The Easiest Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe…Ever

Easy no churn chocolate ice cream

This dessert is the result of a happy accident. I’d been developing some recipes and after a couple furious days of recipe testing, I had a zillion containers of various odds and ends lying around. I mixed and matched things together, blended them all up, and stuck the mixture in the freezer. A bit later, I tentatively dug in my spoon in and tasted the most delicious batch of ice cream I’d churned up in a while. I had discovered something—the world’s easiest Chocolate Ice Cream…with no machine required!

Happily, I was able to figure out what I had done to share. And I also discovered that this all-new ice cream doesn’t require an ice cream maker at all. Yes, really. So if you don’t have a machine, fear not: it’s simply blended up, poured in a container, and left to chill on its own in the freezer. And after a few hours (no stirring required!), I dug my spoon into the most luscious, creamiest ice cream imaginable, again.


Chocolate and Banana Ice Cream
Four to six scoops

From Ready for Dessert (Ten Speed) by David Lebovitz

This is the world’s easiest ice cream. It takes literally a minute to put together—since it’s winter, I simply set the bowl of chocolate and milk on the radiator, and while I leisurely and lovingly take the time to peel the banana, the chocolate melts and is soon ready to use.

You can easily increase this recipe to make more than it calls for. It is important that you follow the recipe exactly and use the liquor, since that gives the ice cream it’s luscious, scoopable consistency. I haven’t tried it with any other liquor, but in place of the rum, you could use whiskey or bourbon. The banana gives the ice cream a smooth, creamy consistency and provides the sweetness, so use a nice, ripe one. I found that this keeps for weeks in the freezer and maintains its absolutely perfect consistency. Cheers!

  • 2 ounces (55 g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons (90 ml) milk, whole or low-fat
  • 6 tablespoons (90 ml) Baileys liquor
  • 1 medium-sized ripe banana, peeled*, and cut into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) dark rum

1. In a small bowl set over a pan of simmering water (or in the microwave), melt the chocolate with the milk.

2. Blend the melted chocolate, the Baileys, the banana, and rum until smooth.

3. Pour into a plastic or metal container, cover, and freeze for at least 8 hours.


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  • November 27, 2007 4:07am

    When you started talking about ice cream (it’s about 5°C here), I scoffed. When you mentioned no machine, I sat up. When I saw chocolate, bananas and BAILEYs…..I started licking the screen. Da provare!!!!

  • November 27, 2007 4:42am

    David – I am sure everyone here would like to see a video of you peeling a banana. Please consider.

  • November 27, 2007 5:02am

    David, my scale hates you. And so do I, for that matter. Up until now I’ve been resisting all the trials and temptations you have sent my way: I read you daily, I own your book. But somehow I’ve resisted buying an ice cream maker. And now you tell me I don’t even need it! Evil, evil person!

  • November 27, 2007 5:10am

    Just LOVE the instructions for peeling bananas – how did we ever manage without them?? ;)

    And as for the ice cream …

    Thanks for sharing, David

  • carolina (vienna, austria)
    November 27, 2007 5:13am

    Thanks god, someone that can really give accurate information on how to perform elaborate and refined cookings techniques. I have several banana recipes just waiting to be realized but never found a proper explanation how to manage that hermetic fruit. Mr. Lebovitz, you cook life saver!!

  • Barbara
    November 27, 2007 5:21am

    So many small towns in Italy stop serving gelato during the winter, much to my dismay. Now I can whip up a suitable substitute any time I want. thanks!

  • Judith in Yummmbria
    November 27, 2007 6:36am

    Holy giraffes! I can hardly believe it. I have everything on the list and all the equipment needed even here in benighted Italy!

    I am so grateful for the instruction for peeling the bananaanana. It’s been bothering me a lot lately, that and the fact they they turn gray instead of brown.

  • Joan
    November 27, 2007 7:06am

    I have a couple of pears at the limit of their useful lives… do you think they would work instead of bananas, which I don’t really like?

  • November 27, 2007 8:00am

    Hmmm from ice cream maker to banana moyel!
    Nice work as usual!


  • November 27, 2007 9:19am

    I dont know why ppl say they can’t eat ice cream in the winter. Its still warm and toasty in your house right? We eat it all year round!!

  • November 27, 2007 9:33am

    Thought ice cream season was over but this might just change my mind. Do you suppose the recipe would work (maintain creaminess, etc.) without the Bailey’s? Not sure how my child will react to it and I won’t be able to keep him away..

  • November 27, 2007 11:33am

    I normally don’t get excited about ice cream– I’ll eat it maybe once a year at most– but this does look good. And unlike most ice creams, it doesn’t seem terribly fattening or unhealthy, does it?

  • November 27, 2007 11:35am

    So that’s how you peel a banana? OMG, I HAD NO IDEA. They’ve just been so intimidating. You make it sound so EASY. THANK YOU DAVID.

  • Marta
    November 27, 2007 12:30pm

    The banana aside made me giggle. Thank you! And thank you for this terrific site. I found you through the Amateur Gourmet, and now read you daily. Cheers!

  • mb
    November 27, 2007 12:30pm

    Ooh! That sounds so good, I’m going to try it! Too bad I JUST made banana bread with the ripe bananas I had lying around and I ate the fourth one, lol! I don’t have a machine, so I’m going to LOVE this, and I LOVE ice-cream! Thanks! Love your blog. :)

  • November 27, 2007 12:32pm

    I vote for the banana peeling video too!:D

    And one more thing – I always have a problem with opening milk cartons. A little help, please? Please?

  • November 27, 2007 12:37pm

    Fantastic! Now I can get started on that pile of rotting black mush on my counter top now that I know how to peel them. Are they still peelable? I couldn’t find direction on how to work these mysterious packages in Joy of Cooking, Larousse anywhere! Thank you David… thank you.

  • November 27, 2007 12:38pm

    How fantastic. I don’t have an ice cream maker. I could do this.

  • November 27, 2007 3:05pm

    Joan: I think pears might make it too icy. If you try it, I’d cook down the puree pretty well to get rid of the water and add a bit of sugar. Good luck!

    Kayenne: Didn’t weight my banana—sorry!

    Evelin & Cenk: And apologies, you two…this blog is rated PG-13!

  • Connie
    November 27, 2007 3:35pm

    I see a Food Network special for you,
    David and the Banana

  • November 27, 2007 3:42pm

    Connie: Well, since they just 86’d Emeril, perhaps there’s an opening for it!

  • Autumn
    November 27, 2007 4:34pm

    Ooh, that looks great! Thanks for sharing the recipe — I know what I’m making for dinner tonight!

    About the banana: have you ever tried turning it upside down and peeling it from the bottom? A little fingernail action and it pops right open.

  • November 27, 2007 5:00pm

    Don’t you say these word again, David. I’m only underage for some 250 more days:D
    Didn’t see that coming, eh?

  • November 27, 2007 5:06pm

    This is a pretty cool accident. I like the ones of that type! The two banana slices make me think of two big ears. What animal, I am not yet sure!

  • Keely
    November 27, 2007 6:22pm

    :) Why you gotta be so crazy, David L?

  • Mila
    November 27, 2007 7:57pm

    I’m sharing this with every chocoholic I know. Plus my cat will be happy to hear she doesn’t have to help me roll that coffee can with the ice cream mix any longer :D

  • November 28, 2007 3:27am

    Wow! I have never seen a more elegant way of peeling bananas! Will try to do this some other time! :3

  • November 28, 2007 6:30am

    This reminds me of the chocolate covered bananas my mom made when we were kids in Hawaii. Love the combination with the Baileys. BTW, I peeled bananas with a knife and fork when I worked as maitre d’ in a fancy-schmancy restaurant; we called it French service and made Bananas Foster with the results. Oh those silly 70’s, if I had just had your instructions then!

  • dtmt
    November 28, 2007 7:56am

    i didn’t know that peeling bananas would be such a difficult task for you guys over at the other end of the globe! is it because it’s not eaten frequently where you guys are?

    over here i eat them all the time and they can be found at all wet markets and in supermarkets too, so it’s really convenient. wish you guys could try the great banana cakes, fritters and more!

    just grab the fruit along its length, twist it off the bunch and peel the skin down along the sides! then eat! :D

  • November 28, 2007 8:41am

    Ahhhhhhhh Chocolate!!! Can you fedex a scoop for me? Pleeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaasssssseeeeeee :-)

  • November 28, 2007 12:28pm

    David- thank you for the recipe it was devine! And the easiest ice cream I ever made!

  • November 28, 2007 1:48pm

    No ice cream machine! Yay!!! This sounds great – can’t wait to try it!

    PS — what happens if you use skim milk? Will it still work?

  • Andrea
    November 28, 2007 2:16pm

    Connie and David: I can’t decide if “David and the Banana” sounds like an episode of a children’s show or an adult movie.

  • November 28, 2007 2:28pm

    I made this last night but with a Chai Cream Liqueur I spotted at the liquor store last night. I snuck a taste this morning before work and it is DELICIOUS! I used skim milk though b/c that’s the only thing I had on hand and it’s a tiny bit icy. It tastes sort of like a mix between ice cream and sorbet. It’s delicious and like you promised, super easy to put together right before bed.

    Thanks David!

  • November 28, 2007 2:48pm

    ” no ice cream maker required”

    DAMN YOU ! that was my only reason not to have ice cream every day :)

  • November 28, 2007 6:28pm

    Sounds and looks delicioso –
    A question: Why is it that when you err, it turns out to be something fantastic and when I make a mistake it turns out that it’s thrown out? Is this where the years and years of experience come in to play?
    Thanks again for the recipe(s) – my wife and I have gained about 10 lbs each since we became devotees.

  • November 28, 2007 7:20pm

    I’m trying this tonight, using rompope instead of Baileys. I wonder if Kahlua (coffee liquor) would also work well. Yum!

  • November 28, 2007 11:38pm

    Even though the weather is getting cold here,
    But I still want your ice cream!

  • Aloha
    November 29, 2007 12:12am

    just found your blog and am thoroughly enjoying it. love your recipes, can’t wait to try them. belated birthday wishes!

  • dinner belle
    November 29, 2007 12:28am

    Love chocolate and banana together! My new fave is brownies with banana rum in the ganache and TJ’s chocolate-covered banana chips liberally sprinkled on top.

  • Gina
    November 29, 2007 12:23pm

    Oh, my goodness.

    I haven’t been able to try any ice cream without an ice cream maker, so I was terribly excited to see this.

    I also made it last night and it’s brilliant. Is there a reason you can’t substitute another tablespoon of the Bailey’s in place of the rum?

    Thank you!

  • November 29, 2007 12:28pm

    Hi Gina & Vida:

    I haven’t tried substituting other liquors in the recipe. If Bailey’s is 17% alcohol vs. rum at 40%, so there may be a textural difference, although perhaps just slight.

    And taste as well. Don’t know much about Kahlua but I’d be interested in hearing from anyone who varies the recipe and their results. It was so fun to come upon this one and share it!

  • November 29, 2007 3:34pm

    Oh, this chocolate ice cream does look divine…too bad it’s supposed to be -18 here in Western Canada this weekend…although is it ever really too cold for ice cream? I mean, a cake or cookies right out of the oven would warm this right up, no?

    Congrats on the ‘Amazon 10 Best’ list for your book – I bought it on Smitten Kitchen’s recommendation and absolutely adore it. I read it cover to cover before I even bought my KitchenAid attachment!

    I’m planning on making your Salted Butter Caramel ice cream for our Christmas dinner and I mentioned it on my blog, so please check it out if you have a moment!


  • November 30, 2007 12:38am

    No rompope at home, so I used anis liquor (38% alcohol) + rum. It turned out to be too alcoholic to be eaten as-it-is, but it makes a great grownup milkshake.
    I already have some more bananas ripening for the next round, and my shopping list of Kahlua, Baileys and rompope.. I’ll let you know the results over the weekend.

  • erica
    November 30, 2007 4:34am

    Seeing as we are talking about ice cream, does anybody know if Rival White Mountain ice cream maker is available as european model, and conforms with 240 voltage. (I can’t remember anymore, is it 240 here in europe?).

  • shonnie
    November 30, 2007 1:51pm

    hey David,

    The ppl at The International Association of Banana Peelers, Slicers and Blenders, should there ever be one, would be ever so proud of how you explained everything very well. hehehe.. I’m proud of you!

    Will give this a go. Got 2 bananas in my kitchen ripening as we speak! Never tried a banana chocolate ice cream before. Definitely a MUST TRY before 2008 creeps along.

  • priya
    December 1, 2007 5:21am

    oh this is delicious! and so easy! i just made it. i didn’t have baileys so i added kahlua and it is divine.
    my only issue is that this recipe is supposed to make four to six scoops of ice cream. i just got one large, decadent scoop!

  • December 1, 2007 5:24am

    Priya: The recipe calls for almost a full cup (250 ml) of liquid ingredients, plus the banana.

    That’s one giant scoop you must be using! : )

  • Andrea
    December 1, 2007 9:14pm

    Today I spotted and bought Caramel Bailey’s just for this recipe. Caramel Bailey’s-banana-chocolate has got to be even better. Will let you know how it turns out.

    DJ: It’s never too cold for ice cream.

  • DD
    December 5, 2007 10:30am

    I tried this recipe a few days ago and it was fabulous! I don’t even like banana and I made a special trip to the supermarket to buy one solitary banana just to try the recipe. My husband (who is a banana fan) liked it too. It’s so exciting that I can make ice cream without an ice cream maker.

  • Ayako
    December 10, 2007 9:04am

    The ice cream is in my freezer and is going to be ready at 19:00!

    I didn’t do a very good job of melting the chocolate though so I need to work on this basic technique. I haven’t done this in decades :/

  • Sarah Lynn
    December 11, 2007 6:35pm


    I am new to your blog, and I have to admit it is rocking my world! Thank you so much.

    My boyfriend and I picked up our shipment of Pasolivo olive oil this weekend. We live on the Central Coast of CA where they have amazing wine, and the most insanely delicious olive oil. Just last week they pressed their Olio Nuovo. It’s a cloudy, grassy, raw olive oil and it is decadent. The shipment came with a recommendation from a local chef to pour the olive oil over chocolate ice cream, and top it with cyprus black lava salt (a flaky black salt also sold at Pasolivo.) The resulting sundae was beautiful and addictive. The olive oil adds a creamy mouth-feel to the ice cream, and the salt adds crunchy texture. The sweet and salty flavor combination leaves you wanting more once the bottom of the bowl has been scraped.

    I’m making your ice cream and trying this combination tonight! I can’t wait!!

  • ageekymom
    December 14, 2007 8:14am

    I made this yesterday and it was wonderful! I plan on making it again for the adults for Christmas dinner. The kids will get easy Pots de Creme.. their loss! ;-)

  • December 16, 2007 12:42pm

    Wow, simply delicious! I’ve been thinking about this for nearly a month and had a chance to make it last night.

    On to the cake recipe now!

  • Zoe
    July 14, 2008 3:46pm

    Is there any way to replace the alcohol with something else, if you can’t have alcohol?

  • July 14, 2008 6:18pm

    Zoe: The alcohol is necessary to prevent the unchurned ice cream from freezing too hard. You could use another liquid, like sweetened coffee, although the results won’t be the same.

  • Alex
    July 15, 2008 12:42am

    Bonsoir David, and happy Bastille Day for yesterday!

    Just a quick question, because I’m dying to try this recipe out: What kind of rum do you recommend for it? Do you have a particular brand that’s your favourite?


  • Zoe
    July 16, 2008 10:14am

    Dang! (Can’t have coffee either — I’m Mormon.) Oh well — guess I will have to buy an ice cream maker after all. ;-)

    Thanks for the quick answer David.

  • human
    September 11, 2008 9:39am

    What’s with the scientific banana peeling guide? Are bananas that exotic in your place? Just rip the skin off and mush the flesh.

  • non
    October 29, 2008 3:46am

    does soy milk work in place of milk, or almond milk if i want to make this nondairy?

    I haven’t tried this with other kinds of milk, but soy milk would likely work. Bailey’s, which is an essential component of this ice cream (the alcohol keeps it from freezing too hard), does have dairy in it, however. You could try something like Kahlua or another liqueur. -dl

  • jane
    November 15, 2008 6:06am

    anyone tried this without the rum? can you taste the alcohol?

  • Glenn Heffernan
    November 23, 2008 11:46am

    Perfect timing! I volunteered to make the desserts for my sister-in-law’s Thanksgiving Dinner … then I know for sure there will be something my kids will like! LOL!

    The prospect of making 6 gallons of home-made ice cream and gelato in 3 days is a bit overwhelming if I have to wait for the ice cream machine tub to refreeze between batches. You have solved the dilemma! Thank you so much, David

    PS I’ll make the Cheesecake Chocolate Brownies, too. Thanks again Chef.

  • November 24, 2008 3:02am

    Dear Mr. David Lebovitz,

    As a card carrying member of the The International Association of Banana Peelers of San Francisco, I’m afraid you instructions for peeling bananas are completely wrong.

    The appropriate (but sadly little known method) for peeling bananas is to turn the banana “upside down” and hold it by it’s stem, while peeling it from what most people think is the “bottom” of the banana.

    The banana is actually a fruit that grows from the stem, and hence, the banana “bottom” as most people like to think of it, is actually the top of the banana. Once you start peeling the banana “upside down” or as nature designed it “right side up” you will discover not only is peeling bananas a pleasure, but you will never bruise the banana, or have to get a knife out. You will also find that once you start peeling it this way, you will get less of the banana strings.

    As a side note, this is also the way that chimps and apes peel their bananas.

    Your sincerely.
    member of the IABP-SF chapter.

  • January 6, 2009 5:22pm

    Lovely recipe but even better if instead of milk you use coconut cream.

    It’s lovely and thick and creamy this makes an excellent ice cream that every one will be able to eat and enjoy.

    Try it and see.

  • Nysha
    January 17, 2009 9:53pm

    Excellent ice cream and just the right amount for a 3-person dinner party. I poured the ice cream mix into to some Belgium chocolate dessert cups, which made them perfect finger food.

  • melissa
    March 30, 2009 1:21am

    i added bits of pretzels for some crunch. holy crow, it’s delish. thanks!

  • May 1, 2009 1:01am

    Gotta concur with upside down banana peeling people: there’s no “working back and forth” and getting out a knife if you just peel the banana from the bottom. Just give the black knob at the bottom of the banana a nice pinch, and it’ll pop right open. Pull the peel off, and you’re done. This is how cartoon bananas have always been peeled, haven’t you noticed? The stem is always in the middle of the peel, with peel tentacles coming off of it.

  • Bob Y
    June 29, 2009 10:22pm

    Touche! :)

  • Gabrielle
    July 26, 2009 1:29pm

    Haha, I was just going to comment about how peeling a banana from the bottom is easier, but I see others have already taken up the cause!

  • Elana
    August 13, 2009 3:10am

    I made this ice cream last night – with a few changes since I only have brandy and 2 types of gin in my alcohol collection :) I substituted the 6 tbsp of baileys and 1 tbsp rum with 4 tbsp of cream (whipping cream, but not whipped) and 3 tbsp of brandy.
    Delicious, rich, creamy, sweet and bitter all in one go! Thanks!

  • lili
    September 7, 2009 3:18am

    I made this ice cream yesterday, but instead of melted chunks of chocolate, I used spiced drinking Hot Chocolate cooked in 50% milk and 50% heavy cream until it became a thick chocolate sauce. I also added extra Baileys & rum. The result is AMAZING. Very creamy and rich. Thank you for this recipe!

  • Pavitra
    September 30, 2009 5:38am

    Hey David,

    Tried out this recipe. Just replaced Bailey with Kahlua. it was a soooper doooper hit. It stayed quite well for 3 days.

  • Dorinda
    February 6, 2010 9:13pm

    David, I made this by gently heating two cans of lite coconut milk, and several scoops of dark unsweetened cocoa until blended nicely. I then added about 1/2 cup Kahlua and froze overnight. It was PERFECT – and gives a pleasant little buzz, too.

  • July 29, 2010 5:37pm

    This worked so beautifully — absolutely thrilled to be able to whip up creamy ice cream without a machine! I added Vietnamese cinnamon for an extra kick. For better or for worse, it gets gobbled up really fast, so grab your bowlful first!

  • Anna
    August 6, 2010 10:18am

    I love chocolate, I love Bailey’s but I don’t like bananas… Can I also make it without the banana? Or will I have to use a substitute?
    Many thanks for your awesome website.
    Anna from the Netherlands

  • August 6, 2010 11:41am

    I’ve not tried it with any other fruit so don’t know if it’d work. But if you try it with another fruit, I’d use one that was starchy and sweet

  • Sephiria
    September 28, 2010 11:54am

    Hey, this recipe looks super tempting! Was just wondering if the bananas are supposed to be blended in or remain as chunks? thanks!

  • Grace X.
    November 7, 2010 1:51am

    Hey, I love your website and I’m elated to know I can still make ice cream without a machine. I don’t have any liquor or rum on hand, but I do have Bailey’s Irish Cream (44%). Do you think there’s any way I can still make this?

  • November 7, 2010 8:00am
    David Lebovitz

    I have not tried it with other liquors so can’t advise. If you want to try another alcohol, such as rum (which is twice as strong) please let me know the results. I would advise to keep the volume and percentage the same so perhaps use less rum but add more milk or cream to make up for the remaining Irish cream.

    For further information, check out Baking Ingredients and Substitutions.

  • Lauren
    November 21, 2010 11:26am

    David, I am going to make this ice cream for kids (and their parents). Will it knock them for six? What if I used Amarula instead of Bailey’s? Thanks and greetings from East Africa!

  • Flatkatsi
    December 11, 2010 6:08am

    I have an ice cream recipe that has egg yolks, cream, alcohol, sugar and a liquid of your choice in it. I’ve been making it for many years (about 30) and have never owned an ice cream maker. The right amount of alcohol lets the ice cream freeze without forming ice.

    I just finished making a butterscotch schnapps and orange ice cream (with orange juice as the liquid) and now I’m looking for other flavor ideas. Thank goodness I found your blog, David. I can finally use that exotic banana fruit I see in the shops :)

  • Madeline
    December 28, 2010 9:36am

    Wonderful recipe!

    Also, if you’ve never heard of the *superior* banana-peeling method, let me tell you: You start from the bottom. Way easier, and it never gets all squished and gross at one end from yanking the top around. Changed my world.

  • December 28, 2010 11:13am
    David Lebovitz

    Madeleine: I’ve actually tried that method of peeling a banana from the non-stem end. The problem is that that end of the banana has a lot of small, granule-like bits and when one rips the banana there, those get on your hands and on the banana pulp.