TikTok Is Obsessed With Homemade Magic Shell Yogurt Cups—But Are They Healthy?

  • Homemade magic shell yogurt cups are rising in popularity on TikTok.
  • The snack—deemed healthy by influencers on the app—includes a yogurt cup, a homemade chocolate shell (made from melted chocolate and coconut oil), and toppings like nuts and flaky sea salt.
  • Registered dietitians say these homemade magic shell yogurt cups are a healthy snack choice for most people.

adult man eating a cup of yogurt

adult man eating a cup of yogurt

Grace Cary/Getty Images

Homemade magic shell yogurt cups are the newest food trend taking TikTok by storm. Recipe creators have updated a classic treat by swapping ice cream and Smucker’s Magic Shell topping—a chocolate syrup that hardens—with yogurt and homemade chocolate sauce and adding a variety of toppings. 

The result? “A high protein snack that tastes like a Snickers bar,” said the user behind the TikTok account @AmbitiousKitchen, who seems to have ignited yogurt cup craze.

First released by Smucker’s in 1982 as an ice cream topping, Magic Shell quickly became a staple in fridges around the United States. Its ingredients include chocolate, sunflower oil, and coconut oil. Once the combination touches something cold—traditionally ice cream—it creates a hard shell that is fun to crack into when enjoying a frozen treat.

Two tablespoons of Smucker’s Magic Shell is 210 calories and includes 16 grams (g) of sugar and 7 g of saturated fat.

While the recipes for TikTok versions vary, they typically include Greek or Icelandic yogurt and a tablespoon or two of peanut or almond butter. Creators might mix melted dark chocolate with a small amount of coconut oil for the “shell,” or simply use melted dark chocolate and freeze the entire snack for about 10 minutes.

Since @AmbitiousKitchen posted the recipe idea, TikTokers have shared multiple variations, touting the spinoff snack as a more nutritious alternative to the classic dessert.

Are Magic Shell Yogurt Cups Healthy? 

Dietitians agree that this snack can be a healthy choice for many people.

“Compared to many other dessert options, the magic shell yogurt cup is a much healthier choice,” nutritionist Sarah Garone, NDTR, of A Love Letter to Food, told Health

According to Garone, the snack contains “probiotics from the yogurt,” which can help support a healthy gut microbiome. These bacteria can survive in freezing temperatures for up to two weeks, so freezing temperatures won’t affect them.

Magic shell yogurt cups are also an excellent source of protein, Roxana Ehsani, RD, CSSD, LDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist and board-certified sports dietitian located in Miami, Florida, told Health. “Typically, a ¾ cup of Greek yogurt has about 16–17 grams of protein,” said Ehsani, adding that this amount can help promote satiety, or a feeling of fullness, which may reduce hunger pangs later on.

Most yogurt also contains fewer calories than ice cream, making it a better choice if you want to cut back.

Ehsani noted that “nut butters like almond butter is a source of healthy monounsaturated fat,” another satiating nutrient. Nut butter also provides an additional boost of protein, important plant compounds, and vitamins and minerals such as folate and vitamin E.

Then there’s dark chocolate, which contains iron, magnesium, other nutrients, and powerful antioxidants called flavanols that may support heart health.

Of course, everyone has different nutritional needs, and this trendy treat may not work for you based on your circumstances. If you’re lactose intolerant or allergic to nuts, however, Ehsani offered a workaround: lactose-free yogurt and a cup sans nut butter.

How Can You Boost the Health Benefits? 

“The healthiest way of making this dish is choosing plain Greek or Icelandic yogurt, as it contains the least amount of added sugars,” said Ehsani.

Greek or Icelandic yogurt also has more protein than regular yogurt, Ehsani added, “so it can keep you full for longer and more satisfied.”

Ehsani also suggested using dark chocolate, which offers more antioxidants than milk or white chocolate.

If you’re feeling adventurous, there are countless ways to add more nutrition and flavor to your yogurt cup. Sara Haas, RDN, LDN, chef and registered dietitian, suggested:

  • Adding a swirl of tahini instead of nut butter for a unique flavor and a healthy boost of fats 
  • Stirring smashed berries into the yogurt before mixing in the nut butter and topping with chocolate to add antioxidants and fiber
  • Sprinkling the melted chocolate with pistachios or sesame seeds for a protein boost

As long as you opt for dark chocolate and yogurt and nut butter that’s low in added sugar and high in protein, you will have a nourishing—and hopefully tasty—snack that’s surprisingly easy to make. Bon appétit!