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!

Print
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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  • 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.

Nutrition

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 theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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50 Comments

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  • Reply
    Chenée
    July 2, 2022 at 6:57 pm

    5 stars
    Who knew it would be so easy to make magic shell! I’m so glad I found this!

  • Reply
    Caitlin
    July 2, 2022 at 5:52 pm

    5 stars
    Such a delicious and fun summer recipe! I’ve made it many times and love it.

  • Reply
    Sara
    July 2, 2022 at 4:57 pm

    5 stars
    Enjoyed this over ice cream and it does not disappoint! Quick, easy and delicious; my new favorite way to cure my sweet tooth!

  • Reply
    Kathleen
    July 2, 2022 at 3:16 pm

    5 stars
    I can’t believe how easy this is to make. No more store bought. We will be making this ourselves from now on.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      July 2, 2022 at 6:10 pm

      The store stuff doesn’t even BEGIN to compare 🙂

  • Reply
    sylvia
    June 27, 2020 at 4:37 am

    Is that six 6-oz chocolate squares?

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 27, 2020 at 5:01 am

      It’s six ounces total chocolate.

    • Reply
      Shannon
      July 1, 2020 at 11:56 am

      Does this have any coconut flavor at all? Thanks!

      • Reply
        Sue
        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
    Tamara
    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
    Holly
    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
      Sue
      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
    Jennifer
    April 27, 2018 at 5:09 am

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

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 27, 2020 at 5:02 am

      Yes, if it’s pure coconut oil.

  • Reply
    Linda
    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
      Sue
      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
    Leslie
    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
      Sue
      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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