Concrete vs. Ice Cream: A Detailed Comparison

Do you love eating frozen desserts and want to know the difference between two similar looking treats: ice cream and concrete?

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.

Key Takeaways

  • Ice cream is a frozen dessert made with milk, cream, sugar, stabilizers, and emulsifiers. Ice cream has a light and airy texture due to the high air content, which can be up to 50%.
  • Concrete is a frozen custard with mix-ins, such as candy, fruit, or nuts, which can further contribute to the thick texture. Concrete’s thicker texture is a result of the higher egg yolk content (1.4% to 2%) , lower air content.

Differences Between Ice Cream and Concrete at a Glance

FeatureIce CreamConcrete
Egg Yolk Content0% (though some ice cream recipes do contain egg yolks)1.4-2%
Air Content20-50%10-15%
Serving Temperature5°F-10°F18°F-21°F
Eating MethodLicking or spooningSpooning
Serving StylesCone, cup, bowl, glass, and other creative stylesCup or bowl
Flavor VarietyWideLimited, but can be customized with homemade concrete
PopularityMore popularLess popular
Pairing with other recipesYesLess common, but possible
ExperimentationLimitedMore possible due to its base as frozen custard

Hence, both delicious sweet desserts are distinctive, yet you can enjoy them even alternatively.

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 made with milk and cream as its basic ingredients. They’re combined with sugar and flavorings (like vanilla extract or cocoa powder) along with 30 to 50% air to give it an airy texture.

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”s 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?

Frozen custard with many mix ins is sometimes called “concrete.” This nickname comes from its texture, which is similar to wet concrete. Also, it has less air.

(Remember, the only difference between concrete and ice cream is the egg yolk content. Concrete contains more egg yolks than ice cream, which contributes to its thicker and denser texture.).

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
  • Salted caramel
  • Mint chocolate chip
  • Raspberry cheesecake
  • Oreo
  • Chocolate fudge
  • Strawberry
  • Peanut butter cup
  • Caramel cashew
  • Berry cheesecake

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

What is the Origin of Concrete and why is it Called So? 

The origin of concrete is a bit unclear. However, it’s the most widely accepted theory that Ted Drewes, a frozen custard stand in St. Louis, Missouri, started the use of the term “concrete” in the 1930s. They served their frozen custard blended with mix-ins and named it “concrete” due to its thick, dense consistency that wouldn’t fall out of the cup even when turned upside down.

Some believe the name comes from the way the custard sets up quickly after being blended, similar to how concrete hardens. This theory focuses on a more technical aspect of the frozen custard’s behavior.

It’s also possible that “concrete” was simply a fun and catchy nickname chosen for marketing purposes. The name certainly stands out and helps differentiate this type of frozen custard from others, making it more memorable and appealing.

Simply put, all theories agree on the key point: “Concrete” refers to a specific type of frozen custard characterized by its thick, dense texture achieved through higher egg yolk content and often blended with mix-ins. The name is a unique identifier and adds to the charm of this delicious dessert.

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 conveniently, 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.

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 vs. Ice Cream: Which is Healthier?

When it comes to health, ice cream emerges as the slightly healthier champion.

Here is why…

Ice cream boasts a key advantage: less fat and calories than concrete, thanks to the 30-50% air it contains. Besides this, the lack of eggs further reduces ice cream’s fat and cholesterol ratio.  

Now, let’s turn to the denser side of the family – concrete. Its thick, creamy texture means more calories and fat packed into each delicious bite. Additionally, the higher concentration of egg yolks contributes to increased fat and cholesterol content.

But before you banish concrete to the freezer dessert naughty corner, consider the following:

  • Portion control is key: Both ice cream and concrete are best enjoyed in moderation. Smaller servings help you savor the flavor without overindulging.
  • Toppings matter: Beware of calorie-laden toppings like chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and candy. These can quickly turn your healthy treat into a calorie bomb.
  • Homemade advantage: When you make your own concrete or ice cream, you can control the ingredients. Choose healthier alternatives like low-fat milk, natural sweeteners, and fresh fruit for a lighter and more nutritious treat.

Ultimately, both ice cream and concrete offer a delicious and refreshing way to satisfy your sweet tooth.


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

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Cashmere Muhammad
Cashmere Muhammad

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