Is Ice Cream Candy? • This May Surprise You! •

Ice cream! You scream! We all scream! And then some miserable party pooper at the back screams, ‘it’s not even candy!’ Wow. Who let this guy in? Nevertheless, he does raise an interesting point. We’re now all wondering, ‘is he right? Is ice cream even a candy?’ Hmmm. Well, I can see why it might be confusing. We probably all grow up just thinking that it’s sweet and, therefore, must be some form of candy in a unique way. But are we right to assume this? Is ice cream actually not a candy? And does it belong in an entirely different category of food? If so, where does it belong? So many questions that need answering. Luckily, you came to the right place to get those answers.

So, is Ice Cream candy? Ice cream is not typically considered to be candy, instead being classified as…ice cream. It’s in a category of its own. Not logged in with candy or confectionery. Ice cream is not considered as candy because it does not contain sugar as its primary ingredient. Another key reason why ice cream isn’t regarded as a candy is that sugar syrup is not boiled to produce crystallized sugar during ice cream’s manufacturing process.

Interesting, right?

So let’s delve into it in further detail to confirm why this is the case!

Why IS Ice Cream Not Considered Candy?

Ice cream is not considered candy because it does not contain sugar as its primary ingredient and sometimes doesn’t contain any sugar at all. Sugar syrup is not boiled to produce crystallized sugar during the ice cream’s manufacturing process, which is another indication that it is not candy.

Yes, it is one of those headscratchers, the old ice cream. You look at it and just wonder, ‘what actually are you?’ 

The reality is that ice cream is not a candy. It’s just not.

Sorry if that throws your world upside down, but ice cream is not considered by the experts, such as myself, as a candy.

Why? Well, there are a few reasons, some of which are down to the consensus of the candy community, whilst others are rooted in the hard scientific definition of candy.

Let’s start by talking about why ice cream is not generally considered candy in the candy community.

Sugar Content

Many believe that candy must contain sugar as its primary ingredient. Is this the case for ice cream?

No, it is not.

Ice cream’s primary ingredients are actually fruits, milk, and cream, depending on the type of ice cream you have purchased, of course.

It is the case that some ice creams don’t use any sugar at all as they get their sweet flavors from the natural fruits they are made from. 

Of course, many ice creams do use lots of sugar to get their sweet taste.

Would this be enough for such an ice cream to be considered as a candy? The answer…is still no!

How Ice Cream Is Made

Because how the sugar is used in the manufacturing process of a food matters immensely when it comes to handing out the ‘candy’ status.

For something to be classed as a candy, the sugar content needs to be produced and used in a very specific way.

Basically, sugar syrup needs to be boiled until it produces crystallized sugar. If this is a part of the process, then a food can safely call itself a candy.

Ice cream does not go through this process at all, as crystallized sugar is not created by boiling sugar syrup during the manufacturing process.

This is the main reason why we wouldn’t refer to it as a candy. It is the hard scientific definition reason that will explain a bit more…now!

What Qualifies Something As Candy?

Something is qualified as a candy if it is a confection made with sugar AND sugar syrup is boiled to form crystallized sugar when making it. This would mean having sugar as its primary ingredient.

We define candy and confectionery as all types of candy and similar products that are used in the same way and marketed in the same way.

But there is a clear split.

For instance, candy will include chocolate, but nuts or popcorn, for example, would fit into the confectionery category. 

This doesn’t give us a clear idea of what ice cream actually is, as based on this definition, ice cream doesn’t fit into the confectionery category.

What about candy? Well, there are two main parts to its scientific definition. 

The first is that sugar syrup is boiled to form crystallized sugar when making candy.

The second part is that it must be a confection made with sugar.

Both of these points clearly connect to one another. 

So let’s put ice cream up to the test of this definition. Is crystallized sugar created by boiling during the manufacturing process of ice cream?

The answer is no.

Sugar is not boiled during the process, meaning ice cream misses out on aligning with this classification on our small yet important checklist. 

You might think that that’s not fair.

A fair amount of ice cream types and brands align with the second part of the definition, as we all know that they can be made with sugar.

But that’s not enough, I’m afraid. You need to hit both of the targets in order to be classed as a candy.

Let’s face it; you can’t just add loads of sugar onto a slice of toast to make it candy, can you?

It would still just be a piece of toast, except it had an obscene amount of sugar on it.

So sugar content doesn’t guarantee something as candy.

This also means that there are probably lots of sugar confectioneries out there that you have perceived as candy all this time without knowing that they’re actually not.

Because remember, if crystallized sugar isn’t formed, it ain’t a candy.

How Are Ice Cream And Candy Different?

Ice cream and candy are different because of their manufacturing process, their texture, and their sugar content.

Manufacturing Process

There will be similarities when it comes to the respective manufacturing processes of ice cream and candy.

But the differences are vast.

Of course, the key difference between the two is that one involves crystallizing sugar when boiling sugar syrup.

And the one that does this is candy. Ice cream does not use this process, which means, as you know, that it isn’t candy. 


Ice cream is a frozen food.

So it is going to differ substantially from candy which is not frozen.

The consequence is the two are immensely different in terms of texture, no matter what type of ice cream you are thinking of here.

Candies are hard or at least chewy. Ice creams, on the other hand, have to be sucked until they are soft to eat and swallow.

Sure, some candies also have to be sucked before they can be eaten, such as jawbreakers. But the difference in texture is still there.

Jawbreakers aren’t cold and refreshing like ice cream; they’re actually quite dry.

So no matter what candy or ice cream you are comparing, there will always be a recognizable difference between the two when it comes to their texture.

Sugar Content

As we have discussed, ice cream does not use sugar as a primary ingredient. Candy, on the other hand, does, and often lots of it.

Although ice cream does contain some sugar, which is a similarity, the amount of sugar it contains is so small compared to that of the amounts used in making candy.

So there is a stark difference in sugar content between ice cream and candy.

How Are Ice Cream And Candy Similar?

Ice cream and candy are similar because they contain sugar, taste sweet, and are marketed the same way.

Sugar Content

Despite all that has been said, ice cream still contains sugar.

That’s how it gets its sweet taste, although this can come from natural ingredients used in the manufacturing process, such as fruits.

Legitimate candies also contain sugar. So they both share the fact that they contain sugar.

Sweet Taste

The majority of candies taste sweet because they contain lots of sugar and artificial flavors.

Ice cream also has a sweet taste, but as we’ve said throughout today’s discussion, it’s not always down to the presence of sugar.

It can get its sweet taste from artificial flavors and natural ingredients. 

Similar Marketing

Fancy bright, colorful packaging.

Candy brands love it. And so, too, do ice cream brands. Ice cream is definitely marketed the same way as candy.

I mean, can you imagine ice cream being packaged like a pack of brussel sprouts? I didn’t think so.

What Is Ice Cream Classified As?

Ice cream is not candy. And it’s not confectionery. It is just ice cream.

So where on earth does ice cream fit in after all this?

Sure, ice cream tastes sweet.

Sure, it contains sugar.

Sure, it’s marketed the same way.

But it ain’t candy, for the reasons we outlined earlier. And it isn’t confectionery either.

Where does it go, then? In its very own category. Ice cream is ice cream.

It’s a food type big enough in quantity and variety to be regarded as in a category of its own.

And to be honest with you, I think it deserves such a title.


The truth is here for you all to see.

Ice cream is not a candy, but that doesn’t take anything away from it.

It’s still delicious, and we’ll still be eating it in large quantities when summer returns!

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