Matt’s birthday dessert – including the infamous hardshell Choc-Top

I’m about to introduce you to Choc-Top. It’s like the Magic Shell you used to get as a kid (or last year in our case – same thing really) and put on your ice cream, after which you would whack it with your spoon to see if you could shatter it. I think it was one of the best ice cream toppings. Ever. And I even learned to recreate it just before giving up dairy (for the most part, of course). I was afraid my efforts were wasted since I really don’t love most vegan ice cream substitutes. And it hurts to spend $6.99 on something you don’t really love.

That is until last month when faced with Matt’s birthday and his request for something cold and frozen for his birthday cake. Really? Isn’t it bad enough that his birthday is always right before Father’s Day? And I’d already failed in the present department – read: I bought him a belt, a boring brown belt. So, his cake was important. And you can’t just call up Cold Stone and get a vegan ice cream cake. Jerks.

So somehow, while perusing Sunflower with two of my screaming children, the inspiration came. Or maybe I was just looking for an excuse to buy a treat and I grabbed some Newman-Os. Okay, I get it. They may be vegan but soo not healthy, but since I was failing in present-land, I needed to succeed in treat-land.

And I was shopping hungry again. Fortunately, the soy ice cream was on sale, so I bought two pints with minimal cursing at the price.

To make this short story too long, I made a vegan ice cream cake with a bashed up Newman O crust (with some coconut oil to give it structure), two pints of soy ice cream, and Choc-Top on top in a spring form pan. I let the whole thing set up until singing time and belt present opening.

The results were very tasty, and it made a lovely ice cream cake that could not be consumed in one sitting by our family (thank goodness). But, I also learned a few things:

1 – Put the candles in when you pour in the Choc-Top or they are NEVER going in.

2 – Choc-Top is hard to cut, so if you have an electrically heated knife, use it. And if you have one, I’d really like to know, because I just made that up.

3 (Most Important) – If you try to cut the cake and the Choc-Top stays in place but the rest of it collapses, there may be a problem with your freezer. Take that opportunity on Father’s Day to clean out said freezer and throw a bunch of food away. Then consider that it might not be the freezer, but rather the ground-fault interrupt in the BATHROOM! that your daughter pushed for fun the other day that led to complete and total freezer melt-down. Literally.

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9 oz (3/4 bag) Ghiradelli Semi-sweet morsels, or other vegan chocolate

1/4 c. unrefined coconut oil

In a heat proof bowl over simmering water (a double boiler, if you will), melt the two together and stir. Remove from heat. Lick the spoon.

Store in a glass jar at room temperature or pour immediately over preferred frozen treat, which will, of course, melt said treat but leave you with a really cool shell of chocolate where your treat once was. To return Choc-Top to a liquid state, place jar in bowl or cup of hot water. Betcha didn’t know it was that easy to have SO MUCH FUN!! You’ll probably start covering frozen bananas and ice cubes, and maybe even a cake. Just make sure your freezer is still working when you do.

Variations: add toasted nuts or coconut; replace unrefined with refined coconut oil and add a teaspoon or two of vanilla/almond/orange/peppermint extracts or a few drops of essential oil.

Why this works (in case you’re wondering): Coconut oil is solid to just above most room temperature, and liquid at 76 degrees or just higher. When added to something cold, it becomes hard, thanks to the solidity of the chocolate combined with the coconut oil. And they’re both super tasty, so why wouldn’t you combine them?

13 thoughts on “Matt’s birthday dessert – including the infamous hardshell Choc-Top

  1. Yum! Sounds super tasty with toasted nuts and coconut. So sorry about the freezer!!! (We love our girls, we love our girls, we love our girls….)

    • Remarkably, much of the internal goods were saved (although it was the meat that fared the best since it was all in a box together just waiting for a home) and it was an excellent drill since we’re working on emptying it to we can sell it. It would help the overall appearance of the deck – let’s be honest, though it sure is a convenient place to keep popsicles for hot days!

      • Oh, and check the post again for a better shot. I forgot to upload pics from the other camera. I would use that one all the time, but one of the motors in the lens broke and that’s problematic for me. I’m impatient and not detail oriented all the time.

  2. Oh my yumminess. I have a packet of gluten free vegan mock oreos leftover from the gluten free baby shower I hosted. Need to make that cake!

    • Yay for laughing. I often find myself so very clever when writing these in the middle of the night, so it’s good to know at least one moment could provide a little entertainment. And yes, super yum!

  3. I LOVE Ice Cream Cakes – it never occured to me to make my own vegan version, this looks amazng, I love the crushed up newman o’s on the bottom, YUM!

    Have you tried the Larry & Luna’s Coconut Bliss Vanilla Island before – abolsutely hands down the best vegan ice cream I have ever had!

    • I haven’t tried their vanilla yet. We had Coconut and another flavor, and they were fine, but my husband loves Vanilla, so that will have to go on the list for the next treat night!

  4. So, Magic Shell was like crack to me growing up, or last year, whatever. I loved it. The idea of a vegan version is both amazing and terrifying. I may just have to go and buy 3 or 4 pints of coconut ice cream to try it out. (So Delicious Chocolate-Peanut Butter. Also, like crack). Thanks for the secret.

    • Okay, so I admit, I love the so delicious Choc-PB. And with faux magic shell, you might be in trouble. A guilty pleasure I’d probably prefer to live without “health-wise” but for indulging’s sake, it must be available – that is, if I can beat my husband too it.

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