Sugar-Free Premium Chocolate Ice Cream

chocolate ice cream1

Sugar-free chocolate ice cream.

This is the real deal.

I busted out my little Cuisinart and produced an ice cream worthy to share with you guys. With a little bit of inspiration from All Recipes (love this site!), we now have a viable alternative to storebought low carb ice cream that’s gluten-free and made with fresh ingredients. No sorbitol or maltitol, yuck.

The best part about this ice cream is that it’s scoopable right from the freezer. The secret ingredients that make this possible are the heavy cream (as opposed to using part milk or half and half) and the tiny bit of brandy that lowers the freezing point. Now you won’t have to wait around to dig into your healthy indulgence on a hot summer day!

Furthermore, this creamy custard ice cream doesn’t require any cooking time. Because the ice cream contains raw egg yolks, use only fresh organic eggs. I honestly use conventional storebought eggs every time I make desserts, and have never gotten sick, but you might want to take this precaution if you have a compromised immune system. Additionally, you can find pasteurized eggs in some supermarkets that have already been heat treated for safe culinary use.

If you haven’t tried using fresh vanilla beans in your cooking, you might want to give them a try. I ordered them off of ebay for a very reasonable price, and have been using them in low carb custards and pastries ever since. The aromatic floral nature of the tahitian beans and bean pods adds a layer of complexity and richness you can’t get from a bottle. Plus, the pod scrapings add those pretty dark flecks to the ice cream base. Order some today, and you won’t be disappointed.

Still working on a dairy-free ice cream. Stay tuned.

These photos reflect the heat in my sunny Florida kitchen. Hopefully my frustration with the shoot doesn’t come through… 🙂
Healthy Chocolate Ice Cream

Premium Sugar-Free Chocolate Ice Cream
This low carb, gluten-free treat is so rich and creamy you won’t miss the sugar!

Write a review


  1. 1/2 cup honey OR natural sugar-free sweetener* (see recommendations below)
  2. 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  3. 3 fresh egg yolks, beaten
  4. 2 2/3 cups organic heavy cream
  5. 1/8 teaspoon pure stevia extract
  6. 1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional)
  7. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract OR 2 vanilla beans, split
  8. 1 tablespoon brandy OR other spirits (to keep it soft and scoopable)
*To make this ice cream sugar-free, use one of the following sweeteners
  1. 1/2 cup Truvia OR 1/2 cup xylitol OR 1/2 + 2 Tablespoons cup erythritol
  1. Melt granulated sweetener in a saucepan over medium-low heat, and add vanilla bean scrapings and bean pods (if using). Let the sweetener melt into a liquid. Whisk in cocoa powder, 1/4 cup heavy cream, and vanilla bean pieces. Stir until sweetener dissolves, with no grainy chunks visible. Remove saucepan from heat. In a large bowl, beat yolks with electric mixer until light in color. Add the rest of the heavy cream a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add cocoa mixture into yolk mixture, and beat well. Whisk in stevia, xanthan gum and vanilla extract, if using. Taste, and add more stevia, if necessary. Chill ice cream base in refrigerator for a minimum of four hours, covered in plastic wrap.
  2. Turn on your ice cream maker and strain the base through a fine mesh sieve into your machine to remove the vanilla bean pieces. While the ice cream is freezing, make up the sugar-free chocolate chips. Freeze ice cream for a few hours to make it firm and scoopable.
Nutrition Facts
  1. ~1,378 calories, 17.4g net carbs per batch (no chocolate chips, using erythritol)
Healthy Indulgences

Sugar-Free Chocolate Ice Cream Chips

Makes enough chips for one batch of ice cream

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped (I like Ghirardelli)
1/4 cup xylitol OR 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon erythritol, powdered
1/8 teaspoon NuNaturals pure stevia extract
2 tablespoons coconut oil OR nonhydrogenated shortening

Powder sweetener finely in a coffee grinder. Melt chocolate and coconut oil in microwave for 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds. Stir again until smooth, and add xylitol and stevia. Fold mixture together with a spatula until a silky smooth consistency is reached. It may take you a minute to work the chocolate mixture around the bowl and smooth out all the chunks of xylitol. Scrape melted chocolate bit by bit into ice cream maker a few minutes before the ice cream stiffens completely. Alternatively, pour on to a sheet pan lined with foil. Freeze for 10 minutes, then peel chocolate slab off of foil. Chop into tiny chunks, working quickly before it melts. Fold chips into finished ice cream.

~12g net carbs for the whole batch of chips
What is your favorite kind of ice cream? Any good storebought sugar-free or dairy-free brands? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!

55 Comments on Sugar-Free Premium Chocolate Ice Cream

  1. Anonymous
    August 4, 2009 at 7:48 pm (13 years ago)

    I made a recipe similar to this last month, but using vodka as the alcohol, and it did not keep the ice cream soft – it was hard as a rock. My ice cream maker isn't that old, but previously I've only used it to make regular ice cream (it does fine with that), so my experience is limited – what else could be going wrong here? I'd appreciate any insight you might have.

  2. ~Oct
    August 4, 2009 at 7:55 pm (13 years ago)

    oh Lauren, you are just so amazing! I'd better see you have your own food network show one of these days. I'm serious!

  3. Maharishi
    August 4, 2009 at 8:05 pm (13 years ago)

    Thanks for posting this recipe, and all the others you've done before. The timing is fantastic as I just ordered an ice-cream maker, which should arrive any day now, and I also just found a source for raw unpastuerized cream and milk. I was wondering therefore whether cooking the milk and cream was neccessary, as that would pasteurize the dairy anyway. Now I know the answer, so thanks very much. I'll let you know how it turns out.
    Thanks, Darren.

  4. Anonymous
    August 4, 2009 at 8:18 pm (13 years ago)

    I <3 you. Thanks for posting this! Please, keep it up. I always look forward to the updates. 😀

  5. PRRR
    August 4, 2009 at 10:13 pm (13 years ago)

    I'm not as ambitious in the kitchen as you are Lauren! I usually end up buying things instead of making them.Since I don't do dairy I found ice cream made from Coconut Milk that is really yummy. There are several brands out there but my favorite so far is Nada Moo. Great taste,great name and it is the least expensive of all the Coconut ice creams I've seen. Your recipe sounds really good and will share it with those that can do dairy. Can hardly wait to see what you come up with next! 🙂

  6. Lauren
    August 5, 2009 at 2:56 pm (13 years ago)

    anon – It was probably the fat composition of the ice cream that made it freeze to a hard consistency. If it contains too much water, even the alcohol won't keep it soft. 🙂

    Oct – Thank you so much!

    Maharishi – I hope you get to try this recipe in your ice cream maker. Jealous that you found a source for raw milk and cream! Nope, you don't have to cook the base, so you can preserve all those good enzymes. 😉

    Anon – Thank you. I'll be posting more ice cream this summer.

    PRRR – I'll have to look for Nada Moo when I need a quick ice cream fix. Thank you for sharing that food find! Hopefully it'll help out some dairy-free readers. Have you tried the So Delicious coconut milk chocolate peanut butter? That's stuff pretty good, too!

    pigpig- Thank you for the award. I enjoy your blog as well. 🙂

  7. Anonymous
    August 5, 2009 at 4:17 pm (13 years ago)

    Thanks, Lauren, for the insight about the water content! If you don't mind my asking one more question – how can one tell what the water percentage is on the cream? I did use organic heavy cream, from Whole Foods, which I would ordinarily presume would be fine. Unless there's something I can discern from the nutrition information, it may not be possible to know before buying – am I right?

  8. Miakoda
    August 6, 2009 at 1:08 pm (13 years ago)

    Wow, when I saw the picture, I just sucked in my breath in disbelief. Amazingly creamy- that's how I love my ice cream. So alcohol lowers the freezing point? Nice! 🙂

  9. Anonymous
    August 7, 2009 at 4:02 pm (13 years ago)

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  10. Whitney W
    August 9, 2009 at 8:46 pm (13 years ago)

    Mmmm I remember when you made this ice cream for us-with Bacardi Gold. Was this the same recipe? Or was it the Dairy-Free one?

    PS: When you get on the Food Network I want to be your publicist, agent, or doctor-on-call. I miss our fun inventions in the kitchen. lol. miss you!!!

  11. Healthy Chocolate™
    August 10, 2009 at 3:54 am (13 years ago)

    Mmmmmmmmm…. Healthy chocolate ice cream! I am excited now and am going to try some!

  12. Chef Rachel
    August 11, 2009 at 1:07 am (13 years ago)

    Hi Lauren,

    I've made dozens and dozens of batches of non-dairy coconut milk ice cream for my book, The Ice Dream Cookbook: Dairy Free Ice Cream Alternatives with Gluten Free Cookies Compotes & sauces and for cooking classes and recipe tasting events since then.

    I think the recipe you posted would work well if you replace the cream with full fat coconout milk (readers don't use lite or it will ice up!). Look for a brand that provides at least 10 and preferably 12 grams of fat per 2 oz (1/4 cup). I recently found a brand in an Asian market that had a label that said 16 grams of fat per 1/3 cup. It didn't taste or look different so I'm not sure if it really was that high in fat.

    I like your idea of powdering the erythritol. I used it in a couple of recipes where it tasted gritty. I'll try your trick. Did you know there's a company that sells powdered erythritol that looks/works like powdered sugar? It's called Swerve!

    Once agin you did a knock our job w/recipe development, writing, and photography! I love what you're doing.

    Chef Rachel

  13. Chocoholics
    August 11, 2009 at 12:16 pm (13 years ago)

    Many feels that chocolate is not good for health. But some are good for health like, unsweetened chocolate, bitter-sweet chocolate, raw chocolate bar. One can add grinded cacao beans to smoothie preparations, sweet dishes, tea or beverages, yoghurts, granolas, ice-cream or sweet preparations. One can even make beverage by blending the powdered cacao with hot water or with milk substitutes like hemp milk, multigrain milk, or coconut milk. Also chocolate sauce can be made.

  14. Lauren
    August 13, 2009 at 5:05 am (13 years ago)

    Anon – I am not sure how you can tell the water percentage of the cream. I always use Horizon Organic cream, or Organic Valley cream, the two brands available in my area.

    Miakoda – It sure does! 😉

    Anon – 😀

    Whitney – Done. And you remember that dairy-free ice cream with the Bacardi, haha!

    Healthy Chocolate – Try it. 🙂

    Chef Rachel – Thank you so much! I have a couple batches of your ice cream in the freezer. Can't wait to get home from my trip and see how it worked out.

    Good to know the ice cream could work with coconut milk. Powdering the erythritol does seem to work well in many recipes. My coffee grinder seems to do the trick!

  15. Sweet_Tooth
    August 13, 2009 at 10:29 pm (13 years ago)

    For someone who has just embarked on a journey to live life without sugar this recipe is an absolute God-send!!
    Although I'm not sure I have quite the cooking expertise to do it on my own, I will be calling in a domestic-goddess friend of mine for reinforcements and give this thing a shot soon. Because I just KNOW in after about a week without sweets I'm gonna be screaming for chocolate ice cream and this recipe will be a secret weapon!

  16. Miakoda
    August 14, 2009 at 2:58 pm (13 years ago)

    I've never used stevia extract before though I've heard about it a lot. The ice cream looks creamy and delicious! 🙂

  17. Nancy LC
    August 16, 2009 at 4:48 pm (13 years ago)

    Hi Lauren! Just stopping buy to say Hello and I'm promoting your blog to a gluten free community. I'm always so blown away by your cooking talent!

    Nancy LC

  18. Hannah
    August 17, 2009 at 7:31 am (13 years ago)

    Hello Lauren! I really appreciate your recipes–they are awesome! I just bought erythritol and have never used it before. When you say to melt it, do you mean by itself or w/ some type of liquid? Also, I only have powdered stevia, and not extract. Would that work too? Thanks so much for your help!!

  19. Lauren
    August 18, 2009 at 2:38 pm (13 years ago)

    Sweet_Tooth – I do hope you get the chance to try the ice cream. 🙂 Good luck living sugar-free!

    Miakoda – Thanks!

    Nancy LC – Thank you so much. I've always respected your posts at Active Low Carber, so it's an honor to hear that from you.

    Hannah – The powdered stevia should be extract, if it's white. 🙂 Is it NuNaturals? You can melt the erythritol by itself in a saucepan–it will liquify.

  20. Stephanie
    September 19, 2009 at 12:32 am (13 years ago)

    I made the ice cream, and it too is hard as a rock…I used chocolate vodka…the consistency is also a bit weird too…when you say that you need to melt the sugar subsitute, do you mean in water? It just said to melt it in the pan…dry? I don't think this will work!!!

    enjoy all the recipes…they look great…

  21. Stephanie
    September 19, 2009 at 12:35 am (13 years ago)

    just saw your post to heat the eythritol dry…I used organic valley cream as well…

  22. Jesse
    September 20, 2009 at 6:55 pm (13 years ago)

    I just made this recipe last night and it was very yummy! I have gestational diabetes and it has been a pretty long, sugarless pregnancy, so finding your blog a couple weeks ago was a godsend! I tested my blood sugar two hours after eating the ice cream and did fine, which is reassuring.

    Anyway, thanks for a great recipe!

  23. clark
    May 3, 2010 at 1:16 pm (13 years ago)

    Nothing is better than chocolate flavored ice cream for dessert! Such a bonus that it's sugar free.

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    May 21, 2010 at 7:56 am (13 years ago)

    thanks for share your recipe, i like that.

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    August 5, 2010 at 7:20 pm (12 years ago)

    Wow, I was looking for great recipes and information on sugar-free desserts for my blog and these are fabulous. Great job. I can't wait to try some of these, especially this chocolate ice cream.

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  34. karen
    July 24, 2011 at 11:31 pm (11 years ago)

    Lauren, u'r recipe was our 'maiden' attempt in the new Cuisinart…smashing success! I even made the chocolate chip add-in's (and u'r right, they melt quickly , so had to work fast). The only differences were I didn't have any Stevia extract, so I omitted it, as well as the gum. Oh, and i used spiced rum for the alcohol. Hubby gave it a thumbs-up…and my daughter said, "Mom, this is banging"! lol Really enjoy u'r blog…keep up the great work! 🙂

  35. Karen
    August 28, 2011 at 3:26 am (11 years ago)

    I gotta say, this was the best ice cream recipe I have tried so far. I did a few changes. I just used liquid vanilla, and I used vodka instead of brandy. I never knew you could liquify the xylitol. This was the creamiest. You are an amazing cook. I don't do a lot of experimenting because I end up having to eat it all. Most of my low carb desserts send my family running the other way. lol

  36. Kalli
    April 15, 2012 at 8:00 pm (11 years ago)

    This recipe was wonderful! Do you have the nutritional info for it? I'd love to know the carbs, fat, protein, and calories per serving or for the whole batch.

  37. Lauren
    April 30, 2012 at 11:40 pm (11 years ago)

    Kalli – The post has been updated with the expanded nutritional information. Thank you for catching that!

  38. Nick G, Shepperton
    June 11, 2012 at 12:31 pm (10 years ago)

    OMG!!! As a newly diagnosed diabetic, and as the owner of a recently purchased ice cream maker, i cannot wait to try this.

    I have already tried making some Strawberry ice cream, but the texture was pants. Far too icy even though there was no water in it at all. And it stayed that way even when taken out of freezer and 'tempered' for half an hour or so.

    This on the other hand looks absolutely amazingwith the texture i'm looking for. I've order the Xylitol and Xanthan Gum off eBay, and this is hitting the churn at the weekend!

    Again, thanks for much for this.

    Nick G in the UK.

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  40. Pam
    February 7, 2013 at 5:37 am (10 years ago)

    Thank you for this recipe and explanation. I have been making low carb ice cream and the taste was great but I used all cream, no egg yolks. It got very hard after being in the freezer over night and the texture was…grainy, not creamy and clumps of fat coated my tongue. I did research elsewhere as well but followed your recipe and got perfect ice cream. Egg yolk help emulsify the fat in the cream. Vodka to make it more scoopable. And I decided to add some almond milk to prevent the grainyness. Perrrrrrrrfect! Thanks.

  41. Estelle
    March 26, 2013 at 7:58 pm (10 years ago)

    I love my ice cream maker and your recipe was absolutely lovely… 🙂 Had no graininess or any funny textures. The most creamy & chocolatty ice cream I’ve had in a long time. I didn’t know that erythritol could be melted 🙂 ?! Now I melt it before adding other ingredients when making chocolate and the texture is so much better!! THANK YOU for your recipe:-):-):-)

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    I am trying to watch carbs AND calories – at the current time. Wondered if there anything I could sub for the heavy cream? Half and half? Full fat Greek yogurt (plus extra sweetener)? Or blended cottage cheese? Other? Thank you! Enjoying reading through your blog the last few days!! Great ideas!

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