Though summer is winding down, there’s still plenty of time to feed customers’ ice cream dreams and other sweet cravings. Restaurant operators have debuted an array of tempting treats this season, from creamy shakes to plant-based cones. Read on for a look at some sweet standouts.
Frozen custard times 4
Culver’s released four new frozen custard “flavors of the day” for summer, which are rotating into the lineup through September. First up was Creamy Lemon Crumble, lemon frozen custard swirled with crushed sugar cookies, followed by Midnight Toffee, espresso-infused dark chocolate topped with toffee bits. August’s flavor is Dulce de Leche Cheesecake, and September will bring Devil’s Food Cake. Quinn Adkins, Culver’s director of menu development, said in a statement that some of these new flavors have been in development for more than three years.
Cooling off with cold brews
Three new blended beverages launched at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf this summer. Showcasing fruity flavors are Mango Sunrise and Raspberry Sunset Blended Teas, the chain’s first cold-brew ice blended tea drinks that also boast a shot of creamy vanilla. On the more indulgent side is the Chocolate Cookie Latte blended drink, a combo of espresso with semisweet chocolate and cookie flavors.
Baskin-Robbins is jumping on the plant-based trend with the debut of two vegan ice creams in August. Non-Dairy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough is composed of cookie dough pieces, chocolate chunks and a chocolate ribbon, while Non-Dairy Chocolate Extreme contains chocolate chunks with a chocolate ribbon. Both are made with a base of coconut oil and almond butter. As with Culver’s, the new products took some time to develop—in this case, two years—before they were ready to market, according to Jeanne Bolger, Baskin-Robbins’ director of R&D.
Taste of the tropics
Key lime pie is traveling from its birthplace in Florida to flavor the newest concrete at Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers. The item—which is a mashup of an extra-thick shake and a frozen dessert—consists of creamy frozen custard blended with a slice of key lime pie. It’s served in a large cup topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with graham cracker crumbs.
Shake a cake
Cake batter shakes are joining the roster at Sonic Drive-In this summer. The limited-time shakes blend the flavor of yellow cake batter with ice cream in two varieties: Yellow Cake and Oreo Cookie Yellow Cake. The nostalgic treats were created to remind guests of licking cake batter from the mixing bowl, said Scott Uehlein, VP of product innovation and development for Sonic. Along with the chain’s other shakes, the cake batter versions are available for half-price after 8 p.m. every evening during Sonic’s annual Summer Nights promotion.