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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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111 Comments

  1. I’ve made this recipe several times and love it. I’d like to mix it up, though. What additions, besides chocolate, do you think would work well? Thanks in advance.

    1. This is going to be a personal preference but you could try white chocolate chips, cinnamon chips, caramel chips, chocolate toffee pieces, brownie bits, bits of cookie, etc. You can essentially add anything you already like.

    2. Theresa J says:

      @Brittany,

      Have you tried oreo’s?!!!! YUM

  2. Tracy L Leggett says:

    So I haven’t made this yet but I want to and was wondering if I could actually put crushed espresso beans in it? Or crushed chocolate covered espresso beans towards the end?

    1. Yes, you can add any mix-in you think will be good. Wait until the ice cream is finished churning, then use a rubber spatula to fold in your mix-ins.

  3. I have made this ice cream. It was amazing the best icecream i have ever tested and everyone that had it said the same. Thank you for the recipe. i would however like to try it with half cream and half yougurt, would you say it’ll work ? Please let me know. Thank you

    1. I’ve not tested the recipe this way so I can’t say if it would work or not. Let me know if you give it a try!

  4. I am cooking the milk base and eggs but it is not thickening after 5 minutes. How thick should the custard be? Still liquidy or more firm? Thanks

    1. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. It won’t be firm but will thicken more up upon refrigeration. Use the video for reference. Also, it may take longer than 5 minutes depending on the stovetop and pot you use.

  5. Eleanor A Connolly says:

    Can I use 2% milk instead of whole milk?

  6. Jessica Singh says:

    A quick couple of questions. This recipe looks awesome btw! I know you addressed why you did not heat up the heavy cream with the milk in a previous comments, but I have an additional question. In the past I have whipped the sugar with the eggs? Do you think that would work?

    1. I’ve not made the recipe this way. But that is a pretty common technique when making custard so I imagine it would be fine to do.

  7. Nancy Orman says:

    I made this icecream about a dozen times allowing because everyone in my family just loves it but I use hazelnut coffee instead of regular coffee it tastes so much better

  8. Phyllis Hughes says:

    Hi, is double cream ok as we in uk have single double or thick whipped cream thanks

      1. Victoria Pulcini says:

        Hi Jen, i need help with this. When i was making it after i took it off the stove, it was all chunky. What happened? Did i leave it on too long?

      2. It sounds like the eggs scrambled. This can happen when not tempered correctly or left unattended while cooking. Cook it just until thickened while stirring frequently. Any bits of scrambled egg will be strained out in step 3.

      3. Victoria Pulcini says:

        Okay i was thinking i may have left it too long because it looked too thin. Thank you for replying back. I was not sure what happened. I will take it off the heat earlier then what i had it on for.

  9. hey so is it alright if i sub my milk for the heavy cream?

  10. I made this today. It’s the best coffee ice cream I’ve ever had. I added a little more coffee and also heath bar bits at the end. It was truly amazing.