4-Ingredient No-Churn Chocolate Ice Cream with an ice cream maker option or a no churn option! This quick ice cream recipe requires NO EGGS, ice cream maker, or any experience in ice cream making! Make it for the whole family for a fun summer treat.
This easy chocolate ice cream recipe comes with a keto and dairy-free options!
This recipe was created in honor of the fact that my 3-Ingredient No-Churn Vanilla Ice Cream recipe is still one of the most popular recipes on my site.
Full Disclosure: After taking a food sensitivity test about 6 months ago, I discovered I’m very sensitive to dairy. So I don’t consume it at all (I know, cue the poor me violin music).
..Which means I didn’t consume this ice cream, but I did feed it to my family of a million nieces and nephews and they all loved it.
Plus, I experienced the scintillation of making it, and once you make it yourself you’ll know what I mean…because you’re going to want to drink it before it hits the freezer. #Facts.
It does cause me cognitive dissonance to post a recipe I didn’t consume, which is why I made you aware of the situation. If you’re solid with dairy and sugar, I see no reason on this great earth to not consume it.
What you need to know about this 4-Ingredient No-Churn Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe (aside from the fact that it receives rave reviews) is the following:
- No ice cream maker necessary!
- No eggs required (meaning: no heating/cooking, tempering, or preparing a custard!)
- Comes together lightning fast!
- Thaws much quicker than most homemade ice cream recipes
- Only 4 ingredients necessary, all of which are very easy to find at any grocery store.
- Can easily be made low-carb (see instructions below).
- Crazy, insanely creamy!
- All you need is a blender and some freezer-safe tupperware!
What You Need To Know Before You Start:
Be sure to place the bowl of your ice cream maker (if using…remember, an ice cream maker is optional) in the freezer for 24 hours prior to making the recipe.
If the bowl isn’t completely frozen, the ice cream won’t thicken.
If you aren’t using an ice cream maker, no worries! You don’t need to do anything in advance.
Ingredients Needed for No-Churn Chocolate Ice Cream:
Sweetened Condensed Milk: Completely essential. The sweetened condensed milk is what enables us to make this ice cream without an ice cream maker, keeps it crazy soft and creamy, and is what sweetens the ice cream.
Heavy Whipping Cream: Adds creamy deliciousness to the ice cream. The high fat content in heavy whipping cream adds sensual mouthfeel to the dessert.
Cocoa Powder: The chocolate aspect of the recipe! I use raw cacao powder, but you can easily use whatever cocoa powder you have on hand. You can adjust the amount of cocoa powder up or down depending on how richly chocolatey you like your ice cream!
Vanilla Extract: optional, but recommended! Vanilla extract adds depth of flavor to chocolate ice cream. You can skip it if you don’t have it on hand!
Sea Salt: The 5th ingredient that we don’t call an ingredient because we always have it on hand, but it is mandatory! Sea salt adds flavor and enhances the sweetness of the ice cream. AND helps keep it soft! Don’t skip it!
Can I Make this Dairy-Free?:
Let’s make it!
How to Make 4-Ingredient No-Churn Chocolate Ice Cream:
If you’re using an ice cream maker, freeze the bowl 24 hours in advance.
Add the cocoa powder to a saucepan along with 3 tablespoons of water. Heat on low, stirring consistently until much of the cocoa powder has dissolved.
Remove from the heat and add a small amount (about 1/3 cup) of the heavy cream to the saucepan and stir well until the cocoa powder has completely dissolved and you’re left with a thick creamy chocolate syrup.
Note: if you’re making a low-carb version of this recipe using evaporated milk and a sugar-free sweetener, add the sugar-free sweetener to the saucepan with the cocoa powder to dissolve it first. Again, this ensures you end up with a creamy ice cream rather than having a gritty texture.
Transfer the chocolate mixture to a blender along with the remaining ingredients. Blend on low speed just until combined. Avoid over-blending so that you don’t create too many air pockets, as this will result in an icy texture.
Note: as an alternative, you can skip the process of dissolving the cocoa powder and just add everything to a blender. Just note that the ice cream may turn out a bit gritty if you don’t dissolve the cocoa first.
If using an ice cream maker, set it up and pour the chocolate mixture into the frozen bowl.
Churn until thick!
You can eat immediately for a soft serve consistency or transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for 2 hours for a traditional ice cream consistency.
If you aren’t using an ice cream maker, transfer the chocolate mixture to a freezer-safe container and freeze 3 to 4 hours or until completely frozen.
Once you’re ready to enjoy the ice cream, simply take it out of the freezer and scoop! You may need to give it a minute or two to thaw, but it shouldn’t take very long.
Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!
Tips For Making Perfectly Creamy Ice Cream:
- Be sure you’re dissolving the cocoa powder prior to adding it to the blender. Dissolving first will ensure the cocoa unleashes a lot of flavor and ensures a creamy texture. Without dissolving the cocoa first, you may end up with grainy texture.
- Don’t over-blend the ingredients! If you blend the ingredients too much, you’ll end up with an airy, whipped cream-like consistency. While this will taste absolutely delicious, it will result in small bits of ice when frozen.
- Don’t over-churn the ice cream. If you are using an ice cream maker, only churn it for 10 to 15 minutes. Churning for too long will result in those little ice crystals, as the ice from the sides of the ice cream maker will begin to melt and then re-freeze into your ice cream.
What Type of Cocoa Powder to Use:
I prefer using organic raw cacao powder, but any unsweetened cocoa powder will work! You don’t have to get fancy. If you’re out of cocoa powder, you can even use hot cocoa mix – just note that the ice cream will turn out ultra sweet.
Can I Make Low-Carb Chocolate Ice Cream?:
YES! If you are careful with your sugar intake, simply use unsweetened evaporated milk instead of sweetened condensed milk. Add 2/3 cup of your favorite low-carb sweetener (I prefer Swerve) to the saucepan with the cocoa powder and water (and some cream) in order to dissolve it.
Once the cocoa powder and sweetener have dissolved, proceed as normal by blending the mixture with the remaining ingredients.
Taste the base for flavor and add more sweetener if desired.
If you don’t mind using eggs, follow my Vanilla Keto Ice Cream recipe and add 1/3 cup of cocoa powder.
- Use unsweetened condensed milk and add your favorite sweetener to control the amount and type of sugar.
- Omit the vanilla extract if you don’t have any on hand
- Add a sprinkle of sea salt for added richness and flavor! Start with ¼ tsp and adjust up to taste.
Ice Cream Toppings or Add ins:
Use this recipe as a base for all of your chocolate ice cream adventures…and then get creative by adding various things.
Get your cream on!
My cookbook, Paleo Power Bowls, is now available! CLICK HERE to check it out. Thank you for your support!
If you make this recipe, please feel free to share a photo and tag @The.Roasted.Root on Instagram!
4-Ingredient No-Churn Chocolate Ice Cream
- If you’re using an ice cream maker, freeze the bowl 24 hours in advance.
- Add the cocoa powder to a small saucepan with 3 tablespoons of water. Heat over low heat and stir vigorously to dissolve the cocoa powder. Don't allow the mixture to burn. Once the cocoa powder has mostly dissolved, add a small amount (about 1/3 cup) of the heavy cream and stir well to combine. You should now have a thick chocolate syrup and all of the cocoa powder should be well-incorporated and dissolved.
- Add the chocolate mixture to a blender along with the remaining ingredients. Blend just until combined on low speed. Avoid over-blending!
- If using an ice cream maker, set it up and pour the chocolate mixture into the frozen bowl. Churn until thick! You can eat immediately for a soft serve consistency or transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for 2 hours for a traditional ice cream consistency.
- If you aren’t using an ice cream maker, transfer the chocolate mixture to a freezer-safe container and freeze 3 to 4 hours or until completely frozen.
- Once you’re ready to enjoy the ice cream, simply take it out of the freezer and scoop!