DIY Birthday Cake Magic Shell

Did you know you can make your own homemade magic shell? It’s one of the easiest things ever. And when you can copycat a great product and make it taste like cake, well, that’s a win-win.

Birthday cake magic shell: where your ice cream turns into cake!

DIY Homemade Birthday Cake Magic Shell

I loved magic shell when I was a kid. It ranked up there among the most magical of things, like unicorns, rainbows, and shopping mall cookies. My mom would dish me out some ice cream and I’d douse it with chocolate magic shell and then wait for the magic to happen.

How did it harden into a shell? It was like a little fairy godmother lived inside the bottle and waved her magic wand and poof! my ice cream was covered with hard chocolate. Then I’d carefully eat all the ice cream, leaving the best part for last: the shell. If I concentrate I can still hear the crack from my spoon against the hardened chocolate.

Guess what? You can make magic shell at home. DIY homemade magic in a bottle. And it’s so easy it’ll make you cry just a little bit.

DIY Homemade Birthday Cake Magic Shell

The secret behind how magic shell hardens? Vegetable or Coconut Oil.

{Kind of takes away the magic, doesn’t it? Like…that’s it? No fairy dust? No magic wands?}

The real secret is in the ratio of chocolate to oil. Add too little and it’ll still harden up in the jar. Add too much and it just tastes like, well, oil.

Traditionally, coconut oil is used in the making of homemade magic shell.  I used vegetable oil for this recipe because not all coconut oils are created equal. The brand I have in my kitchen currently stays solid unless I heat it in the microwave. (Even a super hot day doesn’t liquify it.) When I combined it with the white chocolate, it just hardened back up and stayed that way. That’s not magic shell…that’s just flavored white chocolate. Good, but not what I was going for.

The vegetable oil solved that problem and made my favorite new ice cream topping possible: birthday cake magic shell!

DIY Homemade Birthday Cake Magic Shell

I love regular chocolate topping on my ice cream but, if you know me at all, you know I want everything to taste like cake…even coffee. Last month at BlogHer Food, one of the parties had an ice cream bar. You know the kind: pick an ice cream, layer on the toppings. It was fun watching the other women act like kids in a fro-yo shop. I know I piled on more than I would have if I was with my daughter, that’s for sure. :)

One of the toppings they had was, you guessed it, Birthday Cake Magic Shell. I’d never seen it before (and it’s not even on the website) and I was instantly smitten. I mean, it’s funfettied ice cream topping. #loveatfirstsight

This recipe is super easy and it makes a lot. It’ll last awhile on your counter too, so it’s perfect to have around this summer for the hot ice cream eating days.

After melting together your white chocolate and oil, you just have to add the birthday cake. Normally, I like to use butter extract for funfetti flavored things but for this recipe you must use cake mix. All extract has water as an ingredient and water and chocolate are mortal enemies. If you add extract to melted chocolate you’ll get a gloppy mess. Cake mix is a must! Plus, think of all the flavor variations…

{Red velvet? I’m looking at you!}

Add some sprinkles and life is complete.

DIY Homemade Birthday Cake Magic Shell
Well, once you add the ice cream, that is.

Birthday Cake Magic Shell

Yield: About 1 1/2 cups

Birthday Cake Magic Shell

A homemade version of your favorite childhood ice cream topping! Birthday Cake Magic Shell is easy to make and even better to eat.


  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (see note)
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon dry yellow cake mix
  • 2 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles (do not use nonpareils - they will dissolve in the liquid)


  1. Place white chocolate chips and oil in a microwave safe bowl. Heat on HIGH in 30 second increments, stirring after each, until smooth (about 1-2 minutes). Whisk in cake mix until no lumps remain. Let cool before adding sprinkles. Once cool, stir in sprinkles and transfer to a jar. Store at room temperature.


You can use coconut oil for this as well, but be careful of the brand of coconut oil you use. I tried it with Spectrum brand Coconut Oil and it hardened back up as it cooled. If this happens, you can just microwave it to loosen (as you would hot fudge) but it will cause the sprinkles to dissolve slightly.

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Easy Ice Cream Recipes – no machine needed!

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Sweets from friends:
Peanut Butter Magic Shell by Picky Palate
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Cookies ‘n Cream Sundae Sauce by Something Swanky



  1. Magic Shell is magical! And birthday-cake flavored is taking it to a whole new level!
    Whenever I’m at those fro-yo places, I pile on so much candy. I think the fro yo is just an excuse to get a giant bowl of candy! But my kids aren’t with me when that happens.
    Still, I’ll be a good mom and let them try this. It’s amazing!
    Mir recently posted..Magic Bar PieMy Profile

  2. I want to pour this on everything.I.possibly.can.!!! YES! pinned
    Averie @ Averie Cooks recently posted..Strawberry Shortcake SmoothieMy Profile

  3. That’s so cool!
    Chloe @ foodlikecake recently posted..Cherry Chip CakeMy Profile

  4. Great idea! I love making homemade magic shells, I’ll have to try this variation sometime soon. :)
    How to Philosophize with Cake recently posted..Vegan peanut butter and jelly sugar cookie sandwichesMy Profile

  5. What a great idea, Dorothy! I had no idea you could make your own shell! And of course a birthday cake flavor is the best flavor EVER! Pinned!
    Gayle @ Pumpkin ‘N Spice recently posted..Ranch PretzelsMy Profile

  6. I love this and the fact that you can change it up using different cake mixes. Amazing! I’m giving this one a try and pinning for later.
    Danielle recently posted..Caramel Stuffed SnickerdoodlesMy Profile

  7. No, I didn’t know I could make my own magic shell. How cool is that?!?
    This ones a keeper!
    Have a wonderful weekend Dorothy!
    Melanie @ Carmel Moments recently posted..Raspberry Chocolate BrowniesMy Profile

  8. This is so fun!! Perfect for summer birthdays!
    Tieghan recently posted..Coconut Iced Coffee…with Mini Chocolate Glazed Coffee Doughnuts.My Profile

  9. Seriously I want this for my bday! You never cease to amaze me! Pinning!
    Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) recently posted..Candy Bar Fudge PieMy Profile

  10. I LOVE and loved magic shell growing up! Ice cream wasn’t the same without it! Although, we only ever had chocolate magic shell. I love your version – birthday cake and lots of sprinkles?! Totally wishing I had some right now! Pinned :)
    Chelsea @chelseasmessyapron recently posted..Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream BarsMy Profile

  11. As a vanilla lover, I am loving your birthday cake flavored recipes! What fun it would be to have a party with a sundae bar and lots of flavors of magic shell?! I may have to plan a party just so that I can have a sundae bar!
    Wendy recently posted..Chocolate-Ginger Cookie NuggetsMy Profile

  12. OMG – I didn’t know you could make this yourself. I think I found my afternoon project now :)

  13. HOOOOOOLY YUM. I didn’t realize making homemade shell was seriously THAT easy. Where has this recipe been all of my life?!
    Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel recently posted..Sherbet Lemonade Fizz {And A Cascade Ice Giveaway!!}My Profile

  14. Ohhhhh wow. I need to sit down.
    Seriously, where has this been all my life? Magic shell was made for white chocolate, sprinkles, and cake mix! This is genius. Awesome recipe, Dorothy!
    Mary Frances recently posted..Vegan Berry Crumble Bars from A Clean BakeMy Profile

  15. WHAT A COOL IDEA!! I would neverrrr have thought to add cake mix to the chocolate/oil for magic shell! compleeeetely genius!
    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) recently posted..Matcha Genoise Cake-Guest Post with Blahnik BakerMy Profile

  16. What a wonderful recipe! I have never seen Birthday Cake Magic Shell before, but everything does taste better when it tastes like cake :)
    Christin@SpicySouthernKitchen recently posted..Butterscotch-Pecan BrowniesMy Profile

  17. So cool, love this idea Dorothy! Chocolate magic shells were always part of our ice cream treats growing up and I would have died of happiness if birthday cake magic shells were around. And with all the pretty sprinkles? So awesome – pinning :)
    Kelly – Life made Sweeter recently posted..Minion Banana Macarons with Coconut Buttercream FrostingMy Profile

  18. Birthday cake magic shell?! This needs to happen ASAP!
    Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction recently posted..Baked Chocolate Chip Donuts with Peanut Butter GlazeMy Profile

  19. I can’t wait to surprise the kids with this today
    Heather @ French Press recently posted..Gluten Free Nut CrackersMy Profile

  20. What a fun idea!!! Birthday cake makes everything better!
    Julianne @ Beyond Frosting recently posted..Over 100 Homemade Ice Cream and Frozen TreatsMy Profile

  21. oh my gawd, I love this! My kids love magic shell so I can’t wait to try this!! #DIY baby! love it!
    Alice // Hip Foodie Mom recently posted..Puff Pastry with Ricotta, Bosc Pears and WalnutsMy Profile

  22. I LOVED Magic Shell as a kid, and this is just totally brilliant, Dorothy!
    Brianne @ Cupcakes & Kale Chips recently posted..65 Desserts to Bring to a PicnicMy Profile

  23. Dorothy, your recipes always come out perfect! I love this idea using cake mix and am glad to know the perfect ratio! :)
    Marti @ SewliciousHomeDecor recently posted..Grow Your Social Media Party!My Profile

  24. Crystal says:

    I love Magic Shell. The Heath flavor is my favorite. I’m so excited for this recipe. Just in time for ice cream weather :)

  25. Dorothy, you are SO creative!! To come up with a DIY CAKE BATTER version? Pure genius — especially adding the cake mix! We rarely had magic shell at home growing up; if we were lucky, we’d have Hershey’s chocolate syrup. And that was it. Sigh… And that’s hilarious about your coconut oil. I just had some arrive in the mail 2 days ago, and because it was 100° outside, it was pure liquid! (So was the chocolate in the same package… Really disappointing.) I usually go with TJ’s brand for coconut oil; it melts perfectly! (Which may be both a blessing and a curse…)
    Amy @ Amy’s Healthy Baking recently posted..Spicy Baked “Fried” ChickenMy Profile

  26. Although I love the idea of the fairy in the bottle, I think it’s more fun knowing how to make this!!!! Anything birthday cake is a win with me! Making it magical?! I’m blown away! Can’t wait to give this a try :)
    Serene @ House of Yumm recently posted..Cookies & Cream Pudding PopsMy Profile

  27. Oh my goodness this looks so good! I am going to have to try this!!
    Allyson recently posted..Pouf-a-PaloozaMy Profile

  28. Wow this is so clever! In Australia, we call it ice magic but it’s the same thing! Magical ice cream topping – I can’t believe you can make this at home!
    Jess @ Sweet Menu recently posted..Salted Caramel FudgeMy Profile

  29. You have done it! Made birthday cake superfluous! ;-) This sounds delicious, and magic shell is a touch less magical now but at least I feel better about eating it when I made it myself!
    Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking recently posted..My Favorite Chewy Chocolate Chip CookiesMy Profile

  30. Wow I always assumed this was some complex chemical mixture. How simple:oil! Would love to try this birthday cake version. I’m game for everything cake flavored.
    Krystle(Baking Beauty) recently posted..Best Smores RecipesMy Profile

  31. Toppings are always a must when it comes to eating ice cream or froyo. I did know you could do your own magic shell, but I never would have thought to use cake mix to flavor it. Love, IT!!!! Now I need a bottle of this to pour on everything. Sprinkles and cake batter make me one happy camper :-)
    Jocelyn @BruCrew Life recently posted..Cherry Dr. Pepper Jello SquaresMy Profile

  32. This looks so festive, the perfect birthday recipe!
    Librarian Lavender recently posted..Burial Rites by Hannah KentMy Profile

  33. That magic shell was AMAZING!! I’m so pumped to make it at home now! Thanks for the awesome-sauce recipe, Dorothy!
    Liz Fourez recently posted..Big Mac BurgerMy Profile

  34. I’m so glad you came up with a version that doesn’t use coconut oil. That stuff is expensive out here. You’d think with all the coconuts falling on people’s heads, we wouldn’t have to pay ten bucks for a jar. This looks amazing, and I can’t wait to try it!
    Renee @ Awesome on $20 recently posted..Burgerology: Waikiki Beachside BistroMy Profile

  35. Ice cream, ice cream, I love ice cream. Tomorrow I certainly will use your recipe :)
    Sara recently posted..10 Modern Dining Rooms with Geometric WallpaperMy Profile


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