Rocky Road Ice Cream

68 Comments 4.8

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Jump to Recipe

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.

Save The Recipe

Want to save this recipe?

Enter your email and I’ll send this recipe right to your inbox! Plus, I’ll send you new recipes every week!

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.

Get New Recipessent to your inbox!
We never share your information with third parties and will protect it in accordance with our Privacy Policy.
ice cream bowls on wooden table with teal napkin

Rocky Road Ice Cream

4.78 from 22 votes
Homemade Rocky Road Ice Cream is creamy chocolate and almond-flavored ice cream loaded with chewy marshmallows, crunchy almonds, and flecks of chocolate.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Chill Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • 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


  • 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!


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

Filed under: , , ,

Share this Article


Related Posts

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.

Reader Interactions

68 Comments Leave a comment or review

    Rate & Comment


  1. Stella says

    Do I have to put it the the fridge for 6 hours or could I put it in the freezer for less time or until it’s cold?

  2. Jeanine says

    Rocky road ice cream is one of my favorite ice cream. It’s been hard trying to find rocky road or ice cream at my local grocery stores due to the pandemic. Seem like everyone was buying up all the ice creams. So, I decide to look for recipes for homemade ice cream and went and purchased me a ice cream maker. This was the first rocky road ice cream recipe I came across and this recipe is great. No more store brought ice cream for me 😊5 stars

  3. Courtney says

    I’m an American living in West Africa, so it’s nearly impossible to find high quality ice cream, let alone rocky road ice cream. I made this today, and it still needs to firm up a bit more in the freezer, but having already licked the spatula and tested a couple spoonfuls, I can say it is undoubtedly the BEST rocky road ice cream I’ve ever tasted! I did make a few tiny modifications: decreased the almond extract to 1/4 tsp (to make it more subtle), toasted the almonds (whole almonds chopped into large chunks), and used about 90 grams of a semisweet chocolate bar (because chocolate chips aren’t sold over here). Thank you SO much for this great recipe!!5 stars

  4. Margaret Dixon says

    Hi, I have a question for you. Do you need to heat the ingredients up first or can I just mix them well and add to churn bowl? This sounds amazing and I can’t wait to try it!! Thanks so much!!

    • Mary Younkin says

      For this recipe, you will need to heat them to make sure the chocolate combines smoothly. You can certainly try it without heating the mixture, but it may turn out a bit gritty.

    • Margaret Dixon says

      Ok, thanks for that info, now one more question…..does it matter if I use full fat milk or does 2 % work? I don’t want it to have ice crystals.

  5. Brad NOAH says

    My Son used to work for Blue Bell and he swears this Rocky Road ice cream is exactly like they make if not better!! Great recipe!! Thanks!!5 stars

  6. Stefany says

    Can you clarify how much 1 serving is in this case? 1 cup? 1/2 cup? I find that different recipes have different definitions a serving. Thanks!

    • Mary Younkin says

      Typically an ice cream serving is 1/2 – 2/3 cup. To determine the serving size with most recipes, you’ll divide the total amount into the number of servings listed.

  7. R Hughes says

    I’ve made this twice. Excellent recipe. First time I followed to a T using Dutch coca. Loved it. So made another batch. This time I used half Splenda half sugar. And added a combo of rum, vanilla & almond extracts. I think the rum gave it a really unique twist. Also using the Splenda didn’t alter the taste.
    Love love this recipe. Thank you so much!5 stars

  8. Jen says

    When made with plant based heavy cream and almond milk this was by far the best nondairy ice cream I’ve ever had, including store bought or made in a restaurant. It probably wasn’t your intention to make it work with plant based ingredients but it works so well with those substitutions! Thank you for the recipe.5 stars

  9. Sandy says

    Can you make chocolate mixture ahead and refrigerator 48 hrs in advance? And can you double recipe to make a gallon?

  10. Holly S says

    I am completely new to this ice cream making business!!! My blonde highlights are definitely shining through…when it says to pour chilled mixture into the mixer and then “freeze” according to manufacturer instructions and then the following step talks about churning…it the “freeze” referring to the “Freeze bowl” and the amount of time the manufacturer recommends for churning??? I am sorry, I feel dumb even asking this question! I know I am making it harder than it has to be!!!

  11. Greg says

    Thank you so much for your awesome rocky road recipe. Besides me being a life long rocky road fan, I’ve converted my 13 year old daughter to the deliciousness of it. Your recipe delivered ice cream shop quality rocky road. Thanks to you my daughter also thinks I’m pretty cool too. Which I’m not, I just followed your great recipe. Thank you!!!!5 stars

  12. Brian Gerrad Heuston says

    RockyRoad. You can take the high road, and I’ll take the rocky road, and I’ll be in heaven before thee5 stars

  13. Christine Shipley says

    This was absolutely fabulous! I used Wilbur cocoa powder, dark & dutch cocoas and it made the Rocky Road so rich & creamy. Easy to make and I could easily use the base recipe and add other extracts for different flavors, this is a keep for sure! Thanks for posting it.5 stars

    • Christine Shipley says

      Note: I would reduce the almond extract to 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon next time (or none at all if you prefer no almond flavor) as it doesn’t need a whole teaspoon w/the chopped almonds

  14. Holly says

    In the directions, it says to add milk, but milk is not listed in the ingredients list. So I’m confused.

    • Mary Younkin says

      Hi, Holly! I’m not sure how you found the directions but not the instructions; milk is listed in the ingredients in both the overview of the recipe and the recipe card. You’ll need 1 cup of milk for a standard batch.

  15. Emily says

    This recipe is straightforward and very easy to make, but I felt like the almond flavor was overwhelming. It was hard to taste anything else with such strong almond flavoring. If I make it again, I’ll omit the almond extract and use chopped almonds instead of sliced. Even though it wasn’t our favorite, it was still good enough that we didn’t let any go to waste!3 stars