Homemade chocolate granita

The homemade chocolate granita is a fresh and creamy Italian dessert (very popular especially in Sicily) that you can prepare at home with a few simple ingredients and – following this simple recipe – either with or without using a n ice-cream maker. The Sicilian granita is a dessert that you must try in its countless variations, especially if you are enjoying a holiday on this beautiful island: almond, coffee, lemon, mulberry…almost always accompanied by a delicious brioche.

But if you cannot visit Sicily for the time being, you can at least prepare an excellent homemade chocolate granita, with all the creaminess and scents of the artisanal one. If you have an ice-cream maker, you will get a chocolate granita with a perfect texture in just a few simple steps.

Otherwise, with a little patience, you can make a great chocolate granita even without an ice cream maker, using only a plastic tray and a spoon or a fork. Below I show you both methods – with and without an ice cream maker – for making a delicious homemade chocolate granita!

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homemade chocolate granita easy italian recipe no ice cream maker reqiured by tasty corner

Video recipe of the day

  • DifficultyEasy
  • CostVery cheap
  • Preparation time40 Minutes
  • Rest time5 Hours
  • Serving4 servings
  • Cooking methodNo cooking
  • CuisineItalian regional
  • SeasonalitySummer

Ingredients for about 4 cups of chocolate granita

To prepare the gluten-free chocolate granita you must check that the unsweetened cocoa and chocolate chips have the words “gluten-free” on the label.

For the chocolate granita

3 cups water (700)
11/4 cup sugar (250 gr – 8,8 oz)
1/2 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened; 60 gr – 2 oz)
1/3 cup dark chocolate drops (50 gr – 1,7 oz)
1 pinch cinnamon powder (optional)
Some drop vanilla essence

For garnish

q.s. whip cream
360,19 Kcal
calories per serving
Info Close
  • Power 360,19 (Kcal)
  • Carbohydrates 81,80 (g) of which sugars 71,40 (g)
  • Proteins 3,98 (g)
  • Fat 7,33 (g) of which saturated 3,19 (g)of which unsaturated 1,25 (g)
  • Fibers 5,68 (g)
  • Sodium 16,62 (mg)

Indicative values for a portion of 150 g processed in an automated way starting from the nutritional information available on the CREA* and FoodData Central** databases. It is not food and / or nutritional advice.

* CREATES Food and Nutrition Research Center: https://www.crea.gov.it/alimenti-e-nutrizione https://www.alimentinutrizione.it ** U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central, 2019. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov


1 Bowl
1 Saucepan
1 Whip Hand
or1 Fork
1 Ice Cream Maker
or1 Container

How to prepare the chocolate granita with or without an ice-cream make

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A. Prepare the cocoa and chocolate blend 

To prepare the homemade chocolate granita start by preparing the blend, which must first cool at room temperature and then in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours if you use the ice cream maker.

First, place the unsweetened cocoa powder in a bowl and add sugar, cinnamon and some drops of vanilla extract. Mix well with a fork or a hand whisk. Bring water to a boil in a saucepan, then pour some into the bowl.

mix cocoa powder sugar and water for the chocolate granita

For now, you only need to add enough water to dissolve the sugar and cocoa. Mix thoroughly with a whisk or fork to dissolve any lumps. Add the chocolate chips.

Stir briefly and immediately pour the rest of the boiling water into the bowl, to melt the chocolate to perfection. When you have obtained a smooth and homogeneous mixture let it cool to room temperature.

melt the chocolate in the blend of hot water and cocoa for the homemade granita

Now follow procedure B1 to make the granita with an ice cream maker or B2 to make it without an ice cream maker.

B.1 Prepare homemade chocolate granita with an ice cream maker

There is nothing simpler than preparing a chocolate granita with an ice cream maker. When the mixture is warm enough to be placed in the refrigerator, cover the bowl with a sheet of cling film and place it in the coldest part of the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Then, when the mixture is cold, pour it into the ice cream maker. Get the ice cream maker running and let it work by setting a 40 minutes program. However, check your chocolate granita  already after 25-30 minutes: it should be quite thick but still creamy.

the homemade chocolate granita made with ice cream maker is ready

If not, keep running the ice cream maker until you get the desired consistency. Otherwise, your chocolate granita is ready to enjoy!  You can serve it straight up or garnished with whipped cream or even chopped pistachio.

B.2 Prepare chocolate granita without an ice cream maker

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, let the mixture cool to room temperature and then pour it into a plastic or steel container (low and wide is best).

Cover it with a lid or a sheet of cling film and place it in the freezer for 30 minutes, after which scrape it with a tablespoon or a fork to break up the ice crystals. Cover the container again and place it back in the freezer.

Repeat this process for another 3 or 4 times every half hour  (if you see that the granita freezes quickly, repeat the operation every 15 minutes) until you get a creamy texture. Your chocolate granita is ready to enjoy!

en_v_ homemade chocolate granita easy italian recipe no ice cream maker reqiured by tasty corner

How to store the homemade chocolate granita

The homemade chocolate granita keep the right texture for 4 or 5 hours, beyond that it may freeze. If it happens you can leave it about ten minutes at room temperature, just long enough to break it into large pieces; then transfer it into a blender and grind it briefly until you get the right texture.

Tips and variations

Cinnamon is a spice widely used in Sicilian granita, but not everyone likes it. If you do not like it you can omit it.
Not all chocolate granita recipes call for chocolate; often only cocoa is used: chocolate in my opinion gives a creamier texture to the granita, but if you prefer you can omit it and use another 1/2 cup (60 grams) of unsweetened cocoa powder instead. If you use chocolate, still choose one with a cocoa percentage of at least 70 percent.
The amount of sugar can be slightly decreased or increased. Once the blend is ready, taste it and adjust accordingly, without going below 1 cup (200 grams) or exceeding 1 e 1/2 cup (300 grams).

Translation by Giacomo Meucci

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