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Rocky Road Ice Cream

This homemade Rocky Road Ice Cream recipe stars a rich and creamy chocolate base that’s loaded with toasted almonds, chewy marshmallows, and chocolate flakes. It’s the perfect decadent treat on a hot summer day…or any day. Because, ice cream!

A few mini marshmallows adorn scoops of rocky road ice cream in a bowl.

Homemade ice cream is such a fun treat, and I just know you’re gonna love this Rocky Road Ice Cream recipe! This classic ice cream parlor flavor is a beloved favorite for a reason, with a creamy chocolate base that’s stuffed with chewy marshmallows, toasted almonds, and chocolate flakes. And it’s easy to make at home, perfect for scooping up all summer long!

Why We Love This Recipe

Our family can’t help but love the flavors in this homemade rocky road ice cream recipe. It feels like our DNA might even prove it! Here’s all the reasons why we think this ice cream is awesome:

  • Stuffed with yummy-ness! Our family loves marshmallow, and it makes a great addition to ice cream – you can even make your own marshmallows for an extra-special treat. Crunchy toasted almond slices and flakes of chocolate add to the delicious flavors and textures.
  • Fun to make. There’s just nothing like making ice cream from scratch. It’s so fun to watch the ingredients transform into a creamy, frozen treat. I remember when our daughters were young, how they’d peer into the ice cream maker, excited for their first taste.
  • Summer-perfect. While we enjoy ice cream all year ’round, our family especially likes an ice cream treat during the heat of summer. It’s cool and refreshing and there are so many ice cream flavors to try!

If you’re a fan of rocky road flavors, be sure to check out my rocky road fudge and my MIL’s rocky road krispies bars!

Ingredients for rocky road ice cream are shown labeled and portioned: sugar, cocoa powder, heavy cream, milk, marshmallows, vanilla, egg yolks, sliced almods, chocolate chips.

What’s in Rocky Road Ice Cream?

I’ve detailed the rocky road ice cream ingredients below, along with some helpful notes. Find the printable recipe card with the exact ingredient amounts at the end of this post.

  • Egg yolks – My favorite homemade ice creams start with a creamy custard base. Egg yolks help to create that luxuriously rich flavor and texture.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder + semisweet chocolate – Combined, these two chocolates offer rich chocolate flavor that’s not overy sweet.
  • Whole milk + heavy cream – Equal amounts of both create a rich texture that’s not too heavy.
  • Sugar – Granulated sugar sweetens the ice cream base. I keep it pretty minimal in this recipe, to let the chocolate shine.
  • Salt – A little bit of salt contrasts with the chocolate and sweetness to create a beautiful balance of flavors.
  • Vanilla – Pure vanilla extract enhances the flavor of the chocolate.
  • Almonds – Toasted sliced almonds add a bit of crunch and a fun, nutty flavor. 
  • Marshmallows – Mini marshmallows offer little bites of chewy sweetness. They’re a key ingredient for true Rocky Road ice cream. 
  • Chocolate shavings – Chocolate shavings can be hard to find in stores, but they’re extremely easy to make. Simply grate a chocolate bar on a box grater or run a vegetable peeler along the edge of the chocolate bar. 
A few mini marshmallows adorn scoops of rocky road ice cream in a bowl.

How to Make It

Here’s exactly what it looks like to make your own ice cream. Find the detailed instructions in the recipe card lower down.

  • Make the chocolate ice cream base. Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and ¼ cup of the whole milk.
  • Heat milk, then combine. In a saucepan, heat the remaining milk until warm. Then pour it into the chocolate ice cream base while whisking constantly.
  • Cook to thicken. Now cook the chocolate ice cream base until it thickens into a custard that coats the back of a spoon.
  • Strain, then add remaining ingredients. Pour the custard through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl, then whisk in the chopped semisweet chocolate until it’s melted and combined. Whisk in the cream and vanilla.
  • Chill. Place the ice cream base in the fridge to chill for at least four hours.
  • Churn. Pour the chilled ice cream base into a frozen ice cream maker bowl and churn until it reaches a soft serve consistency. Then stir in the almonds, marshmallows, and chocolate shavings.
  • Freeze. Transfer the ice cream to a large loaf pan, or similar container. If desired, sprinkle a few of the mix-ins over the top of the ice cream. Freeze for about four hours, or until firm to your liking. Then scoop and enjoy!

Tips for Success + Variations

Here are a few tips and variation suggestions, to help you make the best ice cream:

  • Make sure ice cream maker bowl is very well frozen. This tip will ensure that your ice cream base freezes and thickens in the easiest, fastest way. I recommend placing your ice cream maker bowl in the coldest area of the freezer for at least 24 hours…48-72 hours is even better!
  • GENTLY heat the milk and whisk it into chocolate ice cream base. When heating the milk in Step 3, take care to not get it overly hot. Then, when whisking it into the chocolate ice cream base with the egg yolks, pour the warm milk slowly while whisking the whole time. If the milk is too hot and it’s added to the ice cream base too quickly, it can actually “scramble” the eggs and create little chunks of egg.
  • Strain. Once the chocolate ice cream base has thickened into a custard base, I recommend straining the mixture through a fine mesh sieve. This will ensure the smoothest ice cream (in case there are any little scrambled bits, like I talked about in the previous tip).
  • Try different nuts. The original version of rocky road included walnuts, so that’s a fun nod to that recipe. Pecans are also yummy. Just substitute ½ cup chopped, toasted walnuts or pecans for the almonds.
  • Add almond extract. Some recipes for rocky road ice cream call for adding almond extract to bump up the flavor of the almonds. If that sounds like something you’d like, add 1/2 teaspoon of pure almond extract along with the vanilla extract.
  • Use different chocolates. I like that this chocolate ice cream base isn’t overly sweet. But if you’d like a bit more sweetness, use chopped milk chocolate instead of the semisweet chocolate, and fold in milk chocolate flakes. If you’re a dark chocolate lover (ME!!), fold in dark chocolate flakes.
  • Don’t have an ice cream maker? While it will take more effort on your part, you can make this rocky road ice cream without an ice cream maker. First, chill the custard base. Then pour it into an 8-10″ square pan and place it in the freezer for 90 minutes. Remove from the freezer, thoroughly scrape down the sides of the pan, whisk the mixture, and break up any chunks. Place back in the freezer for 45 minutes, then repeat the scraping/whisking/breaking-up process. Repeat every 30 minutes, until the ice cream becomes like soft-serve. This can take up to 4 hours without an ice cream maker. At this point, stir in the almonds, marshmallows, and chocolate shavings, and freeze again until firm. Note that ice cream made this way will have a denser, much firmer consistency.
Chocolate sauce is poured over scoops of rocky road ice cream in a bowl.
A hand drops a ferw mini marshmallows over a bowl of rocky road ice cream.

Serving & Storing Your Ice Cream

Once your homemade ice cream has frozen, I recommend enjoying it a bit faster than you might with store-bought ice cream. It will have the best consistency within the first few days of freezing it, and I always try to scoop up the last of it within two weeks.

To keep it fresher longer and prevent freezer burn, store it in an airtight container, with a piece of plastic wrap pressed firmly onto the top of the ice cream.

If your ice cream has frozen to a very hard consistency, leave it out at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. This will help it thaw and become perfectly scoop-able.

For even more chocolate fun, make this easy hot fudge sauce to drizzle over the top!

More Ice Cream Recipes

A few mini marshmallows adorn scoops of rocky road ice cream in a bowl.

Rocky Road Ice Cream

Yield: 8 servings
prep time: 20 minutes
cook time: 10 minutes
Chilling Time: 8 hours
total time: 8 hours 30 minutes
This homemade Rocky Road Ice Cream recipe stars a rich and creamy chocolate base that's loaded with toasted almonds, chewy marshmallows, and chocolate flakes. It's the perfect decadent treat on a hot summer day…or any day. Because, ice cream!
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Ingredients

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon Morton kosher salt
  • cups whole milk, divided
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped (or chips)
  • cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sliced, toasted almonds
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • cup chocolate shavings (see Notes)

Instructions

  • Chill your ice cream maker bowl according to the manufacturer’s instructions, until it's very well frozen.
  • In a heatproof medium-sized bowl, whisk the egg yolks, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and ¼ cup of whole milk until very well combined.
  • Add the remaining 1¼ cups of milk to a medium saucepan and heat until just steaming.
  • Carefully and slowly, drizzle the warm milk into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly to temper the chocolate egg yolk base.
  • Once combined, pour the tempered chocolate egg yolk base into the saucepan and stir over medium-low until it thickens into a custard and can coat the back of a wooden spoon. This should take about 5 minutes, but keep a close eye on it.
  • Pour the chocolate custard through a fine mesh sieve into a large clean bowl. Add the chopped chocolate and whisk to melt and fully combine. Then whisk in the heavy cream and vanilla.
  • Place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ice cream base (so it doesn’t form a skin) and then place it in the fridge to chill until very cold – at least 4 hours, and preferably overnight.
  • Churn the ice cream according to your ice cream maker's instructions until it is a soft serve consistency – usually about 20 minutes. Then fold in the sliced almonds, mini marshmallows, and chocolate shavings.
  • Transfer the ice cream to a large loaf pan and wrap it tightly with plastic wrap. Freeze for 4 hours, or until firm to your liking.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 Calories: 453kcal Carbohydrates: 36g Protein: 7g Fat: 32g Saturated Fat: 18g Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g Monounsaturated Fat: 10g Trans Fat: 0.02g Cholesterol: 155mg Sodium: 187mg Potassium: 320mg Fiber: 3g Sugar: 29g Vitamin A: 872IU Vitamin C: 0.3mg Calcium: 130mg Iron: 2mg
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Spoonacular. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment below. And share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #afarmgirlsdabbles or tag @farmgirlsdabble!

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