Rocky Road Ice Cream

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This Rocky Road Ice Cream is a rich, smooth chocolatey bowl of deliciousness blended with fluffy mini-marshmallows and chopped roasted almonds.

several scoops of Rocky Road Ice Cream in a white dish

It is said that the combination of rich chocolate ice cream, marshmallows and nuts was first invented in the late 1920’s then named Rocky Road during the Great Depression.  There have been many variations over the last 80+ years, some with chocolate chunks, others with walnuts.  However the most popular combination by far seems to include the basics: almonds and marshmallows mixed in chocolate ice cream.
The amount of marshmallows and almonds varies greatly from brand to brand, but when making homemade you can adjust those add-ins to suit your taste.

several scoops of Rocky Road Ice Cream in a white and blue/red striped dish stacked on top of more dishes. spoons, marshmallows and almonds on side

Personally I can’t even think about Rocky Road Ice Cream without remembering a scene from the iconic 1985 movie “The Goonies.”  One of the characters named ‘Sloth’ offers Rocky Road Ice Cream to a young boy named ‘Chunk.’  The two bond over their love of ice cream and go on to save the day!

If you haven’t seen this fun, adventurous movie directed by Steven Spielberg, go rent it today!

several scoops of Rocky Road Ice Cream in a white dish with spoons on the side

My husband, and chief culinary consultant, declared this the best ice cream he’s ever had.  I was certainly surprised to hear that, especially since he’s not a “chocolate lover” like me.  His favorite way to enjoy a bowl of our Rocky Road Ice Cream is with a crumbled up cone mixed in.  Over the top fantastic indeed!

Pull out your ice cream maker, get that insert in the freezer, and make a batch of this custard.  Process it in your ice cream maker, and you’ll have something to enjoy in this warm weather!

pinterest collage image for rocky road ice cream

Here are a few more ice cream recipes you might enjoy:

overhead shot of several scoops of rocky road ice cream in a white bowl. marshmallow and almonds scattered in front
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5 from 1 vote

Rocky Road Ice Cream

This Rocky Road Ice Cream is a rich, smooth chocolatey bowl of deliciousness blended with fluffy mini-marshmallows and chopped roasted almonds.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 servings (1/2 cup)
Calories 384kcal
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Ice Cream, rocky road


  • cups heavy whipping cream
  • cups whole milk
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar, divided
  • dash of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ to 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • cups coarsely chopped whole roasted almonds


  • Place a large bowl in your sink and fill it about half full with ice. Place a slightly smaller stainless-steel or glass bowl inside the bowl with the ice bath. Add the heavy cream to the inside bowl. Set a fine mesh strainer on top of the bowl.
  • In a medium saucepan whisk together the milk, 3/4 cup of the sugar, a dash of salt and the cocoa powder. Heat on medium until the mixture reaches 185 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Once you reach 185 degrees, continue to cook the mixture for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, but do not boil.
  • Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate. Stir until all the chocolate has melted. Set aside.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar until slightly thick and foamy. Temper the eggs by drizzling a small amount of the hot chocolate mixture to the eggs, while whisking constantly. Continue whisking and adding more hot chocolate mixture to the eggs until all is combined. Return the chocolate and egg custard to the saucepan.
  • Place the mixture on the stove top over medium heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir the custard constantly until it again reaches 185 degrees on the instant-read thermometer (or when it coats the back of the wooden spoon). Do not allow the mixture to boil.
  • Remove from the heat and pour the hot chocolate custard through the fine mesh strainer/sieve into the bowl with the cold heavy cream. Add the vanilla extract and stir until completely blended.
  • Cool the mixture by stirring every 5 minutes or so while over the ice bath. After about 30 minutes, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for at least 8 hours.
  • Process according to your ice cream maker instructions. Once processed, spoon about 1/4 of the chocolate ice cream into a storage container and sprinkle with 1/3 of the nuts and marshmallows. Repeat two more times by layering the ice cream, then the nuts and marshmallows, ending with the last of the ice cream. Freeze in a sealed container until ready to serve.


  • You will need an ice cream maker, a fine mesh sieve/strainer, and an instant-read thermometer to make this ice cream.


Serving: 1serving- 1/2 cup | Calories: 384kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 33mg | Potassium: 261mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 575IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 1.5mg
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Tricia Buice

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  • Steve Douglas wrote:

    I think that the reason for adding the nuts and marshmallows outside the churn is simply volume- while it seems to me that this base could be improved slightly, it should have a good overrun and will probably reach near capacity in your average 1- 1 1/2 qt churn, and that’s a lot of add ins.

  • Barb wrote:

    I made this for a back to school dinner at our house. My husband said it was the best ice cream he’s ever had and he was against me making chocolate. It’s never his first choice. It was creamy and wonderful. I made it just like the recipe except I added a tsp of chocolate liqueur, because I had it on hand. Could substitute a tsp of cold coffee. I also used roasted, slightly salted almonds that chopped with a knife into smaller pieces.

  • Lori wrote:

    Absolutely loved this recipe. It converted me to rocky road ice cream fan. I didn’t even know I liked this flavor of ice cream because I’ve never had any that was this good. My boyfriend’s favorite ice cream is rocky road, which is why I was inspired to make this. He said it’s the best rocky road ice cream he’s ever had.

    The only thing I wasn’t so happy with was the texture. I’d like to try making it again and see if I can get it to be fluffier. It seemed rather flat and dense. I wonder if refrigerating the nuts and marshmallows next time, so they’ll be cold instead of room temperature when adding them to the ice cream, would help. Also, maybe mixing in some of the nuts and marshmallows in with the ice cream at the end of its churning time would help make everything colder. I feel like the temperature of the mix-ins warmed up the ice cream too much. (shrug)

    The hardest thing about making this or any ice cream is getting the ice cream out of the freezer bowl and into a storage container quickly before it freezes to the inside of the ice cream bowl and becomes hard to scrape off. The process of layering the mix-ins slowed this down. So maybe mixing them in while it’s still in the canister would help. I’ll try it and report back. Again, thanks for the great recipe! Scored me big points with the boyfriend! 😀

  • Ushmana P . rai wrote:

    I have a sweet tooth for anything involving chocolate.Chocolate ice cream, marshmallows and nuts are a match made in heaven!
    I must say I really appreciate you sharing the recipe. Absolutely will try making a batch of my own
    Thank you for sharing! xoxo

  • Lola wrote:

    Great recipe. Can’t wait to try it.  Is there a reason the marshmallows and nuts aren’t mixed right into the ice cream maker?  Seems like it would be easier and the ingredients would be more evenly distributed.