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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Nutritional and cost information is for estimating purposes only, and subject to variations due to region, seasonality, and product availability.