Concrete vs. Ice Cream: What’s the Difference?

Do you wonder if concrete and ice cream look the same and also you eat them the same way–using a spoon?

So, what makes them different?

This article will give you the exact answer to help you choose concrete or ice cream more mindfully.

Please keep reading for 4 minutes.

Concrete vs. Ice Cream: Key Difference

Before a lengthy discussion about how ice cream and concrete differ from each other, below, I’ve offered an overview of the key similarities and differences.

Key Distinction Between Concrete and Ice Cream

Ice cream, made with milk cream, has a lighter texture due to a higher air content, making it easier to scoop. In contrast, concrete is a frozen egg custard with a denser and richer consistency, requiring a spoon for consumption due to a higher egg yolk ratio of 10-14%, compared to custard which has 6-8% egg yolks.

Ice Cream vs. Concrete: Detailed Comparison 

Do you want to know more about concrete and ice cream? Here is a detailed comparison between ice cream vs concrete for you.

What is Ice Cream, its Origin, Serving Style, and Flavors?

Ice cream is a frozen dessert with milk cream as its basic ingredient combined with sugar and flavorings (like vanilla extract or cocoa powder). All these ingredients are combined and frozen to 5-10 degrees Fahrenheit to give the mixture a solid state, what we call “ice cream.” But some ice creams also have alternative milk products like soy, almond, or coconut milk for lactose intolerant or vegans.

To add further flavors, ice cream can have many delicious mix-ins like chocolate chips, cookie dough, fruit, nuts, and more. Hence, you can enjoy endless flavor combinations to try, from classic vanilla and chocolate to more unique flavors like lavender honey or spicy chocolate.


The origin of ice cream is a topic of debate among historians, but it is believed that the idea of mixing ice and flavorings to create a frozen dessert has been around for thousands of years.

However, the modern version of ice cream as we know it today is believed to have originated in Italy during the 16th century. The Italians made it by freezing a mixture of cream, sugar, and fruit or other flavorings. Ice cream quickly became popular throughout Europe and eventually made its way to the United States in the late 18th century.

Ice Cream Serving and Eating Styles.

Ice cream has a dozen serving styles. Being frozen, you can enjoy it in a cone or a bowl or as part of a sundae, ice cream is the perfect treat for any time of year!  

On a cone, you can lick it, while in a bowl or cup, you can eat it with a spoon.

Another fun way to enjoy ice cream is as a sundae. This typically involves adding various toppings like hot fudge, caramel, whipped cream, nuts, and cherries to your ice cream. You can create your sundae at home or visit an ice cream shop that offers a variety of sundae options.

How often have you tried ice cream shakes or ice cream cakes? 

Yes, ice cream can also go in milk if you want to drink it instead of eating it or cover your cakes if you want more sweet softness.

No matter how you choose to eat your ice cream, the most important thing is to savor and enjoy every bite!

What is Concrete, its Origin, Serving Styles, and Flavors?

Concrete is a thick frozen egg custard with a higher ratio of 10% to 14% pasteurized egg yolks. More eggs mean more richness. Also, it’s a bit fatty, more than ice cream, but less air. (Remember, the only difference between concrete and eggs is that concrete has more eggs).

People in the Midwest, especially at Shake Shack, love it. It comes in a cup with loads of toppings like candies, cookies, fruits, or nuts. Plus, they go all out with decorations—chocolate cake, donuts, chocolates, and waffles. It’s thick, it’s rich, and it’s a tasty treat.

Concrete has some unique flavors to give treats to your taste buds. Among these, a few are as follows:

  • Chocolate chip cookie dough is a classic mix-in and a fan favorite; 
  • Salted Caramel is rich and creamy vanilla custard blended with ribbons of salty caramel.
  • Mint Chocolate Chip–a refreshing mix of vanilla custard and chocolate chips infused with a cool hint of mint.
  • Raspberry Cheesecake is a sweet and tangy blend of raspberry sauce and chunks of creamy cheesecake in vanilla custard.
  • Oreo concrete has a classic flavor, featuring vanilla custard blended with pieces of Oreo cookies.
  • Chocolate Fudge–it’s a chocolate lover’s dream, with rich chocolate fudge blended into the creamy vanilla custard.
  • Strawberry–a fruity and refreshing mix of vanilla custard and real strawberries.
  • Peanut butter cup–the perfect delicious combination of vanilla custard and chunks of peanut butter cups.
  • Caramel cashew is a sweet and salty mix of vanilla custard, caramel sauce, and chopped cashews.
  • Berry cheesecake–a tangy cheesecake that complements sweet and juicy berries, making for a delicious and refreshing dessert.

Hence, concrete is a delicious and indulgent dessert perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth.

What is the Origin of Concrete? 

The origin of concrete is a bit unclear. However, it’s generally agreed that concrete was first introduced in the 1950s in the United States, specifically in the Midwest.

Some say the restaurant Cozy Dog Drive-In, in Springfield, Illinois, first created that concrete. The restaurant’s owner, Ed Waldmire, had tried a similar dessert nearby. So, he decided to create his own version using frozen custard and mix-ins. 

The name “concrete” supposedly comes from the thick, creamy texture of the dessert, which is so thick that you can turn it upside down without spilling.

Other stories say that a different restaurant in the Midwest first introduced concrete, and they created it independently by several restaurants around the same time.

Concrete Serving and Eating Styles

Eating concrete differs from traditional ice cream because of the added mix-ins and a thicker texture.

Typically, you get it in a cup rather than in a cone. Some concretes may have additional toppings like whipped cream or cherries.

To eat concrete, you’ll usually need a spoon. You can scoop it like you would with regular ice cream, but because of its thickness, you may need to use more force.

Summarizing the Key Differences Between Ice Cream and Concrete

  • Concrete has egg custard with about 10 % to 14% eggs as a base material. However, ice cream has milk cream as a primary ingredient.
  • Concrete has about 20% air incorporated in it, while ice cream has about 50% air in it; that’s why it’s a bit tough to scoop.
  • Concrete has a slightly lower temperature of about 18-21 degrees Fahrenheit to deliver more taste by preventing eaters’ buds from freezing. In contrast, ice cream has freezing temps of 5-10 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Ice cream can be licked, but you must eat concrete with a spoon.
  • Ice cream is served in several styles like in cones, cups, bowls, in glass, but contrite only comes in a cup or bowl.
  • Concrete has few flavors, while ice cream has tons of flavors–but you can add a flavor of your choice to your homemade concrete.
  • Ice cream is more popular than concrete.
  • You can pair ice cream with several recipes to create another. Yet, you can’t do the same with concrete, though you’re allowed to do experiments.

In short, both delicious sweet desserts are distinctive, yet you can enjoy them even alternatively. Why not experiment with concrete next time?

Some Similarities Between Ice Cream and Concrete

  • Both are sweet and frozen.
  • They look alike in consistency and level of sweetness.
  • You can use them interchangeably, as you have been topping your cakes with ice cream. You can also top the concrete on cakes or doughnuts. Similarly, you can throw a cup of concrete in your milkshake and love your next sip.


Concrete and ice cream are both frozen desserts. Yet the former has eggs as a distinctive material, while the latter has milk cream. You can try both…!

Cashmere M
Cashmere M

Cashmere M is a passionate culinary explorer and food writer with 25 years of home kitchen experience. This blog is a treasure trove of her insights into worldwide cuisine, cooking techniques, and expert knowledge of kitchen tools and gadgets. She's always seeking the healthiness of ingredients before putting them on her plate because she believes what you eat creates your internal environment: either healthy or unhealthy. So, to her, food isn't just a passion; it's a lifelong journey to taste and healthiness that you're welcome to join.

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