How To Make Homemade Coffee Ice Cream And Perfectly Pair It With Classic Confections

12 min read SEP 02, 2023

Bold, rich, smooth, and delicious…mmmm coffee!

Smooth, creamy, tasty, and cold…mmmm ice cream!

Coffee and ice cream, could there be a better union? (Said in my best Chandler Bing voice)

Coffee ice cream brings together two worldwide loves, allowing you to savor the robust yet smooth flavor of coffee in the form of a creamy, sweet, and cool dessert.

But, this now classic ice cream shop offering wasn’t always on the menu.

The origin of ice cream is thought to reach back as far as the second century bc, however coffee ice cream didn’t make its debut until the early 1900’s. Even then, this java infused treat didn’t reach peak popularity until many years later.

Now, not only can you find this confection in most ice cream shops and grocery stores, you can even make it at home!

Growing up, my memories of homemade ice cream involved cranking the machine by hand, a job most often left up to the children who eagerly awaited a cone or two, and one flavor, vanilla.

My grandparents must’ve been trendsetters though, because when everyone around us in our small town boasted their classic vanilla ice cream, my grandma and grandpa were churning out banana, chocolate, and strawberry as well.

I can only imagine how delicious it would have been had my grandmother thought to add coffee to her ice cream base.

While I don’t have my grandmother’s ice cream base recipe as this was something she knew by heart and didn’t write down, thankfully there are many ways to incorporate coffee when making this treat at home today. And, you don’t even have to hand crank it!

So, brew a tasty cup of joe to sip as you read on where we’ll detail some coffee ice cream tips and tricks, fabulous coffee ice cream recipes, as well as some delicious desserts you can pair with this creamy confection.

Coffee Ice Cream Tips And Tricks

When enjoying coffee ice cream that you’ve made from the comforts of your own kitchen, there are a few tips to keep in mind to ensure you fully enjoy this chilly treat.

First, some folks love to enjoy ice cream as an evening treat. But, when enjoying coffee ice cream late in the evening, the caffeine content of this dessert may have negative effects on sleep.

So, if you’re sensitive to caffeine and plan to enjoy a cup or cone of this chilly java infused treat late in the evening, simply use decaffeinated coffee in any of the recipes listed below. This way, you’ll enjoy all the flavor minus any unwanted jitters or sleepless nights.

Next, homemade coffee ice cream is truly a versatile treat as you can use any flavor of coffee you’d like.

The recipes listed below will include a specific roast, but flavor possibilities are vast here as you can switch these out at will.

For those of you who love mint flavored ice cream, try using our Peppermint Mocha Coffee in place of the roast mentioned in the ingredient list. If you’re a fan of fruity flavors, our Blueberry Cinnamon Crumble is exceptional as a base in ice cream.

The best part about using flavored coffee selections is that you can subtly transform the flavor of your coffee ice cream without adding a long list of extras (including greater amounts of sugar).

Here’s a few flavor ideas utilizing our coffee selections that I’ve either tried with great success or plan to try soon:

  • Lifeboost Creme Brulee Coffee
  • Lifeboost Highlander Grogg Coffee
  • Lifeboost Pistachio Coffee
  • Lifeboost Pumpkin Spice Coffee
  • Lifeboost Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle Coffee
  • Lifeboost Toasted Coconut Coffee
  • Lifeboost Smoky Butterscotch Coffee

Then, some folks enjoy ice cream as a dessert in and of itself, while others prefer savoring this treat on the side, pairing it with, or in, another decadent choice.

When it comes to pairing coffee ice cream with other desserts, there is a clear companion here: chocolate.

If you’re making a simple, or basic, coffee ice cream from a classic roast, chocolate cake is thought to be the ultimate pairing, kind of like vanilla ice cream and apple pie.

And, if you don’t want a slice of chocolate cake alongside your scoop, you can always use your homemade coffee ice cream in a dessert. Hint…stick around because we’ll be sharing some dessert recipes for both pairing and building upon the coffee ice cream recipes we’ll be sharing below.

And lastly, before we get down to the good stuff, the recipes, one thing to note when making your own ice cream is that homemade versions often require a bit of thaw time for easy scooping.

Obviously no one wants melted ice cream, so we’re only talking ten minutes or so at room temperature to achieve optimal scoopability, but since these homemade versions lack the chemical laundry list of stabilizers and preservatives (thank goodness), a bit of room temp time is necessary.

So now, without further delay, we hope you enjoy preparing and savoring each of the following recipes for coffee ice cream as well as some delicious dessert pairings.

Fabulous Coffee Ice Cream Recipes

1- Healthy Coffee Ice Cream

This recipe is vegan, paleo-friendly, keto-approved, dairy free, and delicious. In other words, this ice cream is a real crowd pleaser, fitting most anyone’s needs, including the need for sweet tooth satisfaction!

Just be sure to set out this frozen treat for roughly ten minutes at room temperature when you’re ready to serve it for easy scooping.


1 ½ cups strongly brewed and chilled (or cold brewed) Lifeboost Dark Roast Coffee
2 cans full fat coconut milk (see note prior to instructions)
⅔ cup real maple syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Note: Before using the cans of coconut milk, place them in the freezer for roughly ten minutes or refrigerate them for a few hours to allow the coconut cream layer to separate from the coconut water. You’ll only be using the hardened coconut cream here, not the liquid.

  • Spoon out the hardened coconut cream from each can of coconut milk and add it to a blender.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the blender, and blend on high until smooth and creamy.
  • Pour the mixture into a freezer safe container and freeze for 4-6 hours or until set. Enjoy!

2- Old Fashioned Coffee Ice Cream

This recipe takes a bit more effort and the use of an ice cream machine, but I think you’ll find that the creamy, coffee flavored reward is well worth it!


  • 1 ½ cups whole bean Lifeboost Medium Roast Coffee (not brewed, just the beans)
  • ¾ cup cane sugar
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream, divided
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • ¼ teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon finely ground coffee
  • ice


  • Add milk, sugar, salt, half the heavy cream, and the coffee beans to a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until warm, but not boiling. Be sure to stir frequently so all the sugar can dissolve.
  • Once the mixture is thoroughly warmed, cover and remove from heat.
  • Let the mixture stand at room temperature, covered, for one hour to allow the coffee beans to steep, infusing flavor into the milk mixture.
  • Add ice to a large bowl, then pour the remaining heavy cream into a medium sized bowl and rest this bowl in the large bowl with ice for the cream to chill. Set aside.
  • Return the coffee-milk mixture to medium heat, uncovered, and warm until hot, but not boiling.
  • While the coffee mixture is reheating, whisk egg yolks together in a separate bowl.
  • Slowly pour the heated coffee-milk mixture a little at a time into the egg yolks. Be sure to whisk constantly as you pour, so the yolks do not cook.
  • Return the mixture back to the saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly with a heat proof spatula until the mixture thickens. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan as well. (This can take ten minutes or more.)
  • Place a mesh strainer over the bowl with the chilled cream (the one resting in the ice bath), and pour the thickened custard through the strainer. Press the coffee beans into the strainer to remove as much flavor as possible.
  • Stir the custard into the cream, then add vanilla and finely ground coffee. Stir until the mixture is cool.
  • Place the mixture into the refrigerator to chill, then add the chilled mix to your ice cream maker, and prepare according to the manufacturer's directions. Enjoy!

3- Easy Coffee Ice Cream

Looking for a simple, but classic ice cream recipe with a rich coffee flavor? We’ve got you covered!

This recipe omits churning, only contains 5 ingredients, and it’s super creamy, sweet, and delicious!


  • 2 ounces (two pulled shots) Lifeboost Organic Espresso Coffee
  • 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream


  • Add freshly brewed or pulled espresso to a large bowl, then whisk in sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and salt until combined.
  • Place this mixture into the refrigerator to chill as you prepare the heavy whipping cream.
  • Add the heavy cream to a chilled glass or metal bowl and beat with a mixer until stiff peaks form.
  • Whisk the cooled coffee mixture into the whipped heavy cream gently until combined. Be careful not to over mix.
  • Pour the mixture into a pan (a bread loaf pan works well here) and cover. Place into the freezer for at least 6 hours or until frozen.
  • When ready to serve, the whipped heavy cream should keep this recipe from getting too stiff, so you should only need to run your ice cream scoop under warm water to ensure easy scooping. Enjoy!

A Few Fabulous Desserts To Pair With Coffee Ice Cream

1- Chocolate Cake ala Mode

We mentioned that coffee ice cream pairs perfectly with chocolate, so we obviously had to include a decadently delicious chocolate cake recipe you can make to serve alongside any of the coffee ice cream recipes we listed above.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups cane sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground Lifeboost Organic Espresso Coffee
  • 1 cup milk (dairy or non)
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and prepare two 9 inch cake pans by coating with butter and dusting with flour.
  • Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder to a large mixing bowl and whisk until combined.
  • Add milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla to the dry mixture. Mix on medium speed until well combined.
  • Lower the mixing speed and carefully add boiling water, mixing until well combined.
  • Divide the cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake pans comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake pans from the oven and allow to cool for roughly ten minutes before removing the cake from the pan. Allow the cakes to finish cooling on a wire rack.
  • Frost with chocolate buttercream frosting, and enjoy! (see recipe below)

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 ½ cups butter, softened
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 5 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon finely ground Lifeboost Organic Espresso Coffee

Add cocoa powder to a large bowl and whisk to remove any clumps. Cream together the butter and cocoa powder until well combined. Add sugar and milk to the cocoa mixture in the following manner: add 1 cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon of milk at a time, mixing on high speed for one minute in between each sugar-milk addition until you’ve added all milk and sugar. Mix in vanilla and espresso powder.

*If the icing seems too dry, add 1 teaspoon of milk at a time, mixing after each addition, until desired consistency is reached.

*If the icing seems too thin or wet, add 1 tablespoon of confectioner’s sugar at a time, mixing after each addition, until desired consistency is reached.

2- Mexican Coffee Ice Cream Pie

If you’d prefer to make coffee ice cream in a dessert instead of pairing a few scoops with one, give this ice cream pie a try.

Using coffee, chocolate, a bit of cinnamon, and vanilla, this is essentially Mexican coffee you can eat, how fun is that?! (As a bonus, you could even make the ice cream filling to use alone.)

This recipe includes instructions for the crust, a Mexican ice cream filling, and a whipped topping. To avoid listing all the ingredients at once, we’ll separate the list for each of those three elements of the pie.

Chocolate Graham Crust

  • 1 ½ cups finely crushed graham crackers
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • 8 tablespoons melted butter

Mexican Ice Cream Filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 ounces prepared Lifeboost Organic Espresso Coffee
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract

Mexican Ice Cream Pie Topping

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cane sugar
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 ounce dark chocolate, finely chopped or shaved


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
  • Lightly grease a 9 inch pie pan.
  • Add graham crackers to a food processor and pulse until they are the texture of sand.
  • Combine crushed graham crackers, cocoa, cinnamon, and vanilla, then stir in the melted butter until a dark, slightly crumbly dough forms.
  • Press the dough evenly into the pie pan, then bake for 7 minutes. Allow the crust to cool for 30 minutes.
  • To make the Mexican coffee ice cream filling, add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Pour the blended mixture into the cooled pie crust, cover, and freeze for at least 8 hours (overnight is recommended).
  • Once the pie is frozen, prior to serving, add whipping cream, vanilla, sugar, and cinnamon to a chilled mixing bowl, and mix until soft peaks form. Be careful not to over mix.
  • Spread the whipped cream over the frozen pie, then top with chopped (or shaved) chocolate. Serve immediately, or place the pie back in the freezer for about an hour if you’d like the whipped topping to freeze up a bit prior to enjoying.

Check out Lifeboost Coffee Espresso.


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