This creamy and delicious homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream is made with just a handful of ingredients and is better than anything you could buy at the store. Made with a custard base and flavored with vanilla and mint extract, and dark chocolate, it’s wonderfully refreshing and tastes like an Andes mint!
When out grocery shopping with the boys a year or two ago, I stopped in the ice cream aisle to pick up another container of vanilla and chocolate when one of them pointed to the mint chocolate chip and asked what it was. When I told them, they asked if we could get it. I said sure and put it in the cart. Lo and behold, mint chocolate chip has become their very favorite ice cream flavor, and who’s to blame them?
I certainly can’t turn down anything that tastes like an Andes mint, especially if it’s homemade!
Ingredients in Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
This ice cream is made with a traditional custard base using heavy cream, whole milk, and egg yolks.
It’s sweetened with sugar and flavored with mint extract and vanilla extract, then studded with chocolate chips – I prefer dark or semisweet, but you could use milk, too – whatever type you prefer. You can also omit them if you prefer to make mint ice cream without the chocolate chips.
A few drops of green food coloring gives the ice cream its traditional light green hue!
What Kind of Mint To Use
Plain mint extract uses spearmint, which is much milder than peppermint. Peppermint extract contains significantly more menthol, which gives it a more intense flavor.
For this reason, mint chocolate chip ice cream is traditionally made with plain mint extract. If you do opt for peppermint extract, you will get a stronger punch of mint flavor. Think peppermint candy canes versus Thin Mints. As a result, you may want to use a little less.
How to Make Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream From Scratch
No need to be intimidated by making homemade custard from scratch, just a few easy steps, and you’ll be well on your way to the best ice cream of your life!
Warm the heavy cream, milk, sugar, and salt until the sugar dissolves.
Place 1 cup of heavy cream in a clean bowl. Set a fine-mesh sieve over top of the bowl.
Whisk together the egg yolks.
Pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking together, then scrape the mixture back into the saucepan.
Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and reaches 170 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.
Strain the custard through the fine-mesh sieve and stir into the cold cream.
Add the vanilla and mint extracts and green food coloring, stir to combine, then cool over an ice bath.
Chill overnight in the refrigerator.
Churn the ice cream, adding the chocolate chips towards the end.
Choosing an ice cream maker
If you don’t have an ice cream maker yet, I have a few recommendations for you!
Breville Smart Scoop Ice Cream Compressor – Much more expensive than the previous two options, but it doesn’t require a separate bowl that needs to be frozen between batches, so you can make quart after quart without missing a beat.
What if you don’t have (and don’t want to buy) an ice cream maker?
Just like most ice cream, the sky is the limit when it comes to deciding how to garnish! While this is absolutely wonderful served as-is, if you’re looking to jazz things up or want to offer some options to guests, here are some ideas to get the wheels turning:
Warm 1 cup of the heavy cream, whole milk, granulated sugar and pinch of salt in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves.
Pour the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula (if using a thermometer, it should be right around 170 degrees F). Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Add the vanilla and mint extracts and the food coloring (if using), and stir until cool over an ice bath.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator (preferably overnight). Churn according to your ice cream maker's directions, adding the chocolate chips during the last 5 minutes of churning. Store in the freezer and eat within 2 weeks for freshest and best-tasting ice cream.
Chocolate: Any type of chocolate will work in this recipe - dark, semisweet, or milk. You can also omit the chocolate if you like.
Mint Extract: If you choose to use peppermint extract instead of plain mint extract, I recommend cutting the amount in half.
Ice Cream Makers: Please see information in post above regarding ice cream makers.
Storage Tips: Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the ice cream, store in a loaf pan or shallow, flat container, and keep in the back of the freezer.