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Easy Espresso Ice Cream


Espresso Ice Cream is quite easily one of my favorites. I love a simple, smooth yet rich and creamy authentically coffee-tasting ice cream.

homemade ice cream in blue pottery bowlhomemade ice cream in blue pottery bowl

Espresso Ice Cream

This is a simplified and egg-free version of my Cafe con Leche Ice Cream. I absolutely LOVE the flavor of espresso ice cream. I’ve made this recipe a couple of times and each time it tastes exactly like a frozen airy cup of Cafe con Leche.

I am a stickler for flavors and ensuring the items I make taste like the real thing. Fake or artificial tasting flavors just don’t cut it for me. I really enjoy coffee-flavored things but they often seem weak or watered down in the coffee flavor department.

In an attempt to create a simplified coffee ice cream, (you can try the original and ultimate creamy, rich coffee ice cream here) I tried numerous methods and variations. I have not been impressed with anything made with just the grounds or beans steeped in milk. I prefer the deeper flavor created by mixing brewed espresso with the cream.

The hot espresso dissolved the sugar perfectly. Then when combined with cream and a touch of extra espresso powder it came out deliciously rich and espresso flavored.

In getting the truest coffee flavor possible it did result in having a bit more water (thanks to the real espresso) in the ice cream mix. It is super creamy and delicious right after you make it.

However, the espresso does create a slightly icier almost crumbly-like texture if you try to serve it straight from storing it overnight in your freezer. What I recommend doing is letting it sit on the countertop for 10 minutes at room temperature before scooping. It should scooper smoothly at that point.

Ice cream making is a science of fat, liquid, and temperature, and depending on your ingredients things do freeze and thaw a bit differently which is what can result in an icy texture.

close up of ice cream in bowlclose up of ice cream in bowl

Espresso Ice Cream Recipe

  • brewed espresso
  • sugar
  • fine sea salt
  • heavy cream
  • vanilla
  • espresso powder

blue pottery bowl with ice cream and black spoonblue pottery bowl with ice cream and black spoon

Homemade Espresso Ice Cream

To make this ice cream, place the sugar and salt in a small glass bowl and pour the hot espresso over it. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Stir in the cream and vanilla, Add the espresso powder and stir again.

Chill for a couple of hours before freezing according to your machine’s directions. Serve immediately for soft-serve ice cream or transfer to an airtight container and freeze for 2-3 hours prior to serving. Enjoy!

With over 70 ice cream recipes here to choose from, there’s sure to be an ice cream for everyone! If you’re new to making ice cream, the best and easiest vanilla ice cream is a great place to start.

These are my favorite inexpensive containers for storing ice cream. They’re perfect for gifting (who doesn’t love homemade ice cream?) storage, re-using, etc. I write the flavors on the lids with a sharpie and it washes off with dish soap.

I have more ice cream scoops than I can keep track of at this point and I definitely play favorites. This ice cream scoop does the best job ever of cutting through firm ice cream and still delivers a pretty scoop. It gets bonus points for being one of the least expensive scoops I own as well.

Don’t miss our Ice Cream Maker Review for all the information you need to find the BEST Ice Cream Maker for your needs! Spoiler alert – our top-rated machine under $50 just might surprise you. It sure surprised me!

The most popular question I get is whether it’s possible to make ice cream without a machine. The answer is YES. You can make ice cream without a machine. Find the full directions here!

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Servings: 6

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  • Place the sugar and salt in a small glass bowl and pour the hot espresso over it. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Stir in the cream and vanilla, Add the espresso powder and stir again.

  • Chill for a couple hours before freezing according to your machine’s directions. Serve immediately for soft-serve ice cream or transfer to an airtight container and freeze for 2-3 hours prior to serving. Enjoy!

Calories: 339kcal · Carbohydrates: 20g · Protein: 2g · Fat: 29g · Saturated Fat: 18g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g · Monounsaturated Fat: 7g · Cholesterol: 90mg · Sodium: 76mg · Potassium: 127mg · Sugar: 19g · Vitamin A: 1166IU · Vitamin C: 1mg · Calcium: 54mg · Iron: 0.1mg

{originally published 8/16/13 – recipe notes and photos updated 9/16/22}

homemade espresso ice creamhomemade espresso ice cream

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