This easy homemade Magic Shell recipe makes it so you can enjoy your favorite chocolate ice cream topping without running to the store! It only takes TWO ingredients and less than 5 minutes to make a batch for ice cream sundaes, topping ice cream cones, or drizzling over your favorite ice cream pie!

If you love ice cream, try some of our other popular ice cream toppings like Mint Chocolate Magic Shell, Nutella Magic Shell, or Flood Mud Microwave Hot Fudge Sauce.

An ice cream sundae glass with scoops of vanilla ice cream topped with chocolate magic shell and sprinkles.

If you have ever had a dipped cone and wondered what that chocolate sauce that hardens on ice cream is called, it's known as Magic Shell and can be purchased at the store next to the ice cream toppings. But it's really very simple to make at home with ingredients you already have on hand.

My favorite way to use it is to make a simple ice cream turtle pie by filling a graham cracker crust with vanilla ice cream. After freezing until firm, I like to slice and plate, then drizzle each piece with chocolate magic shell, caramel sauce, and chopped pecans.

Use it to create a hard chocolate shell on ice cream cones or dip frozen bananas in it then roll them in chopped roasted peanut before the chocolate has a chance to harden for an easy treat. Drizzle homemade magic shell into a blender with ice cream and milk for a chocolate chip milkshake or into your favorite homemade ice cream towards the end of churning to create small chocolate flakes.

A spoon breaking through homemade chocolate magic shell topping over vanilla ice cream.

Why this Recipe Works

  • Only two ingredients. Just chocolate and coconut oil, that's it.
  • Easily doubles or triples. The recipe makes about ¾ cup of magic shell topping, which is usually enough for 3-4 people, but you can easily increase the amounts of you want enough for a larger group.
  • Customizable. Chocolate magic shell is classic, but if want even more magic shell flavors, keep scrolling for a list of ideas on how to easily adjust this base recipe.

Ingredient Notes

This is a quick overview of the important ingredients you'll need for this magic shell recipe. Specific measurements and full recipe instructions are in the printable recipe card below.

  • Chocolate: Because there are only two ingredients in this recipe, we think it's a good idea to use the best quality chocolate for the best flavor. We really like the milk or dark chocolate "Pound Plus" bars from Trader Joe's, but Ghiradelli and Guittard are our other favorites. You can even use chocolate chips if that's what you have on hand.
  • Coconut oil: If you use unrefined coconut oil, you will end up with a slight coconut taste to the magic shell, which may not necessarily be a bad thing if you are a fan of Almond Joy bars. But if you just want a pure chocolate flavor, you should use refined coconut oil which doesn't have a distinct coconut taste.
Ingredients for homemade magic shell ice cream topping.

How to Make Homemade Magic Shell

  1. Chop the chocolate. The smaller you chop the chocolate the easier it is to melt smoothly.
  2. Heat chocolate and coconut oil. Microwave the chocolate and coconut oil in 30 second increments. Stop and stir well between each burst of heat until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Let it cool slightly to room temperature before using.
  1. Dip, drizzle, or spoon over ice cream. Once the magic shell comes in contact with cold ice cream, it will harden quickly to form a delicious chocolate coating. If you want to top with sprinkles, be sure to add them immediately after pouring over ice cream before the magic shell has a chance to solidify.
A bowl of homemade magic shell next to a bar of chocolate.

Recipe FAQ's

How long will homemade magic shell be pourable?

Eventually the chocolate will firm up again at regular room temperature, but this usually takes 30 minutes or more depending on how warm it is in your house. You can always warm it up again until it is melted and pourable.

Can I use shortening or butter in place of coconut oil?

I don't recommend either of these substitutes for homemade magic shell because the chocolate didn't firm up as well as the coconut oil in my recipe testing. If you decide to use them, they might firm up but be chewier or waxier rather than having a nice snap to the magic shell that you get from making the recipe as written. If you have a coconut allergy, I would try using vegetable oil instead.

Why does the magic shell harden?

The reason the chocolate sauce hardens is that coconut oil solidifies at room temperature. Once it hits cold ice cream, the coconut oil immediately starts to return to its solid form.

Can I use other flavored chips?

There are so many flavored chips out there that would work well in place of the chocolate in this recipe! Think butterscotch, caramel, cherry, mint, strawberry, and more. If your local grocery store doesn't have a good selection, try a craft store or you can order them online. King Arthur Flour has a good selection.

A hand sprinkling rainbow jimmies sprinkles onto chocolate magic shell before it has a chance to harden.

Recipe Tips

  • Let it cool to room temperature before using. The magic shell will still harden up even if you pour it over the ice cream while the sauce is still warm, but it has a tendency to melt the ice cream more. Our recommendation is to make the magic shell, then let it cool a bit while scooping the ice cream before pouring.
  • Watch out for water. Be careful to not let any water touch the magic shell or it may seize up.
  • No need to store in the fridge. The ingredients are shelf-stable and will keep at room temperature for weeks.
Two ice cream sundaes with homemade magic shell and rainbow sprinkles.

Storage Instructions

  • How to store: If there are leftovers, you can keep them in an airtight container or jar at room temperature for up to 1 month. You may need to reheat (or at least stir well) until pourable before using.
  • How to reheat: The easiest way is to microwave for 20-30 seconds, then stir until the magic shell has thinned out again. You could also heat it in a double boiler over simmering water on the stovetop.

More Magic Shell Flavors

You can use the recipe below and modify it to make lots of other delicious flavors! Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Cherry: Use cherry flavored chips or buy red candy melts and add 1 teaspoon of LorAnn Oils super strength cherry flavor for cherry magic shell.
  • Funfetti: Use white chocolate and 2 tablespoons of sprinkles (jimmies work best).
  • Cookies & Cream: Use Hershey's Cookies & Cream Bars in place of the chocolate.
  • Reese's: Add 2 tablespoons of peanut butter to the recipe below or use half chocolate chips and half peanut butter chips.
  • Chocolate Caramel/Turtle: Add ¼ cup caramel bits. Once the chocolate, caramel, and coconut are melted, add 3-4 tablespoons chopped pecans for a turtle version.
  • Chocolate Almond: Add 3-4 tablespoons finely chopped almonds.
  • Heath Bar: Add ¼ cup chopped heath bar pieces.
  • Peanut Butter: Use peanut butter chips in place of the chocolate. Or you could use ½ cup creamy peanut butter with ¼ cup of powdered sugar.
  • Biscoff Cookie Butter: Use ¾ cup cookie butter with the coconut oil.
  • Mint: Use the Ghiradelli green mint baking chips in place of the chocolate for minty green magic shell.

Homemade Ice Cream Recipes

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Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.

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Homemade Chocolate Magic Shell

5 from 4 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 min
Total Time 6 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
This easy homemade Magic Shell recipe makes it so you can enjoy your favorite chocolate ice cream topping without running to the store! It only takes TWO ingredients and less than 5 minutes to make! The recipe easily doubles or triples for a crowd.

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup chopped milk or dark chocolate (8 ounces or about 190g)
  • ¼ cup refined coconut oil

Instructions
 

  • Place your chocolate and coconut oil into a small microwave-safe bowl.
  • Heat in thirty-second intervals, mixing each time until all the chocolate is melted.
  • Pour over ice cream.

Notes

  • How to store: If there are leftovers, you can keep them in an airtight container or jar at room temperature for up to 1 month. You may need to reheat (or at least stir well) until pourable before using.
  • How to reheat: The easiest way is to microwave for 20-30 seconds, then stir until the magic shell has thinned out again. You could also heat it in a double boiler over simmering water on the stovetop.
  • Cherry: Use red candy melts and add 1 teaspoon of LorAnn Oils super strength cherry flavor for cherry magic shell. I can usually find it at craft stores like Hobby Lobby or Joanns'.
  • Funfetti: Use white chocolate and 2 tablespoons of sprinkles (jimmies work best).
  • Cookies & Cream: Use Hershey's Cookies & Cream Bars in place of the chocolate.
  • Reese's: Add 2 tablespoons of peanut butter to the recipe below.
  • Chocolate Caramel/Turtle: Add ¼ cup caramel bits. Once the chocolate, caramel, and coconut are melted, add 3-4 tablespoons chopped pecans for a turtle version.
  • Chocolate Almond: Add 3-4 tablespoons finely chopped almonds.
  • Heath Bar: Add ¼ cup chopped heath bar pieces.
  • Peanut Butter: Use peanut butter chips and coconut oil.
  • Biscoff Cookie Butter: Use cookie butter and coconut oil.

Nutrition

Calories: 339kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 127mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 23g | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

  1. Hello! Can this be used as a "dip" on cupcakes if the buttercream is cold/refrigerated right before dipping? I'm assuming it will solidify once "setting"?
    Thanks!