Dessert/ Recipes

Stracciatella Gelato

Stracciatella Gelato has a smooth and luscious texture bursting with flakes of semi-sweet chocolate. This Italian gelato is sure to become your new favorite frozen treat.

Stracciatella Gelato in a waffle cone.

It feels like FOREVER since I’ve been around! How’s everyone doing? I have been crazy busy working two jobs! I think I’ve probably told you, but Jacob started an advertising company, and we have been hard at work on all kinds of neat projects. It’s been so fun watching the business expand and grow, but it also means most of my time goes towards working my full-time job and helping with the business. So, unfortunately, that doesn’t leave a lot of time for the blog. But, I promise I’m still here! And I still think about blogging a lot!

Stracciatella Gelato in a glass pan with an ice cream scoop.

In other news, it’s finally National Ice Cream Month! If you know me, then you’ll know that I am a HUGE ice cream fan. Especially when it’s 100 degrees outside. Naturally, this month is a big deal to me.

When I was a kid, my dad would buy ice cream every time he went to the grocery store. Not even joking. My family would eat ice cream at least once a week. We basically just expected a half gallon to always be in the freezer. I’ll admit, even in the middle of winter, we seemed to always have the freezer stocked with ice cream.

And the love for ice cream doesn’t just stop there. Whenever I’d go to my grandparents’ house as a kid, my grandpa would always serve us up huge heaping bowls of ice cream and with all of the toppings you can think of. The love of ice cream runs deep in my roots. I guess I better pass that love onto my kids one day too.

Close up photo of Stracciatella Gelato.

I know today’s recipe isn’t exactly for ice cream, but it’s a close cousin: gelato. Fun fact: did you know “gelato” is Italian for “ice cream”?

On our recent trip to Italy in May, we gorged ourselves on gelato while we were there. I even documented every gelato I ate, since I thought it would be fun to keep track (did you see my post on Instagram?). I think we ate at least ten gelatos while we were there, and it never got old…ever. I was even craving the frozen treat as soon as we got back from the trip. I really wish it was easier to find true authentic gelato here in the states. But, I guess it’s an excuse to head back to Italy in a few years…or learn how to make your own!

Waffle cones with Stracciatella Gelato laying on plates.

Now the question still remains, do you know the difference between gelato and ice cream? Most people know that they taste quite different, but they don’t know what makes them that way. The main difference is that gelato is made with a higher amount of milk and a lower amount of cream and eggs. It is also churned at a much slower rate than ice cream, making it much denser. Because gelato contains less fat than ice cream does, the flavors tend to really stand out. I think this is one of the reasons people enjoy gelato so much.

A hand holding Stracciatella Gelato in a waffle cone.

There are probably hundreds of different variations of gelato, but I’ve decided to share the classic stracciatella gelato with you. On my first time visiting Italy I had no idea what stracciatella gelato (it’s chocolate chip by the way!) was, but I decided to be adventurous and give it a try. Now stracciatella gelato it’s one of my go-to flavors!

Before you make this recipe, just keep in mind that this gelato is a bit different than true Italian gelato. Due to the limitations of home ice cream makers, it’s really hard to achieve as dense and luscious of texture as Italian gelato. But I’d say this comes pretty close!

Close up of Stracciatella Gelato in a waffle cone.

If you feel like experimenting, you could even try some different add-ins in this gelato. Strawberries, pistachios, coconut, you name it. This gelato can be made however you like. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!


Stracciatella Gelato
Prep Time
45 mins
Total Time
45 mins

Stracciatella Gelato has a smooth and luscious texture bursting with flakes of semi-sweet chocolate. This gelato is sure to become your new favorite homemade frozen treat.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 1 quart
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla bean split lengthwise
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate chopped
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, sugar and salt over medium heat. Add the vanilla bean. Remove from heat and let steep for 15 minutes. 

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Slowly whisk the milk mixture into the egg yolks. Do this gradually so the eggs will temper instead of scramble. Transfer the mixture back into the saucepan and return to medium heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove the custard from heat.

  3. Pour the custard through a fine mesh strainer (straining the mixture gives the gelato a silky smooth texture) and discard the vanilla bean. Add the whipping cream and whisk until well combined. Cover and refrigerate the custard until cold, at least 3 hours or overnight.

  4. Churn the gelato for 20 minutes or according to the manufacturer's instructions. While the gelato is churning, place the  chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 15 second increments stirring after each one until chocolate is melted. 

  5. Slowly drizzle the chocolate into the gelato during the last few minutes of churning. A thin drizzle will create smaller chocolate flakes in the gelato. Transfer to a freezer safe container and freeze for at lease 2 to 3 hours or until firm. To serve, let gelato sit at room temperature for 10 minutes to reach scooping gelato perfection!

Recipe Notes

Adapted from The Italian Chef.

Semi-sweet chocolate chips could easily be substituted for the chocolate in this recipe.


You’ll also love this classic Italian dessert!

Tiramisu in a glass jar.

Long Pinterest pin for Stracciatella Gelato.

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