Homemade Coffee Ice Cream Recipe

Nothing could be better than a scoop of great ice cream on a summer day. It brings back memories of holding Mom’s hand, chasing shadows on the sidewalk, singing nursery rhymes, and jumping up to see over the dairy counter while a pink cone is being loaded with the good stuff. Now, all grown up, strawberry is swapped with espresso, the pink cone is a waffle cone, but the excitement is the same.

Most coffee homemade coffee ice cream recipes use a spoonful or two of horrible instant coffee crystals, or worse, instant coffee powder. No respectful coffee lover would dream of such a thing, and a huge flavor opportunity is being missed by using instant coffee. Coffee is such a wonderful ingredient, why should it take backstage to everything else. All of our coffee recipes have two things in common; they’re easy, and they all use real brewed coffee.

Isn’t it easier to just buy ice cream at the shop? Of course, but it’s still coffee-flavored ice cream. Most of it tastes the same, and besides, it’s a heck of a lot of fun to make at home. Every coffee aficionado knows they can buy a coffee anywhere, but they don’t. Why should ice cream be any different? When you make the ice cream at home, you have complete control of the ingredients, flavor, and best of all, the coffee.

Let’s get a few things out of the way. Coffee ice cream, at least most of it, isn’t going to keep the pounds off. Maybe that’s why it is so good and feels like a naughty sin. But, if you’re looking for something with fewer calories, you can check out our vegan and low-calorie coffee ice cream recipe. There are two families of ice cream recipes; the churn, and the no-churn. The no-churn recipes don’t require an ice cream machine, though ice cream makers aren’t expensive unless you want all the bells and whistles.

Some things to know about coffee ice cream

Ice cream itself is simple enough. You pull off the container’s lid, dig in with a scoop, put it into a serving bowl, and then lick the scoop. What else is there to know? Well, not much, but if you want to get serious about coffee ice cream, there are a few facts worth sharing.

Frozen coffee drinks are not ice cream

On a hot day, there’s nothing like sitting at an outside café and enjoying a frozen coffee drink. But frozen coffee is not homemade coffee ice cream.

Frappuccino is not coffee ice cream. It is a frozen coffee milkshake made with ice cream and is served cold. In fact, vanilla ice cream has 65 fewer calories, one-third less sodium, and half the sugar. Many restaurants serve Frappuccino with syrup toppings and sugar-nuts, which makes them worse for you than ice cream. If you want to lower the ice cream calories, even more, you can use skim instead of whole milk.

Another popular frozen coffee treat is Affogato. But you guess it, it is not coffee ice cream. Instead, Affogato is vanilla ice cream with a shot of espresso poured over. The espresso melts the ice cream to make a dessert-like drink. Making coffee ice cream is a process, and none of the ingredients are frozen, and rarely even cold.

Is Gelato ice cream?

You could say so, but there are some differences. Gelato is denser than ice cream and is creamier in texture. Gelato is made with less cream and more milk, and egg yolks aren’t an ingredient in the recipe. It is served at around ten degrees lower than ice cream, making it smoother on the tongue. For fun, we’ve included a Gelato recipe for you to try.

What is an ice cream maker?

Believe it or not, ice cream makers have been around since the 19th century. In 1843, Nancy Jonson received a U.S. Patent for an ice cream freezer. It was a pewter cylinder filled with ice cream ingredients. A paddle or mixer was inserted into the cylinder before the lid was closed. A hand-crank held the paddle in place, and the whole affair was put into a wooden pale containing ice and salt. By hand, the crank was turned until everything was frozen. Not much has changed, to be honest. Today, a motor turns the crank and the double walls of the cylinder are filled with a chemical to freeze the mixture.

Do I need one? Well, an ice cream maker does some of the work for you, and people say it makes a creamier treat, but you can make great ice cream without one. Like many kitchen gadgets, an ice cream maker may hold good intentions but sit in the cupboard for years.

Okay! Okay! Enough with the background information. Let’s get on to making some great coffee ice cream.

Cold Brew Coffee Ice Cream

Cold Brew has become a popular brewing method, and it’s easy to see why. The extraction is long and slow, and the coffee grounds never come in contact with hot water. It is the brewing method able to offer a flavorful coffee concentrate. If you’ve never made Cold Brew, we’ve got you covered. Emma Chamberlain has an easy Cold Brew Recipe and Chamberlain Coffee sells a superb Cold Brew Mason Jar.

Cold Brew is the perfect ingredient for ice cream. Its strong concentrated flavor punches through the milk and cream to make strong, luxurious ice cream. This coffee ice cream recipe makes four servings.

What you’ll need

  • 6 to 8 tablespoons cold brew coffee
  • 1 can coconut milk (full fat) or 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ - ½ cup agave, maple syrup, or honey
  • 1/4 cup nut butter of choice (optional)

How to do it

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and
  2. Blend the mixture until well incorporated.
  3. Transfer into a container and freeze.
  4. Every 45 minutes, take the mixture out of the fridge and mix with a hand blender. You'll do this for three to four hours.
  5. After the final mixing, put the mixture into a glass bowl fitted with a lid, and leave it in the freezer overnight.
  6. Serve and enjoy!


Espresso No-Churn Ice Cream

Espresso is wonderful! Ice cream is wonderful! The two together are dynamite. For this recipe, a dark roast works best and we recommend the Chamberlain Night Blend

What you’ll need

  • 1 ½ cups cream (vanilla or coffee ice cream are great)
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 2/3 cup condensed milk
  • ¼ cup espresso (strong), cold
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

How to do it

  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir the condensed milk, espresso, and cocoa powder and combine well
  2. Place the bowl into the fridge to get cold
  3. Place the bowl with the cream over a bowl of ice to keep chilled.
  4. Start whisking to thicken. Don't be in a hurry!
  5. As the cream thickens, add a tablespoon of icing sugar as you go along to help thicken.
  6. Continue beating until you achieve thick peaks.
  7. Add the condensed milk mixture and beat again for another 5-8 minutes.
  8. Pour into the loaf tin, and cover with the cling film – ensuring it touches the top of the ice cream.
  9. Place the tin into the freezer and allow it to sit overnight.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

Vegan Coffee Hazelnut Ice Cream

There are lots of dairy-free coffee ice cream recipes out there, and this one is fast and easy. Its almond milk with coffee and hazelnuts that makes a vegan treat that is out of this world.

What you’ll need

  • 1 cup brewed iced coffee
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 cups roasted hazelnuts
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

How to do it

  1. Soak hazelnuts in iced coffee and almond milk overnight.
  2. Pour soaked cashews with coffee and almond milk into the high-powered blender.
  3. Add vanilla extract and maple syrup and blend until the mixture is smooth and very creamy.
  4. Pour mixture into ice cream maker and churn until soft frozen.
  5. Pour ice cream into a freezer-safe container and freeze until firm.
  6. Before serving, let the ice cream soften for 5 minutes
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Brewed Coffee No-Churn Ice Cream

This coffee ice cream is another one using espresso. The coffee flavor comes through well, so pull a great shot. For ours, we used the Chamberlain Social Dog Blend because it’s full-bodied, complex, smooth, and has a roasted peanut undertone.

What you’ll need

  • 1 Double shot of espresso
  • 2 cups (480ml) heavy cream
  • 1 can (14oz/397g) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup (175g) dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

How to do it

  1. Brew a double shot of espresso and set it aside to cool.
  2. Using a handheld or stand mixer, whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks.
  3. Add the condensed milk and coffee and whisk in until combined well.
  4. Fold in the chocolate.
  5. Pour the mixture into a 9×5-inch loaf pan, and cover tightly.
  6. Place the loaf pan into the freezer for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Perfect Espresso Gelato

Remember, Gelato is not coffee ice cream, but it may be better. This recipe involves making a custard base, and you’ve never done a custard, don’t worry, the steps are in the recipe. You might as well apply this one directly to your hips. It sure isn’t for weight-conscious people.

What you’ll need

  • ½ cup of heavy cream
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 5 egg yolks
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 ounces of cold espresso

How to do it

  1. In a heavy saucepan, combine the milk and heavy cream.
  2. Bring the pan to a simmer over medium. Heat. Once it is simmering, lower the heat.
  3. Place the egg yolks in a bowl.
  4. Whisk the egg yolks while slowly adding the sugar. The mixture should be a pale yellow.
  5. Add the vanilla extract to the simmering milk
  6. Take a small amount of the hot milk and slowly pour it into the eggs, whisking the entire time.
  7. Mix everything together into the saucepan.
  8. Stir over low heat until thickened. The custard should be able to coat the back of a wooden spoon. This will take around ten minutes.
  9. Take the saucepan off the heat and let it cool for at least an hour.
  10. Stir in the cool espresso.
  11. Pour the mixture into a sealable glass bowl and place it in the freezer.
  12. Every 30 minutes, remove the bowl from the freezer and churn it with a hand mixer. Return it to the freezer. Do this for two to three hours.
  13. Store in the freezer overnight.
  14. Serve and enjoy!

4 Ingredient Espresso Chocolate Ice Cream

This one’s a winner. It uses espresso and chocolate. What could be better than that? Even better, it couldn’t be easier. There are only four ingredients.

What you’ll need

  • 2 shots of espresso.
  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 7 ounces of sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup chocolate chips

How to do it

  1. Pull the 2 espresso shots. Let them cool for about thirty minutes.
  2. Melt the chocolate chips and let cool.
  3. Pour the espresso into a mixing bowl
  4. Add in the heavy cream.
  5. Whisk for four to five minutes until thick and creamy.
  6. Add in the chocolate and mix well.
  7. Place into an air-tight sealable container.
  8. Set into the freezer for five hours.
  9. Let the ice cream thaw for five to ten minutes before serving.
  10. Serve and enjoy.

Licking it all up

The wonderful thing about coffee ice cream recipes is being able to experiment with various ingredients. The techniques remain the same, but you can mix and match flavors. Any of the recipes can be made by churning in an ice cream machine or churning by hand. If you see a recipe that uses instant coffee, substitute it with espresso powder you have made yourself. Espresso powder is made by baking coarsely ground coffee grounds to remove the moisture and then grinding them into a fine powder.

Once you’ve tried making your own homemade coffee ice cream, you’ll never buy a tub in the grocery store. Honestly, most of the recipes take less than an hour to make and the coffee ice cream can be stored for at least a week in the freezer. We’ve never tried storing it. There’s never anything left to store.