Coffee Bourbon Chocolate Chip Ice Cream


Homemade coffee ice cream with bourbon and chocolate chips!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Coffee. Bourbon. Chocolate chips.

Three favorite food groups in ice cream form. Yes!

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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

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 Recipe

  • Yield: Makes one quart


  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, separated 1 cup and 1 cup
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 7/8 cup of sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup dark roasted coffee beans (use decaf beans if avoiding caffeine)
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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Coffee Bourbon Ice Cream

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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15 Comments / Reviews

No ImageCoffee Bourbon Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Kanchan

    My mix split even though I didn’t let it boil and followed every step to the T… disappointed all the ingredients wasted


  2. Gina

    I have made coffee and espresso ice cream or gelato quite a few times and this is by far the best recipe I have used and will continue using this one! It is so creamy and smooth.

    The one change I made was with the chocolate chips at the end – I turned this into a stracciatella! While the ice cream was churning, I melted the chocolate in a double boiler with a tablespoon of butter and once it was smooth and a bit cooled down I poured it into a plastic bag (put a bag in a glass and fold the edges over for ease) and cut a small triangle in the corner. When the ice cream is about 4 minutes to the finish, squeeze a smooth drizzle of chocolate into the ice cream maker and watch it harden.

    I find it makes for a softer bite than the chocolate chips.

    Thanks for the great recipe!


    Show Replies (1)
  3. Samuel Brown

    Whenever I use bourbon in ice cream I usually add it while I’m boiling the milk. It gives the alcohol a change to dissipate and keeps the ice cream former than been able to achieve adding where the recipe says. No one has ever noticed a taste difference. I do the same with vanilla extract as it is usually a higher percentage of alcohol than bourbon is.

  4. Lee

    We used four rounded scoops of ground coffee, then strained it thru a screen used for stooping bacon from spattering. Worked great! The little pieces of cooffee grounds left behind gave the ice cream the texture of natural vanilla. Also, used two tablespoons of Kaluha instead of Bourbon. The result was amazing!

  5. Zakopane_ski

    Delicious ice cream, cool recipe! Thanks!


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