How to Make Homemade Magic Shell

How to Make Homemade Magic Shell ~ this 2 ingredient chocolate sauce magically hardens when it touches a scoop of ice cream ~ and will transform any flavor in your freezer into a fun summer dessert.

Photo of hands holding a cup of ice cream with homemade magic shell.

chocolate + coconut oil = magic shell !

Magic Shell is that topping that you buy at the grocery store that squirts out of a bottle and magically solidifies into a crackly chocolate candy coating when it hits cold ice cream. It’s the same stuff that coats ice cream bars. If you have kids around, you have to make this. If you don’t have kids around, you ‘re going to want to make it anyway, it’s amazing, and tons of fun.

photo of homemade magic shell being poured over vanilla ice cream in a cup.

what you need for magic shell ice cream topping

  • chocolate ~ use your favorite bar chocolate.
  • coconut oil ~ coconut oil comes in a jar, usually in the oil section of the supermarket, and sometimes with the international foods. It comes in solid form, refined or unrefined. I used refined; it has a more netrual taste. Don’t confuse it with coconut milk or cream.
Photo of homemade magic shell on top of vanilla ice cream in a cup

the science behind magic shell

Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, so is chocolate. We melt them together making a rich chocolate sauce, and then, when it hits the cold surface of ice cream, the sauce immediately hardens, forming a ‘shell’ around the ice cream. Magical!

Photo of homemade magic shell on top of vanilla ice cream in a cup.

Oh, and by the way, coconut oil is now known to be super healthy, right up there with olive oil. And of course you already know about the health giving properties of dark chocolate. So when you think about it, this decadent sauce is really a power-food 😉

Photo of squares of white chocolate for homemade magic shell.

variation ideas

I’m sure this has dawned on you already, but you can do all sorts of creative variations with this sauce.

  • I tested the recipe with white chocolate and the same proportions hold.
  • Confectionary wafers will work, as will many flavored ‘chips’ from the baking aisle. Experiment with butterscotch or peanut butter chips!
  • You could use all kinds of flavorings and add-ins, too. I think vanilla bean and toasted macadamia nuts would be nice with the white chocolate.
  • Oh, and I went ahead and made a Nutella version — yep, it’s amazing!
Photo of white homemade magic shell being poured into a jar.

homemade magic shell is superior to the commercial product

This is one of those many examples of a do it yourself food that really makes sense to try. For one thing, it takes just minutes to make. For another, you can use really good quality chocolates and flavorings. The store bought version can’t compete.

Photo of white chocolate homemade magic shell on top of chocolate ice cream with sprinkles.
Photo of white chocolate homemade magic shell on chocolate ice cream with sprinkles in a bowl.
3.66 from 72 votes

Homemade Magic Shell Ice Cream Sauce

How to Make Homemade Magic Shell ~ this easy ice cream sauce will transform any flavor in your freezer into the most magical dessert ever!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Author Sue Moran


  • 6 oz semi sweet chocolate, broken in half or in pieces
  • 3 Tbsp (heaped) coconut oil


  • Put the chocolate and the oil in a glass measuring cup and microwave for about 30 seconds. Take out and stir. Microwave in short 15 second bursts, stirring in between, until the chocolate is almost all melted. Keep stirring until all the lumps are gone.
  • Pour into a glass jar and store on the counter.
  • The mixture will stay liquid at room temperature in the warmer months, and may solidify during cooler weather. No problem, just microwave it briefly before serving.
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.
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    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    June 27, 2020 at 4:37 am

    Is that six 6-oz chocolate squares?

    • Reply
      June 27, 2020 at 5:01 am

      It’s six ounces total chocolate.

    • Reply
      July 1, 2020 at 11:56 am

      Does this have any coconut flavor at all? Thanks!

      • Reply
        July 1, 2020 at 1:50 pm

        It does have a little coconut flavor, but you can use refined coconut oil, which doesn’t have much flavor.

  • Reply
    June 15, 2020 at 3:50 pm

    5 stars
    I used the coating over cookies and vanilla ice cream. Yum it’s delicious ? A keeper

  • Reply
    July 12, 2018 at 6:40 pm

    5 stars
    This Magic Shell is AWESOME!!! My kids love that stuff and were impressed it was homemade! An absolute keeper, so good over homemade strawberry ice cream, tasted like chocolate covered strawberries! Can’t wait to use dark chocolate next, my favorite, yum!

    • Reply
      July 12, 2018 at 7:20 pm

      5 stars
      My kids were enchanted by this too, Holly! There’s something so special about a hard chocolate shell on ice cream, I need to do it with strawberry, that sounds really good 🙂

  • Reply
    April 27, 2018 at 5:09 am

    Can you use liquid coconut oil and get the same effect?

    • Reply
      June 27, 2020 at 5:02 am

      Yes, if it’s pure coconut oil.

  • Reply
    April 26, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    Could your use Carmel or chocolate mint chips or any other flavor chips in the same application?

    • Reply
      April 26, 2018 at 7:29 pm

      You can really play around with this quite a bit, Linda, and I found that most chips work!

  • Reply
    May 28, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    I’m allergic to coconut. Is there a substitute for it. It seems everyone has turned to that oil

    • Reply
      May 28, 2015 at 7:15 pm

      It’s interesting, Leslie, in this particular case the coconut oil has special properties that make the ‘magic’ happen. I think if you can’t use coconut oil, I would just melt the chocolate alone and use that. It won’t harden quite as fast, but it will still work. Let the melted chocolate cool before using so it won’t melt the ice cream.

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