Chocolate Frozen Custard Recipe

scooping chocolate frozen custard with a spoon

My Chocolate Frozen Custard Recipe is an old fashioned, silky, decadent homemade chocolate ice cream. Because the unofficial start to summer just screams for a celebratory ice cream cone, don’t you think?

chocolate frozen custard in an ice cream cone

Chocolate frozen custard ice cream is one of those recipes where I shouldn’t need to rely on heavy sales tactics…

There’s a temperature spike in Los Angeles this weekend and I’m pulling out my trusty ice cream maker for the first time this year. You might have frozen custard memories from Coney Island or Atlantic City, but the frozen custard capital of the world is the Midwest. If you’re a fan of Kopp’s, Leon’s, Gilles, Oscar’s, Culver’s, Carvel, or Shake Shack, etc, you’ll love this homemade summer treat.

scooping old fashioned chocolate frozen custard

Homemade ice cream brings pure joy into the kitchen…

How many machines can claim that? (I’m looking at you Spiralizer.) If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you need to get one.  My base model Cuisinart has lasted me years, probably because there aren’t any electronic parts to malfunction. (It’s got a simple motor that rotates the chilled bucket.) If you break it down to cost per use it’s the deal of a lifetime. And if you’ve got kids or grandkids around this summer, it’s a complete must have. In fact whenever I go to a baby shower, this is what I bring because I can’t think of anything else that will bring such magic and joy to a young family. If it sounds like I’m waxing poetic about a kitchen tool, I am. I heart my ice cream machine.


pouring frozen custard mixture into an ice cream machine

Frozen custard starts with an egg yolk enriched custard

Don’t be afraid of the custard, it’s easy to make, and you can prep it the day before if you like. It should be nice and cold before you add it to your ice cream machine.

chocolate frozen custard churning in an ice cream machine

My favorite part? The mid-churn taste test!

As your frozen custard (or any ice cream, for that matter) churns away in the machine, it might look slightly grainy…that’s the tiny ice crystals forming. It’s my favorite time to sneak a taste or two.

dipping a spoon into a churning ice cream machine

By the time it’s done, in about 20 minutes, the texture is light and unbelievably silky, almost like frozen mousse.

You can eat your custard straightaway, or you can freeze it for a few hours to firm up a bit. Frozen custard is best when you don’t allow it to get super hard in the freezer, so plan to enjoy it within a few hours, if possible.

scooping chocolate frozen custard

The difference between ice cream and frozen custard

  • Both ice cream and frozen custard are made with milk and cream, but frozen custard contains more egg yolks.
  • To geek out on it: according to FDA standards, ice cream must contain less than 1.4% egg yolk, while frozen custard must contain more than 1.4%.
  • Frozen custard has a silkier texture, and is typically served softer than ice cream.
  • For the best frozen custard experience, eat it within 4 hours of churning. This is when it’s at its silkiest. After that it will harden, like all ice creams, in your home freezer, which is set at a colder temperature than ideal for ice cream.
  • If your custard hardens too much, let it sit out for a few minutes before serving.

scooping chocolate frozen custard with an ice cream scoop

Tips and tricks for making homemade ice cream and frozen custard

  • If your machine has a freezer bowl, store it in the freezer during ice cream season so you can make ice cream on a whim.
  • I like to invest in an extra bowl so I can make multiple batches for parties, etc.
  • Your ice cream mixture should always be fully chilled before adding it to your machine. I love to make it the day before.
  • Put your storage container in the freezer while your ice cream churns so you can transfer it with minimal melting.
  • When your ice cream is ready, transfer it from the freezer bowl to your storage container immediately. The ice cream will start to freeze to the sides of the bowl soon after the machine stops turning.
  • Homemade ice cream is generally at its best texture 2-5 hours after you make it. Home freezers are set colder than ideal for storing ice cream, and so it tends to get very hard over time.
  • Cover your ice cream with plastic wrap so it doesn’t pick up freezer odors.

How to make a no churn chocolate frozen custard

  • Make your custard up through step 3 in the recipe.
  • Put your thoroughly chilled mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the balloon whisk attachment (you can do this by hand with electric beaters, but the mixer is best) and whip until the custard becomes lighter and fluffy.
  • Scrape into a freezer container and freeze for several hours until firm enough to scoop.


scooping chocolate frozen custard with a spoon
5 from 24 votes

Chocolate Frozen Custard

My Chocolate Frozen Custard Recipe is an old fashioned, impossibly silky and utterly decadent chocolate ice cream. Grab your (biggest) spoon and get ready to dig in
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 40 minutes
Chilling 4 hours
Yield 6 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • ice cream machine


  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 Tbsp corn syrup (I have made this ice cream successfully without the corn syrup if you want to omit)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • In a heavy bottom medium sized saucepan, add the yolks, sugar, corn syrup, salt, and cocoa powder. Whisk together to combine. Note: I like to sift the cocoa powder, but you don't have to.
  • Set over medium heat and slowly whisk in the cream and milk, whisking constantly to combine everything. Cook, whisking or stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. You do not want it to come to a boil, so watch carefully. I like to switch between my whisk and a silicone 'spoonula' to be able to scrape the sides and bottom of the pan so nothing scorches. You may need to lower your temperature to medium-low, depending on your stove.
  • When the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon it's done.(For me this whole process took about 12 minutes.) Immediately pour through a mesh seive into a bowl and stir in the vanilla. Cover and chill until cold.
  • Churn your chilled mixture according to your machine's instructions. Mine takes 20 minutes. You can enjoy the custard right away, or transfer to a container and freeze for up to 4 hours. Frozen custard has a wonderful silky texture that is best enjoyed within 4 hours of making.

Cook's notes

*recipe adapted from Serious Eats
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

If you love homemade ice cream, I’ve got more!

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    February 3, 2021 at 2:09 am

    Hi there, I am wondering what kind of sugar do you use in this recipe?

  • Reply
    January 24, 2021 at 1:05 pm

    It didn’t churn. I made the fresh lemon the day before and it came out well. This recipe was thinner when I took it out of the machine than when I put it in. Any thoughts? I froze the bowl overnight and I let it churn for an extra 5 minutes and no change at all. It’s very soupy.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      January 24, 2021 at 3:44 pm

      Emily that’s so strange, especially since you made ice cream the day before. The only thing I can think is that your canister didn’t have time to completely chill again? That can prevent ice cream from freezing.

  • Reply
    jessica holmes
    November 9, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    5 stars
    This was fantastic and easy to make. I will be making this again!!

  • Reply
    Shannon Bryan
    October 11, 2020 at 6:55 pm

    I loved this recipe! It was delicious and even worked well with my crazy over-freezing freezer.

    • Reply
      October 12, 2020 at 6:00 am

      Yay! Glad you like it Shannon.

  • Reply
    May 28, 2020 at 3:11 pm

    5 stars
    I made this yesterday, and it was truly scrumptious. I’ll definitely be making it again.

  • Reply
    May 25, 2020 at 12:46 pm

    Hello! I’m new to your blog. I already did my prep and churning (my own recipe) until I stumbled upon yours. Just curious about the use of the corn syrup. Does this give a nicer and smoother texture? Does it make a big difference in terms of taste and texture, as we can not find corn syrup easily in French grocery stores. I used dark cooking chocolate, chopped (70% cacao) instead of Dutch process cocoa powder. I’ll give your recipe a try next time.

    • Reply
      May 25, 2020 at 1:28 pm

      Hey Tri! I found it was a subtle difference, I think it gives the custard an extra sheen and maybe a little bit silkier texture, but you can easily do without it.

  • Reply
    Julie Pelletier
    May 25, 2020 at 9:16 am

    5 stars
    Hi Sue! I also have had the same machine as yours for quite a few years and absolutely love it! And I bought my second bowl soon after the machine since we have 7 grandkids and a large family.
    I decided when I first looked at recipes that I didn’t know why they all call for a blend of milk and cream when it’s called Ice CREAM so I always use 100% Heavy cream for truly decadent, scrumptious ice cream. Do you know why recipes always call for a blend?
    PS My signature ice cream is Vanilla Bean using that wonderful Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean Paste (Amazon) in place of the whole beans…no scraping required! ; )

    • Reply
      May 25, 2020 at 3:48 pm

      I am lurking here in the comments after looking at Sue’s gorgeous custard, so I thought I’d throw my 2 cents in. If you use 100% cream that’s a very high fat content. I find that ice creams and custards made with 100% cream actually leave a buttery coating inside my mouth. My guess, then, is that a blend of milk and cream is used to knock the fat content down to a dull roar leaving your mouth feeling cleaner and not buttery. Most commercially produced ice cream recipes, even high end premium recipes, also call for a mix of cream and milk, most likely to adhere to fat content standardization set forth by the FDA. 🙂

      • Reply
        May 25, 2020 at 6:25 pm

        Well said, Jenni 🙂

  • Reply
    May 25, 2020 at 8:31 am

    5 stars
    I have been making frozen custard for a couple years now and have the same Cuisinart machine you show in the pictures. I can’t tell you how easy whipping up a batch for frozen custard is now, but even better is your suggestion to order the extra bowl! I’m immediately going to do that. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful ideas.

  • Reply
    May 25, 2020 at 7:21 am

    5 stars

  • Reply
    May 25, 2020 at 6:55 am

    do you have any experience with something this good but lactose free?

    • Reply
      May 25, 2020 at 7:00 am

      I think you could do it with full fat coconut milk, or a combo of coconut milk and coconut cream.

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