Ice cream serving sizes

Ice cream is definitely an indulgence, which means that it’s not a bad idea to find out exactly how much a serving size is if you like to have it on a regular basis. Generally, a serving is 1/2 cup, according to the carton. According to Hungry Girl, a serving is a lightly packed 1/2 cup and not the full measure.

The only question is what exactly a lightly packed half-cup of ice cream looks like. The term is often used to describe baking ingredients like flour and brown sugar, both of which will either “settle” into a cup or remain “lightly packed.” Solid things, such as chocolate chips, don’t exactly “pack” – they either fill the cup or they don’t - and this category includes unmelted ice cream. Wouldn’t it be easier just to say that a serving size was a full 1/3 cup, rather than leaving consumers to estimate exactly how much less than 1/2 cup their serving should be?

I’m not about to break out my kitchen scale to weigh ice cream, so I’ll try to stick to the scoop rule where one normal-sized scoop is a serving and you have plenty of room, both size-wise and calorie-wise, for a cone and toppings.


  1. In our house a serving size is one pint!

  2. I read Hungry Girl’s scoop thing and my first thought was to break out the kitchen scale! Just out of curiosity… Crazy, I know.

  3. When I worked at a gourmet ice cream store, a serving of ice cream had to weigh 2 1/2 ounces.
    My friend who worked at Baskin Robbins also said that he was taught to scoop 2 1/2 ounce cones.
    2 1/2 ounces of ice cream is usually one full scoop and a half scoop on top.

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