Chunky Monkey Ice Cream

Create a copycat of your favorite Ben and Jerry’s treat using this easy recipe for homemade Chunky Monkey Ice Cream.

It’s churned using a Philadelphia-style ice cream base, just as creamy and delicious as the fancy brand, and packed with banana flavor, lots of nuts, and chocolate chunks.

You’ll go bananas for this Chunky Monkey Ice Cream recipe that is gluten-free and egg-free, and so simple to make at home.

a glass bowl filled with 4 scoops of homemade chunky monkey ice cream topped with chocolate chunks and walnuts

The beloved $6 per pint (or more!) Chunky Monkey ice cream flavor from Ben and Jerry’s is typically well worth it. They’ve been making ice cream since the 1970s and have a reputation for doing it really well.

Chunky Monkey Ice Cream is one of Ben and Jerry’s early successes, and still a favorite over 20 years after it was first made.

Making Chunky Monkey Ice Cream from scratch is easy when you follow this simple ice cream maker recipe, and a bit easier on your wallet too.

This recipe makes much more than a pint of Chunky Monkey, so you can even share if you want to.

Love bananas? Learn how to make a classic Banana Split, or try this recipe for Banana Pudding Ice Cream.

Why You are Going to Love this Homemade Chunky Monkey Ice Cream Recipe

It’s a Ben and Jerry’s Classic Flavor Copycat Recipe. Ben and Jerry make amazing ice cream, but I’ll let you in on a secret: You can make ice cream that is just as good, if not better than theirs!

Fresh Bananas. There is need for any artificial flavoring here. We’re making a banana ice cream base using fresh, ripe bananas and it tastes perfectly sweet and amazing.

Save Money. Don’t spend money for a small pint of ice cream when you can make double that for much, much less.

Easy Ice Cream Machine Recipe – This style of ice cream recipe is called “Philadelphia style” which means that it differs from the French style, and doesn’t involve cooking an egg-based custard first. This means that your Chunky Monkey Ice Cream will be ready in less time, and uses fewer ingredients.

The ingredients for chunky monkey ice cream, including bananas, chocolate, and walnuts, all measured into separate bowls and viewed from above on a marble counter.

Ingredients in Homemade Chunky Monkey Ice Cream

What does Chunky Monkey ice cream have in it? So many good things! Fresh bananas, chocolate chunks, and walnuts are the main flavor ingredients in this tasty treat.

Heavy Cream – This is the base of our ice cream, and what makes the ice cream creamy!

Whole Milk – A combination of both whole milk and heavy cream gives the perfect texture to our rainbow ice cream.

Granulated Sugar – For sweetness and texture, plain, white, granulated sugar is the best choice.

Vanilla Extract – To flavor our ice cream base, a good quality pure vanilla extract is key.

Salt – A small amount of salt balances the sweetness in this recipe.

Bananas – One cup of mashed bananas is added into the ice cream mixture, which is about 2 or 3 ripe bananas’ worth.

Chopped Walnuts – You can choose to use either raw walnuts or toasted ones. If you toast them yourself, just be sure to let them cool before adding them in. Chop the nuts into small pieces, about the size of a pea.

Chocolate Chunks – I like to chop my own chocolate for most of our recipes. I like the variation in sizes you get that way. For Chunky Monkey though, I used bagged chocolate chunks because I wanted them to be uniform in size. You can do whichever you prefer.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and I will get back to you.

a collage of 8 photos showing the steps of how to make chunky monkey ice cream.

How to Make Chunky Monkey Ice Cream from Scratch

  1. Chill the ice cream bowl for at least 24 hours or until solid. You should not hear any water sloshing around when you shake the bowl. In a large bowl, combine the heavy cream, whole milk, granulated sugar, vanilla extract and salt.
  2. Whisk for 2-3 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved into the mixture. You should not feel any grit if you rub the mixture together between two fingers.
  3. Add the bananas to a medium bowl. Mash the bananas with a fork. You should get about 1 cup of mashed bananas.
  4. Add the mashed bananas to the ice cream base. Mix to combine.
  5. Churn the ice cream mixture in the bowl of your ice cream machine according to your manufacturer’s instructions (mine took about 25 minutes), until it is thick and the consistency of soft-serve ice cream.
  6. In the last two minutes of the churn, add the chopped walnuts and chocolate chunks. Reserve two tablespoons of both the walnuts and chocolate chunks.
  7. Spoon the ice cream into a shallow container or a loaf pan. Sprinkle reserved walnuts and chocolate chunks over the top. Press plastic wrap or wax paper to the surface of the ice cream. Freeze for at least 4 hours, or until solid.
  8. Let sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes before serving.

These numbered steps match the numbered photos above and are for illustration purposes. For the complete list of ingredients and instructions, please see the recipe below.

Closeup view of a metal ice cream scoop creating a scoop of homemade chunky monkey ice cream

How to Store Chunky Monkey Ice Cream

Store this Chunky Monkey ice cream in the freezer in an airtight container (we really like these reusable ice cream containers) with a piece of parchment paper or wax paper pressed on top for up to one month. (I doubt you’ll have much for leftovers though!)

Tips for Making this Chunky Monkey Ice Cream Recipe

Use quality ingredients – When making homemade ice cream, you’ll want to make sure you are using high-quality ingredients for the best outcome.

Use Ripe Bananas – Just like making banana bread, you have to make sure the bananas are ripe enough to be sweet. Your bananas should be yellow with some brown spots.

Chill out – If possible, always start with chilled ingredients. This is important for homemade no-churn ice cream recipes and ice cream maker recipes.

Don’t skimp on the fat – High fat milks and creams are essential when making homemade ice cream. Opting for a low-fat option often leads to icy ice creams and inconsistency in the texture.

Don’t go crazy with the add-ins – If you’re adding in additional ingredients, pick one or two and make sure they are chopped into pieces no larger than a blueberry or pea.

Don’t skimp on the sugar – Sugar not only adds sweetness to homemade ice creams, it also helps with the texture. Sugar is essential for the creamy texture in ice cream.

a glass bowl filled with 4 scoops of homemade chunky monkey ice cream topped with chocolate chunks and walnuts. a small bowl of walnuts is in the background next to a bunch of bananas

No Churn Chunky Monkey Ice Cream Directions

You can make Chunky Monkey without an ice cream maker!

Chill a shallow container or a loaf pan in the freezer while you mix the ice cream ingredients.

Pour the ice cream mixture into the prepared pan and freeze for 3-4 hours. Stir the ice cream every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours to help add air. This will help create a creamy, smooth texture.

Chunky Monkey Ice Cream Add Ins

This ice cream flavor is pretty perfect already. Don’t go overboard, but feel free to add in a little bit of anything else that you like.

White chocolate pieces, other nuts, fresh strawberries, or a swirl of peanut butter could be absolutely delicious in this recipe.

I might try adding small pieces of chocolate fudge instead of the chocolate chunks next time too, so that the chocolate is a bit softer.

Was Chunky Monkey Ice Cream Discontinued?

There seems to be some confusion about this! The regular Chunky Monkey flavor from Ben and Jerry’s has been available mostly non-stop since it was first released in 1988. There was a Chunky Monkey Frozen Yogurt Variety in 1999 that was very popular, but unfortunately is not made anymore.

a glass bowl filled with 4 scoops of homemade chunky monkey ice cream topped with chocolate chunks and walnuts. Text overlay at the bottom of the photo is in black and orange lettering and says, Homemade Chunky Monkey Ice Cream Recipe

How Long Does it Take to Make Homemade Ice Cream

This recipe takes about 10 minutes to mix up, and 25 minutes in your ice cream machine. The time consuming part of making homemade ice cream is the time you’ll need to wait for it to freeze!

Plan on 35 minutes of active kitchen time for making ice cream. Also plan on letting the ice cream harden for at least 4 hours before serving it.

Why is homemade ice cream so hard to scoop?

You might notice that we recommend letting the ice cream sit out on the counter for 5 minutes before even trying to scoop it. This is because ice cream made from scratch doesn’t include any additives or preservatives that keep it soft while frozen.

Homemade ice cream needs to thaw just a bit – no longer than 10 minutes – in order to be easy to scoop into a cone or a dish.

We aren’t monkeying around with this homemade ice cream recipe! It’s the real deal, and just as delicious as the Ben and Jerry’s version.

More Homemade Ice Cream Recipes

These are our favorite tools for making easy homemade ice cream at home:

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Did you make this Chunky Monkey Ice Cream recipe? Leave a comment below letting us know what you thought, and if you added any additional add-ins.

a glass bowl filled with 4 scoops of homemade chunky monkey ice cream topped with chocolate chunks and walnuts

Chunky Monkey Ice Cream Recipe

Yield: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Chilling/Freezing Time: 7 hours
Total Time: 7 hours 45 minutes

Create a copycat of your favorite Ben and Jerry's treat using this easy recipe for homemade Chunky Monkey Ice Cream with bananas, walnuts, and chocolate chunks.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 bananas, ripe (1 cup mashed)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup chocolate chunks

Instructions

    1. Chill the ice cream bowl for at least 24 hours or until solid. You should not hear any water sloshing around when you shake the bowl. In a large bowl, combine the heavy cream, whole milk, granulated sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Whisk for 2-3 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved into the mixture. You should not feel any grit if you rub the mixture together between two fingers.
    2. Add the bananas to a medium bowl. Mash the bananas with a fork. You should get about 1 cup of mashed bananas. 
    3. Add the mashed bananas to the ice cream base. Mix to combine. 
    4. Churn the ice cream mixture in the bowl of your ice cream machine according to your manufacturer’s instructions (mine took about 25 minutes), until it is thick and the consistency of soft-serve ice cream.
    5. In the last two minutes of the churn, add the chopped walnuts and chocolate chunks. Reserve two tablespoons of both the walnuts and chocolate chunks.
    6. Spoon the ice cream into a shallow container or a loaf pan. Sprinkle reserved walnuts and chocolate chunks over the top. 
    7. Press plastic wrap or wax paper to the surface of the ice cream. Freeze for at least 4 hours, or until solid. 
    8. Let sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes before serving. 

Notes

    • Plan ahead by making sure that your ice cream maker bowl is in the freezer at least 24 hours before you're going to make ice cream.
    • Homemade ice cream can be stored in the freezer for up to one month. Keep it in an airtight container with a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper pressed to the surface of the ice cream to keep ice crystals from developing.
    • Homemade ice cream should be easy to scoop if you let it soften at room temperature for 5 minutes after removing it from the freezer. 
    • Be sure to use ripe, yellow bananas for this recipe. They should have brown spots - that's how you know they are sweet.
    • You can chop your own chocolate bar to add to this recipe, or use bagged chocolate chunks or chips.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 652Total Fat: 47gSaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 228mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 3gSugar: 44gProtein: 8g

Did you make this recipe?

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You can learn more about ice cream flavors over at Ben and Jerry’s.

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6 Comments

  1. I’ve tried both of your vanilla bean and pumpkin ice cream recipes and they are exceptionally good!!! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

    I’m making Chunky Monkey today. One question: after the ice cream mixture is made, it doesn’t require refrigeration before going into the ice cream maker?

    That’s what I am going to do today, per these instructions. Straight into the machine. Fingers crossed!

  2. This ice cream is delicious and I could argue better than Ben/Jerry’s since I can control the quality and type of chocolate. I added 1/2 extra banana (so it was a little more than 1c) and used 70% chocolate. This ice cream makes more than 5c w/out the mix-ins and barely fits in my maker, so I had to hand mix them in after I removed the ice cream.

  3. I actually have frozen bananas. I wonder if blending them with the milk mixture would work, then adding the cream and churning?

    1. Hi Brittany,
      We haven’t tried that method with frozen bananas. You could also chop the frozen banana up, and add it into the mixture.

      The Ice Cream From Scratch Team

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