Get ready for the best Rocky Road Ice Cream! This super creamy no-churn chocolate ice cream is loaded with chopped nuts, mini marshmallows, and chocolate chips. No ice cream maker is needed. Assemble, place in your freezer, and dive in to this incredible frozen treat.
Here’s the thing. If I’m going to take the time to make ice cream from scratch, then it better be worlds better than the store bought stuff. Store bought ice cream is pretty dang good (truth: I basically never leave the store without a container of Tillamook ice cream), BUT, I always find that it comes up short on the “mix-ins”. I want a lot of mix-ins in my ice cream. A LOT. In every single bite. So, here’s my version of rocky road, with so many nuts, marshmallows, and chocolate chips mixed throughout that you’ll never want store bought rocky road again.
What is “no churn” ice cream?
No-churn ice cream is ice cream that can be made without an ice cream maker. A typical no-churn ice cream recipe uses a combination of sweetened condensed milk and heavy cream that has been whipped to stiff peaks. The sweetness from the sweetened condensed milk and the fluffy quality of the whipped cream combine to make ice cream with an unbelievable smooth and creamy texture.
This specific no-churn recipe also uses cocoa powder and melted chocolate chips to make a chocolate flavored no-churn ice cream.
No churn chocolate ice cream: This no-churn chocolate ice cream base is flavored with melted chocolate, cocoa powder, and a touch of vanilla. No ice cream maker is needed; you simply combine the ice cream base, add the mix ins and place it in your freezer. You’ll need the following ingredients for the chocolate ice cream: sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, vanilla, salt, and heavy cream.
Mix-ins (a lot of them): I add tons of roasted almonds, mini marshmallows, and mini chocolate chips to this rocky road.
Prep time: Allow yourself about 10-15 minutes of prep time. This recipe comes together quickly and easily.
Freeze time: The hardest part? Waiting for the ice cream to freeze. I like to give this ice cream at least 6 hours to freeze. Since this is a no-churn recipe you just place it in the freezer instead of in an ice cream machine.
- Adjust the mix ins to suit your taste. I like almonds, but if there is another nut you prefer, use that instead. Also, white chocolate or dark chocolate chips can be swapped for the semisweet chocolate chips that get mixed into the ice cream.
- Freeze in a loaf pan. A freezer-safe loaf pan is my favorite way to store this ice cream. It makes for super easy scooping! See more on this below under “storage”.
- Use roasted salted nuts for a nice salty-sweet balance and more robust flavor (roasted nuts are much more flavorful than raw nuts). I used Blue Diamond roasted salted almonds and I chopped them myself.
- Run your ice cream scoop under hot water before scooping to get the ice cream out easily.
Serving and storage
Serving: Serve this ice cream straight from freezer (after at least 6 hours of freezer time). Like other no-churn ice cream recipes this one will get quite soft and creamy after sitting out, so eat it right from the freezer.
Storage: This ice cream will keep for about one week if frozen in a loaf pan and tightly covered with plastic wrap (I use two layers). If you’d like to store it for longer than that (up to one month) you will want to store it in a tightly sealed freezer safe storage container.
Rocky Road Ice Cream
Ice cream base:
- ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup finely chopped roasted salted almonds*
- 1½ cups mini marshmallows*
- ¼ cup mini chocolate chips or chopped semisweet chocolate*
Ice cream base:
- In a microwave safe bowl melt ½ cup chocolate chips along with approximately ¼ cup of the sweetened condensed milk. Microwave in 10-15 second intervals, stirring well in between, until smooth. Heat it slowly so that the chocolate doesn't get overcooked.
- Add remaining sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt to the melted chocolate. Whisk until smooth and combined. It will be fairly thick. Set aside for a few minutes to cool.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.
- Add half of the whipped cream to the chocolate mixture and fold until almost fully combined. Add the remaining whipped cream and gently fold until fully combined.
- Spread half of the ice cream base into a freezer-safe storage container (I use a 9×5 metal loaf pan). Sprinkle half of the almonds, marshmallows, and mini chocolate chips over the ice cream base and press/swirl the mix-ins into the ice cream base. Add the remaining ice cream base (spreading into an even layer) followed by the remaining mix-ins. I like to press/stir some of the mix-ins into the ice cream but leave some mix-ins exposed on top of the ice cream. Cover and freeze until frozen, at least 6 hours.