Coffee Ice Cream Recipe

Heather Dessinger

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Parenting Rule #386: Always say grown-up. Not adult, GROWN-UP. This is an essential distinction to make, or else you may find yourself standing in a very public place with a child asking loudly, “Mommy, can I watch the adult movie, too?” (It was What About Bob – the only grown-up option available where we were staying on vacation. Don’t judge.)

Now that we have that out of the way, I’d like to introduce you to grown-up ice cream. Rich and smooth with a hint of caramel, this simple indulgence is made with wholesome ingredients: real cream, unrefined sugar, egg yolks, grass-fed gelatin, a pinch of salt, and of course the most beloved elixir of just about every parent I know: C-O-F-F-E-E.

Now, this may get me kicked out of the club, but I don’t drink coffee every day. And I don’t have much of a sweet tooth so desserts are an occasional thing for me.

But oh, when parenting hits a moment of peak craziness this coffee ice cream recipe is like sanity in a bowl. Homemade “magic shell” is optional, but highly recommended. Enjoy!

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5 from 3 votes

Homemade Coffee Ice Cream Recipe

Rich and smooth with a hint of caramel, this coffee ice cream recipe is so good. (And easy to make, too!) Makes approximately 4 cups.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 323kcal
Author Heather Dessinger



  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee (Room temperature. I brew 6 tbsp with just over 1 ½ cups of water in my french press to get this amount. For a more intense coffee flavor you can also include a shot of espresso.)
  • cup sucanat
  • ¼ tsp unrefined sea salt
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp grass-fed gelatin
  • 2 tbsp rum (optional - keeps ice cream from becoming as hard as a rock. See my post on making homemade eggnog, Appleton Estates rum is non-GMO)


  • Measure out two tablespoons of coffee. Add gelatin to the 2 tablespoons coffee and set it aside. (It needs time to soften and absorb liquid.)
    1 cup strong brewed coffee, 1 tsp grass-fed gelatin
  • Add the cream, sucanat and salt to a small pot. Warm over medium heat until the sucanat is completely dissolved – about five minutes. Remove from heat and measure out ⅓ cup of the mixture. Set aside the rest.
    2 cups heavy cream, ⅔ cup sucanat, ¼ tsp unrefined sea salt
  • Slowly pour the ⅓ cup of the cream mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from curdling. Now take the egg mixture and slowly whisk it in to the pot with the remaining cream.
    6 large egg yolks
  • Return pot to low/medium heat and cook until it reaches 170°F on a candy thermometer. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, dip your spoon in the mixture and then lift it above the pot. When it’s thick enough to coat the back of the spoon it’s ready.
  • Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Whisk in the coffee/gelatin mixture. When the gelatin is fully combined, add the rest of the coffee and vodka/rum (if using).
    2 tbsp rum
  • Cover and refrigerate your ice cream mixture for at least four hours. I usually make mine a day in advance and chill overnight.
  • Pour mixture in an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer's instructions. Enjoy right away as a soft-serve, or transfer to an airtight container and place in the freezer until firm.


This recipe can be doubled, but depending on the size of your ice cream maker you may need to churn it in two batches.


Serving: 0.5cups | Calories: 323kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 213mg | Sodium: 97mg | Potassium: 91mg | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 1069IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 0.5mg

More Coffee & Ice Cream Recipes To Try

Coconut Milk Vanilla Ice Cream – This recipe has a soft-serve consistency that kids – and adults – love.

Butter Pecan Ice Cream – Made with toasted pecans, this dairy-free ice cream has the smooth, buttery flavor of real deal butter pecan ice cream . . . just without the butter. 🙂

Frozen Cappuccino (Iced Coffee) – This yummy blended frozen coffee drink is made with frozen coffee cubes and milk or coconut milk.

Homemade Coffee Ice Cream Recipe #realfood

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Heather is a holistic health educator, herbalist, DIYer, Lyme and mold warrior. Since founding in 2009, Heather has been taking complicated health research and making it easy to understand. She shares tested natural recipes and herbal remedies with millions of naturally minded mamas around the world. 

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Recipe Rating

30 thoughts on “Coffee Ice Cream Recipe”

  1. Hi Heather,

    Your recipe really cought my eye. As I’m trying to get away from”sugar”, would you know if replacing it with honey would work in this recipe? I really enjoy your site and Am grateful cor the wonderful ideas you post. Best to you.

    • Yes make with honey. Ice cream made with honey turns out so wonderfully delicious! I always make my ice cream with honey or maple syrup

    • OK, usually I like how you format your recipes, however, adding in the ingredient into the instructions is CONFUSING to say the least!
      Not sure why you did it this way, but it needs explanation….

      Evelyn, you can use Bocha Sweet. It is a keto friendly ( doesn’t affect blood sugar) sugar replacement option. You use it exactly as you would use sugar. I’m going to try using the same amount as the sucanat and hope it is sweet enough. But then I haven’t had sugar for a long time, so it may be just perfect.

  2. Normally I don’t go to the effort of heating my ice cream and creating a custard. I just through it all in the blender and whiz. Is there any reason it needs heated (aside from the fear of eating raw eggs, which I do daily).

  3. I think I’m going to surprise my husband with this!
    But sub coconut cream or canned coconut milk somehow since dairy doesn’t jive with the man.
    I’ll let you know how it turns out!

  4. Why the gelatin? Is this simply a way of adding more into the diet or does the consistency lack structure that it’s necessary? Does it make it at all rubbery in texture?

  5. What tired mom doesn’t need a little coffee ice cream at least once in the summer. Thanks for this recipe; it sounds delicious and I am certain the moms on our site will appreciate. I sometimes use maple sugar or coconut sugar as a natural sugar.

    • I have heard of using arrowroot as a thickener for nut milk-based ice creams, but not necessarily as something that would prevent it from hardening. It may, but I haven’t experimented with it so I can’t say either way.

  6. TOTALLY with you on the “adult” thing. I went down that road at first, and have had to rename movies, beverages, etc. along the way as uncomfortable and sometimes public conversations come up! Ahh, parenting…

    Love this grownup ice cream recipe too – sharing it with my audience today!

  7. Thanks for the laugh. we too had an “adult movie” conversation the other day while grocery shopping. My very opinionated and strong willed 3 yr old thought the whole store needed to hear about how Daddy let her watch the adult movie even though I dont allow it. I was mortified!!! Note to self one day when I write the book on parenting that fills in all the real life issues missed in the parenting books these days…make sure never to call anything adult! ohhh..and coffee ice cream is my favorite!

  8. Do I have to cook it? My family has always made ice cream with raw eggs, so I hate to add a step I don’t have to! 🙂

  9. G’day from Down Under,
    I love the sound of this ice-cream, for some reason every coffee ice-cream on the market contains chunks of chocolate or nuts, great if that’s what you like, I prefer a smooth, rich and creamy ice-cream full of flavour.
    My problem is that I am trying to reduce my dairy and sugar intake. Are you able to suggest alternative products, like honey and coconut milk or cream, and can I use chickory essence instead of coffee?? Will it still have the rich, full-cream flavour of your original recipe??
    Please explain the correct amount of each to use instead of cream, coffee & sugar??? Mayhaps it means writing a completely new recipe?? Unless you know of a website or FaceBook page that has covered such a recipe already??

  10. Just made this one today and it was a flop… Followed to a T , let it cool over night and the churning bowl was frozen, but the ice cream never expanded in the machine… 20 minutes and it was still as liquid as before.. Will re freeze the bowl and chill the cream for a few more hours and try again to see…

    • Hi Rebecca, you’re saying it never froze in your ice cream maker? Have you had success freezing other recipes in your ice cream maker? I’ve never heard of this happening.

      • Hi, yes exactly, it stayed pretty liquid in the ice cream maker…normally it gets a lot thicker and fills up the container when the 15 minutes is up.. I’ve made your strawberry ice cream too (which is amazing by the way!) and it got super thick.. Same thing with other recipes.. Only with this one did it stay the same consistency as before churning it… I’m actually trying it again right now, so let’s hope it works!

        • Update: It turned out great this time! Got thicker in the ice cream maker. (the batch that didn’t thicken, I still put it in the freezer and it tasted great) This one tasted just the same as last time. Just had a nicer consistency. Maybe it was too hot outside and the bowl couldn’t stay frozen for the 15 minutes of churning. Anyways! Love this recipe and so does my family! Thank you! Will be keeping this one!

  11. Hi Heather,
    Thank you for sharing this recipe, I will try it definitely because coffee ice cream are my favourite, especially this once with a touch of rum… it!
    Just one question, why the recipe calls for gelatine? To make it thicker, or there is an other purpose? All the best.

  12. This ice cream is AMAZING! Just
    made it along with Against All Grains chocolate cake from Celebrations. Layered the two together to make an ice cream cake for my grandmas birthday. Soooooooooo good!

  13. 5 stars
    I made this the other day… used honey instead of sugar (same amount) did not heat anything up just blend all the ingredients together (no rum either) let it sit in the freezer for 30 minutes maybe and churned for 30 or more minutes. Pour it in a loaf pan and freeze. As of today it’s still nice and soft and no ice crystals- just the way we like it 🙂 So delicious!

  14. Hi heather! Have you ever heard of yam ice cream? I had some in Hawaii and it was sooo delicious.
    It is made from Okinawan yams which are white with purple varigation, so that the ice cream
    is lavender in color.

  15. I’m a little confused. The ingredients list specifies 1 cup strong coffee. Step 1 says to measure out 2 T of coffee. When and how is the rest of the coffee used?