Homemade Coffee Ice Cream Recipe

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Video Coffee flavored ice cream

Rich, ultra-creamy, with a bold coffee flavor — this is the best homemade coffee ice cream recipe! It’s easy to make with only 7 ingredients and is better than store-bought or ice cream parlor varieties.

overhead view of scoops of coffee ice cream in white container with an ice cream cone

We’re calling this the “Summer of Ice Cream” in our house, using our new ice cream maker to create the best versions of our favorite flavors in the comfort of our own home.

I created this coffee ice cream for my son! He has always been my coffee kid, the first time I gave him a sip of my black coffee he loved it. Well, on vacation a few years ago he tried coffee ice cream and declared it was his all-time favorite flavor. So naturally, we had to create the best coffee ice cream recipe so we could make it and enjoy it whenever the craving strikes.

This recipe is rich, ultra-creamy, and has a bold coffee flavor. It’s easy to make with only 7 ingredients and is better than any store-bought variety! Plus, you can use decaf instant coffee to make it caffeine-free if you’re making it for coffee-loving kids like my son!

4 scoops of Coffee Ice Cream in a dish with an ice cream scoop

Coffee Ice Cream: Ingredients

Here are a few notes about the ingredients and possible substitutions in this coffee ice cream recipe.

overhead photo of the 7 ingredients in this Coffee Ice Cream recipe
  • Half and half/heavy cream. This recipe calls for 3 cups of liquid dairy. You can change the ratios of half and half : cream if desired, as long as the total amount equals 3 cups. You could also substitute some of the liquid with whole milk.
  • Granulated sugar. Organic cane sugar works well in place of white granulated sugar.
  • Fine sea salt. if using iodized salt, reduce the amount by half.
  • Pure vanilla extract. I don’t recommend using imitation vanilla. However vanilla bean paste is a good substitute.
  • Instant Coffee. High quality instant coffee is worth purchasing to make this recipe. Both caffeinated and decaffeinated work well.

How to make Coffee Ice Cream

This coffee ice cream involves making a custard, straining it and then chilling the mixture for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight). So make sure to begin the process the day before you want to enjoy it!

Make the custard

To begin, warm the half and half, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisking to dissolve sugar.

Then, in a separate bowl beat the egg yolks. Add ½ cup of the warm mixture to the egg yolks and whisk to combine.

two photos showing How to Make Coffee Ice Cream - making the custard by warming milk and egg miture

Next, add the warm egg mixture to the half and half on the stovetop and whisk in the coffee granulates until dissolved.

two photos showing How to Make Coffee Ice Cream adding instant coffee

Cook the custard over medium-low heat stirring constantly until the mixture thickens slightly – just barely sticking to the back of a spatula or until it reaches 170 degrees F.

Once thickened, put the heavy cream into a bowl with a fine mesh strainer on top of the bowl. Strain the custard into the heavy cream and discard what is left on the strainer. Add vanilla extract, stir to combine.

two photos showing How to Make Coffee Ice Cream - straining the custard


Transfer the coffee ice cream mixture into an airtight container and cool completely in the fridge (preferably overnight).


Pour the coffee ice cream mixture into an ice cream maker and churn until frozen (about 30-40 minutes).

two photos showing How to Make Coffee Ice Cream - chilling and churning the ice cream


Transfer the homemade coffee ice cream to an airtight container and freeze completely, about 4 hours.

two photos showing How to Make Coffee Ice Cream - after churning and in a freezer container


Enjoy this coffee ice cream with a dollop of homemade whipped cream for an extra special treat!


This homemade coffee ice cream can be stored in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

overhead photo of 4 scoops of Coffee Ice Cream in a dish with an ice cream scoop

Ice Cream Making Tools

  • Ice cream maker: I have this Cuisinart Ice Cream maker. I bought it at a garage sale and got a great deal on it! This summer I purchased a new one, this Cuisinart Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker because it’s bigger and has a few other more desirable features.
  • Storage container: I store our homemade ice cream in a glass tupperware with a lid. There are also great containers that are made for storing ice cream, like these 1-quart storage tubs and this jumbo 2.5 quart container (for larger batches).
  • Ice cream scoop: I have a little collection of ice cream scoops! I like using a large cookie scoop because it makes pretty, round servings of ice cream due to the shape and release feature. The shape of this scoop makes it easy to serve ice cream!
five scoops of Coffee Ice Cream with an ice cream come in a white dish

FAQs about this Coffee Ice Cream Recipe

up close photo of two scoops of Coffee Ice Cream in a waffle cone

If you make and love our recipes, it would mean so much to me if you would leave a comment and rating! And don’t forget to follow along with us on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Youtube – be sure to tag @joyfoodsunshine and use the hashtag #joyfoodsunshine so we can your creations!

More Delicious Recipes:

If you love this coffee ice cream recipe, try these:

  • Our homemade vanilla ice cream is infused with vanilla beans and is oh-so good. This paleo vanilla ice cream is also a reader favorite.
  • Make your own cookie dough ice cream and load it with cookie dough chunks!
  • This is the absolute best homemade chocolate ice cream you will ever try.
  • My all-time favorite is chocolate peanut butter ice cream – homemade is so much better than even your favorite ice cream shop. Also try this healthier, dairy-free chocolate peanut butter ice cream.
  • We love this cookies and cream ice cream too – it’s bursting with cookies galore!

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