Chocolate Ice Cream

DessertFavorite SummerFreezer-friendlyIce Cream

Rich and creamy homemade chocolate ice cream, with a custard base, milk, cream, sugar, chocolate and cocoa.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

My young friend Audrey and I have many things in common. We both like to dress up with pretty aprons.

We are both excruciatingly accurate with water guns in a swimming pool. We would both rather read a book than do anything too physically strenuous (water fights excepted). And we both have a serious love for rich chocolate desserts and pretty much any homemade ice cream.

So when Audrey suggested that we make chocolate ice cream, I was all over it.

The credit for this recipe goes to Audrey, who has been making it for her family with great results.

My own meager contributions were to include some salt and instant coffee (both intensify the chocolate taste), and vanilla to help deepen the overall flavor of the ice cream.

The ice cream is rich, creamy, smooth, and super chocolate-y.

Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe

  • Prep time: 3 hours
  • Yield: Makes about 1 1/2 quarts


  • 4 oz 60% baking chocolate
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2-cup sugar
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups cream
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant coffee (optional)
  • 3 egg yolks, whisked
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1 Melt chocolate: Melt chocolate in a double boiler (you can use a makeshift double boiler by placing a metal bowl over a small saucepan of boiling water, just don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water).

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2 Add boiling water, cocoa powder, half of the sugar: When the chocolate has melted, transfer to a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan, turn heat to medium low and add the boiling water, cocoa powder and half of the sugar. Whisk vigorously until there are no lumps. Remove from heat.

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3 Add milk, 1 cup cream, remaining sugar, instant coffee, salt: Add the milk, 1 cup of the cream, remaining sugar, instant coffee (if using), and the salt to the chocolate base, and whisk vigorously until fully incorporated, then use a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan.

When the chocolate base is smooth, increase the heat to medium high, stirring occasionally, wait until the base starts to steam.

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4 Temper egg yolks with  hot chocolate mixture: Whisk the egg yolks in a medium sized bowl. Once the chocolate base has heated to point of being steamy, temper the eggs by slowly pouring some of the hot base into the eggs while whisking the eggs vigorously to prevent them from cooking.

Once you've incorporated about half of the base with the eggs, pour the egg mixture back into the pan with the rest of the chocolate base and stir to combine.

5 Heat the base until it starts to thicken, remove from heat, add chilled cream: Lower the heat to medium, and heat the base until it reaches 170°F. At this point the base will have thickened slightly and will just be getting steamy again. Remove from heat.

Stir in the remaining cup of cold cream, to prevent further cooking.

6 Strain out any solids, place in bowl in ice water bath, stir in vanilla: Pour the chocolate base through a mesh strainer into a bowl to strain out any solids or curds, and place bowl in an ice bath to speed up the chilling. Stir in the vanilla.

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7 Chill the base completely: Chill ice cream base for several hours, preferably overnight, until completely chilled. (To speed up this process you can put the ice cream base, still in its bowl in the ice bath, in the freezer for an hour, stirring every 20 minutes.)

8 Process in ice cream maker: Churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. If you like soft ice cream, eat immediately. Otherwise put it in the freezer for a couple hours to firm up.

Note that the ice cream may be quite hard when you first take it out of the freezer, so you may want to let it sit for a few minutes to soften before trying to scoop.

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The easiest chocolate ice cream ever from David Lebovitz, doesn't require an ice cream maker, includes ripe bananas, rum, and Bailey's liquor

Agave-sweetened chocolate ice cream also from David Lebovitz

Double chocolate peanut butter ice cream from Joy the Baker

Chocolate Ice Cream

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

21 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Matt

    Tastes great! However, I had trouble getting this ice cream to freeze/set. I’ve made the Mexican chocolate ice cream without any issues, so I’m not sure where this went wrong.


  2. cathy

    This ice cream is better than any ice cream I’ve ever bought. So delicious.

  3. Marianne

    I add 50-60ml of spirits to each batch of ice cream I make. It acts as an antifreeze. Also useful for flavouring (Black forest ice cream=Dark chocolate ice cream, cherries and Kirsch). Probably best not given to children though.

  4. Kathy

    Do you use whole milk and heavy cream with this recipe?

    Show Replies (1)
  5. Arlene

    I plan to try this recipe soon but I’ve been making ice cream for years with great results. Also buy dark chocolate Haagen-Daz which I really love. Am writing to share a tip about hard frozen ice cream. I put my container in the microwave oven for about 10 seconds and it is ready, much easier to scoop. No waiting on the counter.

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