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DIY Magic Shell Recipe by Cindy Hopper for

July is National Ice Cream Month… aww yeah!

By Cindy Hopper

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day.

This is my kind of holiday! To celebrate we made our own “Magic Shell” ice cream topping.


It was unbelievably easy— and it tastes pretty close to the real thing! My husband even thought it tasted like the dipped cones at 
Dairy Queen.

DIY Magic Shell Recipe for Ice Cream Ingredients

1 1/4 Cups Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup Coconut Oil (measured when solid)

DIY Magic Shell Recipe for Ice Cream Instructions

Melt chocolate chips and coconut oil in the microwave about 1 minute (depending on your microwave). Allow to sit a few minutes to allow the heat of the oil to melt the chocolate chips and then stir until smooth. It will be runny.


Pour into a bottle. We used a recycled pickle relish bottle. (We recommend a glass bottle if you’re gonna refrigerate and then heat.)


Store in the refrigerator (though in the summer it’s likely to stay liquidy unrefrigerated). To serve, heat the glass bottle (open cap) in the microwave for 30 seconds until liquid. Stir and continue heating at 30 second intervals if not liquid after the first 30 seconds. Pour over your favorite ice cream and in a few seconds you will see magic!


Notes for DIY Magic Shell Recipe:

  • You can substitute butter for the coconut oil, however the coconut oil gives the more ‘real’ Magic Shell flavor.
  • You can use milk chocolate chips, but everyone we served preferred the semi-sweet chocolate chips

Looking for more ways to celebrate National Ice Cream Month? Try making ice cream with kids. You might also enjoy these yummy ice cream sandwiches!

About the Author

Cindy Hopper

Cindy Hopper was fortunate to be raised in a family who appreciated the arts. This background led to a Bachelor’s Degree in Art Education. With a keen eye for design and color, Cindy has cont...

Cindy Hopper was fortunate to be raised in a family who appreciated the arts. This background led to a Bachelor’s Degree in Art Education. With a keen eye for design and color, Cindy has continued her love of art and is now passing her creative skills on to her three children. Cindy’s family and friends are the beneficiaries of her passion for fun and meaningful creative projects.

Cindy’s personal blog, Skip to My Lou, has taken her love of a project to new levels. Postings keep the family busy -– from testing new recipes for holiday treats to designing and building floats for a neighborhood parade to making fabric rolls to hold crayons to creating themed parties. Cindy seems to have an unending supply of ideas for gifts, parties and rainy days.

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  • Mary Jo Baird

    July 9, 2009 at 10:25 am

    This looks SO yummy! I’m going to try this as soon as I can! Thanks!

  • Venetia @ VenetiaJewelry

    July 9, 2009 at 10:30 am

    this looks delish i love magic shell I am def going to try and make this thanks for sharing your recipe

  • Sarah

    July 9, 2009 at 11:29 am

    I love all of your ideas! But this one is seriously hazardous to my waist-line! The only reason I don’t swim in magic shell now is b/c of the price and the small amount you get in a bottle (or maybe it’s that I use too much?? haha) But this, making my own to have on hand all the time…. seriously awesome!!! Thanks so much!!!

    • jeremy williams

      July 20, 2013 at 11:08 pm

      you could always use dark chocolate to make it a little bit healthier and use stevia or agave to sweeten it.

  • JoeyfromSC

    July 9, 2009 at 11:49 am

    AWESOME! Thanks for sharing..I love the DQ dip cones-Can’t wait to try this!

  • stephanie

    July 9, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    awesome idea!!! thanks so much for sharing.

  • Robin

    July 9, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    Oh my god, a half cup of coconut oil? The oil with the highest level of saturated fat? The only way this could be worse for you is to inject it straight into your veins!
    Editor: You’re right! And, that’s why it’s called a TREAT. Not for daily dining. 😉

  • Rachel

    July 10, 2009 at 8:48 am

    Coconut oil is really one of the best oils to use in cooking!
    I’m excited to find another way to use it in my kitchen! Thanks.

  • babyblooze liz

    July 11, 2009 at 1:19 am

    Wow, this is awesome. I so remember Magic Shell when I was a kid. And coconut oil or not, this homemade version has got to be better than the commercially purchased, right? Thanks for sharing!!

  • Laurie Bell

    July 12, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    Thank you for this recipe! It was the first to come up in my search, and the use of coconut oil is awesome. I have been craving DQ dipped cones and we don’t have a DQ in our town. Now, I can just drizzle this on any softserve and it’s like having a DQ dipped cone. Thanks!
    Note: I added about 1/2 tsp sea salt which seems to heighten the flavor, especially if you get a little grain in your bite. You might try this little alteration.

  • Stephanie

    July 13, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    As a bonus, when somewhat soft, but not all the way melted, this makes a decent homemade nutella type chocolate spread.

  • Jen M

    August 2, 2009 at 11:12 am

    Thanks so much for this recipe!! I love Magic Shell and I am so happy to know that I can make it myself!!

  • Jeanne

    August 2, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Why does it have to be refrigerated? Magic Shell doesn’t. I use organic extra virgin coconut oil (Nutiva) and it alone doesn’t need to be refrigerated. All that’s being done is melting the chips and adding the oil.
    I just made some, and of course it’s delicious but am not going to refrig it, so we’ll see.
    Any thoughts?

  • Jeanne

    August 2, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    Oh, what’s really great is to sprinkle some chopped pecans over the ice cream and THEN use the Magic Shell! Oh my!

    • Mary

      February 28, 2016 at 4:39 pm

      I’m not sure why she said to refrigerate it. I’ve had this recipe around for a couple of years and I’ve never seen any recipe for it that recommends refrigeration. So, I just leave it in a dark spot and microwave to soften.

  • lydia

    September 9, 2009 at 1:10 am

    why do you have to refrigerate and then heat? why not just store it in the pantry?

  • Cindy

    September 10, 2009 at 8:22 am

    Yes, you can also store the “Magic Shell” in your pantry.
    Looking for a variation? Make peanut butter “Magic Shell” by substituting peanut butter chips instead of chocolate chips.

  • Natalie

    September 10, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    I made this, stored it in the cupboard and over the course of a week (yes it lasted that long, surprisingly!) it got really really thick and lumpy. It was delicious, though, and I ate it anyway!
    I’m glad someone stood up for coconut oil. Not all saturated fat is unhealthy, and Rachel was right. It’s one of the best oils to use in cooking!

  • ambrosia

    January 3, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    No way! This is SO cool and fun!!

  • Adele

    January 8, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    I’m not a fan of coconut, but does the coconut oil affect the flavor?

  • Marni S.

    January 9, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    I love the Reese’s chocolate and peant butter topping from the store, so I bet this is even better! I hope I can use half chocolate and half peanut butter flavored chips, or maybe I will be lucky and they will have chocolate/peanut butter chips already made! 🙂

  • Michelle K

    January 13, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    My kids & I made this it worked GREAT we loved it!

  • Nikita

    April 27, 2013 at 3:14 am

    i will have to try this it looks amazing

  • Karina

    June 14, 2013 at 8:29 am

    Question: I live near the equator. Our coconut oil is sold as a liquid. Would this recipe still work or do I need to use lard or something?

    • Mandie

      December 3, 2013 at 6:13 am

      If it’s pure coconut oil, it should solidify when it’s on something as cold as ice cream.  You could always drizzle a little on an ice cube to test it before hand.

  • Alexa

    August 13, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    I love this recipe it works so good

  • Angela

    March 20, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    I thought coconut oil was good for you?

  • Amy

    July 2, 2014 at 11:39 pm

    I do NOT like coconut and coconut oil does not taste like coconut. My container says “refined from the meat of mature coconuts so there is no coconut flavor or aroma.” LouAna (there’s is also non-GMO)
    Honestly I think I’ve tried using canola oil before I bought coconut oil and it tasted just fine.

  • Marcie

    July 23, 2015 at 1:07 am

    Could you use this with organic strawberries?