Rocky Road Ice Cream Recipe (no churn!)


This NO CHURN Rocky Road Ice Cream Recipe is 1000X better than store-bought, customizable and you don’t need an ice cream maker!  


This Homemade Rocky Road Ice Cream Recipe is bursting with marshmallows, roasted almonds and chocolate chips enveloped in rich chocolate ice cream swirled with chocolate sauce.  Hello Lover! 

Rocky Road Ice Cream with a scoop.

Rocky Road Ice Cream Recipe

Before my homemade No-Churn Rocky Road Ice Cream Recipe, I always thought I needed an ice cream maker to make homemade ice cream or that it would be difficult or that it wouldn’t be as good as store-bought.

I was wrong.

Wrong.

Wrong.

I learned that the air normally incorporated into ice cream by churning in an ice cream machine is instead achieved by whipping heavy cream, and the classic custard is replaced by sweetened condensed milk to produce irresistible, homemade no churn ice cream every time.  And of course, when I know how to make no churn ice cream, I am going to bring you my favorite ice cream – Homemade Rocky Road Ice Cream!

I adore Rocky Road so much that I never buy it because it will call to me – nay, scream to me until it’s gone – eat me!  Eat me!  Eat me!  And as soon as I made this homemade rocky road ice cream recipe, it proceeded to to do just that. And I don’t blame it. I actually thank it. Sorry, Patrick.  More decadent Triple Chocolate Rocky Road for me.

I am a Rocky Road ice cream connoisseur and this Rocky Road was some of the best –  if not the best –  I have ever had.  So if you like chocolate ice cream, or marshmallows, or nuts even just a little, your taste buds will go crazy for this Rocky Road. It’s rich, creamy, chocolaty, packed with goodies in every bite and is sure to satisfy your Rocky Road cravings — or make you crave it more.

Rocky Road Ice Cream with marshmallows and nuts being scooped up.

What Is in Rocky Road Ice Cream?

This is such an easy homemade ice cream recipe! Here are the rocky road ice cream ingredients you’ll need:

  • Chocolate: I used a mixture of bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolate.
  • Milk: Any milk will work, but 2% fat or higher will result in the creamiest no churn ice cream.
  • Sweetened condensed milk: Not to be confused with evaporated milk!
  • Vanilla extract: Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder: Regular cocoa powder works better than Dutch process in this recipe.
  • Lemon juice: Doesn’t make the rocky road ice cream taste at all lemony.
  • Salt: You need a pinch of salt to bring out the chocolate flavor and balance out the sweetness of the ice cream.
  • Mini marshmallows: I used regular mini marshmallows, but I bet you could use flavored marshmallows too.
  • Almonds: I buy roasted salted almonds to save myself the time needed to roast them myself.
  • Chocolate chips: Any type of chocolate chips will work.
  • Heavy cream: You must use heavy cream. Half and half or another substitute won’t work.
  • Chocolate ganache: I’ve linked my simple 5-minute recipe in the recipe card below!
Rocky Road Ice Cream with marshmallows and nuts in a waffle cone.

Ingredient Variations

  • If you only have regular marshmallows on hand, dice them into bite-sized pieces before mixing them into the ice cream.
  • I used roasted almonds, but you can use any kind of roasted nut you like.
  • If you like your ice cream on the super sweet side, use milk chocolate rather than semi-sweet or bittersweet.
Showing how to make Rocky Road Ice Cream with marshmallows and nuts mixed in a bowl.

How to Make Rocky Road Ice Cream

It’s so easy to make homemade ice cream without a machine!

It starts by adding bittersweet chocolate and semisweet chocolate to hot milk and swirling to melt the chocolate then stirring in the sweetened condensed milk, marshmallows, roasted almonds and chocolate chips along with some cocoa powder, lemon juice and vanilla.

Showing how to make Rocky Road Ice Cream with marshmallows and nuts stirring in a clear glass bowl.

You then whip heavy cream until soft peaks form then fold them together.  That’s it!  Well almost…

Showing how to make Rocky Road Ice Cream with marshmallows and nuts set to rest after stirring.

You then proceed to swirl in chocolate sauce (I used my 5-Minute Silky Chocolate Sauce) so every bite is triple the chocolate delicious.

Showing how to make Rocky Road Ice Cream with marshmallows and nuts frozen in a pie pan.

Tips for Making Rocky Road Ice Cream

  • To store this rocky road ice cream, any container will work as long as it is NOT glass. You can even divide among multiple containers.
  • The shallower the container, the faster the ice cream will freeze and be ready to eat.
  • Cover with plastic wrap or waxed paper pressed directly on the surface of the ice cream to help prevent ice crystals from forming.
Extreme close up of Rocky Road Ice Cream with marshmallows and nuts being scooped up.

Recipe Variations to Try

  • Add extra mix-ins. If you want to add in peanut butter chips, or any other sort of guilty pleasure, feel free! You CANNOT mess this ice cream up with add-ins as long as you follow the basic ice cream recipe.
  • Use different nuts. I used almonds, but peanuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, etc. will all work!
  • Use different chocolate chips. Any kind of baking chip will work in this recipe. White, milk, semi-sweet, bittersweet, you name it!

How to Store Rocky Road Ice Cream

This homemade rocky road ice cream should be stored in a metal or plastic container with a piece of plastic wrapped placed directly on top of the ice cream.

How Long Does Homemade Ice Cream Last?

Homemade ice cream will last about a month in the freezer. It won’t go “bad,” but it may form ice crystals over time.

Kiwi the Frenchie wishing she is can have ice cream.

Kiwi was very disappointed that she couldn’t have any Rocky Road ice cream.  Don’t worry Kiwi, it’s vanilla inspired next time.

Looking for More Summer Dessert Recipes?

Homemade Rocky Road Ice Cream Recipe | Carlsbad Cravings

Rocky Road Ice Cream Recipe (no churn!)

This NO CHURN Rocky Road Ice Cream Recipe is 1000X better than store-bought, customizable and you don't need an ice cream maker!   This Homemade Rocky Road Ice Cream Recipe is bursting with marshmallows, roasted almonds and chocolate chips enveloped in rich chocolate ice cream swirled with chocolate sauce.  Hello Lover! 
Servings: 2 quarts
Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped*
  • 2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • pinch salt
  • 3/4 cup miniature marshmallows
  • 3/4 cup roasted salted almonds
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup Recipe 5 Minute Chocolate Sauce may sub store bought hot fudge topping NOT chocolate sauce

Instructions

  • Add the chopped chocolate to a large bowl. Set aside.
  • Bring the milk to a near boil in the microwave or stovetop and pour it over the chopped chocolate. Let sit 5 minutes, then stir until smooth and chocolate is melted.
  • Stir in all of the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the chocolate sauce and heavy cream.
  • In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form then fold cream gently into the chocolate mixture.
  • To a 2 quart freezable container,* layer ⅓ ice cream, drizzle ½ chocolate sauce and swirl with a knife, then layer ⅓ ice cream and drizzle almost all remaining chocolate sauce and swirl. Top with remaining ice cream and remaining chocolate sauce and swirl.
  • Cover with plastic wrap or waxed paper pressed directly on the surface of the ice cream (to help prevent ice crystals), and freeze for at least 6 hours or until frozen.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

*Any container (plastic, metal, etc) will work as long as it is NOT glass. You can even divide among multiple containers. The more shallow the containers, the faster the ice cream will freeze and be ready to eat. I used my cheesecake springform pan.

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Adapted from the No-Churn Ice Cream Cookbook

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21 Comments

  1. Denise | Sweet Peas & Saffron says

    Oh my goodness, this ice cream looks to die for! I’ve never made my own ice cream before because I always thought you needed a machine…but I guess not! Looks amazing, and you dog is SO cute 🙂

    • Jen says

      I always thought the same thing! I was so pleasantly surprised how easy homemade ice cream is without a machine – can’t wait for you to try it! Thanks Denise!

  2. Deborah says

    I just made ice cream today, and decided that I think I need to try a new flavor every week this summer. 😉 This needs to be my next flavor!!

    • Jen says

      I am loving your idea of making a new flavor every week – brilliant! I think you will love this one – can’t wait to go check out your latest flavors on your site! like now…

  3. Sheri says

    This sounds really good but I’m curious why you say you can’t use a glass container?? I make ice cream all the time basically this method but I do put it in a glass container … could you explain please? Thank you 🙂

    • Jen says

      Hi Sheri, glass can be frozen successfully without cracking (which sounds like your case) but there is definitely a chance that it can crack when frozen but there is ZERO chance the other materials will break, so that is why I say no glass – I don’t want anyone upset with cracked glass! But if it works for you, that’s great!

  4. Sheri says

    Ok thank you that makes sense! The dish I use says it is freezer safe. Thank you for answering

  5. Sandra @ A Dash of Sanity says

    Oh now this is just heaven! Seriously. I think I would hoard all of this to myself – no sharing! Pinning, Stumbling and yumming!

    • Jen says

      I wish I was above hoarding but that’s pretty much how it went over here 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing!

  6. Kristin M says

    Alright, I literally crave rocky road EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. Just got back from Baskin Robbins 5 minutes ago. It’s my downfall! I’m right there with you 😉 I have been looking for a Dark Chocolate RR recipe, any tips on turning this into a “dark” version? Maybe I’ll do some experimenting. Thanks for the great recipe!!!

    • Jen says

      Hi Kristin! We truly are kindred spirits! I LOVE Rocky Road SO MUCH! To turn it into dark chocolate, all you have to do is substitute some of the bittersweet/semisweet chocolate with the dark chocolate – you can experiment with the rations. Can’t wait to hear what you think! XO!

  7. Trisha says

    I don’t have an ice cream maker so thought I would try this. I especially love Rocky “Mountain” Road Ice Cream (it has some extra chocolate covered nuts and marshmallow swirl). I made your chocolate sauce and used it as you explained – awesome! I also used chopped chocolate covered peanuts and chopped chocolate covered almonds to resemble the Rocky “Mountain” Road Ice Cream a bit more. 🙂 It was awesome! My husband thinks it’s out of this world. Thank you!

    • Jen says

      So happy you loved this ice cream Trisha and I LOVE that you made it “Mountain” style – the addition of chocolate covered peanuts/almonds sounds divine!!!

  8. Trisha says

    Oh, and I would totally go for more of these “no churn” ice creams! Maybe like a Vanilla with cookie pieces in it or a birthday cake ice cream or something fun like that. We actually don’t eat ice cream often – but when we do we go for the fun ones with lots of stuff mixed in. 🙂

    • Jen says

      Oh my goodness – can you just write my recipes for me? LOVE the vanilla/cookie ice cream! You might be seeing it really soon around here 🙂

  9. Alexa says

    Do you let the chocolate mixture cool all the way down? Because wouldn’t the whipped cream go flat with warm chocolate mixture?

    • Jen says

      Hi Alexa, sorry for the delay as I have been moving and things have been crazy. The mixture will cool enough as you mix in the other ingredients and make the whipped cream. enjoy!

    • Jen says

      Hi Jayne, I don’t have any experience with Almond Milk so I can’t say 100% but I don’t see why not!

  10. Chad says

    Crazy question… I just got an ice cream maker because I think the kids will really love it. But now I want to make THIS rocky road ice cream. Any thoughts on how to use “this” recipe but with a churn?

    • Jen says

      Hi Chad, I’m kind of guessing here, but I would follow the recipe through step three and then just stir the whipping cream into the ice cream mixture without whipping it then add to your ice cream maker. Good luck!