The Best Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream

Making ice cream at home is super easy, and chocolate ice cream is many people’s first venture into the art. The great thing about making homemade ice cream is the sheer variety and customizations you have. However all great ice creams, no matter how complex, need a great base. And that is where this recipe for the best homemade chocolate ice cream comes in.

A few balls of the best homemade chocolate ice cream in a class serving dish

Making chocolate ice cream at home is a fun and delicious way to satisfy your sweet tooth. With just a few simple (but high quality) ingredients, you can create a rich and creamy dessert that’s sure to impress your friends and family. Whether you prefer a classic chocolate flavor or something more unique, like cherry chocolate or even Kit Kat, making ice cream from scratch allows you to customize the recipe to your liking.

This homemade chocolate ice cream recipe only needs 7 ingredients, so you are going to want to get at the very least the best quality chocolate you can. After all, there is really only one flavor in this dessert. If you decide to use this recipe as a chocolate ice cream base then you can somewhat cheap out a bit on the chocolate (I still wouldn’t, but that’s up to you). However for making the absolute best, most rich tasting chocolate ice cream, this guide has a few suggestions.

Is Chocolate Ice Cream Different Than Chocolate Gelato?

Yes, chocolate ice cream and chocolate gelato are different. In fact, there is always a difference between ice cream and gelato. If you were going to make a chocolate gelato for example, I would start by inverting the required milk and cream as well as slowing down the speed of your ice cream machine. In short, ice cream has a higher milkfat percentage and is churned faster to pump more air into the final product.

What Makes This The Best Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream?

There are so many recipes for chocolate ice cream out in the world, it may seem presumptuous of me to say this is the best. Yet out of every recipe on this site, the only one that has the designation ‘the best‘ is this humble chocolate ice cream. So then you might ask what makes this the best homemade chocolate ice cream. The answer: The Ingredients. Let’s dive in:

  1. The heavy cream has a fat percentage of 36%. This is the minimum percent required by the food and drug administration, and the most common type found in stores. If you use a cream with less milkfat then the final ice cream will of course taste less rich.
  2. The milk has a fat percentage of 3.7% which is a lot higher than what you normally get in stores. Now, I’m fortunate to get fresh milk straight from the farm – and I would recommend you trying to find the freshest milk you can. Milk can lose its natural flavor when heated to high temperatures, and because most milk you find at the grocery store has been super pasteurized, it is less suitable for making high quality ice cream at home.
  3. Use The Best Chocolate You Can Find! I know this should be common sense, but I still get people that tell me they didn’t like the ice cream when the chocolate used was some bar that couldn’t legally be called chocolate in Europe. I personally recommend these three specific chocolates for this ice cream recipe:
    • Guittard” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>Guittard Semi-Sweet Baking Bar: Coming in at 64%, this Guittard is a bit darker than the Callebaut. It also provides a very rich chocolate taste with some fruity undertones that pair nicely with the natural milk taste of fresh dairy.
    • Valrhona Oriado” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>Oriado at 60%.

What You’ll Need

As with all of my ice cream recipes on Scoops of Delight, you need an ice cream machine. The exact style and brand does not matter too much but you do want one that is decent quality. I personally use the Smeg ice cream maker. The only issue with it is that you need to already have a Smeg stand mixer – which can be quite pricey. While there are plenty of recipes for no-churn ice creams, I often find a properly churned ice cream magnitudes better.

Some other things you will need for this homemade ice cream recipe are:

  • Mixing Bowls
  • Whisk
  • Steel Pans (I personally find steel the best for making ice cream, but you can use any as long as you are careful about the temperature.
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Sealable Container (The best thing to use to store homemade ice cream is plastic in my opinion. You want something that is more flat than tall as it provides more surface area to quickly freeze in a home freezer).
  • Kitchen Scale (optional, but recommended as almost all of my recipes use metric as it is more precise than imperial for most home cooks).

How To Make The Best Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream

The best homemade chocolate ice cream ingredients on a marble surface

I have already talked a little (or maybe a lot) about some of the ingredients and their importance in this ice cream recipe. However there are a few others that are also necessary. Here are all the ingredients needed to make around a quart of the best homemade chocolate ice cream ever:

  • 300 ml Heavy Cream (36% fat minimum)
  • 200 ml Milk (as fresh as possible with a fat percentage ideally over 3.4%)
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • 150 grams Sugar
  • 55 grams Cocoa Powder (Dutch Processed)
  • 1/3 tsp Salt
  • 150 grams Chocolate (The best quality you can get your hands on)

Preparing The Chocolate Ice Cream Base

150 grams of Callebaut chocolate in a metal pan on a kitchen scale

As with most recipes where measurements are important, you will want a kitchen scale. It is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended to be more precise. For the chocolate, add it to a bowl (steel or aluminum preferred) and set aside.

a saucepan with chocolate and egg yolk mix with a wire whisk

In a saucepan add the milk, sugar, egg yolks, cocoa powder, and salt. Whisk together thoroughly.

a saucepan with hot chocolate custard and a wire whisk on a stovetop burner

Place the chocolate-milk base mix on a stovetop and begin heating slowly while whisking constantly. Once you notice the milk begin to steam turn off the heat. You want to avoid a rolling boil as it can cause an undesirable consistency.

using a mesh sieve and a rubber spatula to strain the chocolate custard mix into the metal bowl

Place a mesh strainer directly over the chocolate and pour through your hot milk mix. The strainer will end up catching any bits of egg that might have cooked…although if you whisked everything together well before placing on the heat then you shouldn’t even experience that issue. Let the bowl sit for 5 minutes while the hot milk base melts the chocolate.

rich chocolate custard in a metal bowl with a wire whisk

After five minutes you can easily whisk the mix into a very thick, rich, chocolatey pudding-like consistency. If you use good quality chocolate then everything should homogenize very nicely.

best chocolate ice cream base in an aluminum mixing bowl with a rubber spatula and a wire whisk

Finally you can add the cream. Trickle the cream in while whisking or folding with a rubber spatula until it is fully combined. Do not add the cream until you are sure the chocolate has fully melted throughout the milk mix like in the photo earlier. Once you stir in the cream you will notice the color lighten considerably. Place in the fridge to chill completely.

Churning The Chocolate Ice Cream

The best chocolate ice cream base in a SMEG ice cream machine attachment

When it is time to churn, take the chocolate ice cream base out of your fridge. Place it into your ice cream machine and follow your specific machines instructions. With my machine I simply place the bowl into my stand mixer and let it run for about 30 minutes at the second or third lowest speed setting (I use the lowest for gelato).

freshly churned chocolate ice cream in an ice cream machine next to a sealable container on a kitchen counter

Once fully churned immediately move your homemade chocolate ice cream to a sealable container. Try to find a container that is closest in size to your volume. This will better protect the ice cream from the air.

A few balls of the best homemade chocolate ice cream in a class serving dish

When time to serve just scoop a few balls into your favorite ice cream serving dish. You can add any toppings you like, from chocolate sauce or sprinkles, or even some toasted coconut flakes. The possibilities are entirely up to you. Personally? I think this homemade chocolate ice cream is so good it does not need anything extra. That’s the goal in my opinion.

A World Of Mix-Ins

Just like with a simple vanilla ice cream, or a Sicilian gelato, you can also treat this chocolate ice cream as a base to be used for other flavors. An easy thing is to do is mix in chopped pieces of your favorite candy bars like I did with my Kit Kat Ice Cream or my peanut butter cup ice cream! Some other mix-ins you might enjoy:

  • Fresh fruit like strawberries or raspberries
  • Your favorite candy such as M&Ms or Kinder Bueno!
  • Cookie Dough
  • Brownies
  • Caramel swirl
A few balls of the best homemade chocolate ice cream in a class serving dish

The Best Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream

This foolproof recipe will have you making the best homemade chocolate ice cream for you and all your friends/family. With just a few high quality ingredients you'll delight and impress even the most critical chocoholics.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Churning Time 30 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 1 quart
Calories 1260 kcal


  • 1 Mixing Bowl
  • 1 Whisk
  • 1 Steel Pan
  • 1 Rubber Spatula
  • 1 Sealable Container
  • 1 Kitchen Scale | optional, but recommended


  • 300 ml Heavy Cream 36% fat minimum
  • 200 ml Milk As fresh as possible with a fat percentage ideally over 3.4%
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • 150 grams Sugar
  • 55 grams Cocoa Powder Dutch Processed
  • 1/3 tsp Salt
  • 150 grams Chocolate The best quality you can get your hands on


  • Measure out your chocolate and place in a metal bowl. Set aside.
  • Add the milk, cocoa powder, salt, sugar, and egg yolks to a saucepan. Whisk well, then place on medium heat. Continue whisking until the mixture begins to steam and thicken slightly.
  • Place a strainer over your bowl of chocolate and pour the milk mixture through it to catch any congealed bits that may have been created during the heating phase. Let sit for 5 minutes. The hot milk mix should fully melt the chocolate.
  • Use a whisk or a rubber spatula to fully emulsify the milk/chocolate mix. Then trickle in the heavy cream while whisking or folding until you have a homogenous mixture. Pop the mix in the fridge until completely chilled.
  • Place the chilled ice cream base into your ice cream machine and run according to your machine's instructions.
  • When fully churned move to a sealable container and place in the freezer until frozen. Once ready you can serve as desired, or use this chocolate ice cream as a base for Mix-Ins. Enjoy!


The total time in this recipe includes an estimation for chilling/freezing. This may vary depending on the quality of your refrigerator and freezer.
Keyword Chocolate, Dairy, Homemade, Ice Cream, Ice Cream Base

The Best Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream

The best homemade chocolate ice cream recipe pinterest pin image

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