This gooey, chocolaty German Chocolate Ice Cream recipe will knock your socks off. Layered with caramel, coconut, and walnuts, it’s the frozen cousin to the classic German Chocolate Cake.
Did you know that German Chocolate Cakes did not come from Germany, and actually have nothing to do with the country whatsoever? According to my research, an immigrant from England named Samuel German created a dark chocolate cooking bar that contained sugar, rather than just unsweetened chocolate. This chocolate became known as “German chocolate” and soon began to show up in various incarnations of chocolate cake. Somewhere along the way, people began adding the popular caramel/coconut/nut topping. Now this cake is a staple in the American cake library.
Since I like to take classic desserts and create ice cream inspired by them, I thought it was high time I created German Chocolate Ice Cream. And man, is it good.
First I made my Classic Chocolate Ice Cream. Then I mixed my Easiest Caramel Sauce Ever with shredded coconut and chopped walnuts. When I was transferring my ice cream to my freezer container, I just layered the caramel mixture in. Then before serving, I poured on a liberal amount of caramel and sprinkled coconut and walnuts on top.
Let me say a word about caramel sauce. If you make traditional caramel with sugar, butter, and cream, you will have problems because it will get hard in your ice cream. You don’t want this. Instead, you have three options:
- You can use a commercial caramel sauce that you buy from the store.
- You can make an altered sauce using half xylitol, half sugar. (Xylitol is a plant-based, zero-calorie sugar substitute that inhibits freezing. If you go this route, you need to make two separate batches–one with pure sugar and one with pure xylitol and then mix them together at the end. You can see examples and get specific instructions for this on my post, “Caramel Sauce for Ice Cream with a Secret Ingredient“).
- You can make my Easiest Caramel Sauce Ever. The best part? This stays soft and gooey in ice cream. It’s what you see me pouring over the top of the ice cream in the picture at the top of this post and dripping off the bowl in the picture just below.
If you are a German Chocolate Cake lover, then you MUST make this ice cream! Then try not to eat the whole batch at once. It does not get any better than this, folks!
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 8 ounces bitter-sweet or semi-sweet chocolate broken in pieces (slightly more than a cup of chocolate chips)
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup caramel sauce
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
In a blender or food processor, add the sugar and chocolate pieces and pulse to process until the chocolate is very finely chopped.
In the microwave or on the stove, heat the whole milk until just bubbling around the edges.
Add the hot milk to the chocolate and sugar in the blender and process until smooth.
Pour chocolate mixture into a medium-sized bowl and let cool completely.
Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla and chill for 30 minutes or longer.
Add to your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Mix together the caramel, coconut, and nuts.
When transferring your ice cream to your freezer container, layer the caramel/coconut/nut sauce in.
Freeze for several hours or overnight.