How to Make Magic Shell

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Overflowing mug of a milkshake topped with Vegan Chocolate Shell

Magic shell is such a simple, genius concept. It’s essentially chocolate melted with coconut oil and when it’s drizzled over something cold – like ice cream and milkshakes – it firms up into a hard, shell-like consistency – hence the name “magic shell.”

I’ve been using it to top frozen desserts for a while now and wanted to share my favorite technique. Find it below, along with a few ideas for how to use it!

Stirring a bowl of melted chocolate for our homemade magic shell recipe
Glass of our vegan mocha shake topped with a chocolate magic shell drizzle

How to Make Magic Shell

2-Ingredient Vegan Magic Shell! The perfect topper for ice cream, milkshakes, and more!
Author Minimalist Baker
Glass of a vegan milkshake topped with our recipe for How to Make Magic Shell
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes
Servings 12 (1-Tbsp servings)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 3-4 Days (reheat after refrigerating)


  • 3/4 cup vegan dark chocolate (finely chopped // I love Trader Joe’s 72% cacao Pound Plus Dark Chocolate Bars)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil


  • Add chopped chocolate and coconut oil to a small mixing bowl and microwave in 30-second increments until fully melted and creamy, stirring occasionally to aid in the melting process. If you don’t have or don’t use a microwave, melt over a double boiler on the stove top.
  • Now you have magic shell! To use, spoon over cold desserts, such as ice cream, Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Milkshakes, or frappuccinos!


*This recipe is not my original concept, but rather inspired by store-bought magic shell.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 12 servings)

Serving: 1 one-Tbsp servings Calories: 50 Carbohydrates: 4.5 g Protein: 0.6 g Fat: 3.4 g Saturated Fat: 2.5 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 6 mg Fiber: 0 g Sugar: 3.9 g

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  1. Nicola G says

    Wow, I came up with this exact “recipe” myself!
    Only I just took 2-3 squares of the 72% #+ (Pound Plus) bar, part of a spoonful of coconut oil, and heat it. I used to use a microwave, but haven’t replaced it since the old one started sparking. I tried to make a double-boiler out of a Pyrex bowl and my smallest saucepan, but it still sometimes splashed into the chocolate, so now I put it in the toaster oven on the lightest toast setting–which I don’t recommend, since none of my potholders quite work to get the hot custard bowl out.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I’d say the only way to sub the oil is to leave it out. The shell won’t harden as quickly, but it will get firm.

  2. Debra Sabah Press says

    Do you have to keep it cold? I am making little cat shaped “cupcakes” for my children’s birthday party. I want to ice them (i.e., with chocolate shells) and let the kids decorate. Will the shell last for a couple of hours outside the fridge?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      It depends on the temperature of the room. It will behave similarly to coconut oil. Hope that helps!

  3. Becky says

    Can you use chocolate chips or milk chocolate block, or does it need to be a dark chocolate block? I love store bought magic shell and would like to try this recipe – but I am not a fan of dark chocolate (much prefer milk chocolate or even semi sweet chocolate chips) Thanks !

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sabrina! To replace 28g of unsweetened chocolate, use 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder plus 1 tablespoon of vegan butter, shortening or oil. Dissolve the cocoa in the coconut oil. Hope this helps!

      • Vickie says

        So, you can use 1 tbls of vegan butter, like Earth Balance, shortening or oil with 3 Tbls of cocoa powder as a substitute for the solid chocolate? Do you just mix that together, then add it to the coconut oil? Does the oil/ margarine need to be melted first? I just want to make sure I get it right. Thanks!

      • Andy says

        I tried this method of cocoa powder and coconut oil but it resulted in a bloom on the cooled chocolate… any idea why?

  4. Mickael says

    Hello everyone,

    Thanks for this recipe..

    it’s really good! I was wondering: for commercial uses (big quantities, around 2 liters per day for each flavor), that’s a lot of coconut oil. Is there a way to add milk and reduce coconut oil in the recipe or will that change the whole texture? Will milk make it freeze/harden slowly?

  5. Ashley Ward says

    THIS IS AMAZING. Just made it and used it to top the tahini chocolate soft serve. I am in love….

  6. Lisa says

    Hi Dana! How would you store this after you make it? Do you keep it in the fridge and reheat or can it stay room temp. for a few days?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lisa! You can reheat it after storing in the fridge and will keep for several days!

  7. Brandee says

    This was very easy to make and I liked the consistency a lot. The only problem was that it tasted like coconut. Like very, very strongly of coconut. It was so overwhelming that it kind of overpowered the other flavors of the ice cream cake I used it on. Is there another ingredient that can be used instead of the coconut oil?

    • Cheryl Patterson says

      Brandee on Feb 22 2017 reply to You can use refine coconut oil does not taste like coconuts. The unrefined does taste like coconuts