Introduction: Homemade Magic Shell Recipe

Picture of Homemade Magic Shell Recipe

Try this homemade magic shell ice cream topping recipe, and be amazed at how simple and delicious (and customizable!) it is.

Using only two ingredients, you can make a marvelous crispy chocolate coating for your ice cream.   Stick with basic chocolate, or spice it up with any flavor combinations you can dream of.  It's so easy and addictive, you won't be able to resist making up several batches and sharing them with your friends.  In fact, the basic recipe I used is vegan!  (for all of your non-dairy frozen treats)

What makes this recipe a true winner in my book, is that it's almost fool-proof.  You don't have to hover over your stove, hoping your chocolate won't turn, or that it won't temper right, or anything.  Set it over low heat, and you can even walk away from it long enough to write up an Instructable!

Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients
There are two basic ingredients for this recipe:
  • Coconut oil
  • Chocolate

Naomi from The Accidental Vegan recommends 1 cup of coconut oil to  1-2 cups of chocolate.  Jocelyn at Brownie Points Blog  recommends 100g coconut oil and 150g chocolate.

I discovered that for an 8oz jar (which makes a super cute gift, btw), the following ratio was perfect (but if you don't have a scale, the first set of measurements is fine!):
  • 90g coconut oil
  • 135g chocolate
  • dash sea salt

Once you try this recipe, you'll want to make it again, and you'll start to think about getting crazy with the flavors.  Do it!  Use tiny splashes of flavored extracts to get started, and build your flavor profiles from there.

Step 2: Magic It!

Picture of Magic It!

Melt the coconut oil over very low heat.  Slowly stir in the chocolate until completely melted and blended.  Add a dash of salt and any other flavors you desire.

Step 3: Jar It

Picture of Jar It

Store your topping in a jar or squeeze bottle.  In warmer weather, the topping will remain liquid (but firm up when it coats your ice cream), and in cooler weather, it will solidify.  You don't need to refrigerate it, but if it does solidify, just nuke it for a few secs to make it all melty again.

Step 4: Marvel at It

Picture of Marvel at It

Once it's completely cooled, it's time to try it out.   I had my doubts, so I started with just a tiny dab on the top of my ice cream container.  It hardened up immediately! 

Now that you're a pro at making your own magic shell ice cream topping, it's time to experiment with other flavors.  I got so carried away with this, I had bowls of measured ingredients lined up to make batch after batch.  These are the combinations I tried:

Dark chocolate (vegan!)
Dark chocolate + orange extract
Semi sweet chocolate + mint extract
White chocolate + vanilla
White chocolate + vanilla + orange extract
Milk chocolate + vanilla + almond extract

What will you come up with?


Kaiven (author)2010-07-26

Are there other ways of making Magic Shell? I specifically mean without coconut oil (I happen to have a very allergic friend). I'm not allergic, so this looks delicious! Well done! (p.s. Seriously, no joke, every time I click a food 'ible it's by scooch o.o?)

scoochmaroo (author)Kaiven2010-07-26

No! There is no way but my way!

Ok, now we've got that settled, I've been anticipating this very question.

Though I think the flavor profile would be quite different, you could also use a non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening in place of coconut oil.  Do not use Crisco, or your taste buds will hate you and never forgive you.  But Spectrum makes a very respectable substitute that would serve well here.

92033 (author)scoochmaroo2010-07-27

Don't use 'Crisco'? Yikes! a kid I use to pull out my Mom's Crisco can, scoop out a cup or two in a bowl and pour in a lotta sugar. Mix it up and gobble it down like there was no tomorrow....a yummy snack. Taste good to meeee. :-)

DawnO8 (author)920332016-08-26

Which is exactly the recipe for the stuffing in Oreos...

scoochmaroo (author)920332010-09-07

Ok, 92033, you may use Crisco. Clearly your taste buds are already on board and will require no forgiveness.

Spokehedz (author)920332010-07-29

While this is not the most disturbing thing I have ever read, it is close. Now peanut butter + sugar... That's good eatin'!

matt_sawyers (author)Spokehedz2010-08-01

I sometimes add honey to my peanut butter & a dash of maple syrup. Mmm

92033 (author)matt_sawyers2010-08-01

Hi Matt...I 'ALWAYS' add honey to my peanut butter. :-) Open a fresh jar, scoop an opening for honey and pour it in...mix 'er up and keep eatin' and pourin' 'till the entire jar is empty. Love the Crunchy style. 'A Meal Inna Jar'. I gotta get me a couple jars tomorrow. lol. ~ ED

matt_sawyers (author)920332010-08-01


jugglebird (author)920332010-07-29

My anthropology teacher mentioned that when he spent time with the Inuit in Alaska one of their common desserts was berries mixed with Crisco.

92033 (author)jugglebird2010-07-29

Yummy-yummy-yummy...tastes good in yer tummy. Yep...Crisco was one of my all time favorite treats as a kid. My Mom used it a lot in baking cookies, pie crusts, frostings, etc. When I 'thought' she wasn't looking I'd grab a fast fingerfull and gulp it down. Of course, she always 'knew' and would gently slap my hand with the mixing spoon. lol. I see there are several Crisco lover followers on here today. Good minds think alike. :-)

yanksguy (author)920332010-07-29

Hey! I used to do something similar. I'd use a cup of lard, a quarter teaspoon of vanilla, and a quarter cup of sugar all mixed together to make frosting. Yum!

milominderbinder (author)920332010-07-29

hehe, Crisco and sugar? Aound here, we call that frosting ;)

Kaiven (author)scoochmaroo2010-07-27

Ah, very interesting. Has the same hardening properties, I presume.

Websprinter (author)Kaiven2010-07-29

Butter is a fine substitute for coconut oil except it makes a slightly softer shell and must be refrigerated. The hair goes up on the back of my neck at the thought of using a microwave (radiation here folks!!) so soften in a pan of hot tap water instead or just make enough shell for you and guests and keep extra in the fridge. I make mine with a stick of butter and two heaping tablespoons of cocoa powder instead of chocolate + a teaspoon of vanilla. I thought it would be bitter the first time I made it but found there is sooooo much sugar in the ice cream, I can't tell the difference. My original recipe is half and half coconut oil and butter (total 1/2 cup) and a heaping tablespoons of cocoa powder placed in a double boiler over hot tap water.

BrianM172 (author)Websprinter2016-02-28

Haha... the radiation rumor again... Microwaves are fine to use for cooking, and the food does NOT soak up radiation as most people think, but instead, the radiation CAN affect you if you are in front of the microwave. I avoid going right in front of the microwave, but assuring you... IT IS SAFE FOR COOKING! Think... if you use your phone near a meal, (or someone else... just any phone used at a meal. It HAD to have happened...) then the radiation from the phone gets soaked up in your food, making your food unhealthy now? It is NONSENSE.

BrianM172 (author)BrianM1722016-02-28

Microwave radiation will not kill you, but being IN the radiation for hours and hours CAN hurt you, but won't kill you unless you sit in front of a microwave for 30 days straight, when by then, you would be already dead from dehydration, and if you magically survive not drinking water for 3 days straight, then starvation will kick in, and if you survive THAT, then lack of sleep will kill you.

mabapeg (author)Websprinter2010-07-30

web This sounds good.... Can you give me exact ingredients and amounts.. Not sure if you are using 1/2 and 1/2 liquid. ...Thanks

ReadyNerd (author)mabapeg2013-08-04

Ratio is 2parts Coconut oil to 3 parts chocolate.
and YES Coconut oil has a melting point of 74F and a solidifies at 70F. It's the only oil that will get crunchy over icecream or anything else.

GilM4 (author)Kaiven2016-02-28

You could try butter. If vegans can use coconut oil freely as a butter substitute then it's worth considering the possibility that the opposite could be done for someone with a coconut allergy.
I'd go with grass fed organic unsalted butter.
I'm curious about this now.
I think I'll try it out for myself.
Just for the sake of science ;-)

pppoootttzzz (author)2010-07-27

Is there a specific type of chocolate one must use?

scoochmaroo (author)pppoootttzzz2010-07-27

Yes, you absolutely must use your favorite chocolate.
Otherwise it's just silly.
You can even use fancy chocolate bars with chili and bacon!

atombomb1945 (author)scoochmaroo2010-07-29

Bacon? Dude, never thought of that.... Better yet, dip cool or cold bacon into it for instant chocolate covered goodness.

you are evil......gotta go make bacon now....awe shucks!!

can i use cocoa or any other chocolate powder? or it's just chocolate bars?

lukeyj15 (author)scoochmaroo2010-07-29

You must use real chocolate, not malt powder or chocolate sauce

danzabell (author)2010-09-07

This came out fantastic on strawberries! Hulled them, put in toothpicks, and froze the 'berries. Used Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips, a pinch of salt, and two drops of vanilla. For one 16 oz./454 gram package of strawberries, a little more than 1/2 of the recipe was used. The first layer solidified pretty quickly, but the third layer took about a minute to solidify. Also, I spun them slowly to make an even coat. Thanks for another great 'ible, Miss Scoochmaroo!

scoochmaroo (author)danzabell2010-09-07

Yay! Next time be sure to share pictures!!

ziegism (author)2010-07-27

I made this tonight, and it is EXACTLY like the store bought stuff, only better, because it is homemade and customizable. Great instructable!

scoochmaroo (author)ziegism2010-07-27

I know, right? It may be the best thing I've ever made.

janetsellers08 (author)2017-06-04

I like dark chocolate with cayenne it makes for a spicy chocolate really yummy on anything

jkimball made it! (author)2016-07-31

I found that you don't even need the chocolate to make a delicious and interesting topping.

ashleyjlong (author)2016-04-02

Love this! I thick I'll make some for my dad for his birthday because he's on a big coconut oil kick lately and will like that it can be used this way.

Kristenduch (author)2016-03-30

I like this Instructables.

atheniangreek (author)2013-03-07

Can't you use palm kernel oil or palm oil instead of coconut? They have similar melting points I was just wondering for those who are allergic to coconuts

BrianM172 (author)atheniangreek2016-02-28

Yeah anything with similar melting AND FREEZING points will work well, like butter for example.

one way to find out is to try it

dhoover5 (author)2014-06-01

what can you use instead of coconut oil.. highly allergic to anything with coconut

BrianM172 (author)dhoover52016-02-28

I'm allergic to coconut too, but just know, coconut oil is BARELY coconut. When I drink fruit punch with 1 tbs of coconut juice, my throat hurts for weeks. However, coconut oil is just oil extracted from coconuts, but contains no trace of the coconut itself. If you tried eating coconut oil in the past, then yeah... No argument there if you ARE allergic... but try using butter, it just has a softer shell.

MaryN10 (author)2015-09-24

nuthara (author)2015-05-15


Meagan40 (author)2014-10-15

Hi, I am hoping you can help me. I am making cheesecake lollipops and I want a hardening strawberry dip for them. I would love a cherry and caramel one as well if you have ideas for those as well. Thank you.

tameka.draper (author)2014-10-14

How long will it keep?

jodi.p.ventimiglia (author)2014-10-04

will this solidify on un-chilled items such as cupcakes?

24skillz (author)2014-08-02

How much mint extract should I put in

veryquezo0323 (author)2013-11-24

can i add water for more servings of chocolate magic shell? will the magic shell hardens enough?

ReadyNerd (author)2013-08-04

Heard this recipe on America's Test Kitchen DIY cookbook on NPR.
Works perfectly. I used sugar free cocoa, Stevia extract and put a little organic vanilla (madagascar) and a teaspoon of instant coffee. BLISS and over sugarfree ice cream won't make my sugar spike.......YUM

tray74 (author)2013-06-13
I found a conversion chart at All Recipes

glynnes (author)2012-06-21

Can anyone change these from grams to ounces or cups? Thanks!

Twinmum (author)2011-06-28

Bought some coconut oil today and am going to try this. I wondered about using copha, but it is made from hydrogenated coconut oil and you said to use a non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening, so not sure what difference there will be. Thought I would try with the oil first (to have something to compare it to) then will try with the copha. If the copha works, it would pobbably work out cheaper than the oil.
mmm, if it turns out, I can see the kids deciding to have ice cream more often, even if it is the middle of winter at the moment lol

About This Instructable




Bio: Former Living & Food editor here at Instructables, now running! Follow me @sousvidely
More by scoochmaroo:Halloween FoodSparkle Unicorn Floof HatPumpkin Carving
Add instructable to: