Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

There are few herbs which give the connotation of “fresh” like mint does.  A vibrant, bright, opening of the senses.  As most home gardeners will know, there is hardly only one kind of mint. For culinary use, it is easiest to break it down to two main types, spearmint and peppermint, then allow the derivatives flow from there.

Spearmint will be the most common mint directly eaten.  A bit more mellow, it imparts that beautifully fresh flavor without blowing open the sinuses with an overly bright impression.  Garden Peas or Roasted Carrots with Mint – spearmint.  Mint clustered in billowing piles served alongside Vietnamese cuisine – spearmint.  For those mojitos, grab the spearmint. For our garden, 75% of the mint we grow is spearmint. It gets used incessantly in our cooking, especially with Vietnamese dishes being our culinary staple.

Then there is peppermint.  Bright, full of life and freshness, but often overpowering when eaten straight. Think – mint chip ice cream or candy canes.  That is the flavor of peppermint.  It was with mint chip ice cream in mind which drove us to dedicate a plot to this sinus clearing bite of freshness.

In digging up a mint chocolate chip ice cream recipe, one doesn’t have to look any further than the cult-favorite ice cream bible, David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop.  Nearly any internet savvy ice cream churners will swoon praises of David’s scream and squeal inducer of a book.  This is nearly always the first and last book we grab for frozen delicacies and for our mint chocolate chip ice cream was as true as ever.

By combining his Fresh Mint Ice Cream recipe with the Stracciatella instructions, we had the perfect mint chip ice cream.  First infusing the peppermint into the milk and sugar until it was a beautiful “emerald” green.  Then after mixing, straining, chilling and churning everything together; melted chocolate is slowly drizzled in, instantly hardening then breaking up into perfect “chips.”  Our weed-like peppermint has no chance of overgrowing now.  This mint chocolate chip ice cream has become a household staple.


Mint Chip Ice Cream Recipe

Yield: 1 quart

Total Time: 5 hours

You can adjust the minty-ness of the ice cream by how much mint you use and how long you soak it. For a traditional mint chip ice cream flavor, make sure to use peppermint, not spearmint for the ice cream. Peppermint is a much brighter mint and will give the flavor most of us are accustomed to.


  • 1 cup (240ml) Milk
  • 3/4 cup (150g) Sugar
  • 2 cups (480ml) Heavy Cream
  • pinch of Kosher or Sea Salt
  • 2 cups (80g) lightly packed fresh Peppermint Leaves (or more if you like)
  • 5 lrg. Egg Yolks
  • 4 oz. (1/4 lb. or 113g) Dark Chocolate, finely chopped (do not use choc. chips)


  1. Combine the milk, sugar, heavy cream, and salt in a saucepan and gently warm until bathwater warm. Squeeze mint leaves in your hands to help release the oils a bit and add to warm milk mixture.  Stir until they are all settled into to the saucepan, remove pan from heat, cover, and set aside for 1-2 hours (depending on how minty you'd like the ice cream to be.)
  2. After soaking, give the mint leaves another squeeze to extract as much of the delicious minty-ness you can out of them, then discard the mint leaves.
  3. Prepare an ice bath to cool the ice cream custard you are about to make and set aside.
  4. Gently re-warm the minted milk/cream mixture, and in a separate medium sized bowl whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the mint mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan and return to the heat.
  5. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a medium bowl. Place the bowl in the ice bath and stir to combine and cool the mixture in the ice bath.
  6. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator until fully chilled.
  7. After mint ice cream mixture is fully chilled in the fridge, begin gently melting dark chocolate in a bain marie (a bowl over a saucepan with simmering water).
  8. Begin churning ice cream in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.  When the ice cream is nearly finished freezing in the ice cream maker, slowly drizzle the melted chocolate into the ice cream, trying to avoid pouring onto the paddle or dasher. If the chocolate clings to the paddle (dasher) stop the ice cream maker and use a spatula or spoon to break up any chunks.  Put mint chip ice cream in freezer to finish setting the ice cream if necessary.
Recipe Source:

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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.

P.S. We just noticed David posted about his Mint Chip Ice Cream recently.  He gives a beautiful rhapsody about ice cream and of course mint chip ice cream.  Make sure you check out the source of this recipe and see how the main man does it!


{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Miranda Merten

    I recently bought an ice cream maker (I know, what took me so long?) and I made a mint chip recipe but used extract because I was nervous about using the herbs…don’t ask me why, I don’t really know! It was good, but I definitely want to make this recipe as I loved his [David Lebovitz] salted butter caramel ice cream. Also, I was not able to get my chocolate easily shaved, and this is an awesome way to do it. Thanks for posting! It reminds me to go sift back through his book again!

  2. Naseer

    Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream has a special place in my heart. It’s been my favorite flavor since I was a little kid. Now if I can only get my wife to come around to it… Thanks for posting the recipe!

    Here’s Emily’s contribution on Green Thumb Geeks for “herbs, beans, and greens” week. There some great tips in this one about freezing pesto.

    Keep up the great work on SummerFest!

  3. Rachelino

    Not like anyone will see this buried deep in the comments, but I just wanted to encourage anyone with a spearmint varietal in their yard to use it to for this ice cream! You should use any backyard mint you have, and while some might find the spearmint a strange flavor, others (like me) might find the peppermint a little too harsh, and like the spearmint. After reading this I am beginning to think a mixture of the two mints might be nice, too.

  4. Cassidy

    These look wonderful! I love they way you served them!

  5. susan salzman

    I have photo envy! Simply gorgeous!

  6. Chocolate Freckles

    This ice cream looks awesome!! I just made ice cream last week! cherries and blueberries!! amazing!!

  7. caitlin

    I love this week’s ingredients. I am cooking up a storm with my garden gluts.

    One for my bunches of parsley and basil:

    And kale, does anyone else have masses of kale to harvest right now?

  8. Louise Mellor

    Lovely, so perfect for summer. Isn’t “Summer Fest” fun? – So many ideas. I did Fritto Misto beans with Roasted Garlic Parsley Aioli. I just recently found your site and as soon as work lightens up I’m going to be using all the tools you have for photography. Thanks… Chef Louise

  9. delicieux

    That’s it, I’m going to have to go out and buy an ice cream maker. This recipe looks fantastic and I LOVE mint chocolate chip ice cream.

    I love the picture too. Amazing!!

  10. Heather Siems

    WOW…love this picture! What a great feeling of summer with the bright colors (not to mention ice cream cones)…LOVE IT!!!!!

  11. Nicole

    Mint chip has always been one of my favorite ice cream flavors, but I’ve never tried making it from scratch. I think you’ve just convinced me to do it!

  12. Kate @ maître de moda

    Wow, these pictures are absolutely amazing!!!

    My contribution is not sweet, by spicy! Quinoa with Spice-Grilled Shrimp and Pistou:

  13. alana

    It’s early in the morning here, but now you’ve got me thinking about ice cream… how early is too early, really? Lovely images- I could almost eat them right off the screen…..

  14. Kathleen

    Great ice cream shot and recipe. I need another person with me to take ice cream pics here in HOT Florida. I am contributing another great dessert with mint for Summer Fest which turns everyday chocolate pudding into a fancy dinner dessert of Chocolate Mint Pudding.

  15. Purple Cook

    For Summer Fest:

    We are getting awesome green beans week after week in our CSA.
    Two fun things on my blog about Green Beans.
    Here is how they were featured at my recent Local Produce Party.

    And this was a great dish I took to a recent playdate at the lake. YUM!

  16. Fran

    I came home, dished up a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream for an after work treat and checked into my favorite blogs and there you were with my favorite ice cream flavor! It looks heavenly — better than the Breyer’s I was eating. I also love olive oil gelato. I make it a few times a year. It’s so subtle, you can’t tell what the secret ingredient is, but it’s great.

    I just love the shot of the chocolate, but I can’t figure out how you got it to slice without crumbling. 🙂

    I posted my first Summer Fest piece today and wow was it DEElicious! Green Curry Shrimp. Yum!

  17. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    From the time I was a little girl, mint chip ice cream has been my very favorite. Sometimes it’s more green (who needs the artificial food coloring?), but no matter the color, the flavor is what takes me right back to childhood. In a good way.

  18. Charles G Thompson

    Beautiful pictures; wonderful post. I LOVE mint ice cream and I have David’s book so I may be making this very soon. Happy summer!

  19. Deborah (The Food Psychologist)

    I can practically taste your picture and I can’t wait to try this recipe! Mint ice cream is one of my favorite ways to eat mint. I also love it lightly sauteed with sugar snap peas and chives. My contribution to Summerfest this week is how to preserve your herbs.


  20. Winnie

    I got my act together and wrote about one of my favorite herbs in honor of this week’s summer fest. It’s anise hyssop, and the post is found here:

  21. Lana

    We had mint growing all over in our back yard when we had a house. Now I have a pot of mint and a pot of spearmint on the patio, and they are flourishing in Southern California sunshine. I have to try spearmint for mojitos – so far I always used mint.
    Your photos make me regret giving our ice-cream maker to my brother in Serbia!
    My contribution for this week’s Summer Fest is a story and a recipe for a comforting Bean Stew.

  22. Jodi

    This looks ridiculously good and my FAVORITE flavor. I think I am going to have to try this out next week! Thank you.

    Here is my contribution:

  23. grace

    best ice cream flavor ever. that’s right, it’s even better than snickerdoodle. 🙂

  24. Jen

    This may be the ice cream post that causes me to break down and buy an ice cream maker… there’s nothing better than mint chocolate chip on a hot day.

  25. Kevin M

    Your photography keeps getting better and better.
    It is recognized and highly appreciated. You are doing amazing things.

  26. Aimee @ Simple Bites

    We’re chatting about preserving herbs over at Simple Bites! We’re trying to capitalize on summer’s abundant crop and store it for winter. In today’s post we cover when to pick herbs, drying and freezing.

    Don’t miss out on the comments section either where our very savvy readers swap tips. My favorite? A working girl who dried herbs on trays in her car as it sits in the sun all day. Brilliant!

  27. Kim

    At Flexitarian Foodie, we’re into beans and greens—together, or separately! Here are a few of our favorite related posts:

    Beans & Greens: The Soup

    Creamy Vegetable Lasagna

    Avocado and Black Bean Enchiladas (my favorite!!!)

  28. One Hungry Mama

    So, I’m a little shy to admit that I don’t usually like mint ice cream but, oh my, does yours look good! My hungry family (well the two bigger boys) like mint ice cream just fine. I might just have to make this for them!

    I’ve posted a Hungry Mama round up of mostly greens and one herb recipe here:

    Hungry Mama Summer Fest Greens recipes

    You’ll find Polenta Creamed Spinach, Hand-Held Spinach Pies (w/ a no-cook filling–so easy!), Chard & Mushroom Enchiladas, Kale Chips (really, though, my recipe has a kick that takes these up a notch!) and Tarragon Blackberry Grapefruit pops. Phew!


  29. alison

    These look amazing and great photo. My recipes this week is Green Beans withe Cilantro and Lime

  30. melissa

    Thanks for posting this! I’ve been looking for a recipe that featured fresh mint in the ice cream for weeks now! Can’t wait to try it!

  31. Nancy@acommunaltable

    Mint chocolate chip – one of my two favorite ice creams!! Wonderful photos and explanation of the difference between peppermint and spearmint. I did have a question. My mints tend to get a bit “woody” – do I need to be harvesting it more often ? ( As you can see, gardening is not my strong point!).
    For this week’s Summerfest 2010 theme I did a simple side dish of Green Beans with Tarragon Vinaigrette. Can’t wait to see what everyone else contributes!!!

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Nancy- yes, especially if it’s grown in full sun, hard sun all day long.
      You need to cut back the mint to always encourage new, tender growth. We cut ours back often during summer and give it plenty of water to get the nice tender sprigs all year long.

  32. Elizabeth

    I love this ice favourite flavour! But I absolutely adore the fact that you’ve used the stracciatella method, also a fave! I think I may be having an early morning ice cream break soon!

  33. Liam O'Malley

    I love mint ice cream and I love BASIL ice cream, too. If I have learned anything this summer, it is that I absolutely completely refuse to go one more year without a ice cream churner in my kitchen. I’ve waited too long already.

    Anyway, I’m also participating in summer fest this week – I did a compound butter with fresh garden herbs:

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Liam- wow, basil ice cream? that’s sound so interesting and wonderful

  34. Hilda

    It’s my favorite ice cream flavor ever and David’s recipe is awesome. I may have to come buy a bunch of peppermint off of you when we get to LA just to be able to make it (I’ve always had a hard time finding fresh peppermint to make this ice cream, though my hips are probably grateful).

  35. Melissa

    My son loves mint chip ice cream. We will be making this for sure.

    This week for Summer Fest at It’s The Way She… I baked up a batch of Lemon-Thyme Walnut Biscotti

  36. Kristina

    Love mint ice cream – in fact I love mint anything but I keep my plant corralled in a large bottomless pot in my garden. Even then, it still makes frequent escapes!

    Here’s my summerfest entry for this week:

  37. Cookin' Canuck

    First of all, beautiful photos. What did you use for the backdrop in the first photo? Is that a tablecloth or cheesecloth-like texture?

    Seconds, I love that this ice cream uses fresh mint rather than mint extract.

  38. Lan

    i, too, had to make this recipe this summer. what a luscious, decadent dessert.

    your photos are beautiful.

  39. The Blue-Eyed Bakers

    Oh gosh, now our diet is completely and totally doomed. Mint chocolate chip ice cream is our favorite…and with the drizzling of the chocolate and these mouth-watering pictures we just have to make and consume.

  40. marla {family fresh cooking}

    You guys have made such a beautiful Mint Chip Ice Cream….David’s book is drool worthy in very way! Thankfully The Perfect Scoop is in my cookbook collection as well. Thanks for clarifying the fine points of spearmint vs. peppermint with us.

    Here is my recipe for this weeks Summer Fest, I highlighted Basil:
    Grilled Cheese Bruschetta

  41. Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle

    Probably one of my all time favorite ice creams but I think I’ve only got spearmint growing in my garden and it doesn’t sound like it’s a good alternative?

    1. White on Rice Couple

      It won’t have as bright of a mint flavor but you may still love it. Phoo-D mentions it reminded her of spearmint gum (to her chagrin – not quite what she was anticipating.) Give it a shot and see what you think.

  42. Sarah

    My garden is abundant with beans and herbs this time of year! I’ve realized already that I need to plant more beans next year, if we’re going to fulfill my plan of eating them fresh, freezing and canning for winter AND drying for soup beans. This year? Ours have mostly been eaten green. . . . Here’s my favorite ways to eat the veggies from this week’s theme . . .

    Green Beans with Balsamic Tomatoes, Bacon & Basil

    Mojito Melon Salad featuring fresh mint, lime and honey

    Dilly Beans, perfect for stirring Bloody Mary’s!

    And, of course Pesto, which we eat on everything!

    and one of my family’s favorite use for pesto is as the base for a quick ranch dressing (I do have two little ones after all!)

    Thank you for hosting Summer Food Fest! I can’t wait to see the other contributions!


  43. Ranjani

    Wow, that looks so refreshing! I don’t know why I never thought of ice cream as a way to use all the mint we have.
    For Summer Fest this week, I made pasta with greens, beans, and garlic bread crumbs:

  44. Xiaolu

    I’m in awe of your beautiful photos, as usual. It’s “cooled down” to the 90s finally in DC, but still the perfect humid heat for a refreshing treat such as this.

  45. Lyndsey

    What a delicious sounding ice cream. That would be great for the hot, muggy Pittsburgh summer! If only I had an ice cream maker….mmm….

    Here’s a contribution I made for Summer Fest 2010 – Green Bean-Filled Double Corn Muffins with Herbed Yogurt Frosting:

  46. Christina

    This is my first SummerFest and I’m loving it. What a great idea! I made a peach ice cream a few weeks ago and the flavor was great, but the texture left something to be desired. Maybe I’ll have to try again with this recipe! I made an herb sauce to go with grilled chicken for my summerfest contribution; it has mint in it and I think it’s my favorite herb–it can be sweet or savory.

  47. TheKitchenWitch

    Holy cow, that’s a beautiful shot! Remember all of the ice cream questions/conundrums at Food and Light? Ice cream is such a dirty dog to photograph, but y’all make it look easy. Gorgeous. Minx #1 is a great lover of mint chip–I’ll have to break out this recipe for her this weekend.

  48. Phoo-D

    I made the mistake of churning a spearmint chocolate chip ice cream this winter. Hoo boy was that ever a strange flavor! Bubblegum in a bowl. I need to find some peppermint and try to redeem myself. Made right mint chocolate chip is one of my favorite ice cream flavors. I love how you shot the cones!

  49. Jennifer

    Is it crazy that at 6:54am I want to go make some ice cream. The freezer bowl is chilled and ready to go.
    Here’s a classic Genovese Basil Pesto for this week’s Summer Fest:

  50. Jessica @ How Sweet

    I desperately need an ice cream maker!

  51. Winnie

    I love that mint chocolate chip ice cream recipe! I blogged about it last summer, and think it’s time to make some more. Gorgeous photos- I absolutely love the first one of the ice cream cones!

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