide to offer the best advice on choosing a soft serve mix. Read the review of our Best of the Best pick, Triple Scoop Vanilla Ice Cream Mix. The Madagascar bourbon vanilla flavor will have you feeling like a professional dessert chef.
Liquid vs. powder mix
Liquid soft serve mix is dairy based and has fewer ice crystals than powder mix. Liquid mix is what you get most often when you eat soft serve in a restaurant. It's also higher in fat content than powder mix. Powder mix has a longer shelf-life, is usually non-dairy, and requires that you mix it with water. This makes it more labor intensive than liquid mix and leaves the door open for more human error in the prep process.
Dairy vs. non-dairy
As mentioned above, many powder soft serve mixes are non-dairy and use coconut oil, pea protein, or soy, to improve the creaminess of the soft serve. Many sorbet type fruit-based desserts also come in non-dairy soft serve mixes.
Vanilla and chocolate are the most popular soft serve flavors for commercial use in large soft serve machines. These two flavors are the "safe bet" if you're only thinking about customer satisfaction. If you want to get a little experimental with your customers, or you want to try some "out of the box" options at home, then think about buying more adventurous soft serve mix flavors like coffee, mango, or salted caramel.
Some non-dairy soft serve mixes are also vegan. This means that they have no animal products of any sort. If getting a vegan soft-serve mix is important, then be sure to check the manufacturer's labeling to make sure it is a 100% vegan mix.
You can now get soft serve mix that comes with its own sprinkles. It's recommended that you save the sprinkles to add to the soft serve after it goes through the machine. This is a nice added bonus for those who like a little extra pizazz with their soft serve.
Most soft serve mixes cost between $12 and $60. If you spend less than $20, the (usually powder) mix is most often vanilla or chocolate, and usually weighs less than 6 pounds. For $30, you can get more flavors, liquid mixes, and up to 10 pounds of mix. Soft serve mixes that cost $60 or more come in large quantities and are mostly intended for commercial use.
Q. How long does it take to make soft serve?
A. The biggest determining factor is the amount of soft serve you want to make. A small serving can take as little as 5 minutes. Making large commercial quantities of soft serve can take up to 30 minutes.
Q. Can I mix nuts or candy toppings into my soft serve mix during the preparation process?
A. Maybe. It depends on the type of ice cream maker or soft serve machine you use. Most high-quality ice cream makers can handle large chunks of nuts or candy, but soft serve machines generally don't work well with these additions. Check individual machine instructions to find out for sure.
Soft serve mixes we recommend
Best of the best: Triple Scoop Vanilla Ice Cream Mix
Our take: Vanilla has never been so delicious.
What we like: A natural sweet treat with no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives or corn syrup solids.
What we dislike: Too sweet for some users.
Best bang for your buck: Junket Ice Cream Mix Bundle
Our take: A variety pack that lets you make and enjoy your favorite flavors.
What we like: The popular chocolate flavor is just sweet enough, but not too rich. Works well in both soft serve machines and ice cream makers.
What we dislike: A little expensive for some.
Choice 3: Dole Pineapple Soft Serve Mix
Our take: Pineapple plus soft serve equals sweet tropical paradise.
What we like: Not only delicious, but vegan and kosher.
What we dislike: Some were disappointed with the texture of the finished product.
Adam Reeder is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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