Chocolate Ice Cream

This Chocolate Ice Cream recipe features two kinds of chocolate for a rich flavor: 60% cacao chocolate and unsweetened cocoa powder. Feeling fancy? Add some chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and a cherry to make it an ice cream sundae!

Double scoop of chocolate ice cream cone set in a dish.
Alison Bickel

My friend Audrey and I 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.

My Favorite Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe

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 ingredients 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 chocolatey.

Double scoop of homemade chocolate ice cream cone set in a dish.
Alison Bickel

Tips for Making This Ice Cream

  • Temper the eggs: Instead of adding the egg yolks directly to the hot chocolate mixture, which will cause them to curdle, temper them by whisking a little of the chocolate into the eggs first. This warms the eggs up so it's less of a shock when you add them to the chocolate mixture.
  • How to tell when the base is ready: The best way to tell when the base is ready is by checking the temperature, which should be 170°F. The base should have thickened slightly and will be just beginning to steam.
  • Strain before chilling: Once your ice cream base has thickened, strain it through a fine mesh strainer. This catches any solids, like bits of egg that might have gotten a bit curdled.
  • Blend if curdled: If too much of your custard base curdles you can sometimes save it by immediately cooling it down in a bowl in an ice bath to stop the cooking, and then running it through a blender.
  • Chill completely before churning: For the smoothest, creamiest ice cream, be sure to wait until it's completely chilled before churning it. If you're rushed for time, 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.
Close up of chocolate ice cream.
Alison Bickel

Try These Other Ice Cream Recipes!

The Best Type of Chocolate to Use

Generally speaking, for the best ice cream flavor and texture you'll want to choose the highest-quality chocolate you can.

Chocolate: For this recipe, you'll need 60% cacao dark chocolate, ideally in baking bar or wafer form, which are the best for melting. Steer away from chocolate chips, as the stabilizers that help to keep their shape while baking prevent them from melting as easily or smoothly.

Cocoa powder: You can use either natural or Dutch-processed cocoa for this ice cream. Dutch-processed cocoa powder will give you an ice cream that's darker in color, with deeper, mellower chocolate notes.

How To Melt Your Chocolate

If you don’t have a double boiler at home to melt your chocolate, no problem! Here are two alternative methods:

Makeshift double boiler: Place a metal bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water. Melt the chocolate in the bowl over the water until it turns into a silky smooth texture. Be careful not to let the bottom of the bowl touch the water! Stir until the chocolate is fully melted and then turn off the heat and remove the bowl to use your chocolate in the recipe.

Microwave: Add the chopped chocolate to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at 50% power for 30 seconds, then give it a stir. Repeat until the chocolate is fully melted. NOTE: It's important to melt the chocolate slowly like this so it doesn't overheat (and seize) or burn.

Our Favorite Ice Cream Maker

In the market for an ice cream maker? Our top pick is the Cuisinart ICE-30BC 2-Quart Automatic Ice Cream Maker. It's easy to use, inexpensive, compact, makes the creamiest ice cream, and the capacity is just the right size for many families.

Try Out These Other Chocolate Desserts, Too!

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Chocolate Ice Cream

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Churning Time 20 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Yield 1 1/2 quarts


  • 4 ounces 60% cacao chocolate

  • 1/4 cup boiling water

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 2 cups milk, whole or low-fat

  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • Pinch kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon instant coffee (optional)

  • 3 large egg yolks, whisked

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Melt the 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).

    Making a chocolate ice cream recipe on the stove.
    Alison Bickel
  2. Add the boiling water, cocoa powder, and 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.

    Melted chocolate in a saucepan to make a chocolate ice cream recipe.
    Alison Bickel
  3. Finish making the chocolate mixture:

    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, set the pot over medium high heat and warm, stirring occasionally, until the base starts to steam.

  4. Temper the egg yolks:

    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, and add the 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, place the bowl in an ice water bath, and stir in the 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.

    Pouring the chocolate base into an ice cream maker to show how to make chocolate ice cream.
    Alison Bickel
    A strainer set over a bowl to show how to make chocolate ice cream.
    Alison Bickel
  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, transfer it to a freezer container and 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.

    Overhead view of ice cream processed in an ice cream maker for a chocolate ice cream recipe.
    Alison Bickel
    Chocolate ice cream in a loaf pan.
    Alison Bickel
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
3103 Calories
216g Fat
222g Carbs
76g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 3103
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 216g 277%
Saturated Fat 123g 617%
Cholesterol 1145mg 382%
Sodium 634mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 222g 81%
Dietary Fiber 28g 100%
Total Sugars 139g
Protein 76g
Vitamin C 3mg 14%
Calcium 953mg 73%
Iron 54mg 298%
Potassium 1312mg 28%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.