Rocky Road Ice Cream, made from scratch, has a chocolate base packed with chunks of rich chocolate, marshmallows, and toasted almonds.
This chocolate-based ice cream is made in the traditional French way, meaning that it’s made with an egg-based custard, and churned in an ice cream maker to give us a super-rich and creamy result.
This Rocky Road Ice Cream recipe is gluten-free.
If you like ice creams with lots of interesting textures and add-ins, you must try our recipe for Turtle Ice Cream too.
Why You’re Going to Love This Rocky Road Ice Cream Recipe
Double Chocolate – You get a double dose of chocolate in this Rocky Road Ice Cream recipe, thanks to a rich chocolate ice cream base and additional chocolate chunks added in.
French Style Creamy Texture – When you make a French style ice cream, it’s like frozen custard. Rich, thick, decadent, and creamy are all words that I would use to describe it.
Lots of Texture – Crunchy almonds, soft and chewy marshmallows, and delicious chocolate add-ins in Rocky Road Ice Cream create an amazing textural experience.
Step-by-Step Instructions – All of our recipes include clear instructions so that you will have the best homemade ice cream outcome possible. French-style ice creams have a couple of extra steps, but they aren’t difficult if you follow along with the recipe.
So Good! I’d say this ice cream is better than Ben and Jerry’s, but that’s just our opinion. It’s one of my favorite ice cream flavors, full of creaminess and crunch.
Rocky Road Ice Cream Ingredients
Here are the ingredients we use in this rocky road ice cream recipe:
Egg Yolks – These create the base for our ice cream custard. We’ll gently heat the egg yolks to pasteurize them, but you can also purchase pasteurized eggs if you prefer.
Granulated Sugar – For sweetness and texture, plain, white, granulated sugar is the perfect choice.
Whole Milk – The first of our dairy items adds bulk and aids in getting a creamy texture.
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – To make a decadent chocolate ice cream base, cocoa powder is dissolved into the milk.
Salt – A bit of salt helps to balance the sweetness of the ice cream add-ins.
Semisweet or Dark Chocolate – I like to chop my chocolate from a block, rather than using chocolate chips. I find that the varying sizes and flakes of chocolate are nicer to eat and less likely to need chewing.
Heavy Cream – A mix of both heavy cream and whole milk is what gives us the perfect rich ice cream texture.
Vanilla Extract – Vanilla is a must for most ice cream recipes. It elevates the simple flavors of the sugar and cream.
Mini Marshmallows – You must add marshmallows to rocky road ice cream! Miniature ones are the perfect size for adding to ice cream.
Toasted Almonds – You can buy toasted almonds, but you’ll get a better flavor if you toast them yourself. I’ll tell you how later on in this post. Chop your nuts roughly into small pieces.
If you have any questions about the ingredients in Rocky Road Ice Cream, please leave a comment and I will get back to you.
How to Make Rocky Road Ice Cream
- Start with a fully chilled ice cream maker bowl. In a different medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and granulated sugar until smooth and pale yellow in color.
- In a saucepan, add the milk, cocoa powder, and salt over medium heat. Bring the milk to a simmer and then immediately remove it from the heat before it boils. Add about 1/2 cup of the hot milk to the egg and sugar mixture and whisk constantly until combined.
- Then, add the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining hot milk. Heat the saucepan on low. Stirring constantly, heat until the base has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon or spatula.
- Strain the mixture into a bowl to remove any pieces of egg that may have cooked. Add 1/2 cup of the chopped chocolate, reserving the rest until later. Stir until melted.
- Add the heavy cream and vanilla extract and stir to combine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap making sure to have the plastic wrap touching the surface of the ice cream base. This will help keep it from forming a skin while chilling. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
- Churn the ice cream mixture in the bowl of your ice cream machine according to your manufacturer’s instructions (mine took about 20 minutes), until it is thick and the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. In the last two minutes, add the marshmallows, almonds, and remaining chopped chocolate and churn until evenly distributed.
- Spoon the ice cream into a loaf pan or freezer-safe container. Press plastic wrap or wax paper to the surface of the ice cream. Freeze for at least 4 hours, or until solid.
- Let homemade ice cream 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.
How to Store Rocky Road Ice Cream
Homemade ice cream is easily stored in your freezer. Store this Rocky Road 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 to the top of it. Homemade ice cream is best eaten within 1 month.
Tips for making this Rocky Road 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.
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 milk and cream 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 of ice cream.
Make it Pretty – For aesthetically pleasing ice cream, save a handful of each of the add-ins to sprinkle on top of the pan before you place it in the freezer for the final time.
No Churn Rocky Road Ice Cream Instructions
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.
Rocky Road Ice Cream Add-Ins
I am not sure that I would anything else to this ice cream – it’s already packed full of so much deliciousness! That said, I don’t judge you for wanting to add something different.
Since there are already a lot of add-ins here, I would avoid adding more volume of add-ins, but you can use other things in place of some or all of the add-ins in the recipe.
Try substituting white chocolate or milk chocolate for some or all of the semi-sweet chocolate.
Marshmallows can be left out, and you can add a swirl of marshmallow creme or Fluff instead.
Leave out the nuts if you like, or use peanuts, pecans, or walnuts in place of the Almonds.
Add Crushed Oreos or chopped candy bars in place of some of the chocolate and/or nuts.
A swirl of hot fudge would be delicious in this recipe too!
What is In Rocky Road Ice Cream?
All the best things are in this rocky road ice cream recipe, including chocolate chunks, marshmallows, and almonds.
How do I Toast Almonds?
Place raw almonds in a skillet on medium heat. Stirring frequently, toast the almonds until lightly browned and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Be sure to watch closely as almonds can burn quickly.
Freshly toasted almonds are so delicious and much tastier than nuts that you buy pre-roasted.
More Amazing Homemade Ice Cream Recipes
We have so many great ice cream flavors here that you can make at home!
Coffee Flavored Ice Cream is a sophisticated and grown-up ice cream that is amazing topped with some chocolate syrup and whipped cream.
You have to try Chocolate Marshmallow Ice Cream. It’s rich and creamy with sweet marshmallow ribbons throughout.
Need an easier recipe? Try making No-Churn Chocolate Ice Cream.
These are our must-have ice cream making tools:
- Cuisinart 2QT Ice Cream Maker – Works with ice cream, sorbets, and frozen yogurt.
- Loaf Pan – You can use any 9 x 13 loaf pan or a shallow pan, but we like this one.
- Ice Cream Scoop – Make sure you have a good ice cream scoop. This is one of our favorites.
- Ice Cream Containers – We love keeping a couple of ice cream containers on hand for when we make homemade ice cream.
Note: Each of these links will take you to the exact product on Amazon. As an Amazon associate, I earn a little from each qualifying purchase.
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Did you make this Rocky Road Ice Cream Recipe? Leave a comment below letting us know what you thought and if you added any additional add-ins.
- 4 large egg yolks
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 oz semisweet or dark chocolate, roughly chopped, divided
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup mini marshmallows
- 1 cup toasted almonds, roughly chopped
- 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 medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and granulated sugar until smooth and pale yellow in color.
- Add the milk, cocoa powder, and salt to a saucepan over medium heat. Bring the milk to a simmer and then remove from the heat. Be sure not to boil.
- Add about ½ cup of the hot milk to the egg and sugar mixture and whisk constantly until combined.
- Then, add the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining hot milk.
- Heat the saucepan on low. Stirring constantly, heat until the base has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon or spatula. This should take a few minutes.
- Strain the mixture into a bowl to remove any pieces of egg that may have cooked.
- Add ½ cup of the chopped chocolate, reserving the rest for later. Stir until melted.
- Add the heavy cream and vanilla extract and stir to combine.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap making sure to have the plastic wrap touching the surface of the ice cream base. This will help keep it from forming a skin while chilling. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
- Churn the ice cream mixture in the bowl of your ice cream machine according to your manufacturer’s instructions (mine took about 20 minutes), until it is thick and the consistency of soft-serve ice cream.
- In the last two minutes, add the marshmallows, almonds, and remaining chopped chocolate and churn until evenly distributed.
- Spoon the ice cream into a loaf pan or freezer-safe container. Press plastic wrap or wax paper to the surface of the ice cream. Freeze for at least 4 hours, or until solid. Let sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes before serving.
- I used semi-sweet chocolate for this recipe but you can also use dark chocolate instead.
- You want to chop the chocolate so that it’s the size of small chunks. You don’t want the chocolate chunks to be too large because when you get a bite it will be too hard to eat.
- I prefer to use a chocolate bar that I have chopped myself instead of bagged chocolate chips or chocolate chunks because when it goes into the hot custard it will melt much easier and smoother. Also, when the chunks get stirred into the ice cream later I like the varied size for eating.
- Feel free to substitute pecans or walnuts for the almonds in this recipe.
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Set of 2 Reusable Ice Cream Tub Containers For Homemade Ice Cream 1.6 Quart
Cusinart ICE-70P1 2-Quart Cool Creations Ice Cream, Frozen Yogurt, Gelato and Sorbet Maker, LCD Screen with Countdown Timer, Makes Frozen Treats in 20-Minutes or Less, Stainless Steel
KitchenAid KO117OHAQA Gourmet Ice Cream Scoop, One Size, Matte Aqua Sky
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 502Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 172mgSodium: 308mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 3gSugar: 34gProtein: 11g