Chocolate and ice cream are music to my ears. Combine the two and you have one of the best culinary combinations. These homemade ice cream bars are incredible. If you like chocolate and you like ice cream you will love these!
Growing up I ate a lot of ice cream bars. All different kinds, but I think my favorite is the classic vanilla ice cream bars dipped in a thin layer of chocolate. And this recipe is very versatile. You can make a ton of different combinations of ice cream and chocolate. It is a great summer activity to do with the kids!
Homemade ice cream bars are incredibly easy to make, if I can do it, you can do it. Let’s get started!
Step 1: Gather the ingredients
In order to make these ice cream bars, you only need about 5 ingredients. You can go as few as 3 ingredients if you really wanted to. You will need the following:
- Heavy whipping cream
- Sweetened condensed milk
- Vanilla extract – Although this is an optional ingredient.
- Chocolate – You can use all kinds of different chocolate, semi-sweet, milk, dark, etc. Use the chocolate chips or bars, etc. Or if you like you can use this homemade dark chocolate or this homemade milk chocolate.
- Oil – Canola oil, olive, coconut, etc. The oil will help thin out the chocolate. Each chocolate melts with a different consistency, which will require more or less oil.
- Nuts, coconut flakes, sprinkles, etc. These toppings are all optional.
NOTE: You can also use store-bought ice cream if you like. Which allows you to come up with all kinds of fun combinations of ice cream bars.
- Cakesicle/popsicle molds
- Sheet pan with parchment paper or silicone mat
Step 2: How to make homemade ice cream bars
Start by making the ice cream base, or you can certainly use a store-bought ice cream if you like. Using store-bought ice cream is pretty awesome because you can make all kinds of different flavors of ice cream bars.
In a medium bowl combine the heavy whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla extract. No need to whip the cream first. And just like that, the ice cream base is ready. Super easy right?
TIP: Want to make cookies and cream ice cream bars? Mash up a handful of oreo cookies and put them in the bowl and combine with the ice cream base.
Now either pour or use a spoon or ladle and fill up the molds. I really like using these popsicle molds because they make the ice cream bar a little smaller perfect serving size. For a bigger ice cream bar use this mold.
TIP: If you have a large 3 or 4 cup measuring cup with a spout it is very easy to pour the ice cream bars base into the molds.
If you want to use store-bought ice cream, let it sit out and soften a bit before trying to fill the molds. Don’t forget to add the popsicle sticks! There is a tiny groove that you slide the stick in.
After filling up the molds place them in the freezer for 4 to 8 hours or even overnight. The longer the better. They really need to get nice and firm before trying to dip them. I typically allow mine to freeze overnight.
NOTE: If you don’t have molds you can still make these. Take a 7×11 pan or something similar and line it with parchment paper. Then pour the ice cream into that. After it is frozen you can cut it into rectangles and slide a stick in and dip it.
Step 3: Melt that chocolate
Once the ice cream bars have had time to freeze, it is time to melt the chocolate. You can use whatever chocolate that you like. If you love a Lindt 80% dark chocolate bar, use a few of those, if you love Godiva milk chocolate, use that, if you love Tollhouse semi-sweet chocolate chips, use that. You can even use your favorite candy melts or the Loghouse Candiquik that I use for my homemade cake pops.
Or if you like you can make your own chocolate. I have two recipes for homemade. This dark chocolate is really good as well as this homemade milk chocolate. One thing I like about these is they are super thin and create a perfect thin shell around the ice cream bar.
Place the chocolate in a medium bowl and either, melt the chocolate over a pot with hot water (double boiler method), or in the microwave using bursts of 30 seconds and then stirring to melt it.
Once melted, chances are the chocolate won’t be super thin and runny. If that is the case, you need to add oil to thin it out. For 2 cups of chocolate, I usually add right around 1/4 cup of canola, olive, or coconut oil. This will give it a super runny consistency, perfect for dipping and creating a thin shell of chocolate around the ice cream bars.
If you are using either of my homemade chocolate recipes you won’t need to add additional oil. They will already be pretty runny as is.
Step 4: Dip those ice cream bars in chocolate
Pour the melted chocolate into a tall narrowish glass. This makes dipping easier.
Time to dip those ice cream bars! Remove one mold from the freezer and push on the bottom of the mold and then push on the stick to slide the ice cream bar out.
Dip the bar all the way in the chocolate and then remove it. Allow the excess to drizzle off. Within 15 seconds or so you will see the shiny melted chocolate harder and become dull. The chocolate sets pretty quickly. Now place it on a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Now dip some more of them.
TIP: I recommend only doing a few at a time and keeping the rest in the freezer before dipping. This will prevent them from getting too soft before you can dip them.
Want some nuts or coconut flakes or sprinkles? Right after you allow the excess chocolate to drizzle off, dip the bar into the nuts or coconut flakes, you only have 15 seconds or so to work, so you need to go fairly quickly.
After you have dipped the bars, place them back in the freezer to firm up even more. If you try and eat them too soon the ice cream may have gotten soft on you.
Step 5: Serve them up!
Now it is time to eat those yummy homemade ice cream bars! If you have little treat bags you can place them in those if you like or in individual sandwich bags. And keep them stored in the freezer. Enjoy!
How long do homemade ice cream bars last?
These need to be stored in the freezer. They will last 3 to 4 weeks. Or will they? Chances are you will gobble them up within a week after making them. They are that good!
What if I don’t have the popsicle molds can I still make ice cream bars?
Yes! If you don’t have the molds and don’t want to buy them, you can pour the ice cream base in a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Then freeze it really well. After that, cut it into bars, and stick the popsicle sticks in them, and then dip. Or dip them without the sticks.
Here are some other ice cream recipes you may like:
Ice Cream Bars
- Cakesicle/popsicle molds
- Sheet pan with parchment paper or silicone mat
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream 473ml
- 1 14- oz can of sweetened condensed milk 396g
- 1 tsp vanilla extract 5ml
- 2 cups chocolate chips or bars semi-sweet, milk, dark, etc.
- 1/4 cup of oil canola, olive, coconut, etc.
- Nuts coconut flakes, sprinkles, etc. (optional)
- In a medium bowl mix together the heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, and optional vanilla extract.
- Put the stick in the popsicle molds and then fill them up with the ice cream base. Freeze the ice cream base for 4 to 8 hours or even overnight, so they get nice and firm.
- Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and melt using bursts of 30 seconds and then stirring until melted. Or use the double boiler method on the stovetop. Add oil to thin out the chocolate so it is nice and runny. Pour the chocolate into a tall glass.
- Remove a few bars from the molds, keep the rest in the freezer, and dip in the chocolate. Allow the excess to drizzle off. The chocolate should firm up within 15 seconds or so. Place them on a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Then repeat with more bars.
- If you want toppings like nuts, coconut flakes, etc. After you dip the ice cream bar in chocolate and let the excess drain off, quickly dip in the toppings. Then place on the pan.
- Back into the freezer, they go for an hour or so to firm up again. Then you can serve them. Enjoy!
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