Homemade Chocolate Magic Shell (Ice Cream Topping) + Video

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Magic Shell ice cream topping will take you right back to your childhood! Make this hard chocolate shell at home with just 2 simple ingredients.  This is perfect with cold ice cream! 

titled: Homemade Magic Shell Recipe


There’s just something about this chocolate magic shell. The hard shell is what fun treats are all about – and this homemade version doesn’t disappoint.

I use this to add to my ice cream treats, and the chocolate sauce is always a win! 

What I love about this homemade magic shell topping is actually seeing the magic shell work. It hardens right in front of your eyes on cold treats – like magic!

It starts out soft like sundae syrup, but then the liquid chocolate becomes a candy-coated shell that can be placed on vanilla ice cream, chocolate ice cream, and more! 

I’ve made this chocolate topping plenty of times, and keep it stored in a mason jar or airtight container in the fridge.

You can then warm it up slightly in a heatproof bowl so that you can pour the liquid magic shell on top of your cold treats. (not too hot, just too thin it out a bit)

No other ice cream toppings come close to this! 

We’re obsessed with this homemade magic shell recipe, which is why I keep all the ingredients on hand.

It’s like having your own hand-dipped chocolate-shell goodness that is on the cones at Dairy Queen but right in your own small bowl at home.

bowls of chocolate chips and coconut oil with an empty mason jar and spoon

Magic Shell Topping

Remember that ice cream syrup that formed a hard chocolate shell over your favorite frozen treats? 

Now you can make a whole jar full of it and keep it on hand for whenever those cravings strike!

I love using this magic shell recipe for my banana split popsicles — complete with a cherry in the middle.

Not a fan of the crunch? I have more homemade ice cream topping ideas, including rich chocolate syrup, gooey caramel sauce, or sweet strawberry topping that you’re sure to love!

chocolate chips and coconut oil in a bowl

Magic Shell Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Choose the right oil. Refined coconut oil has a fairly neutral flavor, while unrefined or virgin varieties will add a slight coconut flavor and aroma. 

    You can also substitute sunflower oil if needed.
  • Switch up the flavors. Grab whichever morsels you have handy — dark, milk, semi-sweet, and white chocolate will all work with this magic shell recipe! 

    Even butterscotch or peanut butter chips should turn out just fine.
  • Dairy-free tip: Just swap the regular chocolate chips for an allergy-friendly brand!
  • Need a larger batch? Simply double or triple the ingredients and divide the magic shell into multiple jars as needed. 

    If your bowl isn’t large enough, you can prepare multiple individual batches and store them together instead.
spooning magic shell in jar

Different Ways To Use Magic Shell Ice Cream Topping

Homemade magic shell is obviously delicious with ice cream and other frozen treats, but you can drizzle it on something as simple as frozen fruit as well! 

Bananas, pineapple chunks, and berries would all be delicious.

It can also be used as a dip for fresh fruit, cookies, and bar desserts

Keep in mind that sudden cold temperatures are what cause the topping to harden, so you’ll need to chill these or let them sit a bit longer on the counter.

Don’t forget to combine magic shell with more of your favorite ice cream topping ideas! 

Sprinkles are an easy way to add color, while chopped nuts provide even more crunch.

Hard Chocolate Shell FAQ

What makes magic shell get hard?

The secret ingredient is coconut oil! Because it naturally becomes solid in cooler temperatures, it allows the chocolate to harden when it comes in contact with cold foods like ice cream and popsicles.

The coconut taste is also ad added bonus to this sweet treat! It gives the milk chocolate a subtle sweetness. 

Can I use a candy bar instead?

If you’re out of chocolate chips, feel free to substitute a chunk of high-quality or baking chocolate instead. Just chop it up into small pieces so it melts faster and more evenly. (you can also use dark chocolate!) 

Should I keep homemade magic shell in the refrigerator? 

No — doing so will cause it to become rock-hard. Magic shell ice cream topping will firm up as it cools, but it can be stored at room temperature for up to a month.

Then, place the jar in a hot water bath or pop it in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl at 15-second intervals whenever you want to use it. Short bursts of heat are key to making it soft to pour. If you heat too long, it will ruin the final product and possibly even burn it. 

With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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homemade magic shell on vanilla ice cream with sprinkles

Homemade Chocolate Magic Shell (Ice Cream Topping) + Video

Donna Elick
Magic Shell ice cream topping will take you right back to your childhood! Make homemade hard chocolate shell with just 2 simple ingredients. 
5 stars from 4 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Condiment
Cuisine American
Method Microwave
Servings 16 makes 2 cups


  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips, or your favorite flavor
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil


  • Combine ingredients in a wide microwave safe bowl, heat at 30 second intervals until chips are almost completely melted. Stir to combine and allow to cool.
  • Transfer to a tall mason jar. Dip into jar or pour topping over frozen treats.
  • Enjoy!



Serving: 1 | Calories: 102cal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 5mg | Sugar: 8g | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled collage for magic shell recipe

Originally published July 2013, updated and republished May 2024

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  1. If you make this with an oil that is liquid at room temperature, it may not (I experimented with smaller amounts, not sure if ratio is the same as the above recipe) solidify at room temp, so you can put it on ice cream without warming it up. What makes it get hard is the cocoa butter in the chocolate chips, plus putting it on something frozen–the coconut oil is not necessary. I used 1 oz choc chips + 1.5 tsp oil (1tsp wasn't enough, 2tsp was too much) + 1tsp cocoa powder (optional–just wanted to give it more cocoa flavor & make it a little less sweet). After my 1oz batch came out okay, I made a larger batch with a total of: 6oz chocolate, 3 tbsp oil, 2 tbsp cocoa powder. The "syrup" was enough to refill the "Magic Shell" bottle that got emptied today. Thanks for the starting point! 🙂 (PS: it hardened on ice cream and is still liquid after cooling for 3 hours. I used liquid coconut oil, but any other flavorless oil should work.)

  2. If anyone wants a "Magic shell" that remains liquid at room temp, I tried using liquid oil instead of coconut oil, which is solid at room temperature. I don't have the exact proportions, because it kept solidifying, but I melted 2oz choc chips and kept adding oil 1 tsp at a time until I got something that froze on ice cream but remained liquid in the bottle/jar. The cocoa butter in the chocolate is enough to make the "shell" without adding coconut oil. This may be good news for anyone with nut allergies; you can use any neutral-tasting vegetable oil (I use rice bran oil).

  3. Magic shell heaven!!!! Just tried your recipe and it is fantastic!! Thank you so much. Also made your chocolate syrup and it turned out great too. I love your wonderful ideas; getting the same great taste but without all the stuff we can't pronounce (which is probably all bad for us). Thank you for thinking of the health of our little ones….I have 7 gr grands to worry about.

  4. 5 stars
    This recipe is absolutely fantastic! So easy to make, and it tastes like pure nostalgia. Thanks, Donna and Chad, for another winner from The Slow Roasted Italian.

  5. 5 stars
    donna’s recipes are always a hit, and this one is no exception! I added a pinch of sea salt to the magic shell, and it was perfection.

  6. 5 stars
    Donna and Chad never disappoint, and this recipe is no exception! The homemade magic shell is a game-changer for my ice cream nights.

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