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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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    September 6, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    5 stars
    I made this for my family tonight and it was a BIG hit! Thanks for coming up with a better version than store bought!

    • Reply
      September 6, 2014 at 8:55 pm

      So glad everybody enjoyed it!

  • Reply
    jam bartlett
    September 19, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    that looks amazing! i’m sure i’m going to be disappointed, but is there anything you can substitute the coconut oil for and still get the same effect? i’m allergic to coconut and it’s so frustrating, almost all the diary free substitutes have either coconut oil or milk in them 🙁

  • Reply
    July 12, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    5 stars
    This is so cool! Genius!!!!

  • Reply
    June 9, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    5 stars
    i’m thrilled by the idea of a white chocolate version! ah, coconut oil, is there anything you can’t do? 🙂

  • Reply
    Inside a British Mum's Kitchen
    June 8, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    5 stars
    What a perfect treat for the summer – I truly believe there is nothing better than vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce – until I saw your chocolate ice cream and the white choc sauce!! Sensational!
    Mary x

  • Reply
    June 8, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    5 stars
    This is amazing!! How did I not know this? I love coconut oil. Must try! Thanks Sue! This is probably so much better than that weird artificial stuff.

  • Reply
    June 8, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    5 stars
    I never thought something as magical as this can be homemade! Must try, indeed!

  • Reply
    Magnolia Verandah
    June 8, 2012 at 7:41 am

    5 stars
    Don’t think I have ever used coconut oil for anything! But this certainly changes things – how can I not try it!

  • Reply
    Angie's Recipes
    June 8, 2012 at 4:29 am

    5 stars
    Dark chocolate and white magic shells…beautiful and delicious combo!

  • Reply
    Kitchen Belleicious
    June 8, 2012 at 2:05 am

    5 stars
    ummm.. what rock have I been hiding under. I thought I knew all the tricks in the book but obviously not because this has to be the most awesome (yes that is a word) thing in the world! LOVE IT!

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