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Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream: A Delightfully Simple Recipe

I’ve included some videos below for those who prefer to watch rather than read.

Making homemade chocolate ice cream is a fun and rewarding experience. You get to control the ingredients and create something that’s perfect for your taste. The rich, creamy texture and deep chocolate flavor of homemade ice cream will make you wonder why you ever bought it from the store.

Whisking together simple ingredients like cream and cocoa powder takes just a few minutes. It’s a great way to spend time with family or indulge in a sweet treat. Plus, you can customize your ice cream with mix-ins like chocolate chips or nuts.

Whether you’re an ice cream-making expert or trying it for the first time, homemade chocolate ice cream is a delicious project you’ll love. The process is straightforward, and the results are utterly satisfying. Enjoy your very own decadent dessert anytime you want.

Exact Ingredients (+ Possible Substitutes)

Making homemade chocolate ice cream is easier with the right ingredients. Here’s what you need:

  • Milk: 2 cups whole milk. For a lighter version, use 2% milk.
  • Heavy Cream: 2 cups for that creamy texture. Half-and-half works as a substitute but might be less creamy.
  • Sugar: 1 cup granulated sugar for sweetness. You can use honey or agave nectar as alternatives.
  • Cocoa Powder: 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder. Dutch-processed cocoa works well too.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk: 1 can (14 ounces) to make it rich and sweet. You can skip this but add 1/2 cup more sugar.
  • Vanilla Extract: 2 teaspoons for flavor. Vanilla bean paste or almond extract can be used instead.
  • Salt: A pinch. Sea salt or kosher salt are good choices.

Optional Ingredients

  • Chopped Chocolate: 1/2 cup, either dark or milk chocolate. Use chocolate chips if you want.
  • Add-ins: Nuts, marshmallows, or cookie pieces for extra texture.

Sample Ingredient List

Whole Milk2 cups2% Milk
Heavy Cream2 cupsHalf-and-Half
Granulated Sugar1 cupHoney, Agave Nectar
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder1/2 cupDutch-Processed Cocoa
Sweetened Condensed Milk1 can (14 ounces)Extra 1/2 cup Sugar
Vanilla Extract2 teaspoonsVanilla Bean Paste, Almond Extract
SaltA pinchSea Salt, Kosher Salt
Chopped Chocolate1/2 cup (optional)Chocolate Chips
Add-insAs desired (optional)Nuts, Marshmallows, Cookies

Feel free to experiment with different substitutes to find the perfect taste and texture for your homemade chocolate ice cream!


  1. Gather Your Ingredients:

    • 2 cups heavy cream
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • ¾ cup sugar
    • ½ cup cocoa powder
    • Pinch of salt
    • 4 ounces chocolate (milk or dark), chopped
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  2. Heat the Mixture:

    • In a large saucepan, combine the heavy cream, whole milk, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt.
    • Whisk everything together.
  3. Cook Until Thick:

    • Place the saucepan over medium heat.
    • Stir constantly until the mixture starts steaming and begins to simmer.
    • Once it starts to thicken, remove the pan from heat.
  4. Add Chocolate and Vanilla:

    • Stir in the chopped chocolate until it melts completely.
    • Add the vanilla extract and mix well.
  5. Cool the Mixture:

    • Transfer the mixture to a bowl.
    • Let it cool to room temperature.
  6. Chill in the Refrigerator:

    • Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until it’s well chilled.
  7. Freeze in Ice Cream Maker:

    • Pour the chilled mixture into your ice cream maker.
    • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to churn until it reaches a soft-serve consistency.
  8. Harden in the Freezer:

    • Transfer the churned ice cream to a freezer-safe container.
    • Cover and freeze for several hours until firm.
  9. Serve:

    • Scoop out and enjoy your homemade chocolate ice cream!

Tips, Tricks & Storing

Making homemade chocolate ice cream is a delightful process. With some simple tips and tricks, you can ensure it turns out delicious every time.

1. Use high-quality ingredients.
Choose good quality chocolate and cocoa powder. This will make a difference in flavor.

2. Chill your mixture.
Before churning, cool your ice cream mixture in the fridge for a few hours. This helps it freeze faster.

3. Don’t overfill your ice cream maker.
Fill it only halfway to two-thirds full. If you add too much, it won’t freeze as well.

4. Cover with plastic wrap.
Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ice cream to prevent ice crystals from forming.

5. Store in airtight containers.
Opt for freezer-safe, airtight containers. Flat, rectangular ones help the ice cream freeze quickly and evenly.

6. Use a loaf pan.
A 9×5 inch metal or glass loaf pan works great for storing ice cream. It’s easy to scoop from and fits well in the freezer.

7. Keep it at the back of the freezer.
Store your ice cream at the back where the temperature is most consistent. Avoid placing it in the door.

8. Temper before serving.
Let your ice cream sit out for a few minutes before serving. This softens it slightly, making it easier to scoop.

Recipe Variations & Serving Suggestions

For a richer flavor, try using dark chocolate instead of unsweetened chocolate. This adds a slight bitterness that pairs well with the creaminess.

Add-ins: Feel free to mix in chopped nuts, chocolate chips, or swirls of caramel or peanut butter. This gives your ice cream extra texture and flavor.

Fruit: Mix in fresh fruit like strawberries or raspberries for a fruity twist. Their tartness complements the chocolate.

Mint Chocolate: Add a few drops of peppermint extract to the base before freezing. Top with crushed peppermint candies or chocolate chips for added crunch.

Cookies & Cream: Crush your favorite cookies, like Oreos, and mix them in just before freezing. This adds a fun, crunchy texture.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Cones: Serve your homemade chocolate ice cream in waffle cones for a classic touch.
  • Sundae: Top with whipped cream, nuts, and cherries to make a delicious sundae.
  • Milkshakes: Blend with some milk to create a creamy, chocolatey milkshake.
  • On Pie: Spoon your ice cream over a warm brownie or slice of pie for an indulgent dessert.

For a creative presentation, try scooping the ice cream into bowls made from hollowed-out fruit, like an orange or pineapple. This adds a refreshing, natural element to your serving.