Homemade Magic Shell ice cream topping

As we come to the end of National Ice Cream month, I still have a couple things up my sleeve. One is a delicious, non-processed homemade version of an old favorite.

I only recently really discovered the fun of the classic Magic Shell ice cream topping. A friend brought it to one of our Ice Cream Sundays and I have been enjoying it ever since.

If this fun candy-like topping isn’t something you’re familiar with, it’s basically a chocolate sauce that “magically” hardens when you pour it on your ice cream. Then you are left with a lightly crunchy chocolatey mix-in.

The process certainly had me curious, wondering what was the secret ingredient that made the Magic Shell so magical…

…and I was surprised to find that hidden amongst the preservatives and fillers was the simple yet ever versatile coconut oil. As our bottle was nearing its end, I remembered that my friend Mare had a recipe for a homemade version in her ebook, Just Making Ice Cream. Sure enough, hers is a coconut oil-based recipe, yet without all the extra fillers.

She was gracious enough to allow me to share that recipe with you today!

Homemade Magic Shell ice cream topping

makes 1 cup

1 cup coconut oil

1⁄4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 – 4 Tbsp honey or other sweetener (I actually used about 5 Tbsp of honey)

2 tsp vanilla

pinch of sea salt

In a small saucepan, gently melt everthing together over low heat or use a double boiler. Stir throughout to prevent burning. Taste and adjust the sweetness if needed.

Store in a cool place (not in the refrigerator).

And I personally recommend trying it on vanilla ice cream doused with the morning’s leftover coffee– the perfect afternoon snack!

For more tips on how to adapt and experiment with this topping, be sure to check out Mare’s ebook (only $12 for over 70 recipes). I’m not exaggerating when I say that every homemade ice cream maker should own her book.

I’m not an affiliate, just a big fan of her delicious, nourishing recipes and all the research she put into her book.

What’s your favorite ice cream topping?



Nicole lives near the beach in Southern California with her husband and three young kiddos. She writes a a lifestyle blog about creativity, family life, community, and all sorts of other fun stuff, and also keeps a homeschool journal called The Bennettar Academy. Her most recent (free!) ebook is about why and how to make more time for reading.

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  1. Yum! I used to love that stuff growing up, and haven’t had it in years. Another great use for coconut oil! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  2. Yum. I haven’t had that in years but I always like it as a kid. My favorite topping is nuts.

  3. Yum! I bet Noel will be super excited if this appears around here…. 🙂

  4. We make a peanut butter or almond butter shell by mixing equal parts coconut oil and whatever nut butter we have on hand! You can add a little sweetener if you prefer!

  5. If there is ever a recipe of this without coconut oil, i’d love to hear it. I haven’t found coconut oil anywhere, here in a small town in upper Canada :(.

  6. Martin Jones says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe, I can’t wait to share it. I was completely awed by that stuff as a kid.

    kids island

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