Old-Fashioned Chocolate Ice Cream {with Cocoa Powder}

This favorite dessert is made with real ingredients like milk, cream, cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla beans, and egg yolks. So much more creamy and delicious than anything you can buy.

bowl of homemade chocolate ice cream.

❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Creamy and delicious. Not too sweet, just rich enough and amazingly delicious.
  • Made with real ingredients. No gums, thickeners, or preservatives.
  • Easier than you think to make at home. Yes, there are a lot of steps. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll make ice cream in your sleep.

This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.

ingredients on white wood counter.

Here’s what you’ll need to make this creamy ice cream recipe:

  • whole milk
  • heavy cream
  • cocoa powder (Hershey’s or similar is just fine!)
  • granulated sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • egg yolks
  • salt

🍴Instructions

Step One

saucepan of chocolatey liquid.

Heat the milk, cream, 1/2 cup of sugar, cocoa, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. The mixture should be warm and steaming (about 170 degrees).

Step Two

small bowl of egg yolks and sugar.

Meanwhile, mix the egg yolks and the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar until they are light yellow in color and well combined. They will noticeably change color when mixed enough. (A hand mixer on low will work well.)

Step three

saucepan pouring chocolate into bowl.

Add half of the warm milk mixture, a half cup at a time, into the bowl with the eggs and sugar. Then add the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk and cream.

Step Four

saucepan of chocolate custard.

Put the saucepan on the stove. Put the heat on medium. Stir all of the ingredients together. Keep stirring until it reaches 185 degrees. The custard is ready when it is thick and coats the back of a spoon.

Step Five

metal strainer over mixing bowl.

To strain the custard, put a cheesecloth or strainer over a bowl. Put the custard in the refrigerator to chill for 4-24 hours until it is very cold.

Step six

ice cream churner showing custard before and after churning.

When the mixture is soft like ice cream, put it into a loaf pan. Cover it with plastic wrap. Then freeze it until it is hard. You can keep it in the freezer for up to one week.

🥫 Storage instructions

  • Keep it covered in the freezer. It’s important to keep your ice cream covered when storing in the freezer to help minimize the formation of ice crystals and reduce freezer burn.
  • Allow it time to soften before serving. Taking the time to allow your homemade chocolate ice cream to thaw slightly before serving will make it easier to scoop.
  • There are no preservatives, so you’ll want to polish this off within a week or so.

🔍 FAQs

Do I really need the eggs?

You really do. They add richness and make this ice cream delicious.

How long will this take from start to finish?

At least 8 hours, assuming you start with a pre-chilled insert for your ice cream maker. I always start it at least a day ahead of time.

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert tips

  • Don’t be intimidated. It may seem like a lot of steps, but once you get used to the process, it’s relatively easy and worth it for that extra creamy texture.
  • You can adjust the sweetness according to your tastes. I prefer it just as written, but increasing or decreasing the sugar slightly is okay.
  • You can also add chopped nuts, chocolate chips, or other mix-ins when the ice cream is almost finished churning.

📘 more creamy and chocolately Recipes

🍽 Serve it with

If you haven’t made ice cream nachos yet, they’re a super fun way to serve any flavor ice cream.

This is, of course, perfection in a waffle cone.

close up view of homemade chocolate ice cream.

📖 Here’s the recipe

close up view of four scoops of chocolate ice cream.

Old Fashioned Chocolate Ice Cream

Freshly churned with real eggs, cream, cocoa, and sugar, this is the classic way to make ice cream. Worth the trouble every time.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
cooling 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 45 minutes
Serving Size 8 servings

Equipment

  • Ice cream machine

Ingredients 

  • cups whole milk
  • cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup cocoa powder I always use Hershey's
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar divided
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 egg yolks
  • pinch salt

Instructions 

  • Heat the milk and cream. Heat the milk, cream, 1/2 cup of the sugar, cocoa, vanilla, and salt in a smalll saucepan over medium heat, until warm and steaming, or about 170 degrees.
  • Beat the eggs and remaining sugar. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar until light yellow in color and well combined. They will noticeably change color when mixed enough. (A hand mixer on low will work well.)
  • Temper the eggs by adding half of the warm milk mixture, a half cup at a time. Then add the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk and cream.
  • Heat the custard. Heat the saucepan, which now contains all of the ingredients, over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches 185 degrees. The custard is ready when it has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  • Strain the custard and chill. Hold cheesecloth or a strainer over a bowl to strain the custard. Immediately place the custard into in the refrigerator to chill. Chill for 4-24 hours, until very cold.
  • Freeze ice cream according to manufacturer's instructions. When it has reached the consistency of soft serve ice cream, place into loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze until firm. Will keep well, covered in the freezer for a week.

Notes

Check your ice cream machine’s instructions before beginning: many have a freezer insert that needs to be frozen at least 24 hours before churning
Calories: 297kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 153mg | Sodium: 35mg | Potassium: 205mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 860IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 105mg | Iron: 1mg
Old-Fashioned Chocolate Ice Cream {with Cocoa Powder}Old-Fashioned Chocolate Ice Cream {with Cocoa Powder}

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