For ice cream lovers, it doesn’t get much better than a seriously sweet scoop of handcrafted ice cream. But what if we told you there was a place in town where you could get an exceptionally smooth and creamy scoop made to order right in front of your eyes? Say hello to Cloud Nine Creamery, Westfield Southcenter’s first liquid nitrogen ice cream shop. If you’re ready to give this latest science experiment turned dessert craze a lick, read on for the scoop.
photo: Cloud Nine Creamery
How It Works
The fun begins the moment you walk up to Cloud Nine’s floor-to-ceiling glass wall. Peer through the glass and feast your eyes on the scientist-like clouds of fog billowing over the counter, onto the floor and out of the shop’s door thanks to the infusion of liquid nitrogen. Once inside, this is where the fun really begins. Start by selecting your base: milk, yogurt or vegan coconut and your container: waffle bowl, cone or cup. Then, choose your flavor. Cloud Nine offers 18 different flavors, including Strawberry, Raspberry, Lychee, Coconut, Mint, Cherry, Green Tea, Vanilla, Cookie ‘N Cream, Double Chocolate, Cake Batter, Nutella, Cookie Dough, Peanut Butter, Butter Pecan, Coffee and Pistachio. Next, it’s time to add your mix-ins which range from candy and nuts to cookie crumbles and fruit. Choose from 27 different options, including popular kid faves like cookie dough, whipped cream, gummy bears, Nutella, brownies, strawberries, marshmallows, chocolate chips, Oreo cookies, peanut butter, sprinkles, Teddy Grahams and white chocolate or candies such as M&Ms, Snickers, Heath Bar, Kit Kat, Twix, Reese’s Minis and Butterfinger.
From there, your personalized concoction is handcrafted right in front of your eyes using the magic, err science, of liquid nitrogen. And once the fog lifts, your delicious and oh-so creamy concoction is ready to eat. Want to make your ice cream even sweeter? Add on a Sauce Syringe ($1 each or four for $3) and top your Cloud Nine creation off with chocolate fudge, sweetened condensed milk, cherry, caramel or seasonal flavors.
Brave the Element
Wondering how Cloud Nine ice cream gets so creamy and what liquid nitrogen has to do with it? That’s all thanks to some weird (and totally cool!) science. Standard ice cream is made by freezing batches in a freezer for approximately 45 minutes. This process tends to cause ice crystals to form — which makes ice cream hard and icy in texture. This is where liquid nitrogen at -320 degrees comes in. Since it’s so cold, it freezes the creamy base immediately on contact and makes the milk particles stay small and not form into ice crystals. The result? Creamier and smoother ice cream that stays colder longer.
Partnering with Local Businesses
Being a family owned and operated business, Cloud Nine knows the importance and value of working with local partners. And that’s why the shop has partnered with several Northwest businesses to help make the magic and science of its liquid nitrogen ice cream even sweeter. West Seattle’s beloved Alki Bakery provides goodies such as cheesecake, brownies and apple pie for Cloud Nine’s signature dishes (psst…look for future announcements about delish new treats that Alki is whipping up exclusively for Cloud Nine); Off the Waffle, from Oregon, brings the aroma of authentic Liège, Belgium waffle cones to Cloud Nine which are made from dough balls instead of being poured on a hot iron; NORPA, a cooperative of family-owned Oregon farms, provides all the organic strawberries, bananas and mixed berries; and Caffé D’arte offers its espresso for drinks (caffeinated and decaf) as well as for Cloud Nine’s signature dishes such as the Caramel Affogoto – a shot of espresso, fresh cream, caramel, whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel over the top.
Can’t decide on a custom mix? Let the Cloud Nine Nitros serve you one of their signature dishes (9 in total), including Chips and Cream (chocolate or vanilla ice cream with a side of French fries); Ube Famous (Ube cheesecake, coconut ice cream and a fortune cookie garnish); Cookie Monster (cake batter ice cream, Oreo cookie crumbs, cookie dough and a Oreo cookie garnish); Scout OG (mint ice cream, Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies and Chocolate Chunk Girl Scout cookies); The Big Apple (vanilla ice cream, Alki Bakery apple pie, caramel sauce, whipped cream and a cinnamon dusting); Banana Cream Pie (banana ice cream, fresh bananas, Nilla wafers, caramel sauce and whipped cream); Caramel Affogoto (double shot of Caffé D’arte espresso, ice cream, caramel sauce and whipped cream); and Triple Chocolate Brownie (chocolate ice cream, Alki Bakery brownie, chocolate sauce, chocolate chunks, whipped cream and a cocoa powder dusting). Seasonally, Cloud Nine plans to celebrate with additional signature dishes like s’mores, pumpkin and pineapple.
Special Grand Opening Offers
Cloud Nine is kicking off its first week of business with nine days of deals. Pick a day or come in for all nine. You won’t be disappointed!
Friday, February 16 – Grand Opening Golden Tickets
Nine random winners will receive one year of free ice cream (one regular ice cream per week) if they are lucky enough to discover a golden ticket on the bottom of their cup!
Saturday, February 17 – Nine Early Birds
The early bird gets free ice cream. The first nine guests at Cloud Nine Creamery will receive a free regular ice cream.
Sunday, February 18 – Saucy Sunday
Get one free flavored sauce syringe to top off your ice cream purchase. Flavors include Chocolate Fudge, Sweetened Condensed Milk, Cherry, Caramel and seasonal offerings.
Monday, February 19– Nitro Upgrade
The only thing better than Cloud Nine Ice Cream is more of it! Get more on Monday when you upgrade your ice cream one size for free.
Tuesday, February 20 – Mix-in Mania
Go nuts, get fruity or satisfy your chocolate candy craving with one free mix-in when you buy a regular ice cream.
Wednesday, February 21 – Off the Waffle Wednesday
Experience the authentic, house made Belgium waffles at Cloud Nine when you get a free waffle bowl with any ice cream purchase.
Thursday, February 22 – Shake It Up
Ice cream bowls and cones are not the only items to get mix-ins. Shake it up by adding a free mix-in with any shake purchase.
Friday, February 23 – Date Night Bogo
Love and ice cream are made to share. Bring a loved one and buy one Strawberries & Cream Waffle and get a second one, for free!
Saturday, February 24 – Take a Chocolate Dip
On the ninth day of Cloud Nine’s grand opening, the Nitros will dip your waffle bowl in chocolate for free with any ice cream purchase.
Have you tried liquid nitrogen ice cream before? What’s your favorite flavor? Dish in the comments below.
—Kristina Moy (all photos courtesy of the writer unless otherwise noted)