Cool, classic Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream is a favorite for many people for good reason! There is nothing as refreshing as a deliciously creamy and crunchy scoop of mint chip on a summer day!
If we all scream for ice cream, then you are also going to want to check out these other flavors that are reader favorites like our Old-Fashioned Fresh Peach Ice Cream, Apple Pie Ice Cream, and Cookies and Cream Ice Cream!
When I polled people over on Instagram and asked them their favorite ice cream flavors, mint chocolate chip ice cream was by far the top choice for a majority of folks. Not that I'm surprised! The cool and creamy flavor is so satisfying with chunks of chocolate that give it an extra special texture.
It's my youngest daughter's top choice every time we get ice cream so I wanted to make it at home myself. Making mint chip at home means you can control the amount and size of your chocolate pieces as well as making it more or less minty to suit your own preferences!
One of the tricks to this mint chip ice cream is in how you add the chocolate. I use a combination of two approaches to get a mix of big and little chunks of chocolate throughout our mint chip ice cream so there is chocolate in every bite!
First you melt some good quality dark or semisweet chocolate with a little bit of coconut oil. Then during the last few minutes of churning the ice cream, you will drizzle the melted chocolate into the machine as the ice cream is still being churned. Incidentally, this is basically also how you make homemade magic shell topping except here we are adding it straight into the ice cream while it churns!
This technique is from Italy where it is called stracciatella, or "shards", and it gives a more delicate, even distribution of chocolate that has a better mouth feel than big hard chunks of chopped chocolate. And you can control how thick your stream of chocolate is as you are adding it for larger chunks or tiny flecks of chocolate that are spread throughout the ice cream.
I usually hold some of the melted chocolate in reserve though and only add half the ice cream to the container I plan to store it in, then drizzle the remaining chocolate over this before covering it with the rest of the ice cream. This results in some larger chunks of chocolate that break up as you scoop the ice cream so we've got the best of both worlds!
If you prefer larger pieces of chocolate in your mint chip ice cream, then by all means use a chopped up bar of chocolate or even mini chocolate chips instead!
- Heavy cream: The higher the fat percentage of your ice cream, the richer and creamier it will be. You can get away with regular whipping cream or even half-and-half, but for best results look for heavy cream.
- Milk: I use whole milk with heavy cream to get the best texture, but you could use 2% or even skim milk and still get good ice cream. Also, if all you have is skim milk, just add a little extra heavy cream in place of a couple tablespoons of the milk to make up the difference and you'll get the same result.
- Sugar: We want our mint chip to be just sweet enough without being too sweet!
- Egg yolks: This is a custard based ice cream, which is my favorite kind, which means we need egg yolks for that creamy, scoopable quality that is so good! Save your egg whites to make something else. I have a whole category of recipes you can make with leftover egg whites!
- Peppermint extract: I prefer the flavor of peppermint extract over regular mint extract in ice cream. Sometimes the mint extract skews a little too wintergreen for me. You can add more or less based on your preference, but I think the amount in the recipe below is just right for a solid mint chip ice cream.
- Vanilla extract: A little vanilla actually rounds out the mint flavor of this ice cream!
- Semisweet chocolate: I really recommend using a chopped up bar of high quality semisweet or dark chocolate like Ghiradelli. It will melt better than if you use chocolate chips.
- Coconut oil: This is the secret ingredient that will help the melted chocolate reharden quickly upon being added to the ice cream! It doesn't actually add coconut flavor to the ice cream.
- Green food coloring : This is totally optional, but it does give that classic green color that many people expect in mint chip ice cream.
How to Make Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
- Make the custard base: Heat milk, cream, and half of the sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat. While that is heating up, whisk the egg yolks and remaining sugar in a bowl for 1-2 minutes until light and thick.
- Temper egg yolks: Once the cream and milk mixture is hot (you should just be able to see steam if you stir it), pour about 1 cup of the hot liquid into the egg yolks. Whisk well to combine, then pour this back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk and cream. This helps the egg yolks come up to temperature without scrambling them.
- Finish the custard: Continue to cook the custard base, stirring constantly, until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon or reaches 170-175 degrees F on a candy thermometer . Remove from the heat and stir in the peppermint extract, vanilla extract, and green food coloring , if using. Place the pan over a water bath to help cool the custard quickly. It should be chilled thoroughly before churning.
- Churn: Once the mint ice cream base is cold, add it to the thoroughly frozen bowl of your ice cream maker. Those bowls need to freeze for at least 12-18 hours and I always keep mine stored in the freezer so it's ready to go whenever we want to make ice cream. Place the dash inside the bowl and turn it on. As the bowl spins, the ice cream will thicken and freeze. Air is also being added through the churning process to lighten the ice cream and it will increase in volume.
- Add chocolate: While the ice cream churns, melt the chocolate and coconut oil together in the microwave using short bursts of heat and stirring every 20 seconds until melted. Once the ice cream is almost done, start drizzling the chocolate into the ice cream while it is churning. You can use a piping bag or ziploc bag with one corner cut off, or just pour from the bowl or with a spoon. The chocolate will freeze almost immediately and break up into shards that spread throughout the ice cream as it churns. You can also hold some of the chocolate in reserve to drizzle between layers of ice cream as you transfer it to a storage container.
- Freeze to harden: The ice cream is done when it reaches a stage where it is soft serve consistency. At this point, transfer it to a freezer-safe container like a bread pan. I like to transfer half of it, then drizzle it with some of the melted chocolate before adding the rest of the ice cream on top. Freeze for 4-6 hours to harden completely for a scoopable ice cream.
Homemade ice cream made with real ingredients won't last as long in the freezer as the store bought kind that uses added ingredients to preserve it longer. This ice cream will be good for about 1 week in the freezer before it starts to get ice crystals. Just be sure to cover it with plastic wrap or a lid to protect it.
I have tried making mint ice cream by steeping a generous handful of mint leaves in the hot milk and cream for 1 hour to extract the mint flavor, but....so far it's not my favorite. There's a good chance I just didn't have the right kind of mint leaves for it, but it tasted kind of grassy and just not like the kind of mint chip I was going for, which is why I ended up settling on good old peppermint extract.
- Feel free to adjust the amount of mint extract in the recipe either up or down depending on your personal preference.
- Try adding broken up regular or mint Oreo cookies to the mint base! It's one of my favorite variations!
- Another good mix-in would be to use 1 to 1 ½ cups of those chopped up Andes creme de menthe pieces or small chunks of brownies.
- You could also make hot fudge sauce, then let it cool so it's just barely warm but still pourable, then layer the churned ice cream with a generous drizzle of hot fudge sauce, followed by more ice cream, etc. to create a mint fudge ripple.
- Use this ice cream to make a grasshopper ice cream pie!
More Recipes for Mint Chocolate Lovers
- Mint Chip Sugar Cookies
- Andes Mint Cookies
- Peppermint Bark Cheesecake
- Fudgy Frosted Chocolate Mint Brownies
- Peppermint Macarons
- Chocolate Andes Mint Cookies
Want a double scoop? More ice cream recipes
- Southern Blackberry Cobbler Ice Cream
- Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream
- Tutti-Frutti Ice Cream
- Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream
Did you make this recipe?
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.
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- ¾ cup sugar divided
- 4 egg yolks
- 2-3 teaspoons McCormick pure peppermint extract depending on how minty you like your ice cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2-3 drops green food coloring optional
- ½ cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips 4 ounces ghiradelli semisweet bar
- 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
- Whisk cream, milk, and half of the sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Let this heat until bubbles start to form just around the edges and the liquid steams when you stir it.
- Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks and remaining sugar in a bowl for 1-2 minutes until light.
- Once milk is hot, gradually whisk 1 cup of it into the egg yolks to temper the eggs so they don't scramble.
- Pour the tempered egg yolks back into the saucepan with the hot cream mixture and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon or the custard reaches 170-175 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
- Remove the ice cream base from the heat and stir in the peppermint extract, vanilla extract, and food coloring, if using. Place the pan into an ice bath to cool the mixture down quickly, then chill thoroughly before churning.
- To churn the ice cream, transfer the mint base the frozen bowl of an ice cream maker. It will need to churn for 20-30 minutes to be the consistency of soft serve.
- While the ice cream is churning, melt the chopped chocolate and coconut oil in a medium bowl by heating in the microwave in 20 second increments. Stir well between each burst of heat until the chocolate is melted and smooth (about 60-90 seconds total). Let this cool until just warm.
- When the ice cream is almost done, start drizzling the chocolate in while the ice cream is churning. The chocolate will freeze on impact and shatter into small pieces and chunks. I like to hold some of the melted chocolate in reserve for layering with the ice cream, but you can add it all this way if you prefer.
- Transfer half of the ice cream, which should be soft serve consistency, to a freezer safe container. Drizzle any reserved melted chocolate over the top, then add the remaining ice cream. Freeze for 4-6 hours to harden and cure so it is scoopable. Let the ice cream sit out for 10-15 minutes before scooping for best results.
- Using fresh mint leaves: If you have fresh mint leaves, you could omit the peppermint extract and instead add about 1 cup of lightly packed mint to the cream and milk once it is hot. Remove from the heat and let this mixture steep for 1-2 hours, then remove the mint leaves and reheat the milk and cream mixture. Continue with the recipe as written by tempering the eggs, etc.
- Chocolate: You can use ½ to ¾ cups of mini chocolate chips, if you prefer, rather than melting the dark chocolate and drizzling it in. You will have larger, harder chunks of chocolate, but for some folks that might even be preferable.
- Mint Cookie or Mint Brownie Variation: One of my favorite things to do is replace the chocolate with 1 ½ cups of coarsely chopped Oreos or chunks of brownies.