Black Coffee Ice Cream

Black coffee ice cream. This creamy, easy homemade ice cream from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, made with no eggs, is a caffeine fix, coffee fix, and ice cream fix all in one, whether you take it in a bowl or on a cone or straight off the spoon. Seriously, it’s so damn good. We’re talking stick-a-spoon-in-it-and-swoon good.

A scoop of black coffee ice cream on a silver spoon.

Black Coffee Ice Cream

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 25 M
  • 35 M
  • Makes 8 (1/2-cup) servings
5/5 - 1 reviews
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Special Equipment: Ice cream maker



In a small bowl, mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch to make a smooth slurry. Forget about it for a little while.

In another bowl, whisk the cream cheese and salt until smooth. Forget about it, too.

Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a 4-quart or larger saucepan and bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the coffee, and let it steep for 5 minutes.

Tester tip: Much depends on the quality of your coffee. Freshness, too. Trust us when we say freshly ground will make ALL the difference.

Strain the coffee mixture through a strainer lined with a layer of cheesecloth, squeezing the coffee grounds in the cheesecloth to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the grounds.

Return the coffee mixture to the saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk in the reserved slurry as you bring it to a boil. Cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the reserved cream cheese mixture until smooth. Let cool slightly, then pour the mixture into a 1-gallon resealable plastic freezer bag. Fill a large bowl with ice and water and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice to the bowl as necessary, until the ice cream base mixture is uniformly cold, about 30 minutes.

Pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister of your ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions until thick and creamy.

Pack the ice cream into a container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface of the ice cream, and seal with an airtight lid. Tuck it in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours. Originally published March 16, 2012.

Print RecipeBuy the Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

This is one of the best coffee ice creams I've ever tasted. There is a rich, natural flavor of coffee that I haven't experienced with most other coffee ice creams.

All of the timing specified in the recipe worked perfectly. Like all freshly-made ice creams, this ice cream was creamy and soft when it came out of the machine, and then it set up quite firmly after a few hours in the refrigerator. The idea to put the warm mixture into a resealable plastic bag and submerge it in an ice bath is brilliant and a great time saver. Normally, ice cream directions will tell you to chill the mixture in the refrigerator for six or more hours before spinning it in the machine.

This Ice Cream is UNBELIEVABLE! Jeni’s ice creams use 3 tablespoons softened, full fat cream cheese. This, I am certain, is THE secret to the CREAMIEST ice cream EVER! This, for me is, hands down, the tastiest coffee concoction that has ever passed my lips.

YUMMMM!!!! I loved this ice cream so much! The taste was like a mocha frappuccino but with an ice-cream-like texture. The ice cream was very creamy and smooth. I'm a Starbucks lover, so I consider this the best thing ever! I never really liked the taste of coffee ice cream, so I decided to use 1/8 cup coffee and 1/8 cup unsweetened cocoa powder. Also, my assignment for school was to bring in a black treat, so I added just a few drops of black food coloring. Hoping I can make it again very soon!

This ice cream is … delicious doesn’t seem to do it justice. It is rich, yet not heavy, creamy, and irresistible. Loved the look of the tiny flecks of coffee that were not caught by the cheesecloth. Beautiful. Maybe not a chicken in every pot, but some Black Coffee Ice Cream in every freezer. Sounds good to me.

While I can’t survive without my morning cup of coffee, I have never liked coffee ice cream. But I’ve heard so much about this book and the amazing ice cream of Jeni’s, so I had to give this a try. This coffee ice cream is really amazing compared to store-bought versions.

The ingredients are different than most other ice cream recipes I’ve seen (cream cheese and cornstarch) and it was interesting to see the texture of the ice cream before it was churned. The use of fresh coffee beans makes a huge difference. I would certainly try this again, as well as many other ice creams in this book.


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  1. What if you don’t have an ice cream maker? Can it just be frozen in a tub? Could it be 1/2 frozen and whirled in a blender to add air and then back into the tub and frozen?

    1. We’ve tried numerous recipes for ice cream that don’t call for a maker, Rattildamae, and our testers are always disappointed in the texture if they go in expecting the creaminess of ice cream. So no, definitely don’t freeze it in a tub. I like what you propose regarding blending it and returning it to the freezer. It’s not quite the same as churning but it may work. I suggest you pour the ice cream mixture into a large shallow container, such as a metal baking pan, and place it the freezer and then every 30 minutes or so transfer it to the blender and whirl it a little. Kindly let us know how it goes!

  2. As with most recipes here, I can’t wait to try this one. The problem lies in the fact that some of the ingredients favoured by this website are hard to come by in Europe.

    Any thoughts on a possible susbtitute for corn syrup?

    Thought about using a simple sugar-and-water syrup, as I don’t actually know what corn syrup tastes like, but that may take away some of the fun from this recipe. Help?

  3. I work as a pastry chef at 7500 ft. Ice cream, sorbet and gelato are reliable staples in my pantry. This book is very good for both the home cook and restaurant pastry chefs who make small batches fresh daily. The Black Coffee is terrific. Try it with a raspberry or passion fruit coulis. Believe it or not it’s also great with a lemon cream.

  4. I bought Jenni’s book in December and it was the smartest thing I have done in a long time. I have made many, many recipes from the book. Last week I did a Crown Royal ice cream with salty pecans. Mmmm…

    1. Hi Sandie, that sounds so wonderful. It hit 85 degrees today so it is definitely time to whip out the ice cream maker. Have you tried the Black Coffee ice cream?

  5. How many Lactaid, lactase, tablets needed for one small bowl of this wonderful sounding ice cream? I started bloating just reading the recipe. It sounds wonderful.

    1. Stu, I got halfway to a belly laugh reading your comment but stopped short because I have milk issues as well. Trust us, it’s worth it–and I don’t say that lightly. To be safe, when I make ice cream, I use a lactose-free milk produced by Organic Valley, it’s the only l-f milk that doesn’t do me wrong. Anyways, if you indulge, do let us know what you think. And if you try Organic Valley, I’m also curious to hear your thoughts on that…

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