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Philadelphia-Style Chocolate Ice Cream (no-eggs)


When I was little, about 2nd grade, I lived in Philadelphia with my dad. As you may have gathered, from my various childhood food memories from Vermont, California, Connecticut and Massachusetts, we moved a lot. Our time in Philly was brief, but a memorable stop on our journey. My strongest recollection was the local ice cream parlor, just steps from my house. At the time I didn’t know what Philadelphia-Style ice cream was, nor would I have cared, all I knew was that it was cold, creamy and delicious. Fast forward almost 40 years and I am brought back to this memory by a request from one of you for chocolate ice cream. A couple of weeks ago I got a comment from a dad who wanted to make ice cream for his daughter’s birthday, chocolate with orange to be exact. I went hunting in the archives of Zoe Bakes and was stunned to find out that I have never done a post about this basic and essential dessert.

I’ve done several ice creams over the past years on this site, all of them using my favorite “French” custard base, which results in a rich, creamy, luscious ice cream. It requires making an egg custard and then adding flavors. But, this is by no means the only way to make fantastic ice creams. The eggless version is often referred to as Philadelphia-style, which is just cream, sugar and lots of flavor. The texture is a bit lighter, but no less delicious, and it is so simple to put together. I really wanted to tell you the history of this method, but it is a bit murky and I’d have to make up some mythical story to explain the name.  I’ll do more research and report back about the origins Philadelphia-style ice creams, unless one of you can enlighten me?

I’m a little late for the dad who wanted this recipe for his daughter’s birthday, but hopefully they will now make it together.

Philadelphia-Style Chocolate Ice Cream:

2 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/4 cup cocoa powder (Dutch-process or Natural)

3/4 cup sugar

Pinch salt

1 teaspoon orange zest (optional)

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 cup whole milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla

To make the ice cream:

In a non-reactive sauce pot, whisk together the cream, cocoa, sugar, and salt.

Mix until smooth and heat over medium heat until just simmering.

Add the chopped chocolate and whisk gently until completely smooth. Remove from heat.

Add the milk and whisk to combine.

Pour the chocolate mixture into a bowl (strain if you added the zest), cover with plastic and refrigerate until completely chilled, about 3 hours or overnight.

When the mixture is chilled it will be much thicker.


Freeze according to your Ice Cream Maker [3]‘s instructions.


More Ice Cream Recipes:

Honey-Rhubarb Ice Cream [5]

Roasted-Strawberry Ice Cream [6]

Ice Cream Sandwiches [7]

Ice Cream 101 – one base several flavors (banana and more) [8]



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