How To: Homemade Ice Cream Cake Crunchies & Homemade Magic Shell Topping

It is totally possible that this is the most random Our Best Bites post ever. We often get requests for how to make those crunchy things that are inside Carvel and Dairy Queen and other ice cream cakes, so I used my awesome stalker research skills to find out how they’re made. I also had this little awesome tip on how to make your own chocolate shell at home. Suddenly, I had these two seemingly unrelated mini recipes that are so simple that it was kind of weird to post them on their own, but they were things I really wanted to share with y’all. And since they really are related, I combined them. I’m living on the edge here. With Oreos and Magic Shell.

Because those are the only two ingredients in the Crunchies.

Except that in all my stalking research, all the measurements were these vague ideas like, “Cut up some Oreos and pour enough Magic Shell over them so they’re moist but not soaked.” Um, huh? That does me no good. So I started playing around with proportions until it felt right. Except that I measured all along the way so I could give you guys measurements because I love you that much.

You know how those standard-sized packages of Oreos have 3 rows  in them? Place two of those rows in a food processor.

The rest of the Oreos left in the package will be sad that their friends are gone and when cookies are sad, they become devoid of calories. Just sayin’.

If you don’t have a food processor, you can place them in a heavy-duty Ziploc bag and then crush them with a rolling pin. Or take out all your aggression with a meat mallet. It works, I promise. Either way, you’ll want to crush them so they’re mostly crumbs, but it’s cool if there are a few chunks in there. And you’ll want 2 1/2 cups of crumbs.

Pour a 7.25-ounce bottle of Magic Shell over the cookie crumbs.

Mix it up well.

Spread it between layers in ice cream cakes (or similar desserts like these Mint-Chip Ice Cream Brownie Squares) or hand-mix them into softened ice cream, press them into ice cream bowls or ramekins before adding ice cream sundae toppings, or sprinkle them on top of your favorite frozen treats.

But alas, you say, I do not have/like/want to use Magic Shell. No worries. All you need is a little chocolate and some coconut oil.

There are a lot of cool things about coconut oil (and lots of great health benefits in spite of the fact that it’s high in saturated fat), and one of those things is that it’s solid at room temperature, so it’s good at helping melty things like chocolate stay firm at room temperature and hard and crunchy at lower temperatures.


Chop up some high-quality chocolate and combine them in a microwave-safe bowl with the coconut oil.

You can also use chocolate chips…I actually planned on using chocolate chips, but I couldn’t find them and assumed SOMEONE had snacked them away until I found them in an empty box of cereal a week later. My life is complicated.

Heat the chocolate and coconut oil in the microwave for 20 seconds at a time, stirring every 20 seconds, until the mixture is smooth. Drizzle it over ice cream…

or dip your favorite cold treats into the sauce. Or mix it with crushed Oreos to make your homemade Carvel Crunchies (and we come full circle…DUM DUM DUM!) Just don’t forget to lick the spoon because that is the very best part.

We’ve had a few questions about different flavors and colors of Homemade Magic Shell. It’s TOTALLY do-able, but be sure any flavors or colors you add don’t have any alcohol in them; otherwise, it will cause the chocolate to seize up and clump and that is not magical in any way. Wilton has some good basic flavors–you can look for them in a store like Hobby Lobby or Michael’s or buy them online here or here. Gel/paste food colorings (like Wilton or Americolor) are also alcohol-free, so if you want to use those to tint white chocolate, they should be fine.






  1. I have made this several times. I tried it with butterscotch chips and it worked great! I’ve also heard you can do it with peanut butter chips, but alas, my son is allergic, so we sadly will not be trying that one. Cinnamon chips would probably be really good–especially on something like your snickerdoodle ice cream!

  2. This looks really good! Where would I find coconut oil? I live in Salt Lake and haven’t seen it. Does it add flavor? Would shortening work as well if I can’t find it?

    1. You should be able to find it anywhere, just with the other baking ingredients/oils. If you’re in SLC, go check out Whole Foods (although I’m able to find it at Walmart in rural Louisiana, so I’m betting it’s in SLC, too! 🙂 )

      Shortening won’t get the chocolate as hard.

      1. I was just in Walmart yesterday and saw coconut oil in the baking aisle. It was the same brand in the pic so no need to hunt our a store.

  3. The crunchies in Carvel cakes are made from the cookies used in their Flying Saucer ice cream sandwiches. There is no other ingredient.

    1. Actually I worked at a Carvel for a couple of years and they taught us to make them with the cookie crumbs, as you mentioned, but stirring them well WITH a can of the chocolate coating we dipped soft serve ice cream in- just like the Magic Shell.

  4. Curious to know if you can keep the homemade magic shell in the cabinet just like Smuckers brand MagicShell or if it would have to be refrigerated to stay “good”. Any thoughts? Thank you times a MILLON for this recipe by the way. My husband will be a very happy guy tonight! 🙂

  5. This is great! I have tried to make ice cream cakes at home with just the oreos crushed up. Ah – haaaah. The magic shell! I’m thinking bottom of a spring form pan, top with ice cream. more cruhchies, more ice cream. some kind of frosting. just like the real thing. THANK YOU!

  6. LOL! I have to do the same thing with chocolate chips. I’ll buy a bunch of packages when they go on sale, but when I get the urge to bake cookies they’ll be gone due to husband pilfering if I just put them in the cupboard. So they’ll go inside an old oatmeal container, in the laundry closet, a drawer of my craft room, etc. Only I’ve tended to forget where I hide them… What we won’t do for Chocolate Chip Cookies.

  7. Maybe this is a stupid question but we are a small family and are sure to have leftovers…what would you store the extra chocolate magic shell in? I have s smucker’s bottle that is almost empty so maybe i’ll hold on to that 🙂 Any other recommendations? Peppermint is also one of my favorite flavors from Article Circle (would be a great idea for the holidays…i’m just saying) Do you think white chocolate, some peppermint flavoring and some red food coloring would still work? I’m sure you could so the same for cherry?

    1. You could use an empty bottle or just an air-tight container. 🙂

      As far as flavoring goes, you can definitely do that (colors, too), BUT. You need to make sure the flavorings and colors don’t have alcohol in them or they’ll make the chocolate seize up and clump.

      Try the Wilton alcohol-free flavors:

      And you can use their gel/paste colors, too; just keep in mind that they’re WAY more concentrated than regular food coloring.

      1. To make a flavored hard shell, such as cherry, do you use white chocolate instead of milk chocolate and add the cherry flavoring to it, or…? I’m sorry, but I’m a complete dunce at what is the correct thing to do.

        1. Laura B there is no right/wrong way. Milk chocolate and cherry would be as good, but more chocolatey than white chocolate with cherry. You’re not a dunce, I’m sure.

  8. Oh, this reminds me… Do you have a version for a cherry hard shell? My husband ADORES the hard shell from Dairy Queen, but I have never been able to find one in the stores to buy. You would make me an absolute hero!

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