- I tasted every single item on the McDonald’s dessert menu.
- The McFlurry with M&M candies was my top pick since it had the perfect balance of creamy and crunchy.
- The chain’s Hot Fudge Sundae and Hot Caramel Sundae were my least favorite options, mostly because I felt they didn’t mix together well in terms of texture and flavor.
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Whether it’s the middle of summer or the dead of winter, no trip to a fast-food restaurant is complete without a peek at the dessert menu.
As a part of an ongoing mission to eat and review every single item at McDonald’s, I recently tried all of the sundaes, cones, cookies, and pies currently available at the fast-food chain.
Here’s how I ranked them from worst to best.
Note: Prices are based on my local New York City McDonald’s location.
Hot Fudge Sundae — $1.79
This sundae comes with vanilla soft-serve ice cream and a hot-fudge topping. It also comes with a tiny pouch of chopped peanuts as garnish.
In my opinion, the individual elements of this sundae are great, but they lost their impressiveness when they came together in one cup. The thick, rich fudge quickly solidified near the top of the sundae so it was hard to mix and it left the bottom two-thirds of my sundae as plain soft serve.
After a few bites, I added the unsalted, chopped peanuts that came in a separate pouch. The peanuts changed the taste and texture of the sundae and turned it into a different dessert that, in my opinion, was not as tasty.
Hot Caramel Sundae — $1.79
The sundae comes with vanilla soft serve and a hot caramel topping.
Full disclosure, I’m usually not the biggest fan of caramel, so this was not the ideal topping option for me. Regardless, I felt like the texture of the sticky caramel and the creamy soft serve were kind of strange when mixed together.
Unlike with the hot fudge, the caramel topping was added to the middle and the top of the sundae so it was easier to get an even mix. Unfortunately, I didn’t think that translated to a better taste.
Vanilla Cone — $1.39
Instead of tasting the Plain Sundae and Vanilla Cone, I opted to try just the latter since both are basically swirled vanilla soft serve.
As advertised, the frozen dessert was creamy and sweet. The wafer cone was crunchy and tasted OK, but I wasn’t expecting much since it’s pretty standard and tastes like one you’d get anywhere else.
No fancy fruit toppings or nuts here – this dessert is pretty simple with a great portion size for the low price. That said, I think this might be best enjoyed in the summer instead of a rainy day in autumn.
Vanilla Shake (small) — $2.79
The vanilla shakes at McDonald’s are made of vanilla reduced-fat ice cream mixed with a vanilla-shake syrup and then topped with light whipped cream.
It tasted sort of like the Vanilla Cone, but this drinkable treat was unfortunately not as cold as regular soft serve.
Since the straw pulls from the bottom of the shake, the whipped cream was more of a decoration than anything else … it didn’t add much to the flavor.
Because it was so simple, vanilla was my least favorite of the three milkshakes I tried.
Strawberry Sundae — $1.79
This sundae consists of vanilla soft serve and a strawberry topping. Of the three sundae options on the menu, the strawberry one was by far the best, in my opinion.
The sliced strawberries in the topping did not taste like they were frozen or canned, and the ratio of the fruity topping to sweet soft serve was almost perfect. The next time I’m craving a cold treat from McDonald’s, this will land near the top of the “maybe” list.
Strawberry Shake (small) — $2.79
Better than the vanilla but not as good as the chocolate, the strawberry milkshake contains the same vanilla ice cream and whipped-cream topping but is made with a different syrup.
There wasn’t a ton of fruity syrup in it this drink (you can tell from its very pale pink color), but it was well-blended and had a nice subtle flavor.
Unfortunately, there were no slices of actual fruit in this dessert as there were in the strawberry sundae.
Chocolate Shake (small) — $2.79
In my opinion, the clear winner among shakes is the chocolate-flavored one. It contains vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup and is topped with whipped cream.
In this shake, the syrup didn’t overpower the taste of the ice cream, which is something I’ve noticed when ordering the same thing at other fast-food chains.
Again, the whipped topping did very little for the flavor profile of the drink, but this shake didn’t need any help to be delicious.
Three-Pack of Soft Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies — $1.79
The chocolate-chip cookies at McDonald’s are available individually or in a pack of three, so of course, I opted for the trio.
Although they were served warm, by the time I got them home they were cold but still nice and chewy.
My one issue is that the ratio of chips-to-cookie in the pack was inconsistent, with two of the three cookies having a few too many of the chocolate morsels.
But, overall, the cookies were tasty and next time I can’t wait to try them while they are still a bit warm.
Apple Pie — $1.59
The apple pies at McDonald’s are individually boxed and they come directly from a food warmer.
I opened mine as soon as it was handed to me but was a bit disappointed to find both the interior and exterior were only lukewarm. I think apple pie tastes best when it’s a bit warmer than how it was served, but I was excited to try this anyway.
Right off the bat, I felt the flaky crust took a back seat to the apple filling. I didn’t think there was enough filling inside of the little dough pouch, but what was there was cinnamony, sweet, and really delicious.
This was not my first apple pie from McDonald’s and it definitely won’t be my last.
The McFlurry — $2.79
This dessert is famous for a reason and I wasn’t surprised that it ended up being my favorite. The McFlurry is made with creamy vanilla soft serve and your choice of M&Ms or Oreos mixed in.
The Oreo McFlurry (not pictured) was great and came in at a close second, but I felt the taste of the small cookie crumbs were sometimes buried under creamy ice cream. But, with the M&M McFlurry, the taste of the crunchy, colorful candies is unmistakable and it pairs perfectly with the rest of the treat.
In this particular McFlurry, the M&M candies were dispensed on top instead of being stirred in (which, in my experience, happens more often than not), but with some wrist-flicking action, I was able to distribute the candy more evenly throughout the dessert.
The sweet crunch of the coated chocolate candies and the creamy soft serve is what taste buds were designed for. Next time I’m looking for a quick sugar fix, this will for sure be my top pick.