Black Coffee Ice Cream

My Black Coffee Ice Cream recipe is the real deal — no namby pamby coffee flavor here! This homemade coffee ice cream recipe will satisfy your wildest caffeine cravings.

For serious coffee lovers --- This is about as intense a flavor as you can get in an ice cream, without leaving out the cream altogether!

Intense Black Coffee Ice Cream, the way coffee ice cream should be!

I don’t know about you guys, but the flavor of coffee ice cream always disappoints me. It’s never bold enough. To me it always tastes like that cup of coffee I accidentally poured waaaay too much cream into. Yuck. So I set out to make myself some of the real deal. I call it Black Coffee. It’s about as black as you can get it without leaving out the cream altogether, in which case you wouldn’t have ice cream 🙂

Freshly churned Black Coffee Ice Cream

This is a simple ice cream recipe, no eggs or custard to worry about. I don’t find the extra steps add all that much, especially if you eat your ice cream the same day it’s made. I use a base of half and half, which cuts down on the calories a little. Every bit helps!

Black Coffee Ice Cream

How did I do it? How did I cram so much caffeinated flavor into this ice cream? There are two secrets…one is powdered (instant) espresso. I used a hefty 6 tablespoons of it. The second secret might be a little more controversial. I used 2 tablespoons of extra dark unsweetened cocoa powder. It add color, richness, and blends with the coffee to emphasize the flavor. Yes, technically I should have mentioned that in the title, but really I don’t think the ice cream ‘reads’ as chocolate, it just brings out the essence of the coffee.

Its very similar to the way many chocolate recipes include a bit of coffee or espresso to bring out the chocolate flavor, only this time, it’s all about the coffee!

Homemade Extra Intense Coffee Ice Cream


Which ice cream machine do I recommend?

I get asked all the time about what machine I use. I use and recommend Cuisinart. I’ve had my machine for years without any issues, I think because there are no fussy electronic parts to break down ~ it’s a simple motor that turns the freezer bowl for churning the ice cream and it works quickly and perfectly every time.

  • The machine I use, and it’s the base model. It works great for ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sorbets, and makes all of them in about 2o minutes. Click HERE or click on the image for more info.

Extra dark rich coffee ice cream

Reader Rave ~

“This is sooooo delicious! Probably the best I’ve ever made. Such amazing flavors. Instead of half & half I used Heavy Cream. My husband and I couldn’t stop licking the bowl, spatula & churn even before it went into the freezer to finish. If I eat this late at night I may need some Irish whiskey with it to help me sleep!!” ~ Dina

Black Coffee Ice Cream
3.46 from 55 votes

Black Coffee Ice Cream

My Black Coffee Ice Cream recipe is the real deal --- no namby pamby coffee flavor here!  This homemade coffee ice cream will satisfy your wildest caffeine cravings.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Yield 4 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • 2 cups half and half
  • 6 Tbsp espresso powder or instant espresso
  • 2 Tbsp Hershey's Extra Dark Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  • Put one cup of the half and half in a saucepan and stir in the espresso, cocoa powder, and sugar. Heat and stir just until everything gets dissolved.
  • Remove from heat and let cool. Add remaining half and half and vanilla and refrigerate until cold.
  • Pour the mixture into your ice cream machine and process according to its instructions.
  • Spoon the soft ice cream into a container and freeze.
  • Homemade ice cream is best eaten the day it is made.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

Need more caffeine? I’ve got you covered ~


Thanks for pinning this Black Coffee Ice Cream!

My Black Coffee Ice Cream pin


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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    June 25, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    5 stars
    WOW, I made this recipe now that I have instant espresso and my mind is blown!! It is coffee forward as advertised, and the chocolate emphasizes the coffee flavor perfectly, I will definitely make this again and again. Thanks, Sue!

  • Reply
    May 28, 2020 at 5:36 pm

    I’m very excited about this coffee-heavy recipe! I don’t have instant, how would you recommend a substitute with regular coffee?

    • Reply
      May 29, 2020 at 6:55 am

      No, you can’t use liquid coffee in this recipe, the extra water will mess with the ice cream texture. I would wait until you can get the instant, sorry!

      • Reply
        May 29, 2020 at 5:03 pm

        I’m sorry, I should have said regular coffee grounds not liquid.

        • Reply
          May 29, 2020 at 5:45 pm

          I haven’t tried that Allyson, sorry. You’d have to grind them finely, for sure, and I’m not sure whether it would be too bitter. Instant coffee is actually dehydrated coffee, so it’s pretty different from coffee grounds.

          • Allyson
            May 29, 2020 at 6:03 pm

            Ah, I see. Thank you.
            Your recipe sounds divine, so I will definitely add instant coffee to my next grocery list and try it soon!
            I got impulsive last night (oh, the days when I would stop by the store for only one thing rather than every other week!) and tried a version of another recipe that suggested steeping fine grounds into heated milk for 30 minutes, which worked deliciously.

  • Reply
    May 19, 2020 at 10:46 am

    5 stars
    I just wanted to let you know I made this into Keto ice cream, swapping the sugar for swerve and half and half with heavy cream. It is amazing. I also added some roasted cashews and almonds (what I had on hand). Fabulous. Thank you for such an easy and delicious recipe.

    • Reply
      May 19, 2020 at 12:00 pm

      Thanks for letting us know Cheri, sounds delish!

  • Reply
    March 9, 2019 at 1:53 pm

    This is sooooo delicious! Probably the best I’ve ever made. Such amazing flavors. Instead of half & half I used Heavy Cream. My husband and I couldn’t stop licking the bowl, spatula & churn even before it went into the freezer to finish. If I eat this late at night I may need some Irish whiskey with it to help me sleep!!

    • Reply
      March 9, 2019 at 3:17 pm

      I always lick the churn 😉 So glad you both loved this!

  • Reply
    Robbie M
    July 7, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    I was excited to make this ice cream. Sadly I could not find instant espresso at the store so I bought instant French roast. It turned out to be a little too bitter. I added a little more sugar to counter the bitterness. I usually use whipping cream and this is the first time I used half and half. It didn’t really thicken like what I am used to. The test will be tonight when I serve it to my friends.

    • Reply
      July 7, 2018 at 9:09 pm

      Hope it works out for you Robbie, this particular recipe is supposed to be a little on the bitter side, like a cup of black coffee.

  • Reply
    July 25, 2016 at 10:56 am

    I came across this recipe while looking at the Dulce de Leche ice cream post last week and being a lover of all things coffee, I had to give it a go. And it was the bomb! It was so tasty and the consistency was perfect as well. Definitely a keeper as I don’t always have the best luck with homemade ice cream. BTW, I made my own half and half with heavy cream and milk and it still turned out great! Thanks!

    • Reply
      July 26, 2016 at 6:28 am

      Thanks for that feedback, Nancy, and I’ve had good luck with half and half, too, I’ll try that next time.

  • Reply
    June 20, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    Would it be possible to use fat free half and half? I am anxious to try this recipe! I feel the same way about coffee ice cream!

    • Reply
      June 20, 2016 at 4:10 pm

      I really can’t way whether that would work or not Pat, I’ve never had fat free half and half, sorry! Let us know if you try it 🙂

  • Reply
    October 13, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    I’m always scared that my ice cream will be too hard to scoop after freezing so a slightly generous splash of Bailey’s might have found its way into this. Sooo good. Perfect amount of coffee flavor

    • Reply
      October 13, 2015 at 8:42 pm

      I agree!

  • Reply
    Heather @ Sugar Dish Me
    July 24, 2015 at 5:36 am

    Oh my gahhhh. What is this ice cream voodoo you are working?! Love it.
    I am also loving the chocolate. Coffee blooms chocolate so nicely; this is like the reverse! Smart trick!

  • Reply
    July 20, 2015 at 9:39 am

    i’ve never really like coffee ice cream but couldn’t define why; i think you just solved it for me! i always prefer my hot coffee black, so maybe that’s what i expect out of coffee ice cream too.

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    July 19, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    Would this be legal first thing in the morning? Sounds like super amazing way to wake up and start the day!

  • Reply
    July 19, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    This looks incredible. I will definitely be making some very soon. Thanks Sue!!

  • Reply
    July 19, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Oh wow, this sound like my kind of ice cream! When given a choice, I always go for the darkest, richest chocolate ice cream 🙂

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    July 18, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    Now this is coffee ice cream, what a treat!

  • Reply
    July 18, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    Hi Sue, chocolate and coffee go so well together, this looks delicious!

  • Reply
    Liz @ Floating Kitchen
    July 18, 2015 at 5:14 am

    This looks so awesome, Sue! And I agree with you – coffee ice cream is never strong enough. So I can’t wait to try yours. These pics are incredible!

  • Reply
    Laura @ Petite Allergy Treats
    July 17, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    Sue this looks incredible! I can practically feel the caffeine jolt just by looking at it. 😉 Pinned and can’t wait to try this!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    July 17, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    Oh this ice cream looks so creamy and delicious! I agree that coffee and chocolate are perfect together – they compliment without overpowering. Yummy!

  • Reply
    Gerlinde in Washington
    July 17, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    You had me at six tablespoons espresso powder. I imagine the ice cream was amazing!

  • Reply
    July 17, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    Hi, I do not have an ice cream machine, what should I do within this section of the recipe?

    Thanks, Jonny

    • Reply
      July 17, 2015 at 5:12 pm

      Hey Jonny – there is a trick you can do but you will need a food processor or a super duper blender…pour the mixture in a large secure ziplock baggie and lay it flat on a baking sheet— then put it in the freezer until frozen solid. Remove it, break apart the frozen mixture so it can fit in a food processor and process until creamy. Serve right away or return to the freezer to firm up.

      • Reply
        Tara Johnson
        April 16, 2016 at 8:13 pm

        Hey Ladies! If you have kids or just want a good work out, you can pour the mix into quart size baggies and then place that baggie into a gallon size bag and shake shake shake 🙂
        BTW Sue, my new husband and I are very excited to make this for our “date night” tonight!

        • Reply
          Tara Johnson
          April 16, 2016 at 8:16 pm

          I forgot to mention, add ice to the gallon bag after placing the smaller baggie sealed with ingredients inside

        • Reply
          April 16, 2016 at 8:34 pm

          Fun!! I love the low tech method 🙂

  • Reply
    Diana | Dreams Factory
    July 17, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    Sue, I would love this for breakfast, lunch and dinner! 🙂 It looks amazing!

  • Reply
    Toni | BoulderLocavore
    July 17, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    I love coffee ice cream though have not made it myself. I think adding the chocolate flavor would amplify the coffee to deliver that bold flavor we love! Love the pics!

  • Reply
    Shari Kelley
    July 17, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    This looks so good, Sue! I love coffee ice cream, and you are right, most don’t have enough coffee flavor. I can’t wait to try this!

  • Reply
    Trish - Mom On Timeout
    July 17, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    You have no idea how bad I NEED this ice cream right now! It looks incredible!

  • Reply
    July 17, 2015 at 11:25 am

    Oh my – looks wonderful and I just love how easy it is to make! The cocoa’s got to bring out that coffee flavor. Sounds like a great balance.

  • Reply
    Pattie @ Olla-Podrida
    July 17, 2015 at 11:18 am

    I’m with you, coffee ice cream is never strong enough, nor is most coffee unless I make it myself. This sounds delicious, and I have lots of espresso powder on hand, so I’ll be trying it.

  • Reply
    July 17, 2015 at 11:13 am

    You know I want to make this (for coffee milkshake too), but no ice cream maker….I am sure you have a “fix” for this, yes?

  • Reply
    Rachel @ Simple Seasonal
    July 17, 2015 at 10:43 am

    I’m always wishing for bolder coffee ice cream, so this pretty much looks like frozen perfection to me!

  • Reply
    July 17, 2015 at 10:26 am

    What a gorgeous post! Thanks.

  • Reply
    Sarah Sonnamaker
    July 17, 2015 at 9:25 am

    I always love coffee ice cream, this looks so yummy!

  • Reply
    allie @ Through Her Looking Glass
    July 17, 2015 at 9:17 am

    Dear Sue – This looks absolutely delicious! I can only imagine what a milkshake with this ice-cream would taste like. A girl can dream!

  • Reply
    July 17, 2015 at 8:34 am

    This ice cream would make this coffee lover very, very happy.

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    July 17, 2015 at 7:28 am

    This looks and sounds delicious, Sue and I love the addition of the cocoa powder!

    • Reply
      July 17, 2015 at 7:53 am

      Thanks Jennifer — I always add a little coffee powder to chocolate desserts to bring out the chocolate flavor, so I figured the opposite would work, too!

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