A small blizzard from Dairy Queen is a popular frozen treat that many people enjoy. However, with its thick, creamy soft serve and mix-ins like cookies, candy, and fruit, it’s easy to wonder just how many calories are packed into one of these ice cream concoctions.
What is a Blizzard?
A blizzard is Dairy Queen’s signature soft serve treat. Unlike a regular ice cream cone where the ice cream just sits on top, a blizzard is made by blending the soft serve with different mix-ins like cookie dough, candy pieces, brownies, and fruit. This creates a thick, creamy frozen drink-like texture.
Blizzards come in different sizes – small, medium, large, and mini. A small blizzard generally contains around 12-16 oz of blended soft serve and mix-ins. The cup is filled to the top with the blended ice cream mixture and topped with whipped cream and extra mix-ins.
Some popular blizzard flavors are:
- Oreo Cookies n’ Cream
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup
- Heath Bar
- Mint Oreo
- Chocolate Extreme
- Banana Split
- Summer Berry Cheesecake
Calories in a Small Blizzard
So how many calories are actually in a small blizzard? The calories can vary depending on the exact blend of soft serve and mix-ins, but here is an overview:
Small Blizzard (12 oz) Calories:
- No mix-ins: 540 calories
- With candy/cookies: 650-850 calories
- With brownie pieces: 700-900 calories
- With cheesecake pieces: 650-850 calories
- Fruit blend-ins: 600-800 calories
As you can see, a small blizzard can range from 540 calories for just plain soft serve up to 900 calories for a brownie-filled option. The most caloric versions are ones with large mix-in pieces like brownies, cheesecake, and candy bars. Fruit blizzards on the lower end of the range.
So why the big calorie counts? Here’s a breakdown of where those calories come from:
Calories from Soft Serve
The base of the blizzard is Dairy Queen’s signature soft serve. According to Dairy Queen, a 100g serving of their vanilla soft serve contains 137 calories.
Since a small blizzard has about 12-14oz (336-392g) of soft serve, the soft serve accounts for 460-536 calories of the total.
Calories from Mix-Ins
The mix-ins add significant calories on top of the soft serve base. For example:
- 1 regular Oreo cookie: 43 calories
- 4 Reese’s mini peanut butter cups: 200 calories
- 1/4 cup M&M’s: 220 calories
- 2 oz brownie pieces: 200 calories
- 2 oz cheesecake pieces: 180 calories
- 1/4 cup strawberries: 16 calories
- 1/4 banana: 23 calories
A small blizzard typically has between 1/2 – 1 cup of mix-in pieces. So the mix-ins can add 200-400+ calories to the total. The more calorie-dense the mix-in (like brownies or candy vs fruit), the more calories it will contribute.
Calories from Whipped Cream
Don’t forget the whipped cream on top! About 2 tablespoons (1 oz) of whipped cream adds around 50 calories. So the whipped cream topping contributes a small amount to the overall calorie count.
Nutritional Information for Popular Blizzard Flavors
Here is more specific nutritional information for some of the most popular blizzard flavors from Dairy Queen:
Oreo Cookies n’ Cream Blizzard
- Small (12 oz): 670 calories
- Fat: 24g
- Carbs: 103g
- Protein: 12g
- Sugar: 76g
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard
- Small (12 oz): 840 calories
- Fat: 36g
- Carbs: 116g
- Protein: 19g
- Sugar: 94g
- Small (12 oz): 780 calories
- Fat: 27g
- Carbs: 117g
- Protein: 15g
- Sugar: 103g
- Small (12 oz): 840 calories
- Fat: 37g
- Carbs: 114g
- Protein: 15g
- Sugar: 81g
Summer Berry Cheesecake Blizzard
- Small (12 oz): 620 calories
- Fat: 17g
- Carbs: 108g
- Protein: 11g
- Sugar: 66g
As you can see, calorie counts can vary significantly based on the different mix-ins blended into the soft serve. The most caloric options tend to be ones with candy bars, peanut butter cups, brownies, and chocolate pieces. Lower calorie fruit blizzards are great options if you’re looking for something a bit lighter.
Ways to Lighten Up Your Blizzard
If you want to enjoy a blizzard but avoid going way overboard on calories, here are some tips:
- Choose a mini (7 oz) instead of a small. Cuts calories by about 200-300.
- Order simple flavors like vanilla or chocolate instead of candy-filled options.
- Opt for fruit or cheesecake mix-ins instead of brownies or candy pieces.
- Ask for just a few mix-ins instead of the full amount.
- Request light whipped cream on top.
- Use a spoon to eat slowly and savor – this makes it feel more filling.
- Split with a friend!
Healthiest Blizzard Options
If you’re trying to make a healthier choice, here are some of the best low-calorie Blizzard flavors:
- Fruit Smoothie Blizzard – 620 calories (small)
- Strawberry Cheesecake Blizzard – 650 calories (small)
- Banana Split Blizzard – 660 calories (small)
- Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Blizzard – 690 calories (small)
- Cherry Limeade Blizzard – 720 calories (small)
Fruit options with lighter mix-ins like cheesecake pieces or chocolate chunks are your best bet for keeping calories reasonable. Stay away from brownies, candy bars, peanut butter, and chocolate overload.
Blizzard Alternatives for Fewer Calories
If you want a treat from Dairy Queen but are watching your calorie intake, Blizzards may not be the best choice. Here are some lower calorie Dairy Queen options to consider instead:
- Regular soft serve cone with dip – 340 calories (small)
- Vanilla milkshake – 500 calories (small)
- Arctic Rush Slushy – 180 calories (small)
- Iced coffee – 110 calories (small)
- Orange Julius Original – 260 calories (small)
- Misty Slush – 150 calories (small)
Sticking with soft serve, milkshakes, slushies, or cold drinks can satisfy your craving while keeping calories in check. You can also customize these items to make them even healthier by asking for sugar-free flavors, low-fat milk, less syrup, etc.
Should You Eat the Whole Blizzard?
Blizzards are meant to be treats. If you do decide to indulge in one, is it necessary to finish the whole thing? Here are some pros and cons:
Pros of Eating the Full Blizzard
- You get the full blizzard experience in all its creamy, chilled, blended glory!
- It’s more satisfying to finish a full-size treat.
- You get your money’s worth instead of tossing half.
- A rare indulgence won’t sabotage your overall healthy diet.
Cons of Eating the Full Blizzard
- Large portion = large amount of calories, fat, sugar and carbs.
- Can lead to a sugar crash later.
- Unlikely to fit into a balanced diet for the day.
- May cause stomach discomfort and brain freeze!
Healthier Ways to Enjoy Your Blizzard
To make your blizzard more waistline-friendly, try these tips:
- Order the mini size.
- Ask for a cup and spoon to eat half now, half later.
- Split with a friend or family member.
- Savor small spoonfuls slowly to make it last.
- Skip sugary toppings like whipped cream.
Portion control is key when indulging in a high-calorie blended treat. Slow down and enjoy just enough to satisfy your craving.
The Bottom Line on Blizzard Calories
So how many calories in a small blizzard? In summary:
- Calories range from 540 for plain soft serve up to around 900 for candy-filled options.
- The soft serve makes up 460-540 calories, mix-ins add 200-400+ more.
- Higher-calorie additions include brownies, candy, peanut butter cups.
- Fruit and cheesecake mix-ins are lighter options.
- A mini blizzard or soft serve cone are lower cal alternatives.
- Sharing your blizzard or just eating part is an easy way to trim calories.
While an indulgent blizzard can fit into your diet in moderation, being mindful of portions is key. Savor every creamy bite of your blizzard – just maybe not the whole pint!