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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.
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!
Coffee Ice Cream: Ingredients
Here are a few notes about the ingredients and possible substitutions 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.
Next, add the warm egg mixture to the half and half on the stovetop and whisk in the coffee granulates until dissolved.
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.
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).
Transfer the homemade coffee ice cream to an airtight container and freeze completely, about 4 hours.
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.
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!
FAQs about this Coffee Ice Cream Recipe
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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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