Want some gluten-free Cold Stone? Me too. When it’s hot outside, there’s nothing better than cooling off with gluten-free ice cream. And one of the more popular chains of ice cream is Cold Stone. So let’s talk about what’s gluten-free at Cold Stone and if you have celiac disease, how to prevent cross-contact at this restaurant.
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When talking about gluten-free Cold Stone menu items, it’s important we know what gluten is. Gluten is a protein found in barley, rye, contaminated oats, and wheat. It may be helpful to remember the acronym “BROW” when trying to remember what foods have gluten.
In baked goods, gluten holds things together working as a binding agent. It gives texture and chew to foods.
Most people can safely eat gluten. However, some people have gluten sensitivity or celiac disease which means they need to avoid gluten. It can cause digestive issues such as diarrhea and nausea as well as nonintestinal symptoms such as rashes, headaches, or joint pain.
When talking about gluten-free Cold Stone menu items, it’s important we also know what Cold Stone is.
Cold Stone is an ice cream parlor that has been serving gluten-free ice cream products for over 30 years. Their most well-known for allowing you to make a custom ice cream using their frozen granite stone and toppings.
When ordering gluten-free Cold Stone, it’s important to know what contains gluten. I combed through Cold Stone’s Food Allergies and Sensitivities guide to find you answers.
When combing through the Cold Stone Menu for gluten-free Cold Stone options, I found that if it sounds like it has gluten based on the name, then it probably has gluten. For example, when cake or cookie was listed in the name, it usually appeared that the ice cream flavor had gluten. Below is a list of ice cream flavors that contain gluten based on the Cold Stone allergen guide.
It also should be noted that if ice cream scoops are NOT washed in between scoops, then the ice cream scoops and the tubs of ice cream serve as cross-contact points. If you have celiac disease, you must worry about cross-contact.
To minimize these cross-contact points, you’ll want to tell the staff you have a severe gluten allergy and that you need them to pull ice cream from fresh bins using a clean scoop.
When checking for other gluten-free Cold Stone items, I also checked the mix-ins you can have added to your ice cream. Mix-ins that contain gluten based on the allergen guide include:
When ordering gluten-free Cold Stone be aware that there are other products that contain gluten aside from some flavors of ice cream and mix-ins. Other things that contain gluten include the waffle products and cones, the “Who You Callin’ Shortcake?” sundae, all of their cookie sandwiches, signature cakes, and pies.
Additionally, all of the cupcakes, EXCEPT for the Reese’s Peanut Butter Ice Cream Cups contain gluten as well.
Now that we know what contains gluten, what’s gluten-free at Cold Stone?
So what kind of gluten-free ice cream can you order at Cold Stone? Below are the flavors I found in the Cold Stone Allergy guide that didn’t contain gluten.
But remember, the ice cream scoop and tubs of ice cream can be points of cross-contact if they aren’t being washed between use (which normally they aren’t). To minimize the risk of cross-contact, ask for your ice cream to be pulled with a freshly washed ice cream scoop and a new ice cream bin.
If you have lactose intolerance with celiac disease, or dairy just doesn’t sit well with you, Cold Stone does have some gluten-free and dairy-free frozen dessert options.
All of the sorbets and the Silk Chocolate Almond milk frozen dessert are dairy-free and gluten-free.
So we now know what ice cream and sorbet flavors are gluten-free at Cold Stone, now let’s talk about mix-ins and toppings. I want to make it clear though, that having these mixed into your ice cream is a point of cross-contact.
Not only is there room for the gluten mix-ins to fall into other mix-in bins but also the mixing stone and the scoops serve as a cross-contact risk as well.
So use your best judgment when selecting toppings. If you have celiac and want mix-ins, make sure the gluten-free mix-ins are not sitting right next to or behind gluten-filled mix-ins where it’d be easy for them to fall. Your best bet would be to have them served on the side or on top of your ice cream instead of mixed in.
Below are the gluten-free toppings and mix-ins you can get at Coldstone.
Remember, these mix-ins and toppings can be at high risk for cross-contact if they are sitting next to gluten containing toppings. You can ask for these mix-ins to be provided from the back instead.
Assess the risk for yourself, and remember, having these ingredients mixed in on the mixing stone is a huge point of cross-contact that you want to avoid. Instead, if you choose to order these mix-ins, ask for them to be served on top or on the side.
Other gluten-free Cold Stone orders include a Banana Split Decision sundae. Just make sure to assess for cross-contact and ask for any precautions you may need to prevent gluten from contaminating the sundae.
The Lifestyle Smoothie Mix and Mango juice are also gluten-free. The mango juice is perfect to order if you don’t want to ask for cross-contact precautions. If you order a smoothie, make sure they are washing the blenders because the milkshakes could contain gluten.
And lastly, you can also order a Reese’s Peanut Butter Ice Cream Cup. Yes, it’s gluten-free and yes, it’s as delicious as it sounds.
Now that we’ve covered what is and isn’t gluten-free at Cold Stone, let’s look at what ordering gluten-free menu items with cross-contact precautions at this restaurant might look like.
Let’s say you want to order Cheesecake Ice Cream with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. You’ll want to make sure that they scoop your Ice Cream with a clean scoop from a fresh tub, and serve it in a bowl. You’ll also want to visually make sure the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups don’t have gluten-containing ingredients directly next to them. Ordering this might look like:
“Hi! I have a severe gluten allergy. Can you use a freshly washed scoop and grab me some Cheesecake Icecream from a new tub of Ice Cream? And is it possible to top it with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups from the back? Thank you so much! I really appreciate it!”
Ordering gluten-free at restaurants like Cold Stone can feel daunting and scary. Especially when there’s gluten on the line and there’s so much room for cross-contact. If you found this article helpful, you’ll definitely find the Gluten-Free Dining Course helpful as well.
It’s a celiac dietitian-led self-paced course that teaches you the 4-steps you need to take at any restaurant to reduce your chances of getting glutened while getting comfortable with speaking up.
Not only that, but the course comes with a ton of gluten-free restaurant cheat sheets that cover common restaurant chains, their gluten-free options, and how to prevent cross-contact to simplify the restaurant experience. Check it out here!