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

Ingredients

  • 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)

Method

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

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

137 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Jessie

    Can you make this without egg yolks?

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Lesley Maple

    O.M.G. This was good! I’ve made ice cream before but it’s never turned out this creamy and DELICIOUS.

    Definitely worth the work of prepping it all.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Jon Shields

    This is awesome, used espresso beans.
    2nd batch added, high end chocolate for mocha cappuccino ice cream. Make 2 batches, it goes quick.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. O W

    I made it, and though I haven’t churned it yet, I tasted the pudding and I know it will be terrific! Just wanted to pass along – you don’t have to throw away the beans- rinse them off, grind them coarsely and make iced coffee with them (4:1 ratio). It will chill and I can also take it camping in the cooler! And, for other people who get mixed up and accidentally add the whole 1 and a half cups of cream to the infusion- it is no big deal to strain out a cup of liquid before making the pudding. Didn’t want someone throwing it away since cream is expensive! As are coffee beans, which is why I hunted out my cold-brew coffee recipe! Thanks!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. Sharon

    OMG!! I have just finished churning this ice cream for my Father’s Day lunch. It’s amazing. I adapted it slightly by using half a cup of extra think double ( I’m in the UK) and an extra egg yolk. I made the custard last night and it has been sat in the fridge overnight. Definitely improved the flavour. I am sure that steeping vanilla pods instead of the coffee beans would make an amazing vanilla custard!! The ideas are swirling! Thank you for the recipe!!

    xxxxxyyyyy

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Coffee Ice Cream