What Goes Well With Coffee Ice Cream?

There is no limit to the ways to make coffee ice cream as everyone has different preferences. So, what goes well with coffee ice cream?

What goes well with coffee ice cream?

Coffee ice-cream is pretty broad. You can find bold, dark, flavors or sweet concoctions with only a hint of espresso. Perhaps, cookies, cream and coffee?

The point is that there are infinite coffee ice cream variations, but no one can agree on how it should taste. So, what do ice cream makers do? It’s simple – try all of them. 

After experimenting with flavor profiles and recipes, I’ve decided on coffee ice cream recipes that take you from robust and bitter, to milky and delicate. So, you can push your boundaries, or play it safe.

Coffee Ice Cream Basics

The Beans

The beans
Freshness is essential for quality coffee ice cream

Use high-quality coffee beans. Beans that have been recently roasted and have just been ground offer the best flavor. You don’t need to buy the most expensive beans, but you do get what you pay for when you skimp out.

However, don’t stress about purchasing the most expensive, luxury beans since the subtleties of your coffee will most likely be lost to the cream and sugar. I like darker roasts for my coffee ice cream, but keep in mind that the darker your roast is, the more bitter your coffee ice cream will be. You’ll also love our list of the best coffee ice-cream recipes.

The Grind

The grind
Use a coarser-mesh filter to strain your base if you enjoy bits of grounds in your coffee

A simple medium grind will provide enough coffee flavor while staying large enough to filter easily later. Use a coarser-mesh filter to strain your base if you prefer your ice cream to have some texture.

You can use whole bean coffee, but you will require considerably more in order to get a strong flavor. You must steep the beans in milk and cream individually. So, it’s more work this way.

The Brew

You can steep the grounds in milk and cream to make coffee ice cream, then temper the hot liquid with sugar and egg yolks. It’s a lot of hassle and can quickly turn into a disaster, so there’s no reason to do it. 

The coffee flavor quickly mixes into the dairy products. In my experience, longer steeping does not improve the flavor. A better option is whisking the coffee grinds into the egg yolk and sugar mixture. Then add cold cream and milk and cook the base in just one pot. Your coffee should be fully extracted when the base reaches 170°F.

How To Make Coffee Ice Cream

Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can easily tweak your recipe to your own tastes. I recommended using from one to five tablespoons of coffee for every quart of ice cream. 

A milder ice cream similar to a sweet latte is produced at the low end of that spectrum, while you get a bolder, bracing flavor with more bitterness on the other end. Make your ice cream even more intense by using robust Vietnamese-style coffee grinds or chicory coffee.

The amount of sugar and butterfat affect your ice cream in the same way you’d anticipate. Higher cream-to-milk ratios result in ice creams that are rich and buttery – which is enhanced by the addition of the coffee.

It should go without saying that the more sugar you use, the sweeter your ice cream. So reduce the sugar if you prefer your coffee ice cream to have a little bitterness. I find that six egg yolks for every three cups of milk create a perfect ice cream that isn’t overly eggy.

Coffee Ice Cream Recipes

Even if you don’t cook or bake much, you should still get the hang on these coffee ice cream recipes.

Coffee Cookies ‘N Cream Ice Cream 

Who doesn’t love cookies ‘n cream? Adding coffee to the mix makes it even better. This dessert pits aromatic vanilla against bittersweet coffee, with some Oreos thrown in. It has a sweet yet soft profile, with just a hint of coffee.

Brownie Ice Cream

Brownies and coffee are a match made in heaven, so why not combine them?

Oreo Fudge coffee Ice Cream

You can make the most delicious dessert by combining coffee, warm fudge, and Oreo cookies. The best part about this simple recipe is that you don’t need an ice cream maker to prepare it.

Sweet Caramel Ice Cream

What goes well with coffee ice cream? Sweet cream coffee caramel ice cream
The best thing about this recipe is is low sugar and gluten-free

Combine cream with strong coffee-flavored ice cream and a caramel sauce fragranced with coffee to make this recipe.

Latte Ice Cream

If you love a latte, then your ice cream choice will represent that. This ice cream is rich and buttery with a hint of coffee.

Coffee Cardamom Ice Cream

You might not have considered that cardamom and coffee work well together, but this combo makes a great ice cream. Cardamom’s citrusy, minty scent supports the milky, mild base.

Bold Coffee Ice Cream 

By cutting back on the cream and upping the coffee, you’ll get an invigorating concoction.

Vietnamese-Inspired Coffee Ice Cream

This ice cream is strong but the bitterness is not overwhelming. It’s made with Vietnamese-style coffee – which is notorious for being dark and potent, and uses condensed milk as a sweetener. Allow some of the coffee grounds to remain in the mixture for a fun texture.

Irish Coffee Ice Cream

Irish coffee ice cream is a little boozy but still has a hint of coffee. It combines whiskey, caramelized sugar, and of course, coffee, for a refreshing, bitter, dessert. You may also want to read our guide on What Is Affogato Coffee?


  • Aisling O'Connor

    Aisling is an Irish food and drinks writer and journalist fueled by coffee and herbal tea. She followed up her journalism degree with nutrition studies. Find Aisling on LinkedIn.