Homemade Coffee Ice Cream

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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.

Homemade Coffee Ice Cream

4.54 from 320 votes
Homemade coffee ice cream being scooped out of a loaf pan into a white bowl.
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!
Jen Sobjack
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Serving Size 5

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  • 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.
  • 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.
  •  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.
  • 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. 
  • 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.
Makes 5 cups of ice cream.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 748kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 29g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 369mg | Sodium: 145mg | Potassium: 382mg | Sugar: 69g | Vitamin A: 2083IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 252mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition information provided is for convenience and as a courtesy only. It is not guaranteed to be accurate because nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator and input the exact ingredients and brands you used in the recipe.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

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136 Comments

  1. This is the creamiest ice cream I have ever made! It was perfect! My churn usually stops on its own, but since it didn’t, I stopped it when it was a nice, stand on its own, soft serve.
    It is perfect!

  2. Libby Lupo says:

    I have been looking for an old fashioned ice cream recipe using eggs. My mother always used eggs, cooked and chilled the mix and then churned it. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  3. 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!!

  4. 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. Jen Sobjack says:

      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. Learning from GGBO, ice cream, unchurned, is always much sweeter than other desserts. Like you mentioned, once churned and ready, it’ll taste just right 🙂

  5. 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!

  6. 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. Jen Sobjack says:

      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.

  7. 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. Jen Sobjack says:

      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

  8. 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. Jen Sobjack says:

      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.

  9. 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. Jen Sobjack says:

      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!

  10. 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. Jen Sobjack says:

      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.