What size is 1 scoop of ice cream?

When serving or eating ice cream, it’s common to reference “scoops” of ice cream rather than exact measurements like cups or ounces. But what does a “scoop” of ice cream actually equate to in terms of volume or weight? The answer depends on several factors.

Standard Scoop Sizes

There are some general guidelines for standard ice cream scoop sizes:

  • A small scoop is around 1.5 ounces or 44 grams.
  • A medium or average scoop is around 2 ounces or 57 grams.
  • A large scoop is around 3 ounces or 85 grams.

So if a recipe calls for “1 scoop of ice cream” with no other context, it most likely means a medium or average scoop of around 2 ounces or 1/4 cup.

Factors Affecting Scoop Size

However, the actual volume or weight of a scoop can vary quite a bit depending on these factors:

  • Ice cream texture – The more solid and frozen the ice cream is, the easier it is to scoop a nice compact, round scoop. Softer ice cream tends to melt and spread out more, resulting in a larger scoop size for the same amount of product.
  • Scoop design – Scoop shapes and sizes differ, affecting how much ice cream they hold. A larger scoop or one shaped to compact ice cream will contain more.
  • Person scooping – Some people tend to make smaller or larger scoops based on personal habit.
  • Serving container – Scoop sizes may be adjusted to fit servings into cones, bowls, etc. Smaller scoops are often used for cones.

So while a “standard” ice cream scoop is around 2 ounces, the actual size can range quite a bit from about 1.25 to 4 ounces depending on multiple factors.

Typical Scoop Sizes for Different Uses

Looking at some common serving situations can provide a better idea of typical ice cream scoop sizes:

Ice Cream Cones

Ice cream cones typically hold 1 small scoop of around 1.5 ounces. This keeps the cone from becoming overloaded and unstable.

A standard flat-bottomed cake cone holds about 4-6 ounces comfortably. But a single medium 2 ounce scoop would overflow the sides, so most shops use a smaller 1.5 ounce kids size scoop for cones.


Larger dishes like sundae glasses and bowls allow bigger scoop sizes. A sundae typically gets 2 to 3 medium or large scoops totaling 4 to 6 ounces of ice cream.


A standard milkshake uses 2 to 3 average ice cream scoops per 16 ounce serving. So each scoop is around 2 ounces.

Banana Splits

A banana split is assembled with 3 standard single serving scoops down the length of a split banana. Each scoop is around 2 ounces.

Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ice cream sandwiches usually contain a 1.5 to 2 ounce flat, oval-shaped scoop to fit inside the cookies.

Scoop Sizes for Different Types of Ice Cream

Scoop sizes may also vary based on the type of ice cream being served:

Ice Cream Type Typical Scoop Size
Soft serve 1.5 to 2 ounces
Frozen yogurt 3 to 4 ounces
Gelato 2.5 to 3 ounces
Sorbet 1.5 to 2.5 ounces
Sherbet 2 to 3 ounces

Soft serve and sorbet tend to be softer and require smaller scoops. Gelato, frozen yogurt and sherbet require larger scoops due to their density.

Scoop Size by Volume or Weight

The size of an ice cream scoop can also be described in terms of volume or weight:


  • 1.5 ounce scoop is around 1/8 cup
  • 2 ounce scoop is around 1/4 cup
  • 3 ounce scoop is around 1/3 cup
  • 4 ounce scoop is around 1/2 cup


  • 1.5 ounce scoop is around 44 grams
  • 2 ounce scoop is around 57 grams
  • 3 ounce scoop is around 85 grams
  • 4 ounce scoop is around 113 grams

So a single “scoop” can range from 44 to 113 grams or 1/8 to 1/2 cup depending on the exact size.

Scoop Sizes Based on Recipe Yield

For recipes specifying a volume amount of ice cream as a yield, you can calculate backwards to determine how many scoops are required:

Example 1

A batch of ice cream sandwiches calls for 1 quart of ice cream total.

– 1 quart = 4 cups
– Using 2 ounce scoops, each scoop is 1/4 cup
– So 4 cups = 16 (2 ounce) scoops

You’ll need around 16 scoops to get 1 quart total.

Example 2

A baked Alaska recipe needs 1.5 pints of ice cream.

– 1.5 pints = 3 cups
– Using 3 ounce scoops, each scoop is 1/3 cup
– So 3 cups = 9 (3 ounce) scoops

You’ll need 9 large scoops totaling 1.5 pints.

Tips for Scooping Ice Cream

To get nice even scoops when serving ice cream:

  • Use scoops designed for ice cream, which have thin edges to cut through firmly frozen ice cream.
  • Allow ice cream to soften slightly before scooping if too firm.
  • Work quickly before ice cream melts.
  • Use a twisting motion as you push scoop into ice cream.
  • Level off the top for a nice even shape.
  • Dislodge scoop from ice cream using thumb before releasing.

Standard Scoop Sizes

Here is a quick overview of typical ice cream scoop sizes:

  • Small scoop: 1.5 ounces
  • Medium/average scoop: 2 ounces
  • Large scoop: 3 ounces
  • Jumbo scoop: 4 ounces

When a recipe calls for “1 scoop” without specifying, it generally refers to the medium 2 ounce size. But factors like ice cream firmness and serving container can alter the actual volume. Expect a range of about 1.25 to 4 ounces per scoop based on context.


While ice cream scoop sizes can vary quite a bit, some typical sizes to keep in mind are:

  • 1.5 ounces or 1/8 cup for cones or kids scoops
  • 2 ounces or 1/4 cup for a standard single serving
  • 3 ounces or 1/3 cup for a larger or double scoop

Scooping technique, ice cream softness, and serving container also impact results. But in general, a single “scoop” of ice cream ranges from around 1.5 to 3 ounces or 1/8 to 1/3 cup. Understanding typical scoop sizes makes serving and prepping recipes requiring ice cream easier.

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