Ice Cream

The Babcock Dairy Plant produces over 20 flavors of ice cream each year, serving campus, locals and retailers with delicious frozen treats. We have made ice cream with the same recipe since 1951.

Production Process

How It’s Made

First, our staff determines our production needs. Then, they create a formula using a dairy formulating software and incorporating the test results of our dairy ingredients.

Our ice cream makers then blend the dry and liquid ingredients using a powder blender. They warm this mixture to 110° F and agitate it for 15 minutes to ensure everything is fully mixed and hydrated. The mixture is homogenized under high pressure to reduce the size of fat globules.

The next step is pasteurization — heating the mix to at least 180° F and holding this temperature for a minimum of 15 seconds before cooling it to less than 40° F. This process is designed to kill 100% of the pathogens and well over 90% of the total bacteria.

The mix is stored for at least 16 hours at a temperature between 35-40° F to allow for full hydration before freezing. Our ice cream makers then add flavor and/or color to the mixture before pumping the mix into the continuous freezer. The continuous freezer will cool the mix from 35° to 20° F, resulting in ice crystal development. The rotating dashers are designed to cut ice crystals as they develop inside the freezing barrel. Additionally, filtered air is injected into the ice cream mixture to produce the desired overrun. The overrun of Babcock’s standard ice cream is 80%, which means 1 gallon of mix will produce 1.8 gallons of ice cream. A slight churning effect takes place from the dasher speed, causing partial coalescence of fat globules. This gives the effect of a smoother and creamier mouth feel.

The mixture of ice crystals, air cells, water, sugar and milk solids then exits the freezing barrel and is pumped through the ingredient feeder, where inclusions, variegates or swirls are added into the ice cream.

This 20° F ice cream is then is quickly packaged and sent to the hardening room for the final step of ice cream making. The temperature of the hardening room should be at -20° F or colder for optimal storage. Finally, the UW-Madison campus and beyond can enjoy our delicious ice cream!

Babcock Ice Cream Flavors


Creamy, white ice cream with natural vanilla flavor.


Rich, chocolate-flavored ice cream.


Strawberry-flavored ice cream with strawberries throughout.

Union Utopia

Vanilla ice cream with swirls of peanut butter, caramel and fudge.

Badger Blast

Super Premium chocolate ice cream with swirls of fudge and dark chocolate flakes.

Orange Custard Chocolate Chip

Creamy, orange-flavored custard with chocolate flakes.

Blueberry Swirl

Super Premium vanilla ice cream filled with swirls of blueberry.

Cookies and Cream

Cookie-flavored ice cream with pieces of Oreo.

Chocolate Peanut Butter

Rich, chocolate ice cream with thick ribbons of creamy peanut butter.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Cookie dough-flavored ice cream with chocolate chip cookie dough pieces and chocolate chips.

Salted Caramel Toffee

Vanilla ice cream swirled with salted caramel and toffee pieces.

Caramel Creek

Super Premium vanilla-flavored ice cream with salty caramel swirls and chocolate flakes.

Mocha Macchiato

Super Premium coffee-flavored ice cream with caramel swirls and chocolate chips.

Mnookie Dough

Vanilla-flavored ice cream with caramel and fudge swirls and cookie dough pieces.

Feature Flavors

The Babcock Dairy Plant produces seasonal, returning and event-based ice cream flavors that rotate in and out of stock. Most feature flavors are available for four to six weeks and can be found on the Babcock Dairy Store website.

If you are a campus member interested in producing a feature flavor, please contact us at