Coffee Ice Cream

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coffee ice cream being scooped with a silver ice cream scooper

Credit: Photo: Eric Kleinberg; Food Stylist: Kristina Vanni

The flavors in this coffee ice cream are bright and distinct, allowing the essence of the coffee and the richness of cream to shine through. For an extra coffee boost, add a tablespoon of coffee liqueur to the mixture during the last 2 minutes of the churning process.

When it comes to making homemade ice cream, patience is a virtue. The problem is, once you make the decision to churn a batch of decadent handcrafted ice cream, patience often goes out the window. That’s why I prefer to make uncooked ice cream bases without eggs. Once all the ingredients are whisked together, it is possible to churn it right away. Although, to have a perfectly scoopable ice cream experience, the ice cream will need to set in the freezer for at least four hours. The wait may feel like an eternity, but it will all pay off when you taste that first bite!

Credit: Photo: Eric Kleinberg; Food Stylist: Kristina Vanni

How to Make Coffee Ice Cream

Coffee ice cream is made with milk, sugar, cream, vanilla extract, and coffee. I like to use instant espresso powder for the coffee flavor in this ice cream. It dissolves well and is more flavorful than instant coffee granules.

How Long Does Coffee Ice Cream Last in the Freezer?

When kept in an airtight container, this coffee ice cream lasts up to three months in the freezer.

Tips and Tricks for Making the Creamiest Coffee Ice Cream

For the creamiest coffee ice cream, start with the best ingredients. Because this style of ice cream is made with just milk and cream and without eggs, this allows the subtle flavors of the dairy to really shine. Also, for the best results, store the ice cream in the coldest part of your freezer. The ice cream will remain rich and creamy when you leave as little air as possible between the ice cream and lid. I suggest placing a layer of plastic wrap on top of the ice cream before storing.  

For the creamiest coffee ice cream, look to this storage-friendly recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups

    cold whole milk

  • 1 1/4 cups

    granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup

    instant espresso powder

  • 3 cups

    cold heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Make sure the base of your ice cream maker is frozen if needed. Place 1 1/2 cups whole milk, 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, and 1/4 cup instant espresso powder in a large bowl and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Add 3 cups cold heavy cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and whisk to combine.

  2. Churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions, usually about 20 to 25 minutes. At this point the ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight, freezer-safe container that just fits the ice cream. Place in the coldest part of the freezer and let freeze for at least 4 hours or ideally overnight. For best results, press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ice cream for longer-term storage to prevent freezer burn.

Recipe Notes

Coffee liqueur addition: For an extra coffee boost, add 1 tablespoon Kahlúa or other coffee liqueur to the ice cream base.

Storage: The ice cream can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

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Kristina Vänni

Contributor

Internationally recognized culinary authority Kristina Vänni is a well-known food writer, engaging TV host, award-winning recipe developer, food stylist, and photographer. In addition to writing for industry-leading websites including Better Homes and Gardens, The Spruce Eats, and Food52, she has been a featured expert on national media such as ABC News’ “World News Tonight” and CBS’ “The Talk” and has served as a spokesperson and recipe developer for national brands such as Finlandia, KitchenAid, Post Foods, Baileys, among many others. Kristina is currently writing her first cookbook, an exploration of the traditional and seasonal cuisine from her family’s dairy farm in Finland. Kristina enthusiastically shares her creative content, behind-the-scenes peeks, and industry expertise with food enthusiasts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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