Classic Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe

chocolate ice cream in metal loaf pan with ice cream scoop

The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Chill Time: 3 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 35 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
366 Calories
27g Fat
24g Carbs
8g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 366
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 34%
Saturated Fat 15g 77%
Cholesterol 232mg 77%
Sodium 104mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 22g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 100mg 8%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 155mg 3%
*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.)

This classic chocolate ice cream is rich, creamy, and full of chocolate flavor. The ice cream is made with unsweetened cocoa in an easy cooked custard base. Let the custard mixture chill thoroughly before you begin churning.

Feel free to add some chopped toasted pecans or chopped walnuts, or add a few teaspoons of espresso powder along with the cocoa for a mocha flavor.


“This chocolate ice cream recipe is a great treat for hot summer days. Recipe is very straight forward and the chocolate flavor is just amazing. It’s perfectly reach, creamy and not overly sweet at all. Can’t wait to make an affogato with it” —Tara Omidvar

Classic Chocolate Ice Cream/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream

  • 1 cup milk, or half-and-half

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 6 large egg yolks

  • 1 dash salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    chocolate ice cream ingredients gathered in bowls

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  2. Whisk the cocoa into 1 cup of heavy cream in a medium sauce pan. Whisk in the remaining 1 cup of cream, the milk, and sugar.

    cream in saucepan with cocoa powder and whisk

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  3. Whisk the egg yolks and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

    egg yolks and salt being whisked in a glass bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  4. Place the saucepan with milk over medium heat and cook, whisking frequently, until it begins to boil. Remove the pan from the heat.

    heavy cream mixture in saucepan on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  5. Gradually whisk about 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks. Add the egg yolk mixture back to the saucepan and whisk to blend.

    bowl with egg yolk mixture being whisked with some of the hot cream mixture

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  6. Place the pan over medium-low heat and cook, whisking frequently, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon, or until the mixture reaches 175 F on a food thermometer.

    wooden spoon coated with cooked down chocolate cream and egg mixture over sauce pan on burner

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  7. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla.

    vanilla being added to chocolate custard mixture in pot on burner

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  8. Strain the custard through a fine mesh strainer into a medium bowl. Discard the contents of the strainer.

    strained chocolate custard in glass bowl with mesh strainer resting off to side

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  9. Cover the surface of the custard directly with plastic wrap and bring to room temperature. Transfer the custard to the refrigerator to chill, at least 3 hours. 

    plastic wrap covering bowl and surface of chocolate custard

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  10. Churn in an ice cream maker following the manufacturer's instructions. Freezer until firm in a covered airtight container.

    churned chocolate ice cream in frozen bowl of ice cream machine

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs poses a risk of foodborne illness.

Recipe Tip

To test an egg and milk mixture for doneness, dip a spoon (metal or wood) into the mixture. Lift it out and run your finger across the back of the spoon. If the path you drew is clear and the film on the spoon is not running into it, the custard is done.


  • Add 2 teaspoons of espresso powder to the cream along with the cocoa for a mocha flavor.
  • Add about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of chopped walnuts or toasted chopped pecans just before the ice cream is done.
  • To make Chocolate Chocolate Chip Ice Cream - Just before the ice cream is done, melt 2 ounces of semisweet chocolate with 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil. Put it in a small plastic food storage bag. When the ice cream is soft-frozen and almost done, cut a tiny corner from the bag and very slowly drizzle the melted chocolate into the ice cream mixture. The chocolate will harden in the freezing mixture.