Homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream is a creamy, decadent treat. Make this frozen dessert recipe with real cream, chocolate and fresh mint!
This frozen dessert is loaded with fresh mint leaves that have been steeped in cream, but it also includes a touch of peppermint extract to really amp up the flavor.
The combination of these two ingredients is what takes this homemade ice cream to the next level.
The bittersweet chocolate is finely chopped so that it disperses evenly throughout the ice cream. As a result, it melts in your mouth with every spoonful. This ice cream recipe may become your new favorite.
As I mentioned recently in my buttermilk ice cream post, I recently upgraded to a super fancy ice cream machine because I make so many frozen desserts during the summer. It cuts back on a lot of the time required to make homemade ice cream, and I’m still loving it.
However, since most people don’t have this type of machine, I’m still including standard instructions with my recipes that will work with any ice cream maker. I previously owned a more reasonably priced machine, and it got the job done!
These are just ingredient notes. For a complete list of ingredients, including amounts, see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Half-and-half – Using half-and-half with heavy cream helps to prevent the ice cream from becoming TOO thick or too rich to enjoy.
- Heavy cream
- Fresh mint leaves – Using fresh herbs is one of the best ways to add flavor to any recipe. When it comes to making mint ice cream, there is simply no substitute.
- Egg yolks
- White granulated sugar – If you feel a need to cut back on the sugar, be aware that it will affect the texture of the ice cream.
- Vodka (optional, see tip below)
Read more: This recipe calls for half-and-half. What is half-and-half, and how do you make it if you already have cream and milk in the fridge? Read my tutorial on how to make half-and-half so you can save time and money!
Why Add Alcohol to Ice Cream?
Adding a bit of alcohol to homemade ice cream lowers the freezing point. As a result, it is easier to scoop without needing to soften it first.
Using alcohol is optional, obviously, but I especially love this trick for parties. Vodka is always a good choice since you can’t taste it in the ice cream.
Making homemade Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Making this easy ice cream recipe is a snap!
- Steep the mint leaves. First, add the cream and half-and-half to a saucepan and bring it to a simmer. Remove from heat, then add mint leaves. NOTE: The mixture needs to steep for two hours, so be patient. You can even let it sit overnight in the fridge.
- Blend and strain the base. Once the mint leaves have had time to steep, blend the heavy cream mixture in a blender and pour back into the saucepan through a fine mesh strainer. Place the saucepan back over medium heat and allow the mixture to come to a simmer.
- Add eggs, sugar, and flavoring. While the cream mixture comes to a simmer, vigorously whisk the egg yolks and the sugar together until pale in color. Whisk the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan and continue stirring until the ice cream base has thickened. Add in the vanilla and peppermint extracts as well as the vodka, if using.
- Chill and churn. Transfer mixture to a bowl and chill completely in the refrigerator. When the ice cream base is cool, you can make your homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream in your ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Add the chocolate chunks near the end of the churn time.
Here are a few tips for getting the best possible results from your homemade ice cream.
- Patience means flavor. The longer you steep the mint, the better. Make sure to press and squeeze the mint as much as possible when extracting the cream. That’s where the most concentrated flavor will be!
- Mix for muscles. When you whisk the yolks and sugar together, put a bit of muscle into it. Whisk vigorously for around 15-30 seconds, until the mixture loosens up and pales slightly in color. If you lift the whisk straight up, a ribbon of yolks should fall back into the bowl like this. That’s how you know the sugar has completely dissolved, and it will ensure a smooth, even custard.
- Use good quality bittersweet chocolate. You can taste the difference in the end, I promise. My favorite brand is Valrhona, which I usually have to order online, though I sometimes find it in gourmet shops. I also like Guittard, which is easier to find at some grocery stores.
- This is an adaptable recipe! As long as you stick with 3 cups of dairy total, you can play with the fat ratios a bit. The more heavy cream you use, the richer the ice cream will be. I made this mint chocolate chip ice cream very decadent with 1 cup of heavy cream plus 2 cups of half-and-half. You can simplify things by using all heavy cream or all half-and-half (don’t go lighter than that; it’s ice cream).
Other Homemade Ice Cream Recipes
For even more ice cream recipes, check out all of my frozen dessert recipes.
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
- 2 cups half-and-half (or 1 cup whole milk + 1 cup heavy cream)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 cups packed mint leaves (approximately 2 1/2 ounces)
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1 cup granulated sugar (7 ounces)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- Optional: 1 tablespoon vodka (see notes)
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (freeze until ready to use)
- In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the half-and-half and cream to a gentle simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming on top. Remove from the heat and stir in the mint leaves. Cover and let steep for 2 hours (or overnight in the refrigerator).
- Place a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth over the same saucepan (a nut milk bag also works well here).
- Purée the mixture in a blender, then pour through the prepared strainer. Use a spatula to press out any cream seeped into the mint; that’s where the best flavor is!
- Place the saucepan over medium heat and allow the cream to once again come to a gentle simmer. Meanwhile, vigorously whisk together the yolks and sugar in a large bowl. Keep whisking until the yolks thin out slightly and become more pale in color, which means the sugar has dissolved. If you lift the spatula, a ribbon of yolks should fall back into the bowl.
- Once the cream is at a gentle simmer, slowly pour it into the yolks while whisking. Turn the heat to low and return the mixture to the saucepan, scraping everything from the bowl with a spatula.
- Using a spatula, stir the mixture for several minutes in a figure 8 motion, until the liquid has thickened slightly, approximately 5 minutes. If you want to use a thermometer, the temperature should read 165 degrees F.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and peppermint extracts as well as the vodka, if using. Transfer the mixture to a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic directly against the liquid to prevent a skin from forming.
- Chill thoroughly, and then prepare in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer instructions. In the final minute or two of spinning the ice cream, add in the chopped chocolate. You can also stir it in by hand.
Please read my full post for additional recipe notes, tips, and serving suggestions!
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inspiration behind this recipe
You all know I love any excuse to create a new ice cream flavor. So when my friends Jodi and Doug invited us over for a dinner party and I was tasked with dessert, I couldn’t wait to get started on my next concoction.
When I learned that their son Michael loves mint chip ice cream, I was giddy. This flavor has been on my “to do” list for ages.
I was so happy with the results. I brought it to the dinner party along with these snickerdoodles, which felt like a fun, whimsical combination.