How to Make Homemade Magic Shell

Homemade Magic Shell is a 2 ingredient chocolate sauce that ‘magically’ hardens when it touches a scoop of ice cream. It will transform any flavor in your freezer into a fun summer dessert.

magic shell ice cream sauce on strawberry ice cream with sprinkles

chocolate + coconut oil = homemade 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.

homemade magic shell pouring into a jar

what you need

Just 2 simple ingredients that, once you try this, you will always want to have on hand!

  • chocolate ~ either bar chocolate (chopped in small pieces) or good quality chocolate chips
  • coconut oil ~ use refined coconut oil, which has less of a ‘coconutty’ flavor than virgin coconut oil. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, and comes in a jar.
ingredients for Magic Shell chocolate ice cream sauce

how to make magic shell ice cream sauce

  1. Put chopped chocolate or chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl with refined coconut oil.
  2. Microwave on high for 60 seconds.
  3. Stir well until everything is smooth and silky. If you still have any lumps of chocolate after stirring for a minute or two, microwave again briefly (15 seconds) and stir again.
  4. Let cool before using.
  5. Store your magic shell at room temperature.
spooning magic shell ice cream sauce on ice cream

the science behind magic shell

Coconut oil has a high melting point (77F) and 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 saturated fats in the coconut oil immediately harden, forming a ‘shell’ around the ice cream. Magical!

how long will diy magic shell last?

Keep it in an airtight container (a jar with a lid will work) and plan to use it within a month. Store it at room temperature, do not refrigerate.

magic shell ice cream sauce, hardened and cracked open

variation ideas

I’m sure this has dawned on you already, but you can do all sorts of creative variations on the magic shell theme.

  • 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!
scoop of strawberry ice cream with magic shell topping and sprinkles

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.

more fun with ice cream!

3.90 from 88 votes

Homemade Magic Shell Ice Cream Sauce

Homemade Magic Shell is a 2 ingredient chocolate sauce that 'magically' hardens when it touches a scoop of ice cream. It's fun and delicious!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Yield 10 servings
Calories 254kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • 12 oz dark chocolate chips or semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 6 Tbsp refined coconut oil


  • Put the chocolate and the oil in a glass measuring cup and microwave for about 60 seconds. Take out and stir. Keep stirring until all the chocolate is melted and the sauce is smooth. If necessary you can microwave in another 15 second burst to get all the chocolate melted.
  • Pour into a glass jar and store on the counter until ready to use.
  • Spoon the magic shell sauce over a scoop of ice cream and watch it magically harden before your eyes!
  • 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.
  • Store your magic shell sauce tightly covered in the pantry. Plan to use within a month.

Cook’s notes

*this recipe was first published in 2012 and has been updated and rephotographed in 2022.


Serving: 3Tbsp | Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 0.3mg | Sodium: 36mg | Potassium: 215mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 3IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 0.4mg
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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  • Reply
    From Beyond My Kitchen Window
    June 8, 2012 at 12:48 am

    5 stars
    I really like your reasoning. I just bought coconut oil at Trader Joe’s on Monday. I will be giving this one a try for sure.

  • Reply
    June 7, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    5 stars
    Magic shell was a real treat for my kids when they were little. Don’t know if my grandkids have ever tried it but they soon will get the chance. I bet its wonderful with good chocolate. Thanks for bringing back an old favorite.

  • Reply
    Sulpicia (III)
    June 7, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    5 stars
    The white chocolate on chocolate ice cream looks delicious!

  • Reply
    A Trifle Rushed
    June 7, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    5 stars
    Wow! And with chocolate and coconut oil, you don’t have any nasty additives, I’ll be making this during the summer, wonderful for garden lunch puddings.

  • Reply
    June 7, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    5 stars
    Nobody told me either! Oh my gosh – it is so funny the things that make me happy! I’m already thinking about what you can do with this! You could also layer a ribbon of chocolate in homemade ice cream, dip a frozen banana, oh my gosh! Rolled in nuts before it hardens! – we’re bonding here 🙂

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      June 7, 2012 at 10:32 pm

      The one ice cream treat that I am literally addicted to is premium ice cream bars like Haagen Daz and Dove. This tastes exactly like those.

  • Reply
    June 7, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    5 stars
    Whoops! I forgot to ask you what kind of ice cream is in the last picture?! I’ve never seen such a dark chocolate color! I NEED to try it!

  • Reply
    June 7, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    5 stars
    I had forgotten all about this combination! I LOVE coconut oil. Combined with chocolate, it is truly a wonder food for all that you can do with it!

  • Reply
    hobby baker
    June 7, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Homemade magic shell is one of our favs! I have a bowl on the counter right now. But we’ve never tried the white chocolate version; my hubby would probably clean the kitchen for me if I offered that to him. 😀

  • Reply
    Jacquelyn Grandy
    June 7, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    I am so making this for the kids (and me). I have all the ingredients on hand and this is so much healthier than the magic shell stuff.

    Great post!

    • Reply
      Blond Duck
      June 7, 2012 at 5:57 pm

      I love the white chocolate and sprinkles!

  • Reply
    From the Kitchen
    June 7, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    This looks delicious! I love chocolate and will feel even better knowing that it’s as healthy as can be!!


    • Reply
      DNT57 in St Louis
      July 16, 2012 at 7:01 am

      Sorry to burst your bubble but coconut oil is NOT healthy. It has more saturated fat that an 8 oz steak.

    • Reply
      September 5, 2012 at 2:32 am

      5 stars
      @DNT57 Sorry to burst YOUR bubble but coconut oil IS GOOD for you!

      • Reply
        July 31, 2016 at 5:41 pm

        Dr mercola is not exactly considered a mainstream scientist. Coconut oil is still considered to be problematic to the american heart assoc, harvard health review, and the mayo clinic. Go to pubmed to see research articles on this.

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