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Basic Coffee Ice Cream Recipe


Coffee ice cream with a chocolate swirl

Coffee ice cream with a swirl of chocolate

Image © Kimberly Kunaniec

A hot cup of coffee is a great way to get a little caffeine in your day, but it may not be the most refreshing beverage when it’s 90 degrees outside. This basic coffee ice cream recipe takes the flavor of a strong cup of coffee and churns it with milk, cream and sugar to give you a refreshing summer take on a cup of coffee.

This recipe is simple and just uses the basics. But that doesn’t mean that it is boring! One of the best parts of a simple recipe is that it can be adapted to suit your taste. Check out the “Tips” section for a few ideas of how you can customize your coffee ice cream with a unique finish. I always make new recipes as they are written once, and then I work on tweaking the ingredient list until it is perfect.


  • 2 cup milk
  • 2 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cup strong brewed coffee, hot
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Combine the hot coffee and sugar and stir to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Allow the coffee to cool to room temperature. Stir in the milk, cream and vanilla extract.
  3. Refrigerate your ice cream base until it is completely cold (at least one hour). Taste the mixture to see if it has enough sugar and coffee flavor for you.
  4. Freeze according to the directions for your ice cream maker.
  5. Store the coffee ice cream in an air-tight container in the freezer. Freezing it for at least an hour after it is churned will help it set up with a firmer texture.


  • To increase the coffee flavor, add a tablespoon of instant espresso powder into the hot coffee when you stir in the sugar. This may make a beverage that is too hot to drink, but it will be perfect once you combine it with the milk and cream.
  • Anything you like in a cup of coffee can be added to this recipe. Punch it up with a different extract or a pinch of spice. For example, a little bit of cinnamon can warm up coffee and make it unique, so try adding 1/2 teaspoon of the spice into your ice cream base. A little pumpkin pie spice is another unique addition.
  • One of the most common additions for coffee ice cream is chocolate or cocoa powder, to give you a mocha ice cream. Try adding a gourmet chocolate chip or chunks to give a little fun texture to the dessert.
  • You don’t have to stick to plain sugar if you don’t want to. The molasses in brown sugar will give you a deep, rich flavor. Or, swap out some of the sugar for maple syrup for a fun fall flavor.
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