Ice cream can be gluten-free depending on its ingredients and how it’s processed. Common, single flavor ice creams such as strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, or coffee are often gluten-free. However, be on the lookout for additional additives, starches or flavorings that contain gluten.
Some ice cream flavors are at higher risk for containing gluten, such as “Rocky Road” or “Moose Tracks,” but can be made gluten-free. Flavors with gluten-containing ingredients in the name such as “Cookie Dough,” “Cookies and Cream,” “Cheesecake,” or “Birthday Cake” usually contain gluten, though sometimes can be made with gluten-free ingredients. Ice cream cones typically contain gluten unless labelled otherwise. Many toppings can also contain gluten, such as cookie crumbles. Be sure to read labels, ask questions and look for gluten-free certifications.
Additionally, ice cream can often be at a risk for cross-contact in the manufacturing process or at an ice cream shoppe or restaurant. Spoons, scoops, and even soft serve machines can touch a flavor containing gluten then be used on a “gluten-free” order. Ask to have your ice cream scoop cleaned or a fresh scoop used prior to being served your order.
It’s always best to ask before ordering at an ice-cream shop, even about “safe” flavors such as vanilla and chocolate. While store-bought varieties list their ingredients, you may sometimes need to call the company regarding confusion over flavorings and additives, especially on products without the gluten-free label.