Perhaps it’s the way it allows you to personalize your dessert, or the way it “magically” hardens into a crackable “shell” of a melt-in-your-mouth confection as it hits your cold scoop, but there’s something especially fun about magic shell-type ice cream toppings.

You can find the bottled stuff (most popular of which is that of the Smucker’s brand) at stores, or find desserts of a similar concept (as “dipped cones”) at a few establishments, e.g. at Dairy Queen or McDonald’s), but it’s easy enough to make by yourself, which not only saves you a few pesos, but also lets you personalize the flavors to your own liking. We say skip the ubiquitous chocolate and go for something a little more locally-loved—like ube, the purple yam which, as a dessert flavor, continues to steal the hearts of Filipinos around.

Making your own ice cream shell is a straightforward process, entailing little more than melting coconut oil—the “magic” ingredient that is liquid at room temperature but hardens when chilled—and ube jam, which you can either make yourself or use your favorite store-bought brand for too. As ube jam typically has other solid and liquid components and some brands can be naturally coarser than others, it might not appear to mix as uniformly with the oil at first, but just keep mixing as it does meld and emulsify in a few minutes’ time. You’ll soon have a mixture a little thicker and chunkier than the bottled stuff, but is easy to pick up with a spoon drizzling. Have your bowl of ice cream ready and watch it set into a shell with all the nutty milkiness of your favorite purple treat.

Ube Shell

Yield: 1 cup
Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 cup ube jam
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ice cream, any flavor or brand


  1. In a small pot, combine ube jam and coconut oil.
  2. Melt over low heat and whisk until fully combined.
  3. Take mixture and pour through a strainer and into a jar or bottle.
  4. Serve over ice cream, or dip popsicles and freeze.

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