scoop of ice cream

How Much Is a Scoop of Ice Cream?

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With summer fast approaching, we are headed back into ice cream season baby! And while we cannot hold back our excitement, it does come with the added duty of calculating portion sizes. Because let’s be honest, more often than not you ALWAYS run out.

So, whether you are catering for a birthday party, summer wedding, beach-themed event, or some other special ice-cream-requiring occasion, it’s essential to know how much ice cream you will need.

So, how big is a scoop of ice cream? That mainly depends on the type of ice cream you are serving and the size of the scoop you use. A standard scoop of ice cream can hold about 1/2 cup or 4 ounces. A smaller scoop only holds 3/7 cups (2 1/2 ounces), and a large scoop holds 3/4 cups (5 1/2 ounces).

Having these measurements on hand can help you easily calculate the portions you can get from different ice cream types of tubs.

In today’s packed article, we will take a look at every element that affects ice cream scoop sizes and how you can make adjustments in your calculations for them. We will also break down some portion sizes for you based on ice cream tub and scoop volume AND weight.

What Affects the Size of a Scoop of Ice Cream?

The question itself does seem pretty vague. Does it refer to the cost of one scoop of ice cream? How much does 1 scoop of ice cream weigh? What the physical volume and size of the ice cream scoop is? 

size of the scoop

With so many different ways to interpret this question, it’s no wonder so many people are asking it!

So, today, as mentioned, we will take a look at ALL of these aspects when it comes to ice cream scoop size. But first, let’s look at what will actually affect the size, no matter what “size” means.

Size of the Scoop

This is hands-down the factor that most affects the final size of the ice cream scoop. The larger the scoop itself (the tool), the larger the scoop of ice cream will be.

This, in turn, affects the weight of the ice cream, the physical size, and the ultimate cost of the scoop. The bigger the scoop, the higher those numbers will be.

There are many different sizes of ice cream scoops, but traditionally it’s around 1/2 cup in size.

Type of Ice Cream

Next, a little more complex factor, but one that still majorly affects the size.

If you have a plain vanilla ice cream scoop (in a traditional 1/2 cup size), it will weigh roughly 4 ounces (113 grams). 

However, let’s say the same 1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream has M&M’s inside or pieces of dried fruit. The final weight of the same volume of the scoop will be more.

Different kinds of ice cream will have different weights, even if the volume remains exactly the same.

How Big (in Volume) Is a Scoop of Ice Cream?

Now, let’s dive deeper into each of these specific points. First, we will discuss the volume, as this is arguably the most common measurement of ice cream scoop size.

First, you get different-sized ice cream scoop tools. The standard one holds 1/2 cup of ice cream. It may not look entirely like 1/2 cup, but that’s because the shape is different.

Then, you obviously get smaller scoops and larger scoops. Giving an exact measurement for these is next to impossible. It differs from brand to brand and even ranges within the brand. So, all we can give you here are average.

On average, a small scoop holds about 3/7 cups (81-85 ml) of ice cream.

On average, a large ice cream scoop will hold 3/4 cup of ice cream (172 ml).

The volume doesn’t change depending on the TYPE of ice cream you have. Large chunks of add-ons may slightly affect it, but when melted down, the volume will still remain more or less the same. 

What will change the volume is obviously the size of the scoop itself, as we’ve just discussed.

How Much Does a Scoop of Ice Cream Weigh?

This is where there are virtually no standards anymore. The weight of the ice cream is majorly affected by the type you have. 

scoop of ice cream

As briefly explained above, if you have a chunky ice cream (with fillings or sauces etc.), the weight will be different as compared to an ice cream without.

So, 1/2 cup of plain vanilla ice cream will weigh less than 1/2 cup of cookies and cream ice cream (which has chunks of cookies inside).

Furthermore, two types of plain vanilla ice creams can ALSO have different weights. This is affected by the ingredients used to make them. A simple example of this is comparing an ice cream made with sugar and another made with Stevia.

You need a lot less Stevia to sweeten the ice cream than granulated white sugar. So, the weight of the liquid will be less, thus producing ice cream scoops that may be similar in volume but less in weight.

Thus, giving you averages here will be impossible. It differs too much between different types of ice creams.


A standard scoop of plain vanilla ice cream will weigh about 4 ounces (113 grams). These scoops have a volume of 1/2 cup (125 ml) each.

A small scoop of plain vanilla ice cream (3/7 cup in volume) will weigh about 2.58-2.7 ounces (73-77 grams).

And finally, a large scoop of plain vanilla ice cream (3/4 cup in volume) has a weight of 5 1/2 ounces each (156 grams).

Standard / Average Size of Ice Cream Scoops in Volume and WeightVolumeWeight
Small3/7 cup81-85 ml2.58-2.7 ounces73-77 grams
Standard1/2 cup125 ml4 ounces113 grams
Large3/4 cup172 ml5 1/2 ounces156 grams

Working Out Portions

Now that you have all of these averages, let’s take a look at some more specific popular questions people have that will help you easily calculate portions.

And again, take the factors we’ve covered above into consideration when working out exact sizes. The size of your scoop and the type of ice cream you are serving massively affect the final portion count.

For today’s article, we will use the averages set out above.

How Much Is a Single Serving of Ice Cream?

This depends on many factors as well, mainly where you are. In some countries, portion sizes are much bigger than in others. 

ice cream serving

In this study, it was found that Americans prefer larger ice cream portion sizes than Dutchmen.

According to the FDA, a single serving of ice cream should be 2/3 cup (the keyword here is “should”). For many others, it’s only 1 standard scoop, which is 1/2 cup in volume.

To better calculate portion sizes for large groups of people, you will first need to figure out what that “portion size” is.

How Many Scoops of Ice Cream Do You Get From a 1 Liter Tub?

1 liter of ice cream is equivalent to 33.8 fluid ounces or 4 cups. In weight, it depends on the type of ice cream.

The amount of scoops you get depends on the size of your scoops.

If you use small scoops, you will get about 11-12 scoops from a 1-liter tub of plain ice cream.

If you use standard scoops, you will get 8 scoops. And when you use a large ice cream scoop, you will get about 5-6 scoops.

These numbers do not account for any wastage or inaccurate scooping.

How Many Scoops of Ice Cream Do You Get From a Gallon Tub?

One gallon of ice cream is equivalent to 128 fluid ounces, 16 cups, or 3.8 liters.

ice cream tub

A small scoop will give you about 44-45 scoops of ice cream. Your standard ice cream scoop will give you 30 scoops of ice cream. And a large scoop will only give you 22 scoops.

How Many Scoops From 1kg of Ice Cream?

1 kilogram of ice cream is the same as 35.3 ounces or 2.21 pounds.

When using a small ice cream scoop, it will give you roughly 13 portions of ice cream. A standard scoop will give you 9 scoops, and a large scoop will give you 6-7 scoops.

These scoop sizes are entirely dependent on the type of ice cream you have. Because again, and we cannot stress this enough, different types of ice creams have different weights.

For this reason, it is far better to calculate ice cream portion sizes by volume, not weight. After all, the size of the scoop stays the same no matter what type of ice cream you are serving.

Amount of Scoops from Various Ice Cream Tub Sizes1 liter (33.8 fluid ounces)1 gallon (128 fluid ounces)1 kg (2.21 pounds)
Small Scoop11-1244-4513
Standard Scoop8309
Large Scoop5-6226-7

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