Peanut Butter Gelato with Chocolate Chunks Sundae


Peanut butter makes everyone happy (nut allergies notwithstanding) Add chocolate to the mix and it’s a friggin’ party. Peanut butter gelato with choco chunks is inspired by the idea of a frozen Reese’s Cup (who doesn’t love those?) It’s not hard to make, but there are a few simple tricks to take note of.

peanut butter

You already know what I’m going to say – use natural peanut butter. The kind that you have to mix up before you use it. A peanut butter that is really smooth with no sugar added is what you are looking for. Sugar depresses the freezing point of gelato, so any additional sugar is going throw the recipe off balance. Be sure to mix the peanut butter BEFORE measuring it – you want a good mix of nut solids and nut oils.

To get a truly smooth peanut butter gelato, the peanut butter needs to be made into a nut cream before being added to the dairy. Before I learned this from a professional Italian gelateri, I would simply dump the peanut butter straight into the gelato mix. It was good but not great.

Nuts contain a high amount of fat which needs to be emulsified for the best texture. It sounds a lot more difficult than it is. Throw the peanut butter in the mixer. Make a sugar syrup then pour the boiling syrup over the peanut butter. Whisk at a high speed until creamy and cool. This little bit of extra effort produces a heavenly smooth, near-professional gelato.

choco chunks

Chocolate chunks take no time to make and can be as simple or as fancy as you want. My two favorite versions to pair with this gelato are dark chocolate chunks (using a 70% chocolate) and baco-choco chunks (chocolate shards embedded with small bits of crispy bacon) I find that about a cup of chunks gives the perfect gelato to mix-in ratio but that’s a personal choice everyone must make for themselves.



This recipe makes rich, creamy peanut butter gelato that is just like eating a frozen peanut butter cup.  By emulsifying the nut butter, you get a smooth perfectly blended gelato – no gritty texture.   If you really want to level up – substitute  Bacon Chocolate Chunks for the pure chocolate version.

  • Author: MJ




  •   70g  water
  •   43g  sugar
  •   37g  organic corn syrup
  • 100g  natural peanut butter*



  • 627g  whole milk
  • 125g  cream
  • 159g  sugar
  •  49g  non-fat milk powder
  •    6 g  tapioca starch
  •  34g  organic corn syrup





Make the peanut butter cream.  Put the peanut butter into the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. 

Combine the remaining ingredients in small saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Stir occasionally.  As soon as the mixture reaches a boil (or 212 degrees on a candy thermometer)  immediately pour it into the mixer. 

Start on low for 30 seconds then mix on high until the peanut butter cream is thick and completely cool  When you touch the sides of the bowl it should be close to room temperature.  Cover and refrigerate. 




Combine sugar, non-fat milk powder, and tapioca starch. Mix the milk and cream in a large bowl.  Whisk in the dry ingredients until there are no lumps. Thoroughly incorporate the corn syrup, being sure to scrape all of it into the bowl.  


Place the mixture in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook for 8-10 minutes. Heat until bubbles start forming around the edges but do not let it come to a full rolling boil.  Keep stirring the mixture while it cooks.  In the last few minutes mix a bit faster as the mixture begins to thicken. 

Once it’s thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, pour it through a fine mesh strainer into a clean bowl.

Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the gelato to prevent a skin from forming. Put the bowl of hot gelato into an ice bath.


After the gelato has cooled, remove from the ice bath and refrigerate for 4-12 hours.


Mix peanut butter cream and gelato together with an immersion blender until completely incorporated. Process the gelato in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 

In the last 2 minutes or so of churning (just before it is done) slowly pour a cup (or more) of the chocolate chunks slowly into the ice cream machine.   

When it reaches the consistency of soft serve ice cream (about 20-30 minutes on most machines) Scoop into a container, place a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper on the surface and freeze until firm (4 hours minimum)


  • Peanut Butter:  Use an all natural brand with no sugar added.  You want a good balance of nut oils and solids.   If it separated in the jar (oil floating on the surface), give it a good stir before scooping it out and measuring it.   
  • Freezing the chocolate chunk mix-in before adding to the gelato will help maintain the coldness of the gelato and prevent any iciness. 


  • Lindsay

    I really love the consistency of this gelato- mine turned out too sweet for my preference and I could use more PB flavor, but I may have miss- transated from grams. I might leave out the corn syrup and see if that yields a better sweetness for me

    • MJ

      Hey Lindsay, If you are finding the gelato too sweet my first suggestion is to check the label on your peanut butter for added sugar or other ingredients. Otherwise, you could swap out the corn syrup for glucose. Glucose is less sweet but has the same properties that give the gelato all that lovely texture!

  • veranoenvermont

    I live in Vermont and am loathe to use corn syrup …can I successfully substitute maple syrup in terms of texture, sweetness, and anything else that might not occur to me?

    • MJ

      Great question! I completely understand your concerns about corn syrup – for the record, I don’t recommend using high-fructose corn syrup for anything (I use organic light corn syrup which is very different) The advantage of corn syrup that it adds sugar (which keeps gelato/ice cream from becoming rock hard) without adding too much sweetness. If you are not comfortable using corn syrup at all there are a couple of options.

      Glucose does the same thing, just swap it for the corn syrup (same amount). Maple syrup (or honey) isn’t an exact match for corn syrup but probably close enough for a recipe this size. But it will be a lot sweeter which is a matter of personal preference. Maple with peanut butter sounds pretty good to me! Honey would work the same way as the maple syrup. Please let me know how it goes!

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