How to Make Coffee Ice Cream: A Step-by-Step Guide

Bowl of coffee ice cream.

This coffee ice cream is absolutely delicious! The recipe was created for our Arctic Coffee Roll recipe, but it definitely stands on its own. Our favorite way to enjoy this ice cream is drizzled with a little chocolate syrup or Affogato style, served with hot coffee poured over top.

Coffee Ice Cream Recipe

Dive into the world of homemade desserts with this rich and creamy coffee ice cream recipe. Perfect for coffee aficionados and dessert lovers alike, this recipe offers a straightforward method to create a gourmet treat at home. 

Ingredients for making coffee ice cream.


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 medium egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole coffee beans (we suggest our French Roast)
  • Chocolate syrup (optional)

Equipment Required:

  • Ice cream maker
  • Saucepan
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Whisk
  • Coffee brewing equipment of your choice 
  • Bowl
  • Strainer


1. Heat together 1/2 cup of cream, whole coffee beans, milk and brown sugar. Before it starts to simmer, turn off the heat, cover it, and let the mixture steep for 30 minutes.

2. In a separate bowl, combine the egg yolks and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Stir the mixture until the sugar is dissolved.

    NOTE: The next two steps help heat the eggs slowly, which keeps them from turning into scrambled eggs.

    Cooling down ice cream mixture with ice.

    3. Reheat the original mixture until it is hot, then slowly add a small portion to your egg/sugar mixture until the bowl is hot to the touch.

    4. Add this back to the original mixture. 

    5. Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes until thickened, and make sure to stir constantly. Do not let this reach a simmer.

    6. Add the final 1 cup of cream to a bowl and place the bowl inside another bowl containing ice.

    7. Pour the original mixture into the bowl containing the cream. Once it is cool, place it in the fridge for a couple of hours, preferably overnight.

    8. When you are ready to make your ice cream, use a strainer with large holes to remove the coffee beans. 

    9. Follow the instructions on your ice cream maker to make the ice cream.

      Optional: Top with chocolate syrup for an ice cream mocha!

      What is coffee ice cream?

      Coffee ice cream is a sophisticated frozen dessert that marries the aromatic richness of coffee with the creamy texture of custard-based ice cream. Originating from the desire to infuse ice cream with the bold flavors of coffee, this dessert is often made using whole coffee beans to deeply infuse the cream with coffee’s complex flavors. The result is a rich, flavorful ice cream that carries the essence of freshly brewed coffee, accented with the smooth, milky components of traditional ice cream. This treat is ideal for those who wish to enjoy their favorite brew in a uniquely frozen form, and it can be made using various types of coffee, ranging from light roasts to robust dark roasts, each lending its distinct characteristics to the final product. 

      Does all coffee ice cream have caffeine?

      Yes, most coffee ice creams contain caffeine, as they are made with real coffee. The amount of caffeine can vary depending on the type of coffee beans used and the steeping time. For those sensitive to caffeine, decaffeinated beans are an excellent alternative. 

      Can you make homemade coffee ice cream with brewed coffee?

      Absolutely! While using whole coffee beans provides a deeper flavor and richer texture, brewed coffee can also be used to make coffee ice cream. Simply replace some of the milk in the recipe with strongly brewed coffee. The key is to use a rich, bold coffee to ensure that the flavor stands out even after freezing. 

      What are some ways to enjoy coffee ice cream?

      Arctic Roll

      Coffee ice cream is versatile and can be enjoyed in several delightful ways: 

      • In an Arctic Roll: Wrap your coffee ice cream in a thin layer of sponge cake to make an Arctic Roll, a delightful and elegant dessert. 
      • Affogato: Pour a shot of hot espresso over a scoop of coffee ice cream for an extra caffeinated twist on a classic Italian dessert. 
      • Coffee Ice Cream Milkshake: Blend coffee ice cream with a splash of milk and a shot of espresso to create a refreshing milkshake with a caffeine kick. 

      To explore more recipes, visit our blog. To discover more delicious coffee, shop San Francisco Bay Coffee today!