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Our favorite chocolate hazelnut spread makes an appearance in this Nutella Swirl Ice Cream that was inspired by the many, many gelatos we enjoyed during our travels in Italy!

Our favorite chocolate hazelnut spread makes an appearance in this Nutella Swirl Ice Cream that was inspired by the many, many gelatos we enjoyed during our travels in Italy!

Nutella Swirl Ice Cream

We love Nutella and always have a jar of it in the cupboard for emergencies. Paul loves it spread on toast, I like it with fruit, but we both love it swirled in ice cream.

When we were in law school, we spent a summer working in Europe and planned a two-week trip to Italy before heading home to start our second year. That trip was absolutely magical – we flew to Venice then made our way through Florence, Pisa, Rome, Naples, and Capri, mostly by train.

And I’m pretty certain that we always ate at least 2 gelato a day.

And anytime we hear of someone going to Italy for the first time, Paul always encourages them to go to his favorite gelato spot, just down the alley from the Trevi Fountain in Rome.

It’s actually a little chain called “Blue Ice” and they did have some wonderful flavors. But the one that Paul loves best was their Nutella Swirl.

You can find Nutella gelato all over the place – it’s a chocolate hazelnut gelato that is uniform throughout. But it’s the swirled ribbons of Nutella in the vanilla base that Paul loves more than anything.

An image of a hand holding an ice cream scooper and scooping Nutella Swirl Gelato from the container it cured in.

How to make Nutella Swirl Ice Cream

The secret is really in getting the texture right. If the ribbons of Nutella are too thick, they get really hard and chewy in the freezer. Too thin and they start to mix into the ice cream too much and don’t have the defined Nutella taste that we like.

An image of Nutella Swirl Ice Cream made at home in an ice cream maker.

I’ve made this ice cream a few times to try to get things just right.

First I tried layering the churned ice cream and Nutella, but that didn’t work because I would end up with thick chunks of frozen Nutella that didn’t scoop very well.

I tried warming the Nutella, then thinning it out a bit by mixing it with cream and corn syrup, but neither of those worked.

Finally I resorted to sort of flinging dollops of Nutella into the ice cream while it was churning in that last 30 seconds of the churning process and letting the movement of the ice cream around the ice cream maker blades break up and disperse the larger dollop of Nutella. And it worked pretty great!

I still used a butter knife to help swirl the Nutella into areas that were looking too “vanilla-y”, but this was by far my most successful approach at recreating Paul’s favorite flavor of gelato from Italy.

So definitely give this easy, wonderful ice cream flavor a try! And if you are going to Italy any time soon, hit up Blue Ice and have a scoop of Nutella swirl for us, then tell us how it compares to this homemade version!

An image of a hand holding a sugar cone with a scoop of Nutella Swirl Ice Cream on it, inspired by our favorite flavor of gelato in Italy.

Looking for more Nutella Desserts? Try these!

Nutella Swirl Ice Cream
Yield: 10 servings

Nutella Swirl Ice Cream

Our favorite chocolate hazelnut spread makes an appearance in this Nutella Swirl Ice Cream that was inspired by the many, many gelatos we enjoyed during our travels in Italy!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Nutella

Instructions

  1. Heat the cream, milk, half of the sugar, and the salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat until the mixture barely reaches a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium. 
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining sugar in a separate bowl, until light. When the cream mixture is hot, temper the eggs by whisking 1 cup of the hot liquid into the egg yolks, then add the tempered egg yolk mixture to the rest of the hot cream mixture in the saucepan.  
  3. Cook, continuing to stir, just until the mixture reaches 175 degrees F on a candy thermometer and is thick enough to coat the back of the spatula or wooden spoon and holds a clear line when you run a finger along the back of the utensil.
  4. Chill completely before adding the vanilla, then churning the ice cream according to your ice cream maker's instructions. Add the Nutella in the last 30 seconds of churning by dropping dollops of Nutella at a time into the ice cream so that it can be pulled through and stretched into ribbons.  If this isn't working, stop the machine and use a butter knife to swirl the Nutella into the ice cream in thin ribbons.  
  5. Transfer to a container and freeze for 4 hours until frozen hard.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 376 Saturated Fat: 18g Cholesterol: 144mg Sodium: 103mg Carbohydrates: 31g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 28g Protein: 4g