I’ve always been an ice cream lover – there is no doubt of that fact.  But chocolate ice cream never really did it for me.  Weird, considering I would probably marry chocolate if I could.  Maybe if it was a crazy decadent ice cream, like chocolate raspberry truffle or something it would pique my interest, but not just straight up chocolate ice cream.  I suppose it is understandable then why it has taken me all this time to feel like making a classic chocolate ice cream.  I know I sound like a broken record but, as usual, David Lebovitz has done it again.  Now I know what chocolate ice cream is supposed to be like.  No over-processed, unpronounceable ingredients or a faint taste of the cardboard container store-bought ice cream comes in.  Just smooth, creamy chocolate bliss.  To think I almost made a half batch – hah!  That would have been a tragedy.

It’s important to use Dutch-process cocoa powder for this recipe.  It really contributes to the richness and depth of the chocolate flavor.  If you are interested, David has written an extremely informative post about the differences between natural and Dutch-process cocoa powder on his blog, when it’s okay to substitute and how to do so, etc.  Dutch-process cocoa is not typically found in regular grocery stores (at least in my area).  I buy mine at Penzeys Spices here in town, but of course you can also order online.


2 cups heavy cream, divided
3 tbsp. Dutch-process cocoa powder
5 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup whole milk
¾ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
½ tsp. vanilla extract


  • 01

    In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup of the cream with the cocoa powder.  Warm over medium-high heat, whisking to dissolve the cocoa.   Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 30 seconds, whisking constantly.  Remove the pan from the heat, mix in the chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth.  Stir in the remaining 1 cup of cream.  Transfer this mixture to a medium-large mixing bowl.  Set a fine mesh sieve over the top.

  • 02

    In the same saucepan, combine the milk, sugar and salt and warm the mixture over medium-high heat.  In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.  When the milk mixture is warm, gradually whisk into the egg yolks, beating constantly.  Return the egg-milk mixture to the saucepan and continue heating over medium-high heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pan with a spatula, until the mixture is slightly thickened and reads 170-175° F on an instant-read thermometer.  Remove from the heat, pour through the mesh sieve into the chocolate-cream mixture and stir to blend.  Stir in the vanilla extract.

  • 03

    Cover with plastic wrap and chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator.  (Alternatively to speed chilling, stir the mixture frequently over an ice bath.)  Once the mixture is well chilled, freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Store in an airtight container and freeze until ready to serve.


  • Mahvish

    Yummm!! This recipe is definitely going to make me start using my ice cream maker!

    Just one question though – how many litres does this recipe make?

    I don’t want to sound too demanding but it would be very helpful if you could please include servings yielded with every recipe :))

  • Tara

    this is hands-down the best ice cream i’ve made from The Perfect Scoop yet and this post is just another reminder of how i need to break out the ice cream attachment really soon!

  • Yes! I was made to look rather foolish this week as I tried to explain how I love chocolate but dislike chocolate ice cream. Now I’ll have to buy an ice cream maker to change my mind :-)

  • Annie

    This yields about 1 quart. I don’t like to list servings per recipe, because it varies so widely person to person what constitutes a serving. I list it as I see fit, since it is my blog :)

  • I am just like you – love chocolate but never really cared for chocolate ice cream. This is going on my list! :) I am also going to head over to David’s article because when I was searching online a year ago for good information regarding the difference between natural and Dutch-processed cocoa, I couldn’t find anything definitive. I think I’m going to invest in some good Dutch-processed because a lot of the dessert recipes I’ve come across lately call for it!

  • I love David Lebovitz’s book the perfect scoop and also shop at Penzeys. Their spice quality is amazing. I haven’t made this chocolate ice cream yet but will have to do so soon. It looks incredible.

  • ivorypomegranate

    Every time I make a half-batch of anything I always regret it. There should be no such thing as a half-batch of such delicious chocolate ice cream! Glad you went with your instinct on this one.

  • Yum! I love David’s ice cream recipes. One of the first ones I tried was his milk chocolate Guinness ice cream–SO good! I am hoping to get The Perfect Scoop as an anniversary gift this month! I’ve been using Google books to get his recipes.

  • This chocolate ice cream looks incredible. And David’s ice cream recipes are the best. Hands down. Can’t wait to get my hands on his new cookbook!

  • I’m drooling! What a delicious looking picture. Wow, that is impressive. I’m not one for chocolate ice cream very much, but that makes me want to make some/have some!

  • Oh my- That looks realllllllllllllly good!

  • This recipe is the best! I haven’t been able to go back to storebought chocolate ice cream since trying this one!

  • That time of year again for ice cream :)

  • Ohhhh that looks divine!! I am definitely making my own ice cream this season. :)


  • this chocolate ice cream looks mouth-watering!!

  • One of these days I’m going to buy an ice cream maker. One day soon, I think.

    Looks delicious!

  • Terri A.

    I recently found your blog and am thoroughly enjoying it! I, too, like chocolate, but not chocolate ice cream. I’ve been going back and forth about getting an ice cream maker, but I think you’ve just sold me on one.

  • I don’t like chocolate ice cream either, but I love, love, love chocolate and also enjoy ice cream. Glad to hear this passes your approval. I’ll have to give it a try!

  • Dave

    i want to slide down that spoon and live in that cup of ice cream!

  • Sarah B.

    Hi Annie,

    I LOVE chocolate ice cream but I’m consistently disappointed with supermarket varieties. This one looks fantastic! Like some previous posters, I don’t have an ice cream maker, but am now very close to buying one — do you have any recommendations on models, or brands? You should probably get a commission for selling people on ice cream makers, not to mention David Lebovitz’s book…

  • I totally agree on the chocolate ice cream! I love chocolate but am just not a huge fan of plain chocolate ice cream. So I will definitely have to try this recipe if it also changed your mind!!!

  • michelle

    This looks delicious! I am curious, though — how do you get the right consistency of the ice cream? Mine is always a little too “soft-serve” immediately from my ice cream maker, and after too many hours in the freezer it’s “too hard.” Do you have a favorite amount of time to chill in the freezer post-ice cream maker? Or do you let it “thaw” from the freezer for a little while before scooping? Your ice cream always looks perfectly creamy but still scoop-able (and not just, blop! from a spoon out of the ice-cream maker). Thank you :)

  • Annie

    In my experience, the right texture has everything to do with a good recipe, and not with the length of freezing time. Pretty much every recipe is goopy and soft when it is just frozen, so I put it in a container and freeze it for a while, but the length of time doesn’t matter. If it’s a good recipe, it will be soft enough to scoop, but a bit hard as ice cream should be.

  • I think it is the time of year to bust out the ice cream maker! This looks delicious!

  • Oh my goodness…chocolate ice cream is my FAVORITE and you have me wanting to bust out the ice cream maker RIGHT THIS SECOND!!! Thanks for the recipe! Gorgeous picture!

  • I feel the same way about chocolate ice cream. Unless it is “jazzed up,” I normally go for other flavors despite my addiction to chocolate. Since you’ve given this a thumbs up, it will be my ice cream maker’s next gift to me. Thanks for the recipe review!

  • Lindsey

    I am the same way! I love love love anything chocolate…except chocolate ice cream. I could never explain it! I will definitely have to try this recipe and see if it changes my mind :)

  • So glad you liked the recipe! Your photo is terrific, too : )

  • Annie

    I have the KitchenAid ice cream maker attachment. I love it. It works very well and since the bowl lives in my freezer, it’s not an additional appliance taking up valuable cabinet/counter space.

  • amanda

    I have a somewhat stupid question- I am new to the whole ice cream thing and when it says chill thoroughly, how long does that mean? Thanks!

  • Annie

    Just chill it long enough that the mixture is cold. The colder it is, the better it will freeze in your ice cream maker. Minimum, I chill mine at least 3-4 hours, and most of the time I let it chill overnight.

  • Laurie

    Im not a huge fan of ice cream but this looked too good to not make. This is by FAR the most DELICIOUS ice cream I have ever tasted. I am already freezing the ice cream maker bowl for a second batch :)

    Annie I absolutely love your web site. I make something from it at least once a week. You have so many delicious recipes and your directions are easy to follow. THANK YOU

  • Sondra

    WOW! That is great ice cream. I made it today and it is one of the best chocolate ice creams I have ever tasted. I’m so glad I tried it. I love your website. I’ve made several things and they are always a hit. Thanks!

  • Jessica C

    I just bought the kitchenaid ice cream attachment. This was the first recipe I tried and it tastes great! I used ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips -60% cacao. I didn’t strain the custard mixture cause I couldn’t find the strainer. It turned out fantastic! thanks! tastes like gormet ice cream. I’ll have to try some of the other recipes!

  • One of my guys requested “homemade” chocolate ice cream and I just came straight to your site. I wasn’t wrong. This recipe makes far the best chocolate ice cream I’ve ever tried! The depth of flavor is amazing!!! Thanks so much. Awesome job, like always!!!

  • Kelly

    Thanks for the link to his post. I have his ice cream book but haven’t read much of it yet (so I’m not sure if that information is even in there). It says in the article that you CAN swap natural cocoa instead of dutch cocoa for ice cream recipes so that’s good to know since I have a TON of notural cocoa powder in my pantry. =)

  • Annie

    That’s weird because in the book he emphasizes the importance of Dutch process cocoa for ice cream. Huh.

  • Thanks for this! Your series of ice cream posts was inspirational. As soon as I got an ice cream maker I started making a ton. I didn’t make this recipe exactly, but I started out by looking at it, and in general feel inspired just by your blog. Thanks.

  • Lauren

    This was so great!! Thanks!

  • Lindy

    You should check out The Craving Chronicle’s post for the recipe of Chocolate Truffle Ice Cream. That is not just your ordinary chocolate ice cream!

  • Lindy

    Which of her ice cream recipes did you try?

  • JenniferL.

    I’m new to your blog (i only “found you” a couple months ago!) & I am officially obsessed! I have made so many of your recipes already & just made this ice cream tonight on a whim! It’s in the fridge cooling for tomorrow…& I can hardly wait to drop it in the ice cream maker & try it! I’m thinking of mixing in Heath bar bits in half & almonds in the other half (maybe chocolate covered almonds?!?!). I’m drooling just thinking about it.
    Thanks for writing this blog & sharing your talent & inspiration!!

  • Kat

    I made this ice cream this weekend (I just got an ice cream maker, finally!). Chocolate is still not my favorite flavor (for a chocolate lover, what is that about anyway???), but my chocolate ice cream loving husband and children, two nephews, and friend said it was undoubtedly the best chocolate ice cream they had ever tasted. Thanks for making me a star again!

  • Brenda

    Oh my… this is divine. Far superior to the first chocolate ice cream recipe I tried! I just consumed a huge bowl and am tempted to reach into the freezer for more… I will definitely be making this many more times. Thanks for sharing!

  • Veronica

    I totally understand this post, regular chocolate ice cream never really tempts me. Considerimg how I worship chocolate it’s very strange. I rarely eat ice cream because many ice cream brands just load it with sugar and forget about the quality and taste really good ice cream deserves. I’ll totally try this recipe out someday if you recommend it, but for know i’ll stick to your other recipes. I live in Dominican Republic so getting Dutch cocoa is a problem from me. Not to mention the ice cream maker.

  • Okay I made this yesterday using my new ice-cream maker for the first time, the taste is amazing, but the texture is kind of too creamy and it doesn’t freeze cold? Could this be due tithe ratio of cream to mil or maybe I over/under churned it? Thanks in advance

  • annieseats

    I’ve never heard of ice cream that was too creamy. Would you prefer it to be more icy? If it didn’t freeze, my guess is the batter and/or your bowl were not cold enough. Though manufacturer instructions suggest otherwise, the bowl should be frozen a minimum of 48 hours before use and the batter should be thoroughly chilled as well.

  • Oh I take it back! After another say 8 hours in the freezer, I took a spoon and it was phenomenal! Before I don’t know it was kind of mousse-ey but now it’s the most amazing, creamy and smooth ice-cream! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe, I need to get myself a copy of The Perfect Scoop! Next I think i’ll try your strawberry or espresso ice-cream :)

  • Ana

    The best chocolate ice cream ever!!!

  • Mitzi Brammer

    Three words: Oh…my…gosh!!! This frozen custard is SO delicious. Creamy, delicious–definitely a keeper.

  • Annie Gonzales

    This ice cream is fantastic. I couldn’t find dutch-process cocoa powder so I tried Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder. It says it’s a blend of natural and dutch cocoas. Anyway, it turned out great!

  • Emilia Murphy

    I made this and the flavor was fantastic. Once it froze overnight though, it got really hard. Is that normal? The vanilla I made it still easy to scoop, but this one needs to thaw for a while before I can scoop it. They are stored in the same place. Is there something I can do next time to avoid this?

  • annieseats

    This is common with homemade ice cream in general because less air is whipped in than with commercial ice cream. This chocolate version is likely more dense than the vanilla you refer to because it contains chocolate – you melt it into the batter, but it resolidifies when chilled/frozen. You can add a tablespoon or two of vodka to help avoid a hard freeze, but it’s just part of homemade ice cream. I just set mine out in advance of when I want to scoop it.

  • Amy

    I made this ice cream last night and oh. my. goodness. it was the best chocolate ice cream I’ve tasted. Perfect creamy texture and just chocolatey enough to satisfy this chocoholic’s craving but not overpower. Thanks Annie for you ICOTD IG posts inspiring me to break out my ice cream maker!