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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 on vanilla ice cream In a ice cream bowl

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 on vanilla ice cream in a ice cream bowl with sprinkles all around

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 in a clear mason jar

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 on vanilla ice cream collage
Well, once you add the ice cream, that is.

Find all my funfetti recipes here.

DIY Homemade Birthday Cake Magic Shell on vanilla ice cream In a ice cream bowl

Birthday Cake Magic Shell

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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


  • 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.
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Author Dorothy Kern

Click here to see my best Cake Mix recipes!

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Sweets from friends:
Peanut Butter Magic Shell by Picky Palate
Roasted Strawberry Topping by Love Grows Wild
Cookies ‘n Cream Sundae Sauce by Something Swanky

Last Updated on May 13, 2020

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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 🙂

  5. 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…)

    1. Yeah, I think this was one from Target. The other one I like and always use is from TJ’s. *lesson learned*

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

  7. Dorothy, your recipes always come out perfect! I love this idea using cake mix and am glad to know the perfect ratio! 🙂

  8. I LOVED Magic Shell as a kid, and this is just totally brilliant, Dorothy!

  9. oh my gawd, I love this! My kids love magic shell so I can’t wait to try this!! #DIY baby! love it!