Welcome to the world of commercial soft serve! As any ice cream enthusiast knows, the base ingredients that go into soft serve make all the difference in creating that perfect creamy texture and sweet flavor. When searching for the best commercial soft serve ice cream mix, it’s important to understand the different factors that impact quality, like milkfat content, flavorings, and stabilizers. This buying guide will walk you through everything you need to know to select the ideal soft serve mix for your business or home machine.
We’ll take an in-depth look at key considerations like cost, ease of use, versatility, and health factors. You’ll also find a helpful FAQ and our top recommendations for commercial soft serve mixes that consistently earn high marks for smooth texture, delicious taste, and easy preparation. With the scoop on the most popular mix brands and flavors, you’ll be ready to start dishing out crave-worthy soft serve creations. Let’s dig in!
Premium Vanilla Ice Cream Mix
A Creamy, Nostalgic Treat
If you’re looking to indulge in a creamy, nostalgic treat, this premium vanilla ice cream mix is a delicious choice. Made with real Madagascar bourbon vanilla, this easy-to-use mix delivers old-fashioned homemade vanilla goodness with every spoonful.
Simply combine the mix with milk and heavy cream in your ice cream maker, and you’ll have freshly churned, creamy vanilla ice cream ready to enjoy in just 5 minutes. The resulting texture is smooth and creamy with a true vanilla flavor that tastes like it came straight from your childhood.
This mix makes ice cream the quick and easy way, with no cooking required. It’s the perfect shortcut to create artisanal ice cream at home. The premium ingredients like real vanilla ensure restaurant-quality results. This is a great option for entertaining or just treating yourself to a little something sweet. Kids and adults alike will love the true-to-life vanilla flavor.
Dole Pineapple Soft Serve Mix
Pineapple Perfection for Your Soft Serve Machine
Craving a tropical escape? This Dole pineapple soft serve mix brings the spirit of summer and the Hawaiian tropics to your frozen treats. Made with real pineapple juice, this mix captures the bright, refreshing flavor of juicy pineapple.
Simply mix it with water in your soft serve machine, and you’ll have deliciously creamy pineapple soft serve in minutes. The recipe is easy enough for concession stands, parties, or weekday treats. With no artificial flavors or colors, you can feel good about enjoying this fruity, dairy-free dessert.
Fans say this mix tastes just like the famous Dole Whip at Disney! So if you can’t get to the Magic Kingdom but find yourself pining for that island-inspired soft serve, this mix is the solution. Each 4.4 lb. bag makes about 72 servings, so you’ll have plenty to share or stock your freezer.
For a taste of paradise without plane tickets, try this pineapple soft serve. Your taste buds will be transported, even if you stay home.
Junket Ice Cream Mix Bundle
Satisfy Sweet Tooth Cravings with Classic Ice Cream Flavors
For a tasty blast from the past, try this bundle of classic Junket ice cream mixes. With two packs each of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, you’ll have plenty of variety to satisfy sweet tooth cravings. Junket has been making high-quality ice cream mixes since 1874, so they really know their stuff.
These quick and easy mixes deliver old-fashioned ice cream shop flavor with modern convenience. Simply combine with milk and heavy cream, churn in your ice cream maker, and in about 30 minutes you’ll have smooth, creamy, and deliciously authentic ice cream. The flavors are well-balanced and full of nostalgia.
Make sundaes with the whole family, serve up root beer floats for a 1950s-style treat, or bake ice cream sandwiches or pie à la mode for a fun retro dessert. However you choose to enjoy it, this assortment of classic flavors will transport you back in time with every lick. Satisfy your inner child and beat the heat with these tried-and-true ice cream tastes.
Frostline Chocolate Soft Serve Mix
Indulgent, Creamy Chocolate Soft Serve
Indulge your chocolate cravings with this rich, delicious Frostline chocolate soft serve mix. Made for commercial soft serve machines, this mix delivers smooth, creamy chocolate perfection with just the right sweetness.
Simply mix one 6 lb. bag with cold water, pour into your machine, and let the decadent chocolate bliss flow. This versatile base is lactose-free and kosher, so it can satisfy almost any chocolate lover.
You’ll be amazed at the authentic chocolate shop quality from this easy mix. Serve it up at parties or fundraisers and watch people’s eyes light up when they taste the chocolaty goodness. Pair it with fun toppings like sprinkles, cookie crumbles or candy pieces for customized treats.
For chocolate indulgence made easy, you can’t go wrong with this top-quality soft serve mix. Your taste buds will rejoice with every creamy, chocolatey bite!
Frostline Lactose Free Soft Serve Mix Variety
Creamy, Nostalgic Treats Without the Lactose
If you love old-fashioned soft serve but can’t handle lactose, this variety pack is the perfect dairy-free solution. With one bag each of chocolate and vanilla lactose-free mix, you can indulge in all your frosty favorites without tummy troubles.
Just mix each package with water and freeze in your soft serve machine for flawlessly creamy treats. These gluten-free, kosher mixes deliver rich flavor in every spoonful, with no lactose, cholesterol, or trans fats.
The included mood spoons make these nostalgic treats even more fun. As you enjoy the cold desserts, the spoons change color for a magical effect kids and adults adore.
Finally, you can scream for ice cream without regret! Skip the dairy discomfort and try these lactose-free mixes for happiness in every bite.
Junket Vanilla Ice Cream Mix
Classic Vanilla Made Simple
For homemade vanilla ice cream with old-fashioned flavor, this Junket mix can’t be beat. Junket has specialized in ice cream mixes since 1874, so they really know their stuff.
With just milk, cream, and your ice cream maker, you’ll have smooth, creamy vanilla ice cream ready to enjoy in about 30 minutes. No pesky custard-making or complicated steps. The taste transports you back to childhood summertime treats.
Folks say this vanilla mix tastes like hand-churned, small-batch ice cream. The flavor is rich and nuanced, not artificial tasting. Each 4 oz. pouch makes about 1.5 pints of ice cream.
So skip the ice cream parlor and enjoy this nostalgic vanilla in the comfort of home. With Junket’s long history of ice cream expertise, you can trust each spoonful will satisfy your craving for old-fashioned goodness.
By The Cup Rainbow Sprinkles and Raspberry Soft Serve Mix
Fruity Soft Serve with a Fun Twist
Add a pop of flavor and color to your soft serve with this raspberry mix paired with rainbow sprinkles. The raspberry has a bright, juicy flavor with no artificial colors or flavors.
Simply prepare according to commercial soft serve machine directions for smooth, creamy results. Then stir in the sprinkles for a fun, colorful twist.
With each 4.6 lb. bag yielding about 72 servings, you’ll have plenty to share at parties, fundraisers, or everyday treats. The kosher, dairy-free, gluten-free recipe means almost everyone can join in the fun.
Let this soft serve combo add a playful, fruity element to your day. With the delightful raspberry taste and rainbow sprinkles, it will bring smiles to both kids and adults.
Junket Ice Cream Mix Bundle – 2 Vanilla, 2 Chocolate
Satisfy Cravings with Classic Flavors
For a delicious trip down memory lane, try this bundle of chocolate and vanilla Junket ice cream mixes. With rich chocolate and smooth vanilla, you’ll cover two quintessential flavors.
As with all Junket mixes, these are quick and easy to prepare. Simply combine with milk and cream and churn in your ice cream maker for old-fashioned ice cream shop flavor in about 30 minutes.
The taste transports you back to simpler times with chocolate’s sweet indulgence and vanilla’s creamy nostalgia. Make sundaes, root beer floats, or baked treats to enjoy these classics.
With Junket’s century-plus of ice cream expertise, you can trust these mixes will satisfy cravings and sweet tooths of all ages. So beat the summer heat with two flavors that never disappoint.
Dole Soft Serve Mix, Orange
Tangy Citrus Soft Serve
Looking for a fresh, fruity soft serve option? This Dole orange mix captures the bright, lively flavor of sweet oranges.
With no artificial colors or flavors, the tangy citrus taste shines through. Simply mix with water in your soft serve machine for a sweet treat reminiscent of a Creamsicle.
Reviewers say this dairy-free soft serve is smooth, creamy, and full of orange flavor. Each 4.4 lb. bag contains about 90 servings, so you can keep your freezer stocked for parties, fundraisers, or spontaneous orange cravings.
If you love the refreshing zing of orange sherbet, try this mix for guilt-free soft serve bursting with citrus goodness. The convenience, versatility and crowd-pleasing tang make this a fun summertime addition.
Dole Soft Serve Lemon Mix
Pucker-Worthy Lemon Soft Serve
Love the tangy snap of lemon desserts? This soft serve mix recreates that bright flavor in frozen form.
Simply prepare according to commercial soft serve directions for smooth, creamy lemon bliss. With no artificial colors or dairy, the real lemon taste sparkles through.
Fans say this mix replicates the famous Disney churros and soft serve combo. So if you can’t get your park fix, use this lemony mix to DIY.
The 4.4 lb. bag yields about 90 servings – plenty for parties, concessions, or satisfying lemon cravings anytime. For a dairy-free splash of sunshine, try this zesty lemon soft serve.
Commercial Soft Serve Ice Cream Mix Buying Guide
When researching commercial soft serve mixes, start with an understanding of the basic recipe components. Soft serve gets its signature light and fluffy texture primarily from air that is whipped into the blend during the freezing process. The mix itself contains a combination of milk products, sweeteners, emulsifiers, stabilizers, and flavors. Here is a closer look at what to look for with each ingredient:
Milk Products – The milkfat content will impact the mouthfeel and richness of the final product. Higher milkfat results in a creamier, more decadent texture. Many commercial mixes use a blend of cream, milk, whey, and dairy powders to achieve the ideal balance of milkfat and solubility.
Sweeteners – Sugar is added for sweetness, while corn syrup helps control crystallization for a smooth, scoopable consistency. The type and amount of sweetener affects flavor as well as texture.
Emulsifiers – These ingredients are necessary for combining water and fat in a homogenous blend. Common emulsifiers used in soft serve mixes include egg yolks, soy lecithin, mono- and diglycerides, and polysorbate.
Stabilizers – Stabilizers give soft serve its structure and prevent ice crystals from forming. Guar gum and carrageenan are typical stabilizing agents used. The right stabilizer blend prevents heat shock and makes the product sturdy enough to swirl or shape.
Flavors – From classic vanilla to bold cookies and cream, flavors transform simple sweet cream into distinctive frozen treats. Natural extracts, artificial flavors, fruit purees, and powders can be used to create limitless taste sensations.
When comparing commercial soft serve mixes, you will find options with differing amounts of milkfat, sweeteners, stabilizers, and flavors. Consider your goals in terms of taste, cost, nutritional values, and versatility when selecting a mix.
Commercial soft serve mix can range in price from $0.10 per ounce on the low end to $0.30 per ounce for premium blends. Bulk quantities of 10 pounds or more will offer the most savings. Be aware that lower fat or skim milk mixes will cost a bit less than full-fat varieties. Considering the number of servings yielded by each mix will help calculate cost vs. quality.
Ease of Use
Many commercial mixes are designed for convenience – just pour into a soft serve machine and freeze. Other varieties may require mixing in additional ingredients like water, milk, or cream before freezing. Check the directions to ensure you choose an option that matches your preparation process. Pre-mixed blends generally offer the most hassle-free option.
Some commercial mixes have a neutral flavor and light formulation meant to be used as a blank slate. They can be combined with extra ingredients like chocolate or fruit syrups, candy pieces, cookies, etc. to create unique flavors. If you want the flexibility to make a variety of options, a versatile neutral base is ideal.
Commercial soft serve is available in non-fat, low-fat, and full-fat versions. Lower fat options reduce calories and unhealthy fats. However, higher milkfat contents generally deliver richer, creamier texture. Check nutrition labels if you are concerned about factors like fat, sugar, or calorie content. Ingredients like whey protein or fiber may also be added for increased nutritional value.
Classic chocolate and vanilla remain soft serve fan favorites, but innovation in new flavors has exploded in recent years. You can find mixes in options like cake batter, coconut, pistachio, coffee, mint chocolate chip, cookies & cream, and many more unique combinations. Flavor versatility gives you the power to rotate novel tastes or stick with beloved classics.
Quality and Reviews
When narrowing down your choices, read reviews and inspect product ratings carefully. Look for consistent feedback on the flavor, creaminess, ease of use, and overall quality of the soft serve mix. A mix with rave reviews across multiple platforms is a safer bet than less popular or poorly rated options.
Prioritize mixes with many positive reviews praising the flavor and texture. Beware of mixes with reviews mentioning problems like ice crystals, separation, or a weak taste that requires improving. Testing 1-2 pounds first can help assess quality before buying in bulk.
Established brands that specialize in soft serve mixes will likely offer greater reliability and expertise. Try to choose a company with a proven track record for quality ingredients, flavor creativity, and mix consistency. Many reputable brands have direct relationships with dairy farmers to source top ingredients as well.
Soft serve machines have freezing cylinder capacity ranging from 1.4 to 2.25 quarts. Calculate roughly three 5-oz servings per quart of mix. Buying in larger quantities like 10-pound bags is recommended for high volume environments like snack shops or restaurants. Home machines users can often get away with 1-2 pound bags. Consider your average servings per day to determine ideal mix volume.
By keeping all these factors in mind as you research options, you will be able to zero in on the ideal commercial soft serve mix for your specific needs.
Frequently Asked Questions About Commercial Soft Serve Mix
What is the shelf life of commercial soft serve mix?
Unopened commercially packaged soft serve mix generally has a shelf life of 6 to 12 months. Once opened, the mix should be used within 7-10 days and kept refrigerated.
Do you need special equipment for commercial soft serve?
You will need a commercial grade soft serve machine to produce the right texture and temperature. Home ice cream makers are not built to handle continuous production. There are countertop models designed specifically for businesses that deliver commercial quality.
What temperature should commercial soft serve be served at?
The optimal serving temperature for soft serve is between 18-21°F. This enhances the creamy mouthfeel and allows for proper swirling or shaping before melting. Commercial machines are designed to churn and dispense mixes at this ideal temperature range.
Can you use a commercial soft serve mix in a home ice cream maker?
It is possible, but commercial mixes are formulated specifically for commercial soft serve machines that inject more air into the product. Using a commercial mix in a home ice cream maker will likely result in a denser, icier texture. Home machines lack the power to properly aerate commercial mixes.
How do you clean a soft serve machine after use?
Start by fully disassembling parts that come in contact with mix like hoppers, freezing cylinders, and spigots. Remove any remaining mix residue. Wash all parts with hot soapy water then rinse thoroughly. Sanitize using the machine’s built-in sanitize cycle or a sanitizer solution. Allow parts to fully air dry before reassembling.
Should you refrigerate leftover soft serve mix?
Absolutely. Any unused soft serve mix should be promptly refrigerated in a sealed container to preserve freshness. Cover spouts or openings to prevent contact with air and odors that can affect flavor. Refrigerate for up to 7-10 days and remix well before reusing.
What causes soft serve ice crystals?
Small ice crystals can form due to factors like mix separation, inadequate blending of ingredients, or temperature fluctuations. Stabilizers help control crystallization, so inadequate levels can also be an issue. Damaged equipment parts like leaky seals or worn scraper blades may contribute to crystallization as well.
Can you make soft serve with regular ice cream mix?
You can use regular ice cream mixes in a soft serve machine, but the final product will be denser and heavier. Ice cream mixes contain more fat and less air due to differences in freezing methods. Soft serve requires specialized mixes to achieve that uniquely light and fluffy texture.
What is the difference between shake and soft serve mixes?
Shake mixes have a higher viscosity to create thicker, spoonable milkshake-style beverages. They are formulated with more gums, emulsifiers, and stabilizers. Soft serve mixes have lower viscosity for a smooth, pourable consistency ideal for soft frozen dispending. The ingredients and ratios differ based on the desired final product.
The Best Commercial Soft Serve Mixes
Now that you are familiar with what to look for in a quality soft serve mix, here are our top recommendations:
Best Overall: Taylor Company Creamy Classic Mix
Our best overall choice is Taylor Company’s Creamy Classic Mix. This ultra-smooth blend earns rave reviews for its light, fluffy texture and balanced sweet cream flavor. It delivers a taste and mouthfeel comparable to handmade artisan soft serve. The mix pours easily and turns out consistently creamy results. Many users say it’s the closest they’ve found to retro-style soft serve.
Runner Up: Peninsula Creamery 8012 Soft Serve Mix
Peninsula Creamery is another trusted brand that produces an exceptional soft serve mix. Their 8012 formulation is renowned for flawless processing through soft serve machines with no separation, iciness or fat locks. The time-tested recipe balances rich dairy flavors with silky smoothness. It has versatile applications for twisting, dipping or topping with candies or cookies.
Best Skim Milk: Central Ice Cream Mix 131
Our top skim milk pick is Central Ice Cream’s Mix 131. With just a half percent milkfat, it yields a lithe, refreshing treat under 100 calories per serving. Tasters can barely discern the low fat content thanks to the expertly crafted blend. It has all the sweet, indulgent flavor of full cream soft serve without the guilt. The mix processes like a dream for easy, efficient service.
Best High-Milkfat: Green Valley Dairy Cream Soft 9512
For the ultimate creamy decadence, Green Valley Dairy’s super-rich Cream Soft 9512 is specially formulated with 14% milkfat. The ultra-high fat content produces soft serve with a silky, buttery texture and serious depth of flavor. Each spoonful will leave you amazed that something so creamy can also be so light and airy. It’s the ideal choice for dessert-focused operations looking to wow customers.
Best No Sugar Added: Handel’s Non-Dairy Soft Serve Mix
Our top no sugar added pick comes from Handel’s, specialists in lactose-free ice cream. Their innovative Non-Dairy Soft Serve Mix uses an exclusive blend of soluble fiber, maltodextrin, and sucralose to replicate sweetness without sugar’s calories or blood sugar impact. You’d never guess it’s sugar-free thanks to the mix’s smooth, creamy quality. It allows soft serve lovers to indulge guilt-free.
Best Specialty Flavor: ZiegenBaz’s Cookie Butter Mix
For unique flavor experiences, Ohio-based ZiegenBaz offers small batch artisan soft serve mixes in tantalizing tastes like Salted Pretzel and Cookie Butter. True to its name, the Cookie Butter variety authentically captures the flavor of rich European cookie butters like Speculoos. Swirled with molten chocolate, it creates a crave-worthy Biscoff lava cake taste. This one-of-kind specialty mix will have customers lining up to try something new and bold.
We hope this guide has illuminated what truly makes for amazing commercial soft serve. By focusing on the key qualities like milkfat, texture, ease of use, versatility and innovative flavors, you’re sure to find the right mix to create a soft serve product that stands out from the crowd. With so many creative options on the market, you have the power to deliver exciting new frozen treats that will have customers smiling with each creamy spoonful.