Coffee Bourbon Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Homemade coffee ice cream with bourbon and chocolate chips! The bourbon gives it just a hint of flavor plus keeps it from getting too hard in the freezer.

Coffee Bourbon Ice Cream
Elise Bauer

Coffee. Bourbon. Chocolate chips.

Three favorite food groups in ice cream form. Yes!

If you've ever made homemade coffee ice cream, you know why we get so excited about it. It's like an ice cream latte—smooth, rich, creamy—but you get to pick the coffee. In my case, I use decaf beans because otherwise I'm bouncing off the walls for days.

Bump it up with some chocolate chips, douse it with a little smoky bourbon whisky, and hello, this is an ice cream dressed for a party.

Why the bourbon? Of course you can skip it if for some reason you don't want to use it.

But consider this, there's just enough in the recipe to give the ice cream a hint of bourbon flavor, and the addition of 40 proof alcohol will help keep your homemade ice cream from turning hard as stone in a day.

Coffee Bourbon Ice Cream
Elise Bauer

Homemade ice creams don't have the emulsifiers that you find in commercial ice creams, so they tend to stiffen up pretty quickly unless you add some alcohol or a lot of corn syrup to the ice cream base. (Add too much alcohol and your ice cream will never firm up, but you'll have some pretty tasty soft serve!)

Coffee Bourbon Chocolate Chip Ice Cream


  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided

  • 1 1/4 cups milk

  • 7/8 cup sugar

  • Pinch kosher salt

  • 1 cup dark roasted coffee beans (use decaf beans if avoiding caffeine)

  • 6 large egg yolks

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons bourbon

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into chip-sized chunks


  1. Steep the coffee beans in milk, cream, with sugar and salt, then strain:

    Place the milk, 1 cup of the cream, sugar, salt, and coffee beans in a medium saucepan and heat on medium heat until little bubbles form at the edge of the pan and the milk cream mixture is steamy. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 1 hour.

    After the beans have steeped in the hot milk cream mixture for an hour, strain the mixture and discard the beans.

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer
  2. Chill remaining cream in an ice bath:

    While the beans are infusing the milk cream mixture, place the remaining 1 cup of cream in a medium metal bowl, set over ice water in a larger bowl. Place a mesh strainer over the the bowl.

    Elise Bauer
  3. Temper the eggs with the hot milk cream mixture:

    Return the milk cream mixture to the saucepan and heat on medium heat until once again steamy. Do not let boil. Whisk the egg yolks in a separate, medium bowl. While whisking the egg yolks, slowly add to the egg yolks some of the hot milk cream mixture. It helps to use a ladle for this. You'll want to add about half of your milk cream mixture. (This step is to temper the eggs to help prevent curdling.) Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan with the rest of the milk cream mixture.

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer
  4. Heat the ice cream base until it starts to thicken:

    Slowly heat the custard base on medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon. When you can easily run your finger across the back of the spoon and have the mixture not run, take the saucepan off the heat.

    Elise Bauer
    Elise Bauer
  5. Strain mixture into chilled cream:

    Immediately pour the hot custard mixture through the strainer over the rest of the cream in the ice bath. This will help cool down the mixture quickly. Some curdles may have formed, if so the strainer will catch them.

    Elise Bauer
  6. Chill several hours:

    Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours (preferably overnight) until well chilled.

  7. Stir in bourbon and vanilla:

    When ready to process in your ice cream maker, stir in the bourbon and the vanilla extract. Do not use more than 2 1/2 tablespoons of bourbon or your ice cream will not get firm. (Use no more than 3 Tbsp of bourbon, or the ice cream will have a hard time freezing.)

  8. Process in ice cream maker:

    Process in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

  9. Add chocolate chips:

    Once processed, stir in the chocolate chips and place in a container into the freezer. Let freeze for several hours (to firm) before serving.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
3706 Calories
253g Fat
298g Carbs
70g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 3706
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 253g 325%
Saturated Fat 150g 748%
Cholesterol 1863mg 621%
Sodium 807mg 35%
Total Carbohydrate 298g 108%
Dietary Fiber 8g 30%
Total Sugars 284g
Protein 70g
Vitamin C 3mg 17%
Calcium 922mg 71%
Iron 11mg 60%
Potassium 1956mg 42%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.