Homemade Magic Shell Recipe

homemade magic shell

Yeah, you read right, homemade Magic Shell baby!  One of my favorite ways to save money is by making my own condiments.  I make homemade salad dressing, barbecue sauce, pomegranate molasses, and salsa.  But of all the condiments I’ve made from scratch, this one has to be the one that makes us the happiest.  What’s more delightful than liquid chocolate that turns into a sweet shell once drizzled on your favorite ice cream?  The best part is, it only takes two ingredients!

That’s right, two ingredients.  Chocolate and butter (or coconut oil).  The Magic Shell you’d buy in a store has chocolate as its fifth ingredient, preceded by sugar, sunflower oil, coconut oil and cocoa.  It also contains soy lecithin, milk, vanilla and salt.  While none of these are necessarily bad ingredients, you really don’t need them all for making your own chocolate ice cream topping.

Because the ingredients are so simple, the flavor of the chocolate really shines through.  I like to use Scharffengberger bittersweet dark chocolate.  While you can use regular old chocolate chips (and it will still taste better than the stuff in a bottle), using a chocolate you really love will make this even more impressive.  Now the money saving reward is,  if you do use an affordable chocolate, you can make this chocolate treat for much cheaper than you can buy it.  Scharffenberger is a more expensive option, but if you have a Trader Joe’s near you, they have high quality one pound chocolate bars for cheap prices.

drizzling magic shell

Whatever chocolate you decide to use (if you have some chocolate chips in your cupboard right now, I say go for it!), I promise that no matter how I’ve made this, everyone loves it.  My brother Jason (23 years old and autistic) LOVED this stuff.  He couldn’t believe it’s possible to make at home.

I’ve put the recipe below, but to make this even easier, I’ll give you a ratio.  It’s 4 parts chocolate (in oz) to 3 parts butter (in TBS).  That means if you want a big batch you’ll use 8 oz of chocolate and 6 TBS of butter.  If you just need enough for one or two servings, use 2 oz of chocolate and 1.5 TBS butter.  I don’t really even measure when I make this, I just eyeball the ratio.

Since you’re making this in a microwaveable bowl or jar, leftovers are no problem.  Just leave them on the counter (covered if you won’t be using up within 24 hours.  When you’re ready for more simply microwave the container of chocolaty goodness in 20 second increments until just melted enough to start stirring.  Stir until it’s liquid all the way through, then drizzle away.

This is my absolute favorite ice cream topping.  What’s yours?

how to make magic shell

Homemade Magic Shell Ice Cream Topping Recipe

makes 6-8 servings


4 oz chocolate
3 TBS butter (salted) (or coconut oil and a tiny pinch of salt)


Place chocolate in a microwaveable bowl and microwave for one minute.  Add butter and microwave another minute.  Stir and continue to microwave in 20 second intervals, stirring between until smooth.

If it gets very hot, let sit on the counter for 3-5 minutes to cool slightly.  Once it’s liquid but not hot, drizzle generously over ice cream.

Approximate cost/serving: This cost me $4 to make using a very high quality chocolate.  I’ve also made it with the Trader Joe’s bar I mentioned for only $2 putting the cost at 25 cents a serving.

Vegetarian/Gluten Free: Yes to both.

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23 Responses to “Homemade Magic Shell Recipe”

  1. gina
    February 25, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

    Yum! That looks delicious:) I like to do a few spoonfuls of peanut butter with some bittersweet, or dark chocolate broken into pieces. I combine then microwave for 30 seconds and use that to make our ice cream sundaes :)

  2. Kelly
    February 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

    This is smart and it makes total sense – since the coldness of the ice cream is going to harden the chocolate right away, why do you need all the funky stuff except to keep it liquid when it is on the shelf. Yours sounds so much better.

  3. Kelly
    February 25, 2011 at 5:19 pm #

    Great! Love the simplicity and we always have chocolate and butter on hand.

  4. crystal fukata
    February 25, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

    Oooh! I’m going to have to give this a try!

  5. angie
    February 25, 2011 at 6:18 pm #

    This is just too easy! I’ve GOT to try it.

  6. Heather
    April 20, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

    Or even better…and much healthier…chocolate and coconut oil.

    • diana
      April 21, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

      Great suggestion Heather, I just bought my first jar of coconut oil and was thinking I should try it in Magic Shell. I’ll adjust the recipe once I’ve tried it out to see if the same ratio works. Thanks!

  7. Jun
    April 20, 2011 at 10:45 pm #

    Mmmmm! Gonna make this soon!

    • diana
      April 21, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

      You’ll love it! Thanks for stopping by and commenting Jun.

  8. Charissa
    April 21, 2011 at 9:58 am #

    Have to say it’s one of my favorite toppings too! I’m anxious to make my own version! Thanks!

    • diana
      April 21, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

      You’re so welcome, thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  9. Kevin
    April 22, 2011 at 9:30 am #

    We only have unsalted butter in the house- would this make a significant difference if I used that instead of salted?

    Either way, I really look forward to trying this out.

    • diana
      April 23, 2011 at 9:13 am #

      I don’t think so because you can also use coconut oil which isn’t salted. I haven’t tried it yet to see if I’ll want to add salt, I like that it has a slightly salty flavor to it.

      • Kevin
        April 23, 2011 at 9:16 am #

        Awesome- thank you! Trying this today!

  10. lynne
    April 23, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

    Great idea! Can’t wait to try it!

  11. Stacy
    May 12, 2011 at 5:44 pm #

    We LOVE magic shell at our house… favorite is to dip frozen bananas in it and add sprinkles, chopped pistachios or peanuts, crunched pretzles, etc… Delicious and fun for the whole family!!

    • diana
      May 12, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

      Oh man, I have about 8 bananas in the house right now. You just gave me very dangerous ideas Stacy!!!

  12. Cheri
    September 10, 2011 at 10:46 am #

    I am surprised that you listed this as vegetarian. If you use coconut oil (which actually works better and tastes even closer to the original) it is indeed vegetarian; but butter comes from a cow and I don’t know – but most people on a vegetarian diet don’t eat butter. Just a thought. Thanks for posting.
    We never buy any of this stuff at the store – too expensive. But every once in awhile I get an urge for it and this is such a great recipe. Wonderful treat!

    • diana
      September 13, 2011 at 9:15 am #

      I always differentiate between vegan and vegetarian. A lot of my vegetarian friends will eat anything that doesn’t involve killing an animal, but vegans don’t eat anything that comes from animals.

      That said, coconut oil is a great option and though I like the buttery taste, I’ve made it with coconut oil since posting the recipe and found that it works well. Thanks for the reminder, I’ve updated the recipe!

  13. MrsWally
    December 24, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

    here is a great source for coconut oil, they have different kinds of coconut oil. IF you don’t want the taste/smell of coconut get the expeller pressed one http://tinyurl.com/7t3792f they have specials all the time, see right hand side of their website & every so often they offer free shipping

  14. Barbara @ Barbara Bakes
    May 30, 2012 at 5:40 pm #

    I pinned this recipe after Scharffenberger tweeted it. Great idea.

    • Diana
      May 30, 2012 at 6:26 pm #

      Thanks Barbara!!!


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