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Rocky Road Ice Cream

5 from 1 vote

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Homemade Rocky Road Ice Cream is filled with toasted almonds, marshmallow fluff, and chopped chocolate chips (made with my chocolate ice cream recipe)! I even have a no-churn option. Perfect for summer and so much better than store-bought.

two scoops of rocky road ice cream in an ice cream cone

Homemade Rocky Road Ice Cream | With or Without a Machine

I asked on Instagram Stories what kinds of recipes you wanted to see on the blog and homemade rocky road ice cream was at the top of the list. So, here’s a fabulous recipe for Rocky Road Ice Cream, with instructions on how to make it with or without an ice cream machine! It’s so ridiculously easy to make that you’ll be making seventy million batches this summer. Just wait and see. You will.

But First, What is Rocky Road Ice Cream?

Traditional rocky road ice cream has a chocolate ice cream base with marshmallows and nuts mixed throughout it. First appearing during the United States Depression, the creator opted to call it ‘Rocky Road’ to put a smile on people’s faces. While my Rocky Road Ice Cream isn’t traditional per se, it’s even better than the original and I think you will love it!

If you love rocky road try out my rocky road brownies!

pouring chocolate base into ice cream maker

Main Ingredients Needed

So, what’s in rocky road ice cream? The classic answer is chocolate, nuts, and marshmallows and although this recipe is pretty basic, you can customize it how you like it. For example, if you’d rather have a vanilla base, use my vanilla ice cream recipe! Here’s everything you’ll need:

  • Cocoa Powder – this creates the chocolate flavor for the ice cream. Use dark cocoa powder if you want the ice cream to be even richer!
  • Sugar + Brown Sugar – to sweeten! Brown sugar adds a little bit more flavor than just regular sugar.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream – make sure you get the HEAVY Whipping Cream as opposed to just regular whipping cream. This is to ensure that the fat content is correct for freezing.
  • Milk – milk is used to dissolve the sugars and cocoa powder while still lending to the creamy texture of ice cream.
  • Vanilla – to flavor.
  • Almonds – I used pre-sliced almonds and toasted them for a more nutty taste. If almonds aren’t your thing feel free to sub in another type of nut. Walnuts, pecans, and even peanuts work.
  • Mini Chocolate Chips – these are chopped up and provide a chocolatey crunch throughout the ice cream. Feel free to use chocolate syrup instead (this creates a ribbon of chocolatey goodness).
  • Marshmallow Fluff – I like to layer marshmallow fluff into the ice cream base before freezing. That way you get marshmallow flavor throughout the ice cream. Feel free to use mini marshmallows if you don’t have marshmallow fluff, though be warned it’s a totally different eating experience. I’d suggest the fluff.

How to Make Rocky Road Ice Cream | With an Ice Cream Maker

For full details on how to make rocky road ice cream with an ice cream maker, see the recipe card down below ๐Ÿ™‚

1. Make Chocolate Ice Cream Base

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugars, and salt. Add the milk and beat to combine until the cocoa, sugars, and salt are dissolved. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours, or overnight.

2. Churn Your Ice Cream

Turn your ice cream maker on; pour the mixture into the machine and freeze according to manufacturer instructions. If you’re using an ice cream maker with a frozen bowl, it should take 15-20 minutes. If you’re using one with a compressor, it will take a little longer. See my notes below!

3. Fold in Almonds, Chocolate Chips + Marshmallow Fluff

Remove the ice cream from the machine and fold in the almonds and chocolate chips. As you’re spooning the ice cream into the containers, add the marshmallow fluff in layers in between the ice cream. Use a butter knife to swirl it in as best as you can.

4. Freeze then Enjoy!

Cover and freeze until solid then scoop and enjoy! We really liked scooping our ice cream into cones, which can be a little messy but overall delicious ๐Ÿ™‚

Cooked Versus Uncooked Ice Cream Bases

So, I’ve been going back and forth on which one is better. Since testing this recipe with a cooked custard-style base, a cooked non-custard style base (no eggs, but still cooked) and a completely uncooked version, I’ve opted to publish the easiest and in my opinion equally delicious uncooked chocolate ice cream base.

Because you whisk all of the ingredients into the heavy cream and milk and then let it set in the refrigerator for several hours, that sugar will dissolve quickly, giving you a really creamy finished product. The tendency is to want to cook ice cream bases to ensure that all the sugar gets dissolved, but honestly, it isn’t really needed or required.

How to Make No Churn Rocky Road Ice Cream | Without an Ice Cream Maker

Homemade ice cream is always a good idea even if you don’t have an ice cream maker! For this no-churn version, some of the ingredients and their corresponding measurements are different than what is stated in the recipe card, I’ve bolded the differences to make it a little easier to see. All of the other stated ingredients and their amounts are listed in the recipe card.

Finally, here is how to make no-churn rocky road ice cream:

1. Combine Cocoa Powder + Sweetened Condensed Milk

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cocoa and salt. Add in one can of sweetened condensed milk and vanilla then whisk until combined.

2. Whip Heavy Cream

Whip 3 cups of heavy cream until soft to medium peaks form. Then fold the chocolate-sweetened condensed milk mixture into the whipped cream. (You are substituting the milk for more heavy cream).

3. Fold in Almonds, Chocolate Chips + Marshmallow Fluff

Fold in the almonds and chocolate chips. As you’re spooning the ice cream into the containers, add the marshmallow fluff in layers in between the ice cream. Use a butter knife to swirl it in as best as you can.

4. Freeze then Serve!

Cover and freeze until solid then scoop and enjoy! It won’t be quite the same texture as a churned ice cream, but will still hit the spot. This is how my Mom made and continues to make ice cream back home and I love it!

churned chocolate ice cream in a white bucket

A Note About Ice Cream Machines

I used to own this Cuisinart Ice Cream Machine…you know, the kind where you have to freeze the bowl. These are probably the most common type of ice cream maker you’d be looking to buy at the store. While these work great, I’d highly recommend looking into getting an ice cream maker with a compressor. This is the one I have. It is amazing! Not only do you not have to freeze anything ahead of time, but you can make batch after batch of ice cream! It’s really truly incredible. I cannot recommend this machine enough.

How Long Does Homemade Ice Cream Last?

Sealed in an airtight container, this rocky road recipe will last in the freezer for about 2 weeks. After that, you may notice ice crystals growing and an accompanying gritty texture to the ice cream. If you don’t mind those two things, I guess you could continue to store and eat it. This recipe does get eaten pretty fast though, so you might even finish it before that two weeks is up (especially in the summer)!

rocky road ice cream frozen in a plastic container

More Ice Cream Recipes!

Love ice cream as much as we do? Check out all of my other ice cream recipes!

This Rocky Road Ice Cream recipe is perfect for those hot summer days!

The printable recipe card is down below, enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

5 from 1 vote

Homemade Rocky Road Ice Cream

Homemade Rocky Road Ice Cream is filled with toasted almonds, marshmallow fluff, and chopped chocolate chips! I even have a no-churn option.
servings 10 1/2 cup servings
Prep Time 1 hr
Total Time 12 hrs

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugars and salt. Add the milk and, using a hand mixer on low speed or a whisk, beat to combine until the cocoa, sugars and salt are dissolved.
  • Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours, or overnight.
  • Turn your ice cream maker on; pour the mixture into the machine and freeze according to manufacturer instructions. If you're using an ice cream maker with a frozen bowl, it should take 15-20 minutes. If you're using one with a compressor, it will take a little longer, 25-35 minutes.
  • Remove the ice cream from the machine and fold in the almonds and chocolate chips. As you're spooning the ice cream into the containers, add the marshmallow fluff in layers in between the ice cream. Use a butter knife to swirl it in as best as you can. Cover and freeze until solid.
  • Scoop and enjoy!

Notes

No-Churn Instructionsย 
For this no-churn version, some of the ingredients and their corresponding measurements are different than what is stated in the recipe card, I’ve bolded the differences to make it a little easier to see. All of the other stated ingredients and their amounts are listed in the recipe card.
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cocoa and salt. Add in one can of sweetened condensed milk and vanilla then whisk until combined.
  2. Whip 3 cups of heavy cream until soft to medium peaks form. Then fold the chocolate-sweetened condensed milk mixture into the whipped cream.
  3. Fold in the almonds and chocolate chips. As you’re spooning the ice cream into the containers, add the marshmallow fluff in layers in between the ice cream. Use a butter knife to swirl it in as best as you can.
  4. Cover and freeze until solid then scoop and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 388kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 35mg | Potassium: 261mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 749IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Rocky Road Ice Cream, rocky road ice cream recipe

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11 Responses
  1. k

    This looks so great! My kiddos have a day off on Monday and this would be a fun treat. I just want to double check on the amount of heavy whipping cream though…4 quarts equal a gallon and the seems like a lot…. Let me know though and I’ll be running out to gather up what I need! ๐Ÿ™‚

    So excited for your husband to be home soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Lauren

      Ahh! You are correct…that’s a typo! Serves me right for typing this out at 1 am! Ha. Thanks for catching that. It’s 1 quart, not 4.

  2. Karen @ On the Banks of Salt Creek

    Rocky Road is my favorite ice cream…..especially homemade.
    Congrats on making it to May. Hopefully it is only a few more days until the family reunion.

  3. Alexis @ Upside Down Pear

    I’m so excited for you! I can only image what kind of whirlwind is going on over there, but I’m sure ice cream helps ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thank you for making a non ice cream maker version as I really didn’t want to invest in another appliance for the kitchen. I’ve only got a limited amount of counter space! I can’t wait to make this (maybe without the marshmallows) as it’ll be perfect for the upcoming weekend ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Amy @ Thoroughly Nourished Life

    Lauren! I’m so happy for you that your husband is coming home! That definitely calls for ice cream! And no-churn rocky road ice cream is the perfect celebration to me ๐Ÿ™‚
    I know my family is going to love this recipe, especially my Dad and my boyfriend – my two favourite boys who I am lucky to have at home all the time.
    Safe trip home Gordon!

  5. Ingrid @ I&L Photogray

    So yummy, THIS is something I must make. Like, tomorrow!!! would it still work if I mix the chocolate syrup into the cream while on the mixer? To make it more “chocolate ice cream”? (That’s the kind of Rocky road we get, chocolate with all the goodies!)

    Mr. Gordon is surely a lucky guy, so happy all the family will be together soon!!

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