Rocky Road Ice Cream

homemade rocky road ice cream in chilled cup

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Prep: 45 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Chill: 10 hrs
Total: 11 hrs
Servings: 10 to 12 servings
Yield: 1 gallon
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
890 Calories
58g Fat
82g Carbs
13g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 890
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 58g 75%
Saturated Fat 33g 165%
Cholesterol 234mg 78%
Sodium 625mg 27%
Total Carbohydrate 82g 30%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 71g
Protein 13g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 207mg 16%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 471mg 10%
*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 the United States, a flavor described as "rocky road" traditionally combines chocolate, nuts, and marshmallows. The exact origin of this flavor combination is debated, but some claim it actually hails from Australia back in the 1800s. It is said that rocky road was created as a way to sell confections that had spoiled after the long trip from Europe. They were mixed with nuts and chocolate to disguise the flavor. The new treat then got its name from the rocky road travelers would take to reach the Australian gold mines.

When making rocky road ice cream, start with a chocolate base, then feel free to add your favorite mix-ins to create the signature texture and flavor combination. Here, miniature marshmallows, dark chocolate chunks, and chopped almonds were used for a classic flavor combo. However, a swirl of marshmallow fluff, semisweet chocolate chips, and any variety of your favorite nuts are also delicious alternatives.


  • 2 packets unflavored gelatin

  • 3 cups cold milk, divided

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 6 large eggs

  • 6 cups heavy whipping cream

  • 1 package instant chocolate pudding mix

  • 3 tablespoons vanilla extract

  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows

  • 1 cup dark chocolate chunks, or semisweet chocolate chips

  • 1 cup toasted chopped almonds

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Gather the ingredients for Rocky Road Ice Cream
     The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  2. In a small bowl, soften gelatin in 1/2 cup of cold milk.

    Softened the gelatin in milk
     The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  3. In a large saucepan, gently warm 1 1/2 cups of the milk. 

    Warm up the milk
     The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  4. Add gelatin mixture to warmed milk, stirring well. 

    Mix in the gelatin
     The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  5. Whisk in sugar and salt.

    Whisk in the sugar and salt
     The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  6. Whisk in eggs.

    Whisk in the eggs
     The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  7. Add cream, chocolate pudding mix, vanilla, and remaining 1 cup milk. Simmer, stirring constantly, until mixture has thickened. Do not boil.  

    Add the cream, pudding mix, and vanilla
     The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  8. Allow ice cream base to cool. Pour into an airtight container and chill in refrigerator at least 8 hours before churning.

    Chill the ice cream mixture
     The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  9. Before churning, in a medium bowl, combine miniature marshmallows, dark chocolate chunks, and chopped almonds. 

    Prepare the mix-ins
     The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  10. When ready to prepare ice cream, churn according to manufacturer’s directions.

    Churn the Rocky Road Ice Cream
     The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  11. About 15 minutes into churning process, add marshmallow combination to mixture.  

    Add the mix-ins for Rocky Road Ice Cream
     The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  12. Spoon churned ice cream into a freezer safe container. Freeze until set, at least 2 to 4 hours. 

    Freeze Rocky Road Ice Cream until set
     The Spruce / Kristina Vanni


  • Most ice cream makers for home use come with bowls that need to be set in the freezer overnight before churning ice cream. These bowls have double-insulated walls with coolants in between. When you are ready to churn the ice cream, the bowl is taken from the freezer and immediately set up with the dasher, locked into place, and the prepared ice cream mixture is added. The motor is then turned on and the churning begins.
  • Freezing homemade ice cream is a two-step process: churning and ripening. After the chilled custard base has been churned, it will have a looser, soft-serve texture. To achieve a scoopable consistency, the ice cream now needs to go through a process called ripening. The flavor improves and the product melts more slowly when it has ripened. Spoon the churned ice cream into an airtight freezer-safe container and freeze for at least 2 to 4 hours or up to overnight. It's worth the wait.