How to Make Coffee Ice Cream

Looking for the best coffee ice cream recipe that uses real concentrated coffee? We've got you covered. 

Summer is here and you know what that means! It's time to indulge in your favorite rich and creamy treat: coffee ice cream. Coffee ice cream has the perfect balance of flavors. The bold notes of coffee bring the sweet and creamy flavors of ice cream to a whole new level of deliciously reinvigorating goodness. 

This top-rated coffee ice cream recipe will put a little pep in your step and give you a refreshing way to cool off this summer! 


Ingredients and Supplies

To make this delicious recipe, you will have to have the right ingredients and supplies. Here's everything that you will need! 

  • Ice cream machine - You definitely going to want to have an ice cream churning machine to make this recipe. However, you can also make this recipe without an ice cream churner. Click here to see how to make ice cream without a machine, and then come back to this recipe. 
  • Mesh strainer - You will use a mesh strainer as you prepare your coffee ice cream custard before you freeze it. 
  • Heavy whipping cream and or half and half (3 cups of cream total) - This recipe requires three cups of liquid heavy cream. You can decide to use half and half if you prefer. However, whatever you use, the total amount needs to equal three cups. Using 1%, 2%, whole, or skim milk will not work for this recipe. 
  • Eggs (4 egg yolks) - This recipe calls for four egg yolks which will be used to make a sort of custard. 
  • Granulated sugar (1 cup) - Granulated sugar is what sweetens this recipe! white sugar is what people usually use, but organic cane sugar or brown sugar can be used as well. 
  • Fine sea salt (¼ tsp fine sea salt) - Another important ingredient. If you choose to use iodized salt or coarse salt instead, reduce the amount by half. 
  • Vanilla extract (1 tablespoon) - We recommend getting the good stuff. You can also use vanilla-flavored coffee like this one if you really want to enhance the flavors in your coffee ice cream. Vanilla bean paste is another ingredient you can add if you are in love with bold vanilla flavors!
  • Coffee (about ½ cup of grounds to make 3 brewed and concentrated shots) - High-quality coffee is a must for this recipe. Some people make coffee ice cream with instant coffee. However, we recommend brewing up the real stuff for a kick of delicious flavor and a boost with your frozen treat. For a big kick of coffee flavor, you can add in a little bit of instant coffee as well. About ½ of a tablespoon should do. If you are making coffee ice cream for kids, you can use decaf coffee as well. This vanilla decaf coffee is perfect for our coffee ice cream recipe!


Best Coffee Ice Cream Recipe: How to Make Coffee Ice Cream at Home

This coffee ice cream can be made in just four steps. First, you will make a custard and then chill it. From there, you can begin making the ice cream itself. Chilling your custard overnight and then preparing it on the day you plan to enjoy ice cream keeps everything fresher, tastier, and colder! 

Step 1: Brew Strong Coffee

First and foremost, you need to prepare your coffee. Using ½ of a cup of coffee grounds, create three shots of concentrated coffee. One way to do this is by adding half a cup of coffee grounds to half of a cup of boiling water on the stove. Reduce the heat to a simmer for 4 minutes. Then, strain the coffee grounds out and keep the dark liquid to flavor your coffee ice cream. Or, if you have an espresso maker, you can simply brew three shots of espresso. Let the shots cool. Two of them will go into your custard while hot, and one will be added at the end with the vanilla. 

Step 2: Make the Custard

Now you need to make a custard, the hardest step, but this is where most of the work comes in.  

  • In a bowl, dump one cup of heavy cream. Place a fine mesh strainer above the bowl. 
  • In another separate bowl, beat four egg yolks. Place aside. 
  • In a saucepan, warm the remaining 2 cups of the half and half/ heavy cream, the sugar, two shots of the coffee, and the sea salt, in a medium saucepan using medium heat. For extra coffee flavor, you can also add a little bit (⅓ tsp) of instant coffee at this stage. Whisk everything together to dissolve the sugar. Once everything is incorporated, reduce the heat to medium-low. 
  • Now, add one-half of a cup of the warm cream and sugar mixture to the egg yolks you set aside. This gives the yolks just enough heat to thicken. Whisk everything together to combine and incorporate a bit of air. 
  • Once you have done this, pour the mixture of ½ cup of cream and egg yolks back into the saucepan where the rest of the cream and sugar is still hot. Whisk it all together and continue stirring without stopping, over medium-low heat until the mixture starts to thicken or gets to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Remember that bowl with heavy whipping cream and the strainer? You are going to dump your hot custard in here. Strain the custard from the stove through the strainer as you pour it in. Discard anything left over in the strainer. Stir everything to combine it together, and add your final coffee shot and the vanilla extract. Stir it all together.

Step 3: Chill the Coffee Custard

This is probably the easiest step. Transfer your entire custard mixture into an airtight container and cool it completely in the fridge. Preferably, you should cool your ice cream custard mixture overnight. However, as long as it cools off for at least 4 hours, you should be ready to make ice cream. 

Step 4: Make Your Coffee Ice Cream

The day you are ready to enjoy your ice cream, pour the coffee custard mixture into an ice cream machine and churn it until it is completely frozen. This usually takes 30 to 40 minutes. Once your ice cream is churned, you can transfer it to an airtight container and let it freeze in your freezer for about 4 hours until it reaches a deliciously scoopable consistency! Scoop into a cone, add toppings, and enjoy! 


Making DIY Ice Cream Is Easy With Fresh & Delicious Flavored Coffee  

The above coffee ice cream recipe can be made with an array of delicious flavored coffee blends for unique flavor nuances that will excite your taste buds.

To get flavored coffee for making unique and delicious coffee ice cream, check out this amazing list of fresh coffee concoctions. On this list, you will find flavors like southern pecan, almond, amaretto, praline royale, raspberry chocolate, and so much more. 


Any of these flavored coffees can be used to make concentrated coffee shots. These concentrated coffee shots can then be added to your coffee custard. They enhance your at-home coffee ice cream recipes and give you genuine coffee essences for the ultimate taste! 


Can you make espresso ice cream? 

Yes, using shots of espresso in any DIY coffee ice cream recipe is a great option for those who do not like the artificial taste of instant coffee. When using real coffee to make coffee ice cream, the goal is to remove as much of the liquid as possible. You can do this by making shots of espresso or by making an infusion of concentrated coffee on the stove with boiling water. 


What’s another good at-home coffee ice cream flavor? 

The above recipe can be used to make an array of other delicious coffee ice cream flavors. For example, you can select a nutty coffee flavor like white chocolate macadamia nut, vanilla nut, or baklava. Then, when you incorporate your custard mixture into the last cup of heavy cream through a strainer, add a cup of chopped nuts like almonds or walnuts. 

Or, use a fruity coffee flavor like blueberries and cream or apricot cream. Then, incorporate real blueberries, apricot pieces, or ripe raspberries before you chill your custard. 

Chocolate coffee ice cream can be made at home using dark chocolate-flavored coffee and chopped chocolate pieces or chocolate shavings. There are many ways to get creative and make this recipe unique! 

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