Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

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Homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream, made with fresh mint, milk, cream, a custard base, and semi-sweet or dark chocolate.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

“This is the best mint chocolate chip ice cream I’ve ever had in my whole life.” This, straight from the mouth of my nine-year old nephew, who, since mint-chocolate-chip is his favorite ice cream flavor, has probably had more mint chocolate chip ice cream in the last year than any of us have had in the last twenty.

Needless to say, hearing such a declaration when you’ve gone the extra effort to make ice cream from scratch is rather gratifying, don’t you think?

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

We have a couple of mint patches growing in our yard, though I never thought to use the mint we grow for ice cream until now. The taste of the ice cream using fresh mint really is out of this world, so if you can get your hands on fresh mint, I highly recommend using it for this ice cream.

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Recipe

  • Yield: Makes 1 quart

Note that if you do not have fresh mint, you can make this mint chocolate chip ice cream recipe with peppermint extract. Skip steps 1 and 2, instead heating 1 cup of milk with 1 cup of cream and the sugar and salt until steaming. Continue with step 3. Add 2 teaspoons of peppermint extract in with the chilled custard mixture in step 6.



  • 3 cups of fresh spearmint leaves (not stems), rinsed, drained, packed
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream (divided, 1 cup and 1 cup)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate or dark chocolate, chopped fine, keep in the freezer until used


1 Steep the mint leaves in cream and milk: Put the mint leaves in a heavy saucepan with the 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of the cream. Heat until just steaming (do not let boil), remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 30 minutes. Reheat the mixture until steaming, remove from heat and let stand for 15 more minutes.

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2 Chill remaining cream in an ice bath: While the mint is infusing in step 1, prepare the remaining cream over an ice bath. Pour the remaining 1 cup of cream into a medium size metal bowl, set in ice water (with lots of ice) over a larger bowl. Set a mesh strainer on top of the bowls. Set aside.

cooling cream in ice bath

3 Strain out the mint leaves, add sugar: Strain the milk cream mixture into a separate bowl, pressing against the mint leaves with a rubber spatula in a sieve to get the most liquid out of them. Return the milk cream mixture to the saucepan. Add sugar and salt to the mixture. Heat until just steaming again, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat.


4 Temper the egg yolks with hot milk cream: Whisk the egg yolks in a medium sized bowl. Slowly pour the heated milk cream mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly so that the egg yolks are tempered by the warm mixture, but not cooked by it. Scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.


5 Heat until mixture begins to thicken: Return the saucepan to the stove, stirring the mixture constantly over medium heat with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spoon so that you can run your finger across the coating and have the coating not run. This can take about 10 minutes.

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The custard base does not coat the back of the spoon, it is not ready.

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The custard base coats the back of the spoon. You can run your finger across the coating and have it not run. It is ready and should be removed from heat immediately, and poured through the sieve over the ice bath to stop the cooking.

6 Strain custard mixture into cream in ice bath: Pour the custard through the strainer (from step 2) and stir into the cold cream to stop the cooking.


7 Chill completely: Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator (at least a couple of hours) or stir the mixture in the bowl placed over the ice bath until thoroughly chilled (20 minutes or so).

8 Process in ice cream maker: Process the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

9 Add chopped chocolate: Once the ice cream has been made in the ice cream maker it should be pretty soft. Gently fold in the finely chopped chocolate.

10 Chill in freezer: Put in an airtight container and place in the freezer for at least an hour, preferably several hours. If it has been frozen for more than a day, you may need to let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes to soften it before serving.

Note that there is no alcohol in this recipe. A few teaspoons of some spirits such as rum or bourbon will help keep the ice cream soft over several days. Even the alcohol in vanilla extract will help. If you have no added alcohol in a homemade ice cream recipe, we recommend that you eat it up quickly, in a day or two; beyond that point the ice cream will quickly get very very hard.

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My nine year old nephew Austin helping out with ice cream making.


How to make ice cream without a machine - helpful tips from ice cream expert David Lebovitz

Showing 4 of 58 Comments / Reviews

  • Megan

    Hi, I was wondering about your comment about adding alcohol to keep it soft. I would like to add some Creme de Menthe. Would you add this at the end while in the ice cream machine?

  • Mary Heidt

    I made this ice cream today and what a good recipe. I did use extract because I did not have enough fresh mint to make it. I used dove cream de menthe chocolates chopped up instead of mini chocolate because that is what I had on hand. It is so good. I do not put color in mine and it is so fun to serve it to guest and have their reactions when they taste the mint. This will become my go to recipe for this ice cream. Thanks for sharing it.

  • Jason

    I have a large amount of dried, finely chopped peppermint leaves for tea… can they be used for this recipe? If so, how much do you recommend I use? Thanks!

  • Josh

    Hi Elise, this looks absolutely great. Are the egg yolks necessary in the recipe? I ask because my girlfriend is allergic to eggs but is a die-hard ice cream eater. I’d love to try and make this sometime, but the egg yolks would interfere with that. Any suggestions for a replacement?

  • Elise

    Hi Jason – regarding your question of whether or not dried peppermint tea leaves could be used in this recipe, I would say go for it. What you are doing with the fresh mint leaves is basically just an infusion anyway. Like making mint tea with the milk and cream. As for the amount? I have no idea. Think of how much of those tea leaves you would need for one very strong cup of tea and multiply that by 3, for the 3 cups of liquid in this recipe. That would be a place to start.

    Hi Josh – I always make ice cream with egg yolks because they act as an emulsifier and keep the homemade ice cream from getting too icy. That said, it’s more difficult this way. You need to cook a custard first, and most people don’t bother. If you look up most homemade ice cream recipes online, you’ll find that they don’t require eggs. Also, the recipes in the book that probably came with your ice cream maker will have mostly recipes that don’t require eggs. So, I would do some research and then try to mold this recipe to one that doesn’t use eggs.

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