Rocky Road Ice Cream

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Homemade Rocky Road Ice Cream is creamy chocolate and almond-flavored ice cream loaded with chewy marshmallows, crunchy almonds, and flecks of chocolate.

chocolate ice cream with almonds and marshmallows in little white bowls with spoons

Homemade Rocky Road Ice Cream

Did you know that Rocky Road was one of the first ice cream flavors that mixed in additional ingredients? I’m so glad that became a thing because I am hooked on fully loaded ice creams.

Rocky Road has been one of my top 5 favorite ice cream flavors ever since I was a kid. Although, that may not be saying much because I also adored gumball ice cream and the very thought of it now makes me cringe.

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In all seriousness though, who doesn’t love an ice cream loaded with marshmallows? I can take or leave marshmallows in many other recipes, but in creamy chocolate? They are chewy sweet perfection.

If you’re a fan of rocky road flavors, you’ll want to try Rocky Road Fudge and Rocky Road Chocolate Bark too!

close up shot of chocolate ice cream in bowl with teal napkin

Ice cream is the perfect way to celebrate the approaching warmer days of summer. (In direct contrast to the fact that when we lived in the desert, the end of summer was the more exciting reason to celebrate.) Regardless, do we even need an excuse to bring out the ice cream maker and churn something new?

The most popular question I get is whether it’s possible to make ice cream without a machine. The answer is YES. You can make ice cream without a machine. Find the full directions here!

If you’re new to homemade ice cream and all of the deliciousness that awaits you, I recommend starting with The Best and Easiest Ice Cream recipe. It’s perfect both for ice cream makers and for making ice cream without a machine.

ice cream bowls on wooden table with teal napkin

What is in Rocky Road Ice Cream?

Are you an ice cream nerd like me? Want a fun story? Rocky road ice cream was created almost a hundred years ago when William Dreyer, of Dreyer’s ice cream (aka Edy’s if you’re east of the Rocky Mountains), used a pair of scissors and cut up marshmallows and walnuts and added them to a bowl of chocolate ice cream.

As the story goes, he liked it so much, it became a flavor for his ice cream brand. Eventually, the flavor was named Rocky Road, shortly after the Wall Street Crash of 1929, “to give folks something to smile about in the midst of the Great Depression.”

Wondering what happened to the walnuts? They were replaced with almonds shortly after the flavor was officially named. I’ve made this with both walnuts and almonds and the almonds win out for me personally, as well.

While there is some dispute about the origins, (isn’t there with just about everything?) this is the story I’ve heard most often and it still makes me smile.

chocolate ice cream with sliced almonds and marshmallows in pan on checkered towel

Rocky Road Ice Cream Ingredients

You’ll need the following ingredients to make this recipe:

  • sugar
  • unsweetened cocoa powder
  • salt
  • heavy cream
  • milk
  • vanilla extract
  • almond extract
  • semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • sliced almonds
  • miniature marshmallows
freshly churned ice cream in pan ready for the freezer

Rocky Road Ice Cream Recipe

  1. Whisk together the sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the cream and milk, stir, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat while stirring frequently. Lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate chips, vanilla, and almond extract. Stir to dissolve the chocolate. Let cool and then refrigerate for at least 6 hours, until cold.
  3. Pour the chilled mixture into your ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. When it has finished churning, transfer it to an airtight container, add the marshmallows and almonds, and stir to combine. Cover and freeze until ready to serve. 
homemade ice cream in metal pan with scoop

Homemade Rocky Road Ice Cream

This recipe for rocky road can be made with regular, dutch-processed, or extra dark cocoa powder. Feel free to use semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips.

I make this ice cream with a blend of whatever chocolates I have on hand at the time or whatever I happen to be craving. I’m a big fan of extra dark chocolate, so the dark cocoa powder with dark chocolate chips combination makes me grin.

My kids prefer the semi-sweet and more traditional rocky road flavor. We all agree though that the almond extract here makes it extra special. (And whenever we buy a carton of rocky road now, it feels like it is missing something!)

Rocky Road Ice Cream

And as you likely already know, I could never have enough ice cream in my life. For more fully-loaded ice cream recipes, check out our current favorites:

This is not your average Cookies and Cream Ice Cream, this isn’t Oreo dust or a few crumbles of cookies, this is nearly an entire package of chocolate sandwich cookies stuffed into a batch of ice cream. If you love Oreos, you are certain to love this one.

Sweet chunks of edible cookie dough fill each scoop of this rich and creamy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream. Is there anything more irresistible than a spoonful of cookie dough? I know that I can never resist it.

Rich chocolate and peanut butter ice cream with chocolate and peanut butter chunks mixed throughout is a dream come true for any ice cream lover. The candy pieces are just the right amount of dark chocolate and peanut butter to mix into the ice cream.

Swirled with chunks of peanut butter and loaded with cookies, Monster Cookie Ice Cream is a perfect balance of salty-sweet. It will leave you craving just one more bite every time you make it.

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ice cream bowls on wooden table with teal napkin

Rocky Road Ice Cream

4.75 from 20 votes
Homemade Rocky Road Ice Cream is creamy chocolate and almond-flavored ice cream loaded with chewy marshmallows, crunchy almonds, and flecks of chocolate.
Pin Print Review
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Chill Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients 

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows

Instructions

  • Whisk together the sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium-size saucepan. Add the cream and milk, stir, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat while stirring frequently. Lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and add the chocolate chips, vanilla, and almond extract. Stir to dissolve the chocolate. Let cool and then refrigerate for at least 6 hours, until cold.
  • Pour the chilled mixture into your ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • When it has finished churning, transfer to a freezer-safe airtight container, add the marshmallows and almonds and stir to combine. Cover and freeze until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 509kcal · Carbohydrates: 49g · Protein: 7g · Fat: 34g · Saturated Fat: 19g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g · Monounsaturated Fat: 11g · Trans Fat: 1g · Cholesterol: 73mg · Sodium: 90mg · Potassium: 380mg · Fiber: 5g · Sugar: 40g · Vitamin A: 948IU · Vitamin C: 1mg · Calcium: 133mg · Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

{originally published 8/20/15 – recipe notes and photos updated 4/28/23}

Rocky Road Ice Cream is easy to make at home!
close up photo of rocky road ice cream in white bowl

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Mark says

    Can I churn the ice cream WITH the marshmallows and almonds added?

    Or is there a specific reason to stir them in AFTER churning?5 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      If they’re added too early, the ice cream will not churn smoothly. Some machines will not handle that at all. You want the mixture to be soft serve consistency before they are added, Mark.