How to Make Homemade Magic Shell

Learn how to make Homemade Magic Shell. Hint: it’s super easy only requires 2 ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. This homemade magic shell is a fun addition to any ice cream dessert night, plus it can be used as dipping chocolate.

girl holding a bowl of ice cream with chocolate topping

The kids have had tons of fun lately with homemade magic shell for their ice cream. Their minds were blown when I told them that you could make this super fun chocolate shell for ice cream at home – and that it only took 2 ingredients!

We’ve had a batch pretty much stocked non-stop in our pantry for the last few weeks, and it never lasts long. As soon as it is gone, it’s time to make another batch because someone is asking for it again.

It’s so fun that they’re loving one of my favorite childhood treats so much!

Magic Shell Ingredients

This recipe for Homemade Magic Shell only requires 2 ingredients! Pretty amazing, right? 

photo of a white bowl of chocolate chips one a white background

I love that the ingredient list is super simple – you might even have both of them on hand in your pantry without a trip to the grocery store, I know we usually have a stash of dark chocolate and a big container of coconut oil. 

Thankfully, coconut oil can be found in pretty much any grocery store these days as it has become much more commonly used than it was when I was a kid. It makes it super easy to make a batch of Magic Shell any time the craving strikes.

To make homemade magic shell, you need:

  • Dark Chocolate
  • Coconut Oil

That’s it! I usually have Dark Chocolate Chips (click for my favorite kind!) on hand because that is what we like to use for our favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies, but you can also use dark chocolate bars chopped up.

How to Make Magic Shell

One of my favorite things about this Easy 2 Ingredient Magic Shell recipe is that the kids can find these ingredients easily and prep it themselves without the kitchen becoming a total disaster! WIN!

collage of steps to make homemade magic shell

  1. Measure the chocolate on a scale
  2. Scoop measure the coconut oil
  3. Combine the chocolate and coconut oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
  4. Cook, while stirring until the chocolate starts to melt, then reduce it down to low. You don’t want the chocolate to be super hot when you’re pouring it on cold ice cream, just melted and liquid enough to pour.
  5. Pour the liquid chocolate mixture over cold ice cream (or dip, or whatever you want to do with it!)
  6. Wait 15-30 seconds for it to harden, then ENJOY!

Homemade Magic Shell Tips

Make sure you use real chocolate, not the chocolate candy melts. The high quality your chocolate, the better this tasty chocolate shell will taste.

I also recommend dark chocolate over milk chocolate. Don’t worry, you can use both, we just prefer the flavor of dark chocolate and have found that dark chocolate yields a harder shell than milk chocolate. 

Magic Shell Storage Tips 

  • This recipe for Homemade Magic Shell does not need to be refrigerated.
  • Storing in a jar works best if you would like to spoon your magic shell over ice cream.
  • If you would like to be able to drizzle the magic shell, I suggest storing it in a plastic squeeze bottle.

two bowls of vanilla ice cream with chocolate topping in front of a grey brick wall

How Long Does Homemade Magic Shell Last

Homemade magic shell will last for months at room temperature. If at any time it becomes too solid to serve or the chocolate and coconut oil separate, place the sealed container in a bowl of hot water to re-melt the mixture. Then, give it a quick stir, & serve!

Alternatively, you can microwave at 20 second intervals and stir in between until the mixture is melted. I don’t recommend this if it is stored in a plastic bottle, however.

Why Do You Use Coconut Oil in this Magic Shell Recipe?

It is mostly personal preference. We always have coconut oil on hand and I like the way it tastes.

Can I make Magic Shell without Coconut Oil?

YES – you can definitely make magic shell without coconut oil! 

If you’re allergic to coconuts, or out of coconut oil, you can substitute  shortening or vegetable oil for coconut oil.  We prefer coconut oil.

How Does Magic Shell Work

Coconut oil is the magic ingredient in magic shell!

If you’ve ever seen or purchased a jar of coconut oil, you’ve probably noticed that, unlike other oils, coconut oil is solid. In fact, coconut oil will usually stay solid unless it is in an environment that is at or over 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). 

That’s because coconut oil has a melting point of 77 degrees F. As long as it is warm, the coconut oil remains liquid. But, as soon as it cools it becomes solid again.

When the coconut oil infused chocolate is poured over cold ice cream the fats will solidify again, and voila! you have that magic chocolate shell on your ice cream!

two bowls of vanilla ice cream with homemade magic shell chocolate topping

For best results, let your dip harden on ice cream for 30 seconds before digging in. You’ll know it’s ready when the surface turns from glossy to completely matte and a light tap with a spoon gives you a knocking sound.

Does This Work As Dipping Chocolate

YES! You can dip pretty much anything that’s cold or frozen in this magic shell to get a hard chocolate coating on it.

To dip items that are large, like popsicles, I suggest using a tall and narrow glass so you have plenty of room to fully submerge the item in the chocolate.

Check out this dipped popsicle recipe: Chocolate Covered Blood Orange Popsicles are ordinary blood orange popsicles that have been dipped in homemade magic shell! Find more popsicle recipes in the Frozen Desserts section of the recipe archive!

For smaller items, like frozen fruits, a bowl that allows for approximately 2 inches of dipping depth usually works fine. These Chocolate Banana Pops are so fun – this also works with slices of frozen bananas.

If you’re planning to dip whole scoops of ice cream instead, keep your dip in a tall, narrow container to get maximum dip coverage.

picture of chocolate sauce in a jar with spoon

More Ice Cream Toppings

Here are a few favorite ice cream topping suggestions. For more tasty dessert ideas, be sure to check out the Dessert Archives of the Recipe Index!

For a richer chocolate sauce, try chocolate ganache. Learn how make ganache (hint: it is actually really easy!).

This lemon blueberry sauce can be made with fresh or frozen blueberries. It is great to use for ice cream toppings, but also has many other uses. It would be amazing on this No-Churn Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Caramel Sauce with Vanilla and Bourbon – This silky smooth caramel sauce is so easy to make at home. It’s one of our favorite ice cream toppings!

For tangy, fruity toppings try these recipes for Lemon CurdRaspberry CurdFresh Raspberry Sauce. Load up some vanilla ice cream or lemon sherbet with any of these fruity homemade ice cream toppings!

girl in white shirt holding a bowl of ice cream with chocolate topping

What are your favorite ice cream toppings?

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How to Make Homemade Magic Shell

How to Make Homemade Magic Shell

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Additional Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 9 minutes

Learn how to make Homemade Magic Shell. Hint: it's super easy only requires 2 ingredients. This homemade magic shell is a fun addition to any ice cream dessert night, plus it can be used as dipping chocolate.

Ingredients

Instructions

To Make the Chocolate Coating

  1. Combine the oil and the chocolate in a small saucepan.
  2. Heat over low heat, stirring periodically, just until the mixture is melted and comes together.
  3. Transfer to a tall glass or cup - one that is deep enough to accommodate the popsicles, but preferably skinny so that the chocolate fills the glass.
  4. Let cool until it is room temperature to the touch, but still liquid, about 15 minutes.

To Use the Homemade Magic Shell as an Ice Cream Topping

  1. Pour or drizzle the liquid magic shell on top of cold ice cream.
  2. Wait 15 - 30 seconds for it to harden. Shell with be hardened when the chocolate coating transforms from a glossy/shiny coating to a matte finish.
  3. Test by lightly tapping the chocolate shell. If it is hard it will sound hollow.

To Use the Homemade Magic Shell as an Ice Cream Topping

Note: items need to be cold/frozen for best results, otherwise they will need to be chilled in the freezer for the chocolate to harden.

  1. Dip popsicles (or other things you want to coat with a hard chocolate shell), pour the liquid magic shell into a tall, narrow glass.
  2. Dip the item in the glass, making sure to coat all sides.
  3. Hold the item over the glass to allow any excess chocolate to drip off and the chocolate to harden to the touch.
  4. Then, transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet while you repeat with the remaining items
  5. For popsicles, or other frozen items, transfer them to the freezer after dipping so the centers stay frozen.

Notes

Homemade Magic Shell Tips

Make sure you use real chocolate, not chocolate candy melts. 

The high quality your chocolate, the better this tasty chocolate shell will taste. I recommend dark chocolate over milk chocolate. Don't worry, you can use both, we just prefer the flavor of dark chocolate and have found that dark chocolate yields a harder shell than milk chocolate. 

Don’t cook the chocolate mixture at too high of a temperature. It needs to be just hot enough for the oil and chocolate to melt into a thin consistency. Too hot and it will melt whatever you're dipping/serving it on.

Storage Tips

  • Storing in a jar works best if you would like to spoon your magic shell over ice cream.
  • If you would like to be able to drizzle the magic shell, I suggest storing it in a plastic squeeze bottle such as the ones linked in this recipes.
  • Homemade magic shell will last for months at room temperature. If at any time it becomes too solid to serve, place the sealed container in a bowl of hot water to re-melt the mixture. Then, give it a quick stir, & serve!

Substitutions

If you are out of coconut oil or allergic to coconuts, you can substitute shortening or vegetable oil for coconut oil.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per ServingCalories 207 Total Fat 15g Saturated Fat 10g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 3g Cholesterol 2mg Sodium 6mg Carbohydrates 17g Fiber 2g Sugar 12g Protein 1g
GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.