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Why this recipe works
This chocolate peanut butter ice cream is so silky, smooth and rich! Mixed with peanut butter cups, chopped chocolate, and a swirl of peanut butter, you get the taste of peanut butter in every bite! While I love to visit my local scoop shops, there is something to be said about making ice cream at home.
Homemade ice cream is my favorite dessert to make for guests because you can make it ahead of time and it’s so much easier than you think! I love a good Philly-style ice cream because there are no eggs involved and you don’t need to make a custard making it my favorite ice cream style.
Typically, you can just mix together your ingredients and churn. This homemade chocolate peanut butter version has a little more involvement since you need to heat the milk and heavy cream to melt the chocolate and peanut butter into the base. It is SO worth it and really not difficult at all!
Chocolate and peanut butter are one of the best flavor combinations for a reason! The perfect summer treat for peanut butter lovers!
- peanut butter – Use creamy peanut butter for this recipe, so that it easily melts into the ice cream. You can use natural peanut butters if you prefer, but it is much thinner than a creamy peanut butter, like Skippy, so your ice cream base will not be as thick and creamy.
- peanut butter cups – I used Reese’s peanut butter cups, which are labeled gluten-free. If you have celiac disease or are gluten-free like me, always check actual product packaging for the ingredient list of your peanut butter cups to make sure they are gluten-free. Sometimes product recipes and manufacturing practices change.
- chopped chocolate – While the ice cream gets some chocolate flavor from cocoa powder, the chopped chocolate adds a deep, rich chocolate flavor to the ice cream. Plus, I love adding some chocolate chunks during the churn for texture. You can use semi-sweet chocolate, dark chocolate, or milk chocolate for this. I used a chopped up chocolate bar because it melts really easily. Chocolate chips or chocolate chunks will take longer to melt, but will still work.
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I’ve tested this recipe with both my Cuisinart ice cream maker and my Breville compressor ice cream maker. The Cuisinart ICE30BC is a 2 quart ice cream maker that churns ice cream using a cold ice cream bowl. You will need to freeze the bowl for at least 24 hours before churning, otherwise the ice cream will not solidify. I typically will churn the ice cream for about 25 minutes in this ice cream maker.
The Breville Smart Scoop BCI600XL Ice Cream Maker is a compression ice cream maker that has a built-in compressor to constantly cool the ice cream as it churns. You do not need to pre-chill the ice cream bowl for this machine, or any compression ice cream maker.
I’ve had my Cuisinart ice cream maker for over 12 years and it’s still working great, so that’s the one I will typically recommend you use and start with. The Breville compression ice cream maker is great if you are short on freezer space or are making multiple batches of ice cream in a day and can’t wait between churns for the bowl to freeze. However, it is much more of an investment.
If you haven’t made ice cream at home before and are looking for an easy recipe to start out with your ice cream maker, this chocolate peanut butter ice cream is a real treat! Follow my step-by-step instructions below with matching photos. For more ingredient amounts, detailed instructions, tips, tricks and the printable recipe please scroll down to the recipe card.
This chocolate peanut butter ice cream is made with a Philadelphia-style ice cream base, meaning there are no eggs. All you need to do is mix together the ingredients in a saucepan to get it hot and melt the chocolate and peanut butter, then chill before churning. So delicious!
- You want to make sure that the heavy cream and whole milk just come to a simmer, not a boil. You will see little bubbles forming around the edge of the saucepan when the dairy has begun to simmer. If you take the internal temperature, it will be around 170F. You want to make sure you it simmers for two reasons. First, milk pasteurizes at 162F when heated for 15 seconds. Second, the cream and milk need to be hot enough to melt the chocolate and peanut butter into the base so it’s thick and creamy.
- You do not want want to boil the mixture because if it gets too hot the cream and milk can curdle and the texture will be compromised.
- Typically with a Philly-style ice cream you do not have to chill the base before churning because all of the ingredients are very cold. However, for this ice cream you need to chill it sufficiently before churning since we have to heat the base to melt the chocolate and peanut butter into it.
- To speed up the process of chilling the base, you can use an ice bath. Place ice cubes and a little bit of water into a large bowl. Place the bowl with the ice cream base in it inside the ice bath. The ice cream mixture should come to room temperature in about 20 minutes. Then, you can cover and place in the refrigerator for further chilling and to deepen the flavors as they meld together.
Classic and mini Reese’s peanut butter cups are labeled gluten-free. However, seasonal flavors of Reese’s peanut butter are not labeled gluten-free as they are manufactured in a different facility. Always be sure to check the label to make sure your peanut butter cups are gluten-free. You can also use Justin’s peanut butter cups. The inside of those are a bit softer, so I like to freeze them before adding them in during churning.
This recipe uses heavy cream and whole milk which helps it get the proper fat content ratio. I do not recommend substituting either as it will change the fat content.
This recipe uses chopped chocolate and peanut butter cups. Technically, you don’t need any mix-ins since the ice cream base flavor is chocolate peanut butter. However, I love the texture and flavor that the mix-ins add ensuring that you get peanut butter chunks in every bite. You can also use chocolate chips, chocolate chunks, peanut butter chips, peanut butter nuggets, chopped gluten-free Oreo cookies, toffee bits, and chocolate fudge swirls.
Obviously, you can serve this ice cream in a bowl with a spoon or in an ice cream cone (or if you’re like me a gluten-free ice cream cone!). Top it with some extra chocolate chunks or peanut butter cups.
You can also use this homemade ice cream as part of an ice cream cake or ice cream pie. Make an ice cream sandwich by placing a big scoop of ice cream in between two gluten-free chocolate chip cookies.
Make a brownie sundae using my almond flour brownies and drizzle with melted chocolate and peanut butter. The sky is the limit with this tasty ice cream recipe!
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- Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream
Did you make this recipe?
I’d love to know! Please rate it and leave a comment below. You can also share your pictures and tag @adashofmegnut on Instagram.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (20g)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar (150g)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter (250, divided)
- 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate (120g, roughly chopped, divided)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped peanut butter cups for mixing in (150g from 17 mini peanut butter cups)
- Chill the ice cream bowl for at least 24 hours or until solid. You should not hear any water sloshing around when you shake the bowl.
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the heavy cream, whole milk, unsweetened cocoa powder, granulated sugar, and salt.
- Bring the cream mixture to a simmer. Watch for small bubbles to appear along the edges of the pot. Do not bring to a boil.
- Once simmering, add in half of the creamy peanut butter (1/2 cup) and half of the chopped semi-sweet chocolate (2oz). Stir until the peanut butter and chocolate are melted.
- Pour the mixture into a large glass bowl. Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Cover the surface of the ice cream base with plastic wrap and chill the mixture for at least 4 hours.
- Add the ice cream base to the bowl of an ice cream maker. Churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- In the last 2 minutes of the churn, add the chopped peanut butter cups and remaining chopped chocolate (2 oz). Reserve 1/4 cup of the chopped peanut butter cups for topping.
- Spoon half of the ice cream into a loaf pan. Add half of the remaining peanut butter in dollops. Swirl with a knife. Repeat with remaining ice cream and peanut butter. Top with reserved chopped peanut butter cups, pushing them into the surface.
- Freeze for at least 4 hours or until firm.
- Let the ice cream sit at room temperature for 5 minutes before scooping. Serve immediately.
- This is a Philadelphia-style ice cream, meaning there are no eggs in this recipe.
- Typically, with Philly-style ice creams, heating the base is not necessary since no egg yolks are involved. However, for this recipe you do need to cook the cream and whole milk on the stove top so that the chocolate and peanut butter can melt into the ice cream base.
- Be sure to not let the milk and heavy cream boil. You want it just come to a simmer. If it boils, you risk the milk and cream curdling or changing texture. Look for small bubbles to form along the edges of the pot to know when it is simmering. The temperature should be around 170F.