DIY: Homemade Klondike Bars

Our family totally fell into the stereotypical “no junk food” household which housed kids that got to eat all the goodies they wanted when they went to visit grandma. Pop-Tarts were a big no-no at home, but grandma always had a box in the pantry. Potato chips? They only existed at grandma’s. Sugary cereal that would rot our teeth? Forget about it, but you could count on a box of Cocoa Krispies at my grandma’s. Ice cream treats at home? Only popsicles, but grandma’s? Her freezer stored an endless supply of Klondike bars and a few other miscellaneous goodies. It was always a treat to throw open that freezer door and grab a foil-wrapped square of frozen deliciousness. The hard chocolate shell around creamy vanilla ice cream was enough to make my weekend! Bonus if it was during the summer since my grandma never had air conditioning (or a dishwasher – she needs to be nominated for martyrdom!). When I started thinking about the different types of homemade frozen treats I wanted to make this summer, Klondikes neared the top of my list. They bring back such fun memories of being a kid, playing at grandma’s, sleepovers, Slip n’ Slides, and carefree summer days. Plus, I figured that if they were made completely from scratch, they’d be even better than the original. With only three ingredients, there’s no excuse to not make these this summer!

Have you ever wondered what it is that creates that hard, crunchy outer shell on a Klondike bar (or any ice cream bar, for that matter)? It’s so incredibly simple I would have never dreamed it was possible if I hadn’t done it myself! Only two ingredients – chocolate and coconut oil! Who knew?! Those are the components for what is commonly referred to as “magic shell” – the ice cream topping that hardens almost immediately after coming into contact with ice cream. I saw a ton of different guidelines for the ratio of chocolate to coconut oil and ended up just winging it based on what I saw. I was really happy with how thick the coating was and how hard it dried.

I churned up my favorite vanilla ice cream for the occasion and used that for my ice cream squares, but you could certainly use your favorite store-bought vanilla brand.

All you need to do is spread the ice cream in a pan, let it freeze, and then cut it into squares. You’ll notice that I do a lot of freezing in between steps; that helps to ensure that the ice cream stays as cold and as hard as possible so that it doesn’t start to melt when being dipped. A little bit of patience goes a long way when you’re playing around with ice cream treats! (I’ve also found that homemade ice cream tends to be richer and melts a little more quickly than ice cream purchased from the store.)

I have been imaging all sorts of fun variations on this basic recipe. You could certainly substitute the vanilla ice cream with your favorite flavor, use semisweet or dark chocolate as well. I’m also thinking about dipping the ice cream in salted caramel and then the chocolate. Another possibility could crushed pretzels mixed into the chocolate coating. The possibilities are endless! What would your ultimate homemade Klondike look like?

Oh, and I always eat a Klondike with a spoon. In a bowl. Because I can’t eat nearly fast enough not to make a gigantic mess all over myself otherwise. I’m still pretty much a little kid when it comes to ice cream 😉

One year ago: Frozen Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie
Two years ago: Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispies Treats
Three years ago: Anise-Almond Biscotti
Four years ago: American Sandwich Bread

Homemade Klondike Bars

Yield: 9 bars

Prep Time: 1 to 2 days

Total Time: 1 to 2 days


1 quart vanilla ice cream

16 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons coconut oil


1. Line a 9x9-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper; set aside.

2. If you are using homemade ice cream, churn the ice cream and then immediately spread it into the prepared pan. If you are using store-bought ice cream (or already-churned homemade ice cream), let it soften in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, and then spread it in the prepared pan. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for at least 6 hours, or preferably overnight.

3. When ready to cut the ice cream, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the pan from the freezer and, using the foil or parchment overhangs, lift the block of ice cream out of the pan and place on a cutting board. Working quickly, cut the ice cream into 9 even squares, using a biscuit cutter or a sharp knife. Use a flat stainless steel spatula to lift the squares onto the baking sheet lined with parchment. Place the baking sheet with the squares of ice cream in the freezer for at least 1 hour.

4. Meanwhile, prepare your chocolate coating. Set a medium-sized bowl over a small saucepan with about an inch of water in it. Turn the heat to low and place the chocolate in the bowl, stirring occasionally, until it is completely melted. Once the chocolate is melted, add the coconut oil and stir until it has been completely melted and incorporated into the chocolate. The mixture will be very thin. Turn off the heat, remove the bowl from the top of the saucepan and place on a wire cooling rack. Stir occasionally and allow it to cool to room temperature.

5. Once the ice cream squares have been in the freezer for at least an hour and the chocolate mixture has reached room temperature, remove the baking sheet from the freezer. Working very quickly, use a large fork to dip one ice cream square at a time into the chocolate mixture, ensuring that it is completely coated. Lift it out and place it back on the parchment-lined sheet. Repeat with all of the ice cream squares and then return the sheet with the chocolate-coated squares to the freezer for at least 30 minutes.

6. At this point, you can dip the squares again for a nice, thick chocolate coating (which is what I did), or you can be finished. If you dip them again, follow the same process as above, and again allow to freeze for at least 30 minutes following dipping. Once you are finished, you can wrap each square individually in plastic wrap, place in a zip-top freezer bag and store in the freezer.


53 Responses to “DIY: Homemade Klondike Bars”

  1. Kristen on July 20, 2012 at 1:58 am

    Yummy! I think this would be fun to try with a peanut butter ice cream of some sort.


  2. Averie @ Averie Cooks on July 20, 2012 at 2:13 am

    awesome job – love the “magic shell” chocolate outer coating with coconut oil. Delish I bet!


  3. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on July 20, 2012 at 3:32 am

    SO weird..I was just reminiscing about Klondike bars the other day! These are amazing…nice work!


  4. Heidi on July 20, 2012 at 7:39 am

    YEah – that was us too as kids – grandmas are the best! Something for us to remember when we have grandkiddies one day! I love these – I love homemade version of store bought treats – and these outdo any expections of that! bravo!


  5. Lauren at Keep It Sweet on July 20, 2012 at 7:46 am

    Pretty sure I’d make a huge mess covering the ice cream in chocolate but I have a feeling it would be worth it!


  6. Amberly D'Anna on July 20, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Looks yummy!!


  7. Erin on July 20, 2012 at 8:59 am

    We have been eating klondike bars like crazy around here! I love the idea of making some homemade ones!


  8. shelly (cookies and cups) on July 20, 2012 at 9:05 am

    I tried to make klondike bars a few years wasn’t cute.
    BUT I didn’t know about the magic of coconut oil. I need to try this again!


  9. Tracey on July 20, 2012 at 9:24 am

    You are a genius, this is SUCH a fun idea!! I can’t wait to surprise my husband with these.


  10. Jenny F. on July 20, 2012 at 9:34 am

    I love your idea of eating it in a bowl with a spoon. Whenever I eat them, bits of the chocolate coating always fall off onto my shirt or lap, or worse yet…the floor! Lol


  11. Heather on July 20, 2012 at 10:21 am

    I always ate these in a bowl with a spoon too! Somehow I always ended up with chocolate on me despite the bowl. Guess I’m just a messy eater.


  12. Jennifer on July 20, 2012 at 10:21 am

    I love, love this!


  13. colleen @ Secrets fromthe Cookie Princess on July 20, 2012 at 10:43 am

    No. You. Didn’t. Seriously, I think I’m in love with you in the best possible way. Awesome memories thinking of Grandma’s deep freezer full of Klondikes waiting for grandkids to eat them! And to think I just opened a jar of coconut oil and wanted to know what else I could do with it! Problem solved–my husband will flip for homemade Klondikes!


  14. Jamie on July 20, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Mmmm… maybe mint chip ice cream with a semi-sweet coating. Oh, and don’t forget about putting rice krispies or toffee chips in the coating. Yum.


  15. Robyn on July 20, 2012 at 11:37 am

    ha! this reminded me of george eating his snickers with a knife and fork and saying condescendingly to his co-workers “how do you eat it…with your HANDS?” gold.


  16. Vicki @ WITK on July 20, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Mmm, I love Klondike bars! They were on sale the other week and I bought far too many packages. But just imagine the flavors available if you make your own ice cream and dip them!


  17. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts on July 20, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Amazing! Klondike bars are one of my favorites. We never had them has a kid, so they were new to me about 10 years ago. There is still plenty of summer left to try these!


  18. Martha in KS on July 20, 2012 at 11:59 am

    When I was a kid, I always got the chocolate-dipped cone whenever we went to Dairy Queen. I loved the crunchy coating. I’m wondering if this recipe would work for dipping Buckeye candies. I don’t buy shortening & always have trouble getting the chocolate coating the right consistency. Maybe coconut oil is the secret! Does the coating stay hard at room temp – or maybe I’d need to use less oil. Thanks for getting me thinking about chocolate. My low-carb eating plan is killing me!


    • Michelle on July 28th, 2012 at 3:57 pm

      Hi Martha, I have had some folks leave comments on my dipped recipes that coconut oil works as a great substitute for the vegetable shortening to thin chocolate for dipping. Depending on how thin your chocolate gets, you may need more than one coating.


  19. Jessica@AKitchenAddiction on July 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    I love Klondike bars! I love the “magic shell” coating with coconut oil!


  20. Riley on July 20, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    I would do just about anything to get my hands on one of those right now! Yum!


  21. krysten @ mrs. schwartz's kitchen on July 20, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    I just bought coconut oil yesterday at Trader Joe’s and I was trying to figure out what to make with it. I guess it was meant to be! Thanks for the idea!


  22. Judith on July 20, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Hi, Do You Have A Recipe For Waffle Ice Cones or waffle bowl.? Love your site and your recipes,Thanks ,Judith


    • Michelle on July 28th, 2012 at 3:56 pm

      Hi Judith, I don’t yet, but it’s definitely on my list!


      • Judith on August 5th, 2012 at 12:07 am

        Thanks Michelle, I’ve found several recipes for them……But for some reason they just don’t sound right to me…Judith


  23. Angelyn on July 20, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Wow, these look awesome! I love the chocolate shell.


  24. Lisa @ The Cooking Bride on July 20, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Oh my gosh, I think we had the same grandma! I am still to this day the only kid I knew whose parent’s didn’t let them drink Kool-Aid growing up.


  25. Annamaria @ on July 20, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    This is a great recipe! Now we don’t have to wait for Klondike to create a bar with our favorite ice cream recipes.


  26. Delishhh on July 20, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    OH My! I am so making this recipe! So many memories love these! Nice work!


  27. Jen M O on July 20, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    On a hot day like today, this is the perfect recipe!


  28. Rhyann on July 20, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Oh yum! These look fabulous. I can’t wait to try them!


  29. Lynna on July 20, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    Oh, how fun and cool! 🙂


  30. Cathy @ Noble Pig on July 21, 2012 at 10:35 am

    So simple and easy! I love it…my kids always want me to buy these!!


  31. mal on July 21, 2012 at 11:21 am

    wonder if the sugar free chocolate chips would work? thanks for sharing the recipe :-).


    • Michelle on July 28th, 2012 at 4:02 pm

      I’ve never heard of sugar-free chocolate chips! Do you mean unsweetened chocolate? If so, it would be much, much too bitter. If it’s some sort of sugar-free with a sugar substitute, then I think that would work.


  32. Nikki @Pennies on a Platter on July 21, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    GIRL! I love this idea! So glad I bought that coconut just made my day, seriously.


  33. Mike on July 22, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Where did you find that square cutter?


  34. kita on July 23, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    Holy fat kid happy! We had tons of junk food in my house growing up but I was never much on it. Now a Klondike bar – theres one thing I could never turn down.


  35. Javelin Warrior on July 27, 2012 at 12:15 am

    I always thought there must be some kind of crazy manufacturing technique to make klondike bars and thus never attempted to try making them at home. But these look fantastic and I love this! I’m featuring this post in today’s Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution). I hope you have no objections and I can’t wait to see what you create next…


  36. kelly on August 2, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    This have been added to my “must make” list! How perfect these could be for a birthday party, just add some sprinkles! thanks!


  37. alyssa on August 4, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    I love homemade icecream!! I just started a coconut honey churning in my machine. I will have to make these with some dark chocolate! I can’t wait!! The ideas really are endless. Id love to know how the salted carmel goes!!


  38. Tricia on May 9, 2013 at 9:25 am

    :/ I find it frustrating that no one in the comments actually had made this and posted a review.


    • Jennifer on April 5th, 2015 at 9:12 pm

      I made these and they were delicious! I used an Easter Bunny cookie cutter because I made them for Easter.


  39. Stephanie on June 30, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    These were amazing and incredibly fast in my Zoku popsicle maker. I used your vanilla ice cream recipe. then, I melted guittard chocolate chips at 80% power in the microwave for a minute and a half, in a short jar before mixing with coconut oil. The ice cream pops were frozen in 9 minutes. I dipped them in the jar of chocolate which made a fantastic shell (I always wondered how they made that!). OMG…like a Mounds ice cream bar! Absolutely delicious and soooo fast!

    Thanks for the terrific recipe! Our blueberry bushes are loaded with berries. I can’t wait to make that recipe next


  40. Amanda on November 18, 2013 at 1:19 am

    Oooooo, these look great! The only ice cream treats the hubby eats are Klondike Bars and I hate the idea of all the chemicals and processed junk in them (as tasty as they are). I do believe these may have to make an appearance on my blog (with a thanks and link to you, of course!) 🙂 We Alaskans do love our ice cream!


  41. irene on April 28, 2014 at 9:18 am

    such a good receipe, when i saw it i did not think twice i bought the ingredients and tried it. but my magic shell was a fail. how can i repair it? i cant finish it because of the shell. help please.


    • Michelle on April 29th, 2014 at 11:29 am

      Hi Irene, Can you explain how it is a fail? What happened?


      • Irene on April 29th, 2014 at 11:50 am

        it was not as hard as expected. more of a watery. i already add more chocolate cause i think i added too much water. then i again add coconut oil but still it did not became a magic shell.


        • Michelle on April 30th, 2014 at 11:03 am

          Hi Irene, The mixture should be watery when you dip the ice cream into it; it will harden as it sits.


  42. Katie on June 2, 2014 at 8:47 am

    Hi — I tried these and when I dipped the ice cream in the chocolate, the chocolate started to harden up. I could only get two bars coated before it made a huge mess. Any advice?


    • Michelle on June 3rd, 2014 at 2:15 pm

      Hi Katie, You could keep the chocolate warm over a double boiler to keep it from cooling off too much in between dips.


  43. Jennifer on April 5, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    You can also use cookie cutters to make different shapes


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