Homemade Chocolate Magic Shell


I’m a fan of ice cream, but I tend to go for a cone when I can; it’s a good way to keep portion sizes smaller while still enjoying some sweet treat. When I do opt for a bowl, it’s because I want some pile of delicious toppings to round it out. Last time, I wanted some Magic Shell, but we were all out. So, I wondered. How is magic shell made?

In theory, it’s simple. It’s chocolate, plus some ingredients that adjust the melting temperature of the chocolate; it ends up liquid at room temperature (sort of; more on that in a moment) but hardens solid when drizzled over something cold like ice cream.

Dutch Oven Double Boiler

When I talked about it, my partner assumed it would be “some terrible chemicals you probably don’t want to know.” Of course, he had never looked at the ingredients list of the magic shell. That list is pretty short!

  • Sugar
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Cocoa
  • Chocolate
  • Soy Lecithin
  • Milk
  • Salt
  • Vanilla

That’s basically it! And, the truth is, you can make it with just two of those ingredients. Then, you can customize it for flavors and depth however you like. Those two are: coconut oil and chocolate.

Get refined coconut oil. Unrefined oil has more of a coconut flavor to it, and won’t be quite as smooth to mix in. It’s still fine, if you don’t mind it, but I’m not a huge coconut fan in the first place so I prefer to nix that flavor whenever possible.

Use a good chocolate. I used Ghirardelli chocolate chips, which worked quite well. Since the chocolate is the star of the show, use something you love.

Optionally, add additional flavorings. For the most part, this is really easy. Add a dash of vanilla extract for extra richness. Add a dash of mint extract for a tasty mint chocolate. You can even add in a tablespoon or so of peanut butter for a choco-PB shell. The base recipe is super flexible and can make whatever kind of shell you like.

Adjust your coconut oil to preference. I found that for one cup of chocolate, two tablespoons of coconut oil made a fairly thick shell that was almost too much for a bowl of ice cream, but would be great as a coating for ice cream bars. Three tablespoons, on the other hand, made a perfectly drizzly, thin chocolate shell that works perfectly on a bowl of ice cream.

So, what was that about room temperature? Well, “room temperature” varies from location to location and even person to person. I like to keep our house around 70F, which is right on the border of keeping this chocolate liquid. Any warmer and you’ll be fine. Any cooler and it might solidify. That’s okay! Just microwave it, immerse it in hot water, or otherwise heat it up for a few seconds and give it another stir before using.

Here’s how to make homemade chocolate shell for all your ice cream treats!

Homemade Magic Chocolate Shell

An extremely simple two-ingredient recipe for homemade chocolate shell that's better than the store-bought stuff.
Servings 1 Cup
Cook Time 3 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 3 minutes


  • Double Boiler


  • 3 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Cup Chocolate Chips


  • Melt the ingredients together. I prefer the double boiler method, but you can zap it in the microwave for 20 seconds at a time, stirring each time, until melted and smooth.
  • Remove the shell from the heat and let sit for 20 minutes, stirring it every 5 minutes to make sure it's still incorporated.
  • Transfer to an airtight container like a mason jar and let cool fully (you don't want to melt your ice cream!)
  • To use, spoon or pour some shell over your ice cream and let set.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chocolate

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