Coffee Ice Cream

DessertFreezer-friendlyCoffeeIce Cream

Homemade coffee ice cream recipe using milk and cream infused with whole coffee beans.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

I love coffee ice cream, but rarely get it because the caffeine does a number on me. If I have coffee or even mocha ice cream after dinner I’m jittery until 3 am.

So, when I opened David Lebovitz‘s book, The Perfect Scoop and found a recipe for coffee ice cream, the ice cream maker bowl immediately went into the freezer.

If you make your own coffee ice cream, you can make it with decaffeinated beans! No late night jitters. Safe for kids.

David has provided helpful advice for me on practically every ice cream recipe on this site, which have all turned out great, so it’s no wonder that his new book’s recipes are spot on. I think this is the best coffee ice cream I’ve ever had.

Coffee Ice Cream Recipe

  • Yield: Makes 1 quart


  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups whole coffee beans (decaf unless you want the caffeine in your ice cream)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely ground coffee (press grinds through a fine mesh sieve)


1 Steep milk with sugar, coffee beans, salt, and cream: Heat the milk, sugar, whole coffee beans, salt, and 1/2 cup of the cream in a medium saucepan until it is quite warm and steamy, but not boiling. Once the mixture is warm, cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.

2 Set remaining cream into a bowl over ice bath with sieve: Pour the remaining 1 cup of cream into a medium size metal bowl, set on ice over a larger bowl. Set a mesh strainer on top of the bowls. Set aside.

3 Temper the egg yolks: Reheat the milk and coffee mixture, on medium heat, until again hot and steamy (not boiling!). In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks together. Slowly pour the heated milk and coffee mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly so that the egg yolks are tempered by the warm milk, but not cooked by it. Scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

4 Heat egg milk coffee mixture until it thickens: Stir the custard mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof, flat-bottomed spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula so that you can run your finger across the coating and have the coating not run. This can take about 10 minutes.

5 Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Press on the coffee beans in the strainer to extract as much of the coffee flavor as possible. Then discard the beans. Mix in the vanilla and finely ground coffee, and stir until cool.

6 Chill and process in ice cream maker: Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

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Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream from David Lebovitz

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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.

More from Elise

87 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Abby

    I LOVE this ice cream! It takes a while to do, but it doesn’t use any complicated or hard to find ingredients. In fact, I had everything I needed on hand to make it besides the cream. It turned out wonderful both in taste, texture, and hardness. It wasn’t too soft and it didn’t freeze up like ice when I put it in the freezer. The taste is amazing! I couldn’t believe how much coffee flavor was in it! I also added some cocoa bean nibs for some crunch and extra flavor and it was amazing.


    Show Replies (1)
  2. Miranda F.

    Too sweet, next time I’ll cut out some of the sugar for my families taste! Great consistency though!


  3. Beth

    Ok. This is honestly delicious. I’ll admit I normally don’t like coffee ice cream, its my husbands favorite. I can’t tell you how good this is. I will definitely make a double batch next time but it came out perfect.


  4. Julie

    I didn’t think the recipe could possibly live up to the reviews. Oh. My. Gosh. This is seriously the beatbox I’ve cream I have ever eaten. We will make a double batch tomorrow. Thank you, Elise.


  5. Donna

    SERIOUSLY the most AMAZING and BEST ever coffee ice cream !! …
    I have made it about 6 times so far we just cant get enough of it
    I am a coffee – holic and hubby is a Ice cream a holic …. and this really is the most fantastic coffee ice cream i have ever had the pleasure of in my entire life !! ( and im over 50 … thats a lot of coffee ice cream years ; )
    I like a good depth of rich flavour so i always use espresso beans … im just making another batch now beans are steeping as i write …. Thank you so much Elise for this fabulous recipe !!
    today i have cut out a 1/4 cup of sugar and will be adding a small amount of Tia Maria to it … cant wait to try it :) Thanks again Elise :)


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