Black Cocoa Ice Cream

Unbelievably smooth, creamy ice cream made with black cocoa. This recipe for black cocoa ice cream is eggless and tastes of rich, dark, dark chocolate. 


Oh my godddddd. This ice cream is insane, insane!!! It’s so dark, rich and freakin’ SMOOTH – even without egg yolks. If you like chocolate ice cream, and if you’ve tasted black cocoa and loved it, well this one is for youuuu. 


Black Cocoa Ice Cream Ingredients 


Black Cocoa: A cocoa powder that has been heavily dutched (alkalized). I think it’s important to note that black cocoa isn’t ‘chocolatey’ in the traditional sense, especially if you are the kind of chocolate person that loves a hershey’s bar. Black cocoa is dark and almost smoky. 


If you wanted, you can use a double dutch cocoa (there are blends of black and dutch cocoa or you can split the cocoa in half and use half of each) to get a slightly less strong black cocoa taste. 


Milk: I use whole milk, I think you could go to 2% but I’d avoid skim as low-fat options will lead to a less creamier ice cream. If you wanted to make this dairy-free, use a milk with a higher fat content like coconut milk. 


Sugar: You don’t have to use brown, but I think it adds something nice to the undertones – a little nuance. 


Heavy cream: or heavy whipping cream. If you were trying to make a dairy-free version use coconut cream here. 


Cornstarch: This is a thickening agent, a little trick I learned from my gelato-making days. We aren’t using egg yolks here but we’ll cook the base until it’s slightly thickened and doing this will keep the ice cream creamy rather than icy when frozen. 

black cocoa ice cream

How to make Black Cocoa Ice Cream

Most of the heavy work is going to be done by our ice cream machine but there’s a few steps to getting the custard ready for the churn: 

  • Make a slurry with some of the milk and the cornstarch
  • Dissolve the sugar and bloom the cocoa: both of these will happen over heat. 
  • And the remaining liquid and the slurry then cook until thickened; this is very similar to the way a pudding is made. 
  • Chill the base. You should never attempt to churn a warm ice cream base, at the very least have it in the fridge for 4 hours before churning. 
  • Churn! This happens in the machine. 

What’s the difference between a no churn and a churned ice cream?

One needs an ice cream machine and one does not. Ice cream machines ‘churn’ which is to say they stir air into the custard base slowly as it freezes.  Most ice cream is churned, this process means that you won’t get those nasty ice crystals. 


A no churn ice cream usually has you whipping the heavy cream *before* it’s frozen, doing this also prevents ice crystals from forming and you’ll also get a creamier base. In no churn ice creams you won’t have egg yolks, usually these recipes use sweetened condensed milk which has all the sugar and fat you need to keep it creamy. 


Is one superior? Although this blog is brimming with no churn recipes, they are so much more accessible to everyone after all, there is nothing like a churned ice cream which is fully liquid as a base (rather than airy) and unbelievably creamy when frozen. 


This black cocoa ice cream is churned – you’ll need a machine! We’ll talk about no churn options at a later date (and I’ll update this section here accordingly). 




Ice cream machine options: I had the kitchen aid bowl attachment for 5 years, but earlier this year splurged on this one (which I only recommend if you are a frequent ice cream maker); because I don’t have to freeze the bowl and can go from turning it on to churning – yay! 


Why doesn’t this recipe have egg yolks? 


Truthfully because I wouldn’t know what to do with *six* to even eight egg whites. Ok fine, I would and I’d do it happily BUT we simply don’t need them here. In fact, having them would change the taste and texture of the ice cream, making it heavier and more custard-like. We are going for a gelato-like texture here, something light but fully committed to an intense flavor profile. 


Where can I find a good quality black cocoa? 

King Arthur Baking Co. makes a great black cocoa, you can also uses Hershey’s Special Dark (although that is closer to a dutch than a pure black).

What else can I bake with black cocoa? 


Black Cocoa Cake 

Black Cocoa Cupcakes 

Cut-Out Cookies 

Chocolate Mascarpone Buttercream


black cocoa ice cream


Black Cocoa Ice Cream Recipe

Black Cocoa Ice Cream

Unbelievably smooth, creamy ice cream made with black cocoa. This recipe for black cocoa ice cream is eggless and tastes of rich, dark, dark chocolate.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Chill Time 1 hr


  • ice cream machine


  • 1 cup milk plus ¼ cup 240g plus 30g
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch or tapioca starch
  • ½ - ⅔ cup black cocoa depending on how strong you want it, 50g-65g
  • 1 cup brown sugar light or dark, 200g
  • 2 cups heavy cream 480g
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


  • In a small bowl, whisk together the ¼ milk and the cornstarch. Set aside.
  • Add the cocoa, sugar and 1 cup milk to a medium-sized pot and cook until the sugar dissolves, over medium low heat.
  • Add the cornstarch mix and heavy cream and cook on medium low until the mix begins to thicken on the bottom, whisking constantly.
  • Remove from heat, pour into a heatproof container and add the vanilla and salt, stir to combine. Allow it to come to room temperature then cover and set in the fridge to chill.
  • Once fully chilled you can add it to your ice cream machine (often the bowl will need to be frozen overnight before churning) and freeze. Store in an airtight container or a loaf pan covered with plastic wrap (make sure the wrap is pressed into the ice cream so you don’t get any freezer burn).


Recipe makes about 1.5 quarts ice cream (will fit in a loaf pan).  
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


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