Best Coffee Ice Cream – How to Make Coffee Ice Cream – The Pioneer Woman

the pioneer woman's coffee ice cream recipe

Will Dickey

Coffee ice cream is a coffee lover’s dream dessert! As Ree Drummond has frequently expressed, “I wouldn’t want to live in a world without coffee!” And we couldn’t agree more. Whether it’s starting the day with a fresh cup or sneaking in a Spicy Cowgirl Coffee after lunch, it’s one of the day’s most satisfying treats—dessert need not be excluded!

Does coffee ice cream have actual coffee in it?

There are many ways to infuse an ice cream base with rich coffee flavor, whether it’s steeping whole beans in the cream mixture or adding instant coffee granules. But a simple method is to add brewed coffee, which is how this recipe works. Use strongly brewed coffee, if you can. Brewed espresso works great or use a cup of instant coffee mixed with twice the amount of granules for the amount of water recommended. Cold-brew concentrate also works well and cuts out the brewing step before using an ice cream maker.

Does coffee ice cream have caffeine in it? 

Because it includes coffee, yes, caffeine will still be present in the end result. That said, this ice cream can also be made with strongly brewed decaffeinated coffee for less of a jolt.

What should I serve with coffee ice cream?

Ree Drummond has some thoughts on this, that make for excellent coffee ice cream consuming advice! “I like the coffee in the desserts to shine, so I usually don’t pair a coffee drink with them!” Think of this creamy ice cream as the coffee drink and pair it alongside a rich chocolate-y dessert like a chocolate sheet cake, chocolate pie, or on top of a warm chocolate lava cake.

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Yields: 2 quarts

Prep Time: 0 hours 30 mins

Total Time: 10 hours 30 mins

1 c.

granulated sugar 

1 pt.

heavy cream

1 c.

whole milk

Pinch of salt


egg yolks

1/2 c.

strongly brewed coffee

Chocolate shavings, optional

  1. In a medium pot, combine the sugar, heavy cream, milk and salt. Place over medium heat, and stir frequently, just until the sugar is dissolved (do not boil). Remove from the heat.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Remove 1/3 cup of the warm cream mixture from the pot. While whisking the yolks constantly, slowly drizzle the cream into the eggs to temper. Transfer the warmed egg mixture to the pot with the remaining cream mixture, whisking well to combine. Return the pot to medium heat, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom and corners of the pan, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon (on a thermometer, the temperature should be between 160° to 180°). Immediately pour through a mesh strainer into a large bowl and set it over a bowl of ice water. Stir to cool the mixture.
  3. Add the coffee and stir until the mixture is at room temperature. Cover and refrigerate the ice cream base for 4 hours until cold, or overnight.
  4. Transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. You can eat this directly from the machine, like soft serve, or transfer to a container to freeze for at least 6 hours, or up to 48 hours, for best texture and scoop-a-bility. Serve topped with chocolate shavings, if you like. 

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