Best Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream

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Rich, ultra-creamy, and chocolatey — this is the best homemade chocolate ice cream recipe ever! It’s easy to make with only 7 ingredients (including two forms of chocolate), has a rich chocolate flavor and is just as good as any ice cream shop! 

Front view of a bowl of chocolate ice cream


We love making ice cream! It’s a fun and delicious process — and nothing beats homemade!  Which is why I am sharing my recipe for the best homemade chocolate ice cream ever! 

This chocolate ice cream is irresistibly creamy and made with two forms of chocolate for a deep rich flavor. It’s not overly sweet, and is just as delicious (maybe even more-so) than your favorite ice cream shop! Serve it alongside a slice of favorite chocolate cake, a piece of this giant cookie cake or eat it all by itself!

Front view of 4 scoops of homemade chocolate ice cream in a bowl

Chocolate Ice Cream: Ingredient & Substitutions

Overhead view of the ingredients in this chocolate ice cream recipe
  • Heavy cream. There really isn’t an adequate substitution for heavy cream. It gives the ice cream it’s ultra-creamy texture.
  • Cocoa powder. If you’re into very dark chocolate ice cream, try using dark cocoa powder.
  • Semisweet chocolate. I use 60% dark chocolate chips to make this recipe. Use whatever percentage you prefer—just know that milk chocolate will result in a sweeter ice cream and the darker the chocolate the more intense the chocolate flavor will be.
  • Whole milk. Half and half is an acceptable substitute for whole milk!
  • Granulated sugar. There’s really no substitute here! I use organic cane sugar or regular white sugar.
  • Egg yolks. Another critical ingredient that contributes to the creaminess, don’t leave them out!
  • Vanilla extract. Vanilla beans (seeded) or vanilla bean paste can be used in place of extract.

Equipment

Here is the gear you will need to make this chocolate ice cream recipe!

Overhead photo of an ice cream scoop scooping some chocolate ice cream out of a glass storage container

How to make Chocolate Ice Cream 

Making this homemade chocolate ice cream recipe involves a few steps—plus some chilling and freezing—but it’s well worth the time it takes to make the best chocolate ice cream ever! We’ll walk through the process together step-by-step, but don’t forget to watch the video!

Make the Chocolate Base

The first step in making this recipe is to make the chocolate base. Begin by whisking together the cream and cocoa powder. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and boil/simmer for 30 seconds, whisking constantly.

two photos showing how to make chocolate ice cream

Remove the chocolate/cream mixture from the heat and add chopped chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Add remaining cream and whisk to combine.

two photos showing how to make chocolate ice cream

Transfer mixture to a large bowl and position a fine mesh strainer over it. This strainer will be used to strain the custard part of the chocolate ice cream recipe. It’s absolutely critical. 

What if I don’t have a fine mesh strainer?

A nut milk bag, coffee filter or tea towel would work fine, but a fine mesh metal strainer is a kitchen must-have in my house! 

two photos showing how to make homemade chocolate ice cream

Make the Custard

Next we will make the custard component of this chocolate ice cream recipe. To do this, we need to temper the eggs so they don’t cook when they’re added to the warm milk mixture. Begin by whisking the egg yolks together in a medium bowl.

Then, in a saucepan over medium heat, whisk together milk, sugar and sea salt. Once the milk mixture is slightly warm, add ½ cup of warm (not hot) milk to the beaten egg yolks and whisk to combine. Add the milk/egg mixture back into the saucepan, whisking as it’s being added. 

two photos showing how to make homemade chocolate ice cream

Continue to cook the custard over medium heat, and stir the mixture constantly with a spatula until the it thickens and coats the spatula (it does this when it reaches about170 degrees F).

Pour the thickened custard through the metal strainer into the other ingredients in the bowl. Stir until combined. Discard any custard residue left on the strainer. 

two photos showing how to make this chocolate ice cream recipe

Chill

Add the vanilla and stir to combine. Place a lid on top and let the mixture chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, or overnight.

overhead photo showing how to make chocolate ice cream

Churn

Once the ice cream mixture is cooled to just below room temperature, churn it in an ice cream maker until thick and frozen (30-40 minutes).

two photos showing how to make chocolate ice cream

Freeze

Transfer the chocolate ice cream to an airtight container and freeze for at least 6 hours.

Favorite Ice Cream Containers: 

Here are some of my favorite storage containers for ice cream:

two photos showing how to make chocolate ice cream

Serve! 

Serve this chocolate ice cream on cones, in a dish, drizzled with chocolate syrup, with a dollop of fresh homemade whipped cream, etc.!  Or, use it to stuff between two cookies to make the best homemade chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches (like a chipwhich only so much better).

Overhead photo of an ice cream scoop scooping some chocolate ice cream out of a glass storage container

FAQS About How to make Chocolate Ice Cream

Here are some commonly asked questions about making homemade chocolate ice cream: 

How do you churn ice cream by hand (without an ice cream maker)?

If you do not have an ice cream maker, you can churn this chocolate ice cream recipe by hand. It’s just a lot more work! Here’s how:
Once the ice cream base is made, put it in a freezer-friendly container and put it in the freezer. 
After 1 hour, check the ice cream. If is has started to freeze, use a hand-held mixer (or a whisk or spatula) to beat it vigorously. 
Continue to mix the mixture with a mixer or by hand every 30 minutes until it is frozen. This should take about 3-6 hours. 

How long does homemade ice cream last?

This ice cream stays fresh in the freezer in an airtight containe

Can I add mix-ins to this chocolate ice cream?

Yes, absolutely. Towards the end of the churning process add your preferred mix-ins. I suggest edible cookie dough – yum.

up close view of chocolate ice cream in a glass dish

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Best Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe

Laura
Rich, ultra-creamy, and chocolatey, this is the best homemade chocolate ice cream recipe ever! It's easy to make with only 7 ingredients (including two forms of chocolate), has a rich chocolate flavor, and is just as good as any ice cream shop! 
5 from 133 votes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings
Calories 304
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Chilling/Churning/Freezing12 hours 40 minutes
Total Time13 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients  

Instructions 

  • Whisk together 1 cup cream and cocoa powder. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and boil/simmer for 30 seconds whisking constantly.
  • Remove from heat and add chopped chocolate and whisk until smooth. Add remaining 1 cup of cream and whisk to combine.
  • Transfer mixture to a large bowl and position a fine mesh strainer over it. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolks.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk together milk, sugar and sea salt.
  • Once the milk mixture is slightly warm, add ½ cup of warm milk to the beaten egg yolks and whisk to combine. Add the milk/egg mixture back into the saucepan, whisking during the addition.
  • Continue to cook the custard over medium heat, and stir the mixture constantly with a spatula until the it thickens and lightly coats the spatula (it does this when it reaches about 170 degrees F).
  • Pour the thickened custard through the metal strainer into the other ingredients in the bowl. Stir until combined. Discard any custard residue left on the strainer. 
  • Add the vanilla and stir to combine.
  • Place a lid on top and let the mixture cool in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, or overnight. To speed up the cooling process, you can place the container of the chocolate ice cream liquid base into an ice bath and stir it often.
  • Once the ice cream mixture is chilled, churn it in an ice cream maker until thick and frozen (30-40 minutes).
  • Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for at least 6 hours.
  • Serve!

Video

Notes

Ingredient Substitutions:

  • Heavy cream. There really isn’t a substitution for heavy cream, it gives the chocolate ice cream it’s ultra-creamy texture.
  • Cocoa powder. If you’re into very dark chocolate ice cream, try using dark cocoa powder.
  • Semisweet chocolate. I use 60% dark chocolate chips to make this chocolate ice cream. Use whatever percentage you prefer, just know that milk chocolate will result in a sweeter ice cream, and the darker the chocolate used the more intense the chocolate flavor will be.
  • Whole milk. Half and half is an acceptable substitute for whole milk!
  • Granulated sugar. There’s really no substitute here! I use organic cane sugar or regular white sugar.
  • Egg yolks. Another critical ingredient that contributes to the creaminess, don’t leave them out!
  • Vanilla extract. Vanilla beans (seeded) or vanilla bean paste can be used in place of extract.

How do you churn ice cream by hand (without an ice cream maker)?

If you do not have an ice cream maker, you can churn this chocolate ice cream recipe by hand – it’s just a lot more work! Here’s how:
  • Once the ice cream base is made, put it in a freezer-friendly container and put it in the freezer. 
  • After 1 hour, check the ice cream. If is has started to freeze, use a hand-held mixer (or a whisk or spatula) to beat it vigorously. 
  • Continue to mix the mixture with a mixer or by hand every 30 minutes until it is frozen. This should take 3-6 hours. 

To store: 

Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Here are some of my favorite storage containers for ice cream:

Nutrition

Serving: 0.333cup | Calories: 304kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 56mg | Potassium: 182mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 701IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you enjoy this recipe? Have a question? Leave a comment below!

More ice cream recipes 

Here are some more of our favorite ice cream recipes! 

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Recipe Rating




84 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Best Ice-cream that I have ever had. Was perfect to eat just after churning it. I only used half of the whipping cream, I made up the other half with milk. Whipping cream is expensive and difficult to find here.

  2. I’d like to try adding stabilizers to this recipe. Locust Bean Gum requires heating to a temperature of 185 F. Can any part of this process be heated to that degree without ruining the ice cream?

  3. 5 stars
    First time I’ve ever made ice cream. Used a KitchenAid ice cream maker. This recipe is the bomb! So smooth and creamy and rich. I added, chopped roasted almonds. I will definitely be making this many more times. Thank you for sharing!

  4. 5 stars
    Hi I am just a 10 years old I wanted to to make ice cream with my brother he is 12 years old and this recipe was so tasty 😋

  5. 5 stars
    Incredibly good! Made this on my new ice cream make I got for Xmas and it was awesome. I used 60% dark chocolate chips and added a splash of maple syrup. I wanted to do a peanut butter dark chocolate ice cream but didn’t want peanut butter in the base, only as a mix in. I followed this recipe as the base and then used the mix in guidance from the peanut butter chocolate ice cream recipe on this website. I’m so happy I found this recipe and so is my family, thank you!

  6. 5 stars
    Have made this twice in the past month, once with marshmallows, and it was amazing both times. My go to chocolate recipe from now on. Gonna try your coffee ice cream next!