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This Homemade Coffee Ice Cream is made just like old-fashioned ice cream! It starts with a custard that is blended with heavy cream and churned in an ice cream maker for a sensationally smooth and creamy dessert.

Homemade coffee ice cream being scooped out of a loaf pan into a white bowl.

Once you’ve made this homemade churned ice cream, you will come back to it time and time again. This recipe will satisfy your sweet coffee cravings any time you have them!

I have quite a few no-churn ice cream recipes in the archives but I’ve been itching to try a more traditional homemade ice cream.

Since you really enjoyed this coffee crunch ice cream I thought it would be great to turn it into a creamy churned recipe.

Plus, I’ve gotten quite a few requests asking how to make that ice cream with an ice cream maker.

You can use today’s custard method to turn any no-churn recipe into a luscious churned ice cream. Try it with fresh blackberry ice cream or peaches and cream ice cream.

I just know the results will be amazing.

Creamy coffee ice cream in an ice cream scoop set over a pan of ice cream.

How to make homemade coffee ice cream?

Step 1: Make the base

To get started on today’s homemade coffee ice cream, you need to make the custard. It’s a simple concoction of whole milk, sugar, salt, and instant coffee granules. The recipe calls for decaffeinated coffee just in case you are sensitive to caffeine.

Put all those ingredients in a small saucepan and cook it over medium heat until it begins to steam. Make sure not to boil it or the milk will curdle. As soon as it begins to steam reduce the heat to low.

The egg yolks go in next but you can’t just drop them into the hot the milk. They’ll scramble if you do.

Instead, whisk them gently in a small bowl. Then, while you continue to whisk, slowly pour half of the hot milk into the eggs. Now you can pour the eggs into the pot with the remaining milk.

Cook the custard over medium heat until it thickens. This can take anywhere from three to five minutes. And be sure to stir it occasionally so the bottom doesn’t scorch.

milk and coffee in a pot
tempering egg yolks with coffee mixture

Step 2: Refrigerate the custard

Sometimes little bits of egg get scrambled, no matter how careful you are, so I like to strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve once it’s finished cooking. This will ensure the custard is completely smooth.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic is touching the surface of the custard. This will help prevent a skin from forming over the top.

Place the custard in the refrigerator until it’s cold. It usually takes about two hours to chill.

coffee custard in a fine mesh sieve
coffee custard covered with plastic wrap

Step 3: Churn the ice cream

When it comes time to finish the coffee ice cream, you just need to mix the custard with heavy cream and vanilla until it’s well blended and churn it in your ice cream maker.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for churning.

heavy cream added to coffee custard
homemade coffee ice cream in an ice cream machine
Close up of the best coffee flavored ice cream in an ice cream scoop.

Making old-fashioned churned ice cream seems time-consuming and this is why most people prefer no-churn options.

But all the steps above can be done in advance. The custard will be done and ready to use.

You can enjoy the ice cream right away or store it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to two weeks.

Coffee ice cream in a scoop set over a loaf pan.

Tips for making homemade coffee ice cream

  • Make the ice cream base a day in advance. It needs to be very cold before going into the ice cream maker.
  • Take care not to scramble the egg yolks. Slowly pour the hot milk in while whisking continuously.
  • Jazz up your ice cream by adding chocolate chips or nuts.
Overhead view of homemade ice cream flavored with coffee in a loaf pan with an ice cream scoop.

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Homemade coffee ice cream being scooped out of a loaf pan into a white bowl.

Homemade Coffee Ice Cream

Yield: 5 cups
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

This Homemade Coffee Ice Cream is made just like old-fashioned ice cream! It starts with a custard that is blended with heavy cream and churned in an ice cream maker for a sensationally smooth and creamy dessert. Once you’ve made this homemade churned ice cream, you will come back to it time and time again. This recipe will satisfy your sweet coffee cravings any time you have them!

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups (600 ml) whole milk
  • 1 ½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons instant decaffeinated coffee granules*
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 ¼ cups (540 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan combine the milk, sugar, salt, and coffee granules. Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until steaming. Reduce the heat to low.
  2. Lightly beat the egg yolks in a small bowl. Slowly pour half the hot milk into the eggs while whisking continuously. Return the mixture to the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  3.  Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve set over a medium bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap, allowing it to touch the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold.
  4. When ready to make the ice cream, whisk the cream and vanilla into the custard until smooth. Churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. 
  5. Enjoy right away or transfer to a freezer-safe container. The ice cream will keep for up to 2 weeks. 

Notes

Double the recipe for a larger batch.

*Caffeinated coffee can be used if desired.

*½ cup of regular, strong brewed coffee can be used instead of instant coffee granules. Omit ½ cup of the milk.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 182Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 246mgSodium: 128mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 8g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the values shown are just an estimate.

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109 Comments

  1. Jen, Thank you for this Coffee Ice-cream recipe – I was given an ice-cream maker and I found it after a Google Images search and it was the image I liked best
    (I know I eat with my eyes!!) but this time I was right, the ice -cream is amazing, better than any bought ice-cream and I’ve tried a lot. The recipe was easy and straight forward. The first time I made it was 2 years ago and my 3 year old grandson was helping me and he put an extra spoonful of coffee in! It was still amazing though.
    It is loved by all my family and friends, but me most of all!!

  2. Liz Graham says:

    Hi Jen,

    I’m just trying your receipt right now, custard is cooling, but can I check the amount of sugar please? I’ve put in 250grams as 300grams seemed a lot as I was weighing it out, but it is still so, so, sweet and I have a sweet tooth! Has anyone else ever commented on this? Just curious.

    Liz

    1. 1 1/2 cups (300g) of sugar is the correct amount for my recipe and I’ve never had anyone complain that the ice cream is too sweet. This recipe always gets rave reviews.

    2. Liz Graham says:

      @Jen Sobjack,
      Hi Jen,
      I really meant to report back about the sugar question. Can I say the ice cream was WONDERFUL and not overly sweet at all! Lesson learnt wait until it’s finished before making comments.?

  3. This recipe is the perfect ratio to get firm, velvety ice cream. This was also my first recipe tried with eggs and it is the best! I upped the coffee to 4 instant packets and it is so punchy and delicious!

  4. Van Easton says:

    Hi Jen, I LOVE coffee ice cream and always thought coffee with blueberries would be good, should I use fresh or frozen in this and when would I add it?
    Thanks!

    1. I suppose you could use either fresh or frozen since the ice cream is going to be frozen anyway. But I fear the blueberries would be too hard to eat frozen. You could try swirling it with blueberry jam instead. Do this just before transferring to a freezer-safe container for freezing.