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Is McDonald’s Ice Cream Real?

is mcdonald's ice cream real

Are you looking forward to a sweet treat to cool you off on a hot day? 

For decades, McDonald’s has been offering soft-serve ice cream cones. The fast-food chain also offers a range of other frozen treats like hot fudge sundaes and the McFlurry. Most people who love fast food already know that it is not the healthiest option. However, there have been rumors in recent years that make many customers think twice before ordering a cone. 

So, let’s find out, ‘is McDonald’s ice cream real?’

About McDonald’s Ice Cream

Some type of ice cream has been featured on the McDonald’s menu since the 1940s. However, the soft-serve version that you may be familiar with was launched in 1978. It proved to be an instant hit and now plays a starring role in 60% of dessert menu items. 

Most adults have sweet childhood memories of enjoying a cone on a sunny day. However, the classic recipe was changed in 2017. McDonald’s ice cream has always been free from artificial colors and preservatives. However, since 2017 it has also been free from artificial flavoring.  

What makes it so soft?

You are sure to have noticed that this ice cream is much softer than the versions in many other restaurants. This is mainly because each soft serve cone only features 5% milk fat, compared to 10% milk fat in most versions. This reduced percentage makes the ice cream much softer and gives it the familiar texture.

The Ingredients

The ingredients in the fast-food chain’s soft serve are specifically designed for McDonald’s. This includes using glucose to replace some of the sugar content. While the ingredients are modified, McDonald’s ice cream is real and is mainly made with reduced-fat dairy ice cream.

Cream is also used to make the soft serve richer and thicker. Cellulose gum and guar gum are also used as thickening agents, while the sweetness comes from sugar and corn syrup. The other main ingredients are vitamin A palmitate, mono and diglycerides, and carrageenan. 


The milk that is used in soft serve is provided by several dairy suppliers. This includes Milk R Dairy, Dairy-Mix, and Hildebrandt Farms. Local dairy farms from all around the world also provide the fast-food chain with thousands of gallons of milk. 



People who are sensitive to gluten can enjoy a cup of McDonald’s soft serve without concern. It is important to make sure you ask for a cup rather than a cone when ordering your soft serve. However, those who are very sensitive could potentially have issues due to cross-contamination. 

Vegan option

Because all soft serve contains milk and cream, it is not suitable for vegans. However, vegans may be able to tuck into this sweet sensation if they take a trip to Germany. Vegan-friendly vanilla soft serve is available in many locations in Germany, as well as a vegan McFlurry with Oreo pieces.


In 2019, a claim was made that the company uses fake vanilla in its soft-serve ice cream. The claim was that the flavor came from a synthetic product called vanillin rather than vanilla beans. This would conflict with McDonald’s claim to use only natural ingredients in its soft serve. However, the company has stated many times that this rumor is not true. 

The Pork Fat Rumor

Rumors that the company’s soft serve contains pork fat have been around for many years. This comes from the fat that gelatin, which is derived from pork, is found in numerous foods. This includes Jell-O, marshmallows, gummy worms, and many types of ice cream.

While many people wouldn’t give this a second thought, gelatin can be a real issue for vegetarians. It shows up in many dessert items that appear to be vegetarian at first glance. Fortunately, McDonald’s soft serve is free from gelatin, pork fat, and other meat-based products

The McFlurry 

The McFlurry was invented in Canada in 1995, and it proved to be an instant hit. This tasty dessert features vanilla soft serve as well as pieces of cookie or candy and sweet syrup. Most menus feature three McFlurry options, while limited-edition options are launched from time to time.

One of the weirdest rumors to the surface was that the McFlurry contains bird feathers. Other people have claimed that Styrofoam balls are added as filler. Fortunately, neither of these rumors is true. 

The McFlurry

International McFlurry flavors

If you are planning a trip to another country, it is worth paying a visit to a local McDonald’s branch. International branches often boast a selection of regional menu items for you to sink your teeth into. Dessert lovers are sure to want to take a look at the McFlurry options.

  • There are several different variations to try in Malta. One of the most popular is Baci, which features real Italian chocolate. Other options include a version with pieces of Snickers and a biscuit, and Strawberry McFlurry. 
  • If you are in Singapore, you can head on over to a Dessert kiosk and order a Banana McFlurry. The Mudpie McFlurry and Strawberry Shortcake McFlurry are also popular among people of all ages.
  • Germany is also a great place for McFlurry fans to visit. The Kit Kat McFlurry with raspberry sauce is sure to hit the spot, while there is also a Toblerone version. Another popular option is the Brownie and Caramel McFlurry.


In the past, there was a weird rumor that the company’s shakes featured cow eyeballs as a thickener. While these shakes are certainly thick and creamy, they are free from eyeballs and other cow parts. The thickness comes from milk fat and reduced-fat vanilla ice cream.

Read more: How Much Does McDonald’s Pay?

More Interesting Facts About McDonald’s

Well, let’s start with which is the best restaurant in our in-depth comparison of McDonalds Vs Wendys, and let you decide for yourself!

Heading to your favorite “Mickey D’s”? Then you might be wondering Does McDonalds Have An All Day Breakfast, as well as Do McDonald’s Frappes Have Caffeine for your morning kick?

Or perhaps you’ve got a craving and would like to know When Does McDonalds Serve Lunch, followed by Are McDonald’s Fries Vegetarian, along with Does McDonalds Sell Ice and Does McDonalds Sell Cake for something sweet afterward? Or, if you’ve forgotten your wallet, you’ll need to know Does McDonalds Take Apple Pay, and Does McDonalds Take EBT in 2023?

Final Thoughts

When you order soft serve from a McDonald’s location, you can be sure that the ice cream is completely real. McDonald’s Ice Cream is free from artificial ingredients, including artificial flavors and preservatives. In addition, it has a reduced sugar content and is made from reduced-fat milk.

The company’s signature soft serve is used in a wide range of items on the dessert menu. Customers will be relieved to discover that the rumors about pork fat, as well as a host of other dubious products, in the soft serve are not true. While the product is not vegan, this does mean that vegetarian customers can indulge without concern.

Enjoy your McFlurry at McDonald’s!

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