Coffee Ice Cream: An Easy Recipe For The Best Summer Treat!
Once upon a time, coffee ice cream was my gateway into the coffee world. Sweet, creamy, and delicious, it’s the perfect ice cream flavour for coffee lovers and soon-to-be coffee lovers alike.
I was tempted to devise a no-churn recipe for making homemade coffee ice cream. But after experimenting with making coffee ice cream, I found that this classic method is far tastier. The recipe is as nearly as simple if you have an ice cream maker. Find out for yourself by trying this real-deal coffee ice cream recipe today!
What You Need
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1½ tablespoons instant coffee granules
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 5 egg yolks
- 2 cups heavy cream
At a Glance
25 minutes prep + chilling time
4 cups (8 servings)
A Quick Note On Instant Coffee
This recipe calls for instant coffee, which might cause some coffee snobs to scoff. However, many brands offer exceptional instant coffees, including specialty single-origins (1). So you can go as fancy as you like with the coffee base, and I don’t recommend brewed coffee because the extra water interferes with the creamy ice cream texture.
You can also use decaf instant coffee to make decaf coffee ice cream. This is an excellent option if you plan to enjoy it as an after-dinner treat.
How To Make Coffee Ice Cream
Plenty of no-churn coffee ice cream recipes exist, but this classic version is far tastier and has a much better consistency. While I initially thought preparing a custard base sounded complicated, it’s dead easy. Just follow the steps below for the best coffee ice cream recipe. You’re well on your way to an absolutely delicious chilled treat.
Not a fan of ice cream? Try coffee popsicles for an alternative coffee-flavour hot weather treat!
Step 1: Make The Flavour Base
Combine the milk, instant coffee granules, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt in a medium saucepan over low heat. Heat gently while whisking until the coffee and sugar have dissolved and the mixture is steaming.
Be careful not to bring the mixture to a boil. This will scald the milk and add unwanted flavour to your ice cream.
Pro tip: This recipe calls for 4 cups of dairy, and the suggested blend of whole milk and heavy cream gives the best creamy texture. But you can experiment with half-and-half or lower fat options, so long as the total stays 4 cups.
Step 2: Prepare The Custard
Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Slowly pour in half the flavour base while whisking continuously. It’s important to add the warmed milk slowly to avoid making coffee-flavour scrambled eggs!
Return this mixture to the pot with the remainder of the milk flavour base. Heat over medium heat, whisking continuously, until the mixture thickens slightly – enough to coat the back of a spoon. This should take about 5 minutes.
Pro tip: Wondering what to do with your egg whites? Try another coffee-based dessert like coffee macarons.
Step 3: Strain The Custard
Pour 2 cups of heavy cream into a large bowl and set a fine mesh strainer over the bowl. Pour the custard through the strainer into the cream. While straining isn’t mandatory, it’s worth the effort for a super-smooth ice cream texture.
Stir to combine, then cover the ice cream mixture tightly with plastic wrap. Put it in the refrigerator to cool completely for at least an hour and up to a day.
Step 4: Churn The Ice Cream
Pour the chilled mixture into your ice cream maker and churn until it is frozen, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Depending on the model, this can take between 15 and 45 minutes. Put the churned ice cream into an airtight container, and chill it in the freezer until ready to serve.
Pro tip: After churning, add any mix-ins you enjoy. Coffee and chocolate are a natural pairing, so consider chopped chocolate-covered espresso beans (my favourite), chocolate chips, or chocolate chunks.
Step 5: Serve And Enjoy
Scoop your coffee ice cream into a chilled bowl. There is something very appealing about a smooth and simple coffee ice cream that lets the coffee flavour shine. But then there are days when decadence is the name of the game. Turn your coffee ice cream into a coffee sundae with caramel or chocolate sauce, chocolate shavings, or whipped cream.
Pro tip: To get perfect ice cream scoops, dip your serving spoon in hot water first so that it slides easily through the ice cream.
I told you it was easy! Only five steps – and one of them is adding chocolate sauce. Try this coffee recipe today if you’ve been wondering what to do with your ice cream maker. It’s the sweet and smooth pick-me-up you’ve been waiting for.
Let us know what you think! Did you come up with a unique mix-in or topping for your coffee-flavoured ice cream? Comment below, or snap a picture and tag us on Instagram.
How much caffeine in coffee ice cream depends on the instant coffee brand. A tablespoon of instant powder contains between 90 and 210 mg of caffeine, so one half-cup serving of ice cream from this recipe has between 17 and 40 mg of caffeine – less than half the caffeine in a cup of brewed coffee.
An affogato is another delicious way to enjoy ice cream in coffee. In this classic Italian preparation of coffee and ice cream, a shot of espresso is poured over a serving of gelato. Sometimes a splash of coffee liqueur is added for a more indulgent treat.
No, Starbucks does not sell coffee ice cream. There used to be Starbucks brand coffee ice creams available in grocery stores, but it was discontinued in 2013. However, some Starbucks locations offer ice cream coffee drinks like affogatos (2).
- Voelker, J. (2020, April 15). Instant Coffee Is Back, Again. Retrieved from https://imbibemagazine.com/instant-coffee-again/
- Smith Brain Trust, Robert H. Smith School of Business. (2017, March 15). Why Starbucks Is Dipping Into Ice Cream. Retrieved from https://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/news/why-starbucks-dipping-ice-cream