It comes out of the bottle as a liquid, but within seconds of landing on a scoop of ice cream this magical sauce becomes a solid shell of chocolate.
Pour chocolate over vanilla ice cream and you’ve got one of the world’s greatest dessert pairings. The two beans, vanilla, and cocoa are soul mates destined to be together forever.
Gooey chocolate fudge sauce and rich chocolate syrups are good, but the best chocolate for topping vanilla ice cream is chocolate that hardens to a thin shell, like the stuff on chocolate-coated ice cream bars or on chocolate-dipped soft-serve cones at McDonald’s and Dairy Queen. The contrasting chewy texture of the crunchy coating compliments the smooth and creamy ice cream beneath it.
Smucker’s Magic Shell is that kind of chocolate sauce. When you drizzle this special fudge sauce over ice cream it hardens to a brittle shell almost instantly. It’s not wizardry, but the function of a trendy secret ingredient that you can use right now to make your own version of this magical morphing sauce at home in mere minutes.
Before we begin, let’s talk about the chocolate. You’ll need these two types, and chips are great because they melt quickly.
I like the color and richness of the semi-sweet chocolate and the sweetness of milk chocolate, so a combination of both is the way to go. I fudged (sorry) with many different ratios, but in the end, these are the measurements that worked best.
If you have a kitchen scale, use it for measuring the chips. Measuring by weight is more accurate for ingredients like this. If you don’t have one, no big deal. I included both weight and volume measurements in the recipe.
We’ll add just a little more sweetness to the mix with some agave syrup. This syrup is great because it’s sweeter than corn syrup, and doesn’t need to dissolve like granulated sugar. It’s even sweeter than sugar! We don’t need much though. Just a tablespoon will do.
We’re also going to need coconut oil and vanilla extract.
Here’s the secret ingredient that does the magic. Coconut oil is a saturated fat that becomes solid at 76 degrees or lower. We’re going to need a little over 1/2 cup of it. Just be sure to get refined coconut oil which doesn’t taste or smell like coconut. The chocolate fudge version of Magic Shell that we’re cloning doesn’t have any coconut taste to it, so refined oil is the way to go.
Still, if you want to get a little crazy, you can use non-refined coconut oil that has a coconut flavor to make a topping that tastes more like a Mounds candy bar. It’s good. And if you sprinkle on some chopped almonds before the chocolate hardens on the ice cream, you’ve got yourself an Almond Joy sundae. Also good.
After adding oil and agave syrup, melt the chips in the microwave for a quick 30 seconds or so. This is the easiest and cleanest way to melt the chocolate.
Now take a moment and thank your microwave oven for existing.
Stir in the vanilla extract after melting the chocolate. It’s an ingredient used in the real thing, so we need it here as well. Surprisingly, other Magic Shell hacks miss this step, including this one at Serious Eats.
After stirring for a bit, your sauce should be smooth. If it isn’t, nuke it again for 15 seconds, and stir it more. Then get a squirt bottle like this and pour the chocolate sauce into it. A funnel really helps.
After 15 minutes, when the sauce is cool, you can use it. Drizzle it over ice cream, and in about 30 seconds it should harden into a delicious shell. Store the sauce at room temperature and don’t refrigerate it. You can probably guess why that would be a mistake.
Just remember to give the sauce a really good shake every time you use it. The oil and chocolate may separate, and it’s no fun and not delicious when just oil comes out onto your ice cream.
In this post, I’ll show you how to use this sauce to hack an iconic ice cream fave: Nestle Drumsticks.
— Todd Wilbur, The Food Hacker
What other famous foods can be made at home? I’ve created recipes for over 1,100 iconic foods at TopSecretRecipes.com. See if I cloned your favorites here.
Smucker's Chocolate Fudge Magic Shell Hack
- 4.5 ounces (3/4 cup) milk chocolate chips
- 3 ounces (1/2 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons refined coconut oil, melted if solid
- 1 tablespoon agave syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine the chocolate chips, coconut oil, and agave syrup in a medium microwave-safe bowl and heat it on high for 30 seconds. Stir gently until the mixture is smooth. If the chocolate will not melt completely after stirring for 30 seconds, microwave again for another 15 seconds, and stir. When the mixture is smooth, stir in the vanilla extract.
- Pour the sauce into a squirt bottle and let it cool before using it (about 15 min.). Be sure to shake the bottle well before each use. And don't store it in your fridge.
Is there anything to substitute the coconut oil? Allergy to it and it’s derivatives. Makes making some recipes challenging. Everything is coconut oil these days. Thanks for your great recipes. My family loves them.
I am confused as to why you are using liquid coconut oil which is liquid at room temp- or why you have a picture of that one, but are actually listing the solid kind. They both behave very differently.
Coconut oil is liquid at 76 degrees. If yours is solid, warm it up a little to liquify it before measuring.
I been looking everywhere for the cherry magic shell. Smuckers does not sell it anymore. I found a place that sells it for ice cream shops but i obviously do not need that large amount. Is it possible to make this kind of magic shell cone coatings? Thank you so much
I’m sure it could be made with white chocolate, flavoring, and color. But an exact recipe is tough without a sample of the real thing.
Try the cherry flavored baking chips?
Love this stuff!!! My grandsons think I’m Super Woman because I make “Nestle” Drumsticks for them.
This was great! Will definitely use this recipe again. The sauce hardens up nice and crisp but still has body. I’ve had other sauces that are very crisp and have no flavor. This one is really good. I might try to add a little more agave nectar next time. And I would imagine that maybe adding a little more chocolate like the tip at the end says would make it better too.
HI, the picture shows LIQUID coconut oil, but the instructions say “refined coconut oil, melted” which is better? will either one work? thanks.
Coconut oil gets solid at 76 degrees F or lower. It was about 78 degrees in my kitchen that day. I know this because it was summer in Vegas when I shot the photos, and that’s where I set the thermostat at that time of the year.
ruth ann allen
And…..nestle,s does not use real ice cream in their drum sticks anymore. Cheap, fake crap!
Since this is not refrigerated, how long can it be stored?
I’ve kept it for a couple months, but you have to give it a really good shake before using it. It goes bad when the oil turns rancid and that could take several months. You’ll know it’s turned when it smells bad.
I’ve done something wrong because the topping is unpleasantly fudgy. I did use corn syrup instead of the agave syrup. Is there any way to salvage it?
It sounds like your chocolate may have seized up. This will happen if the chocolate gets too hot. Did you heat it more than 30 seconds? The chocolate will not appear completely melted at first, so you may be tempted to heat it more, but gentle stirring and a little time will help it all melt smoothly.
Thanks! Really enjoy the blog.
I can not eat ice cream without this! As soon as I feed my old recipe for Magic Shell to my husband (…insert sneaky smiley face), I’m making your updated version! Thanks, Todd for all your efforts and everything you do ♥
I don’t use the microwave. Is there an alternative cooking method?
You could combine everything in a double boiler (pan over simmering water), but it will take longer.
i have been doing just chocolate chip and coconut oil and never thought the agave syrup was the reason it was the thing keeping it from turning hard when not in use. hum thanks
It’s likely that low temperature is making your sauce harden. Store it somewhere over 76 degrees. If the sauce hardens, microwave it for 10 to 15 seconds, then shake well before using.