This post may include affiliate links; for details, see our disclosure policy.

This chocolate chip ice cream has a lusciously creamy base, studded with chocolate chips and chunks. An irresistible crowd pleaser!

Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Are you a chocolate lover? Here’s a standout dessert to try: homemade Chocolate Chip Ice Cream! It pairs a lusciously creamy vanilla base with irresistibly irregular chocolate chips and chunks that are perfectly dispersed into every bite. Pouring melted chocolate into the cold ice cream achieves the stracciatella effect with irregular pieces: after you try it once, you’ll never go back! This homemade ice cream is a true stunner: we recently served it to friends and the entire container disappeared in a flash. Here’s how to make it for yourself!

Ingredients for chocolate chip ice cream

This chocolate chip ice cream uses the base recipe of our homemade ice cream, along with the straciatella method for adding chocolate to ice cream and gelato. The ice cream base is boldly vanilla-flavored, with a lusciously creamy texture that holds up well in the freezer. Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Whole milk
  • Heavy cream
  • Cornstarch
  • Granulated sugar
  • Salt
  • Vanilla extract
  • Bittersweet chocolate
  • Neutral oil
Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Required equipment: ice cream maker

This chocolate chip ice cream recipe requires an ice cream maker: but you’ll find this piece of equipment a great investment you can use to make sorbetssherbet and ice cream year round. There are two main types of ice cream makers to try:

  • Freezer bowl ice cream maker (inexpensive). Find any sort of freezer bowl ice cream maker for the most economical choice. Here’s the 2 quart freezer bowl ice cream maker we use; it’s a little more expensive but it’s held up well (we had a cheaper one but it broke!). Make sure to freeze the base of the ice cream maker overnight before making this recipe.
  • Automatic ice cream maker (expensive but easy to use). Do you make ice cream often? You might want to consider this automatic ice cream maker, which is larger and more expensive. However, it requires no pre-freezing, so you can make ice cream any time you please! You can also make multiple batches back to back without needing to freeze the base again. (This is the type we use, but only because this is our job!)
Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Notes on the chocolate

The chocolate in this chocolate chip ice cream recipe is so irresistibly good, you’ll want to make it this way every time. We’re big ice cream mix-in people, and this method makes the best irregular shaped chocolate chips and chunks. Here’s what to know:

  • Straciatella is the name of a gelato flavor with a vanilla base and irregular-shaped shreds of chocolate (inspired by the Italian soup of the same name).
  • How it works? Drizzle melted chocolate into the ice cream towards the end of churning. The chocolate immediately solidifies and is then broken up into small pieces.
  • For our method, we add the chocolate to the cold ice cream after churning and stir with a spoon. This achieves larger chocolate chips and chunks instead of the very fine chunks in straciatella.
  • Adding a bit of oil to the chocolate makes the chocolate pieces have a softer, easier to bite texture. (It’s similar to Graeter’s ice cream chocolate chunks, if you are familiar with this brand!)
  • Or, simply mix in chocolate chips or chunks. You can skip the melting altogether…but we think you’ll be happy you did.

How to make chocolate chip ice cream (basic steps)

This chocolate chip ice cream recipe uses the classic method for whipping up this popular dessert. First you’ll make the ice cream base, then place it in a container and add the melted chocolate. Here’s how to make chocolate chip ice cream:

  • Make the custard (5 minutes): Simmer the cornstarch, whole milk and sugar 4 to 5 minutes, taking care that it doesn’t boil. Then add in the heavy cream, more milk, vanilla and salt.
  • Cool the custard (30 minutes, 1 hour or 3 hours): Cool down the custard before churning it. You can do this in a few ways: the quickest is to pour it into a 1-gallon zip-top bag, seal it, and place the bag in ice water for 30 minutes. Or you can transfer the mixture to a large metal or glass bowl and place the bowl in a smaller bowl of ice water for 1 hour. Alternatively, simply place the bowl in the refrigerator and wait for 3 hours or until the temperature drops to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Churn (25 minutes): Then churn the ice cream in the ice cream maker. After 25 minutes, it makes a soft serve texture.
  • Add chocolate (10 minutes): Melt the chocolate and oil in the microwave (see the instructions below). Place the ice cream in a loaf pan, drizzle in small amounts of the chocolate, and break it into pieces and stir in with a spoon. Repeat until it is all incorporated.
  • Freeze or “ripen” for hard ice cream texture (at least 2 hours): Freeze the ice cream for 2 to 4 hours for a scoop-able, hard ice cream texture (as shown in the photos).
Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Storage for chocolate chip ice cream

How long can you store this chocolate chip ice cream? This ice cream recipe stores for up to 2 weeks (or more). Place it in a loaf pan with a parchment sheet over the top, or simply scoop it into a sealed container. The texture stays lusciously creamy for the entire storage period, not icy like other methods (the cornstarch in the ice cream body helps to keep it creamy).

More ice cream and sorbet recipes

Once you’ve got an ice cream machine, the sky’s the limit! Here are a few of our top ice cream recipes:

This chocolate chip ice cream recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 quart 1x


This chocolate chip ice cream has a lusciously creamy base, studded with chocolate chips and chunks. An irresistible crowd pleaser!


  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch 
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk, divided
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces (¾ cup) bittersweet chocolate chips*
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (or grapeseed, canola, or refined coconut oil)


  1. In a small saucepan, slowly whisk the cornstarch into 1 cup whole milk, then whisk in the sugar. Heat over medium heat for 4 to 6 minutes, whisking frequently, until almost simmering and the mixture becomes very thick.
  2. Remove from the heat. Stir in the remaining ½ cup whole milk and the heavy cream, salt and vanilla extract.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a large metal or glass bowl. Place the bowl in a smaller bowl of ice water for 1 hour, making sure not to splash any water into the custard (or even quicker, you can pour it into a 1-gallon zip-top bag, seal it, and place the bag in ice water for 30 minutes). Alternatively, simply place the bowl in the refrigerator and wait for 3 hours or until the temperature drops to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  4. Churn according to your ice cream maker instructions, about 25 minutes for soft serve consistency.
  5. Place the chocolate chips and oil in a dry glass measuring cup or bowl (make sure the cup or bowl are perfectly dry or the chocolate will seize). Microwave on High power for 30 seconds, then stir. Microwave another 30 seconds and stir. At this point it should be mostly melted with a few chunks: keep stirring until all the chocolate chunks disappear and the chocolate is perfectly smooth. (If not, microwave in 10 second bursts until it is mostly melted.)
  6. Transfer the churned ice cream into a loaf pan (or storage container). Drizzle about ⅙ of the chocolate in lines over the entire surface, then wait for a few seconds until it starts to solidify. Use a spoon to stir it into the ice cream, creating irregular chocolate chunks. Do this about 6 times until the entire chocolate is incorporated. (It’s helpful to drizzle in lines not one large chunk, which solidifies quickly and can be difficult to break apart; you can break up any large chunks into smaller pieces using a spoon).
  7. Place the container in the freezer and freeze for at least 2 hours (or up to 4 hours). Store in a loaf pan with a parchment sheet over the top or a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.


*If you prefer, you can use chocolate chips or chopped chocolate and skip the melting with oil in Step 5 that achieves the stracciatella effect. But we highly recommend it!

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Frozen
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Chocolate chip ice cream

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

1 Comment