Espresso Ice Cream Recipe

This Homemade Espresso Ice Cream recipe is The BEST Ice Cream in the WORLD!!!

I'm not just saying that because I made it or that I'm in the business of pimpin' recipes on this food blog.  NOOOO NO NO!

I'm telling you that you will NEVER EVER taste a more delicious Espresso ice cream than what I have made here.  Oh I know I sound bold, but I'm not boasting.  This is a FACT!

I know there are ingredients here that make or break this recipe.

  1. the blend of espresso beans used to make the 5 shots of fresh espresso
  2. using a vanilla bean pod and it's beans steeped in whole milk
  3. not holding back from using whole milk and heavy cream


I followed the very same steps and measurements to making the Blood Orange Gelato recipe.  But this time I opened up a vanilla bean pod, scraped out it's seeds, and steeped it all in whole milk for 30 minutes.

Also, I made just over 1 cup of FRESH ESPRESSO, which was about 5 espresso shots.  This went into the cooked egg & milk mixture during ice water bath step, where the original recipe says to pour in blood orange juice.

Halfway through processing the ice cream in the ice cream maker, I added 1 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips.  But I'll tell ya honestly, the chips were too many and too big.  Next time, I'm leaving them out and shaving a dark chocolate bar to sprinkle on top of the individual servings.

The vanilla milk was a very nice touch.  The vanilla did not compete with the espresso, but I believe it added a nice undertone to the smell and smoothness to the espresso flavor.


  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean pod
  • 10 egg yolks
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup fresh espresso
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

In a  medium saucepan, combine milk, vanilla beans and vanilla pod.  Bring to a gentle simmer, cover, and remove pan from heat.  Steep for 30 minutes.

Combine egg yolks, salt and sugar in an electric mixer bowl.  Use the paddle attachment to cream at medium-high speed until very thick and pale yellow, 3 to 5 minutes.
Have a large ice-water bath ready.
Pull those 4 to 5 espresso shots to make 1 cup espresso, and stir in 1 tablespoon sugar.
Return milk to a simmer.  Start by slowly whisking in half the warm milk to egg-yolk mixture, until all is incorporated.  Transfer the egg-milk mix to a large sauce pan.  Cook over LOW heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, 6 to 8 minutes.
Remove saucepan from heat, stir in heavy cream.  Pass mixture through a sieve set over a large bowl.  Place bowl in ice-water bath and stir until chilled.  Stir in cooled espresso.
Move espresso mixture to ice cream freezing can and assemble ice cream machine for freezing.

Espresso Lovers will totally groove on this ice cream.

I'm not going to say that it's okay to use brewed coffee, because it's not.  Brewed coffee would have too much water and would not be robust enough.  I've never tried instant espresso powders, so I can't tell you they're ok either.  I have an espresso machine and I'm not afraid to use it.

Every year Sulphur Springs holds an Ice Cream Freeze Off.  Thousands of folks from ALL around come to get a taste of homemade ice creams in all flavors.  I've never competed, but I've always wanted to since we moved here.  I'm thinking I'll enter this Espresso Ice Cream next year.

  • Man oh MAN! This is the best coffee ice cream I have ever tasted, and I thought Häagen-Dazs was the best ice cream for fancy flavors (sorry Blue Bell). I could smell the coffee before it ever hit my mouth. It also doesn’t leave that fatty coating on your tongue. You’ve gotta enter this in next years Texas State Champion Homemade Ice Cream Freezeoff in Sulphur Springs. I guarantee you’d win. No question.

  • Mmmm…I wouldn’t have to share this with anyone around here since they’re not coffee lovers like me. Goodness that’s a lotta cream….oooooooo!

  • But it’s make 2 quarts, I promise it doesn’t taste fattening.

  • I’ve made coffee ice cream before – but never tried espresso ice cream before! This one looks like it sure packs a punch and would be irresistible!

  • Deby

    My husband is the coffee guru, I’ll ask him to make it!

  • Oh Deby this is so good!

  • Mmmm…I wouldn’t have to share this with anyone around here since they’re not coffee lovers like me. Goodness that’s a lotta cream….It also doesn’t leave that fatty coating on your tongue.

  • Good morning Robin!

    You’re right on both counts, the recipe calls for a lot of cream but I never tasted that fatty coating on my tongue. This is simply wonderful espresso ice cream. (Leave out the chocolate chips, they interfered as a texture.)

    This was my second attempt to making ice cream, ever. I started with a traditional vanilla base and went from there. Honestly, I’m not sure that I will become an ice cream making expert and try eliminating calories and all that jazz.
    I so seldomly eat ice cream, that I hate to mess up a good thing.

    Now, if you come across a skinnier version that tastes really and truly delicious- Pass it to me. I’ll try it!

  • This was fantastic!

    I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't temper the eggs properly, so I got little tiny bits of egg all throughout the mixture. BUT, I strained it through a cheese cloth and ate the delicious semi-solid bits of mistake that gathered! They came together like a tofu-mousse… Delicious. Not what I was going for, of course, but delicious.

    The ice cream is wonderful. I'll be making this one again for sure.

    • I’m glad you’re going to try it again. The fresh espresso shots really makes this ice cream ROCK!!!

  • OMG I made this yesterday and it's amazing!! There's something for you at the end of my post about it!

  • This is wonderful. I made it today and I'm very pleased with it. Thank you.

  • Davey Nelson

    Hey Jill,

    My gf and I followed your recipe and made ice cream for the very first time using my friend’s ice cream maker.

    I used my double basket and pulled 1/2 C. of restretto. hehe. :^) Oh man, that layer of crema was incredible. We used half of your receipe. :^)

    I have to say it was easy to follow and not as time consuming as my friend’s recipes. In short, it turned out great and we were all mightly impressed.

    Thanks for sharing!! Best wishes! :^)

    • You are WELCOME, Davey! I’m gearing up to make this again. I want to make a larger batch to share with others, but I’ll need a BIGGER ice cream machine. I can’t wait to taste the Espresso ice cream again. *mouth watering*

  • I doubled this recipe and it fit perfectly in my NEW 6 Quart Rival Ice Cream Maker. I had to reload the plastic bucket with fresh ice and layered rock salt then set the timer for an extra 30 minutes. The ice cream expanded and firmed up beautifully. I was glad that I didn’t tried to triple the recipe, or I would have had a Lucy moment.

    I also used this same recipe, minus the espresso, to make Vanilla ice cream.
    I didn’t have a vanilla bean pod to steep in milk, but learned that 3 teaspoons of GOOD vanilla extract would work. (1 teaspoon vanilla = 1 inch vanilla bean pod)

    And it turned out with just the right amount of vanilla-ness. Everyone was pleased with the flavor.

    I’m headed to the kitchen now to make another batch of Vanilla, just because I can.

  • Tara Brewer

    Just made some a few hours ago and it was awesome! I didn’t change a thing, except skipped the seive step. It didn’t hurt a thing. I served it with a “Sock-it-to-me” pound cake I made, it was delecious! It was time consuming, but worth it. I will be making it again.

    • AWESOME!! You’re going to email a copy of the Sock it to me pound cake recipe, right?

  • I really wish that there would be a whole lot of different blogs such as this — informative as well as simple at the same time.

  • Don’t you understand that it is the best time to get the loan, which would make your dreams come true.

  • Mariam

    Hi Jill, this really looks so delicious, I love love coffee so i’ll totally love it but I was wondering if you could make it without and ice-cream machine, I’ve tired espresso ice-cream using a method not needing an ice-cream machine but the texture wasn’t too good.
    Thank you 🙂

    • I’ve only ever made ice cream with a machine. I wouldn’t think to make it any other way.

    • Jono

      You can actually make it by putting the REFRIDGERATED mixture into the freezer, and beating it every half hour for about 4-6 hours to get wonderfully light and smooth ice cream 🙂

  • rhoneyman

    where’s the pinch of salt go? not showing up in the instructions. i guess i’ll throw it in with the egg yolk.

    • Jill

      Ooops, I’m sorry. The pinch of salt goes with the egg yolks and sugar. I’ve corrected the recipe directions to be more clear. THANK YOU for catching that for me. I appreciate it.