Espresso Ice Cream

This most delicious rich and silky espresso ice cream with a little caffeine boost.
By September 6, 2017 23 Comments Jump to Recipe
espresso ice cream in jar horizontal

This is how coffee ice cream should taste. No powders, no substitutes; just a real espresso and ice cream base. If you love coffee and love luxurious silky ice cream, you will love this.

There are various methods for making coffee ice cream. You can use espresso powder, put the beans in the hot liquid, or use actual fresh espresso. I thought that actual espresso might result in larger ice crystals because of the extra water content. Thankfully, I was wrong about that and the ice cream turned out as creamy as you could dream about and the flavor is just insane.

espresso ice cream scoops on sheet pan

One of the reasons that using actual espresso makes for better-flavored coffee ice cream is that you can control what espresso you use. Since different beans have different flavors, you can use the flavor and intensity that you prefer. Pretty cool, right?

If you don’t have an espresso machine to brew your own espresso, that’s not a problem at all. Stop by your favorite cafe on the way home and order up a few espresso shots to go, and don’t forget to order an extra to drink.

espresso ice cream with grounds verticalespresso ice cream overhead

I drink espresso drinks on the daily and really enjoy strong coffee flavor with lots of milk or cream. There is a range with how much espresso to use in this recipe and it’s because you might like it strong, or you might like it weak. I prefer 4 shots, but my wife thought it was a tad strong, so she would probably make it with 2 shots.

If you are making this for an evening dessert, it’s probably a good idea to use decaf espresso, but either is fine.

espresso ice cream with grounds vertical

Espresso Ice Cream

4.45 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours
Servings: 1 quart


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 to 4 shots decaffeinated or regular espresso (1/4 to 1/2 cup)


  • In a medium saucepan, heat the cream, milk, sugar and salt over medium heat; whisking to dissolve the sugar (about 4 to 5 minutes).
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks.
  • Gradually pour about 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk bowl, while continually whisking to temper the eggs. 
  • Add the tempered egg yolk mixture back to the pan while whisking until it just comes to a simmer. 
  • Remove the pan from the heat, then add the vanilla extract and espresso.
  • Pour the ice cream base through a fine mesh strainer and chill completely.
  • Spin in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.


  • Use between 2 and 4 shots of espresso depending on how strong you like the coffee flavor in the ice cream.
  • This recipe will yield about 1 quart of ice cream.

Join the discussion 23 Comments

  • best Iced coffee in the house says:

    Iced coffee is my love language.

  • Alison says:

    EXCELLENT!! Going to make it again with dark chocolate chips or maybe cacao nibs!

  • Stacy says:

    This is out-of-this-world good. My husband roasts his own coffee and, of course, brews it so this was a perfect collaboration recipe for the two of us. We used about four ounces of brewed espresso, knowing we would prefer it on the strong side, and it did not disappoint. I churned for about 20 minutes in my ice cream maker and froze in a designated ice cream container, and it’s creamy and scoopable without any notable crystallization. Smooth and bold, it’s like an affogato in a dish.

    This is immediately going into our ice cream recipe rotation!

    • justin says:

      That’s amazing that your husband roasts his own coffee. So cool. And to put it into this ice cream is the best. Now I’m craving it again. Maybe a Bailey’s coffee version. 😛

  • Janin says:

    Hi! Do you have a recipe like this that does not need an ice cream maker? Thank you so much!!!

  • Mel Burley says:

    My family just love coffee ice cream and we have tried lots of artisan examples. I tried this recipe with 4 shots of Illy espresso and it was excellent, really tasty, smooth and no ice. I am going to try it with one extra shot next time, I’m also going to try it with the addition of some coffee liqueur!

    • justin says:

      Hey Mel! That sounds wonderful. And thanks so much for letting me know how it turned out. I bet it will be amazing with the coffee liqueur! Even Baileys could be a great addition.

  • Richard says:

    With 4 shots of espresso as per the recipe it wasnt creamy or silky at all. It was like crushed ice crystals and we won’t be making it this way again.

    • justin says:

      Hey Richard,
      Super sorry to hear it had ice crystals and wasn’t creamy. I’ve made this countless times and haven’t had that issue, so I’d love to troubleshoot it with you to try and figure out what the cause was.
      What ice cream maker did you use? How long did you spin it for? Was the ice cream base completely chilled before spinning it?

  • Tufic Levien Gonzalez says:

    Haven’t really made it yet, looking forward to it 🙂 quick question: how many servings (qts. Pints, liters) does it make?

  • OPHtimistic Baker says:

    This is THE BEST coffee ice cream I’ve ever made or taste!!! It is devine!!! silky, smooth and a lovely smell of coffee. I added 3 shot Nespresso and it’s just perfect. My family loves it and my friends rave about it. Thank you!!!

    • justin says:

      Oh my gosh. Thank you so much! I’m so happy you love it. The two ice cream flavors I would eat as a kid were coffee and mint chocolate chip. If you also like Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, you should definitely try making my recipe for it. 🙂

    • Jannela Xia says:

      I’ve tried this recipe twice now, it turned out great….I think. The sugar amount is just right, it’s not too sweet at all. I’ve been doing the 2 double shots so equivalent to 4 shots. But when I did the 2nd time, what I noticed is there was some precipitate in the final ice cream. I wonder if I strained it right after I moved from the stove but the content was still heating so the egg was still cooking….any suggestions?

      • justin says:

        Hi Jannela! Glad to hear it turned out great. I bet your hypothesis is likely what happened. If the egg was still cooking and not fully tempered yet, it could cause this. I would try cooling down more or strain a second time if you notice anything.

  • Kathy says:

    Delicious! My favorite dessert is ice cream! And this ice cream looks heavenly! I am gonna have it right now and pinned your site! Thanks for sharing!

  • I love to read your post because I always learn something new. I like the idea to use coffee beans, and I can get flavored coffee and make my espresso. Bravo!

    • justin says:

      That’s so nice to hear, Carlos! Thank you very much. I always learn something new when I write a post too, because it gets me thinking about the why and the how. 🙂

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