Irresistible Espresso Ice Cream Recipe for Coffee Lovers

As a barista, few things bring me as much joy as a perfectly brewed cup of espresso. That’s why I’m so excited to share with you this recipe for espresso ice cream – a delicious and refreshing dessert that combines the rich flavor of roasted coffee beans with the creamy sweetness of ice cream.

This recipe comes from the talented Ina Garten, also known as the Barefoot Contessa. Her love for good food and simple yet elegant recipes never fails to inspire me, and this one is no exception.

What I love most about this recipe is how easy it is to make. With just a handful of ingredients and a little bit of time, you can have a batch of homemade ice cream that tastes like it came from your favorite artisanal ice cream shop.

So whether you’re looking for a sweet treat to enjoy during those hot summer days or simply want to indulge your love for coffee in a new way, this recipe is sure to be a hit. Get ready to impress your friends and family with this delicious espresso ice cream – trust me, they won’t be able to resist!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Espresso Ice Cream - Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten
Espresso Ice Cream – Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten

Friends, let me tell you all about a recipe that will satisfy your craving for coffee and ice cream in just one scoop – the Espresso Ice Cream by none other than Ina Garten, also known as the Barefoot Contessa. Trust me; you’ll fall head over heels in love with this recipe once you give it a try.

First and foremost, let’s talk about taste. This delightful concoction is packed with flavors that will make your taste buds sing. The combination of fine espresso powder, pure vanilla extract, and sugar creates an explosion of flavors in your mouth. The pinch of salt takes things a notch higher and adds depth to the taste. All these ingredients come together in perfect harmony to create a caffeinated dream that will keep you coming back for more.

Let’s talk texture now. The Espresso Ice Cream has a silky-smooth texture that is nothing short of heavenly. The trick lies in creating a cream paste using egg yolks, half-and-half, heavy cream, and espresso powder. This paste is then churned into ice cream. Once frozen, the ice cream takes on an ultra-creamy texture that melts in your mouth.

For those moments when you crave something crunchy with your ice cream – worry not! Simply add some chopped chocolate-covered coffee beans or chocolate chips to the mix before freezing or enjoy it in ice cream sandwiches.

Intrigued? Let me tell you about another reason why you need to try this recipe – it’s versatile! You can adjust the amount of espresso powder according to your preferences – go light for just a hint of coffee or heavy for a robust kick. You can also substitute half-and-half with whole milk if calorie cutting is what floats your boat.

So there you have it folks! This Espresso Ice Cream recipe by Ina Garten has something to offer everyone – taste, texture, versatility – it’s got them all! Don’t wait any longer; take my word for it and get ready to be hooked on this Barefoot Contessa recipe.

Ingredient List

 Perfectly brewed espresso and velvety ice cream unite for a decadent dessert!
Perfectly brewed espresso and velvety ice cream unite for a decadent dessert!

Let’s Gather the Ingredients

Before we start scooping delicious Espresso Ice Cream from Ina Garten’s recipe, let’s make sure to collect all the ingredients. Print out the recipe and check off each item as you add them to your shopping list. Here’s what you will need:

  • Roasted coffee beans, ground into fine powder: ¼ cup
  • Instant coffee: 1 tablespoon
  • Half-and-half: 3 cups
  • Heavy cream: 1 cup
  • Pure vanilla extract: 2 teaspoons
  • Salt: a pinch of it or two (depending on your preference)
  • Egg yolks: 6 extra-large or just enough to get two-thirds of a cup after being whisked
  • Sugar: 1 ½ cups
  • Chocolate-covered coffee beans: optional as a topping or mix-in, but trust me, they are worth it!

Most ingredients can be found in your local grocery store, but if you want to take it to the next level, go get some high-quality roasted coffee beans and grind them yourself for an intense flavor.

The Recipe How-To

 This Espresso Ice Cream is the ultimate indulgence for coffee lovers!
This Espresso Ice Cream is the ultimate indulgence for coffee lovers!

Now that you’ve gathered all the necessary ingredients, it’s time to start making the espresso ice cream. Follow these simple steps to make sure you’ll end up with a perfect homemade ice cream.

Step One: Mix it Up

Start by mixing 3 cups of half-and-half and 3/4 cup of sugar in a saucepan on medium heat for about five minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved completely.

Step Two: Add the Eggs

In a separate bowl, beat 6 extra-large egg yolks until they’re thick and creamy. Then, gradually add the egg yolks to the half-and-half mixture, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

Step Three: Infuse with Espresso

Next, add 2 tablespoons of ground espresso powder to the mixture and stir well. Reduce heat to low and allow the mixture to simmer for another fifteen minutes.

Step Four: Cool Down

Once the mixture is infused with espresso, remove it from heat and pour through a sieve into a large bowl. Allow it to cool down slightly before stirring in 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.

Step Five: Churn It!

Now it’s time to churn! Add the mixture into an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions until you have a smooth soft-serve consistency. This usually takes around 30 minutes.

Step Six: Add Coffee Chocolate Chips

While your ice cream is churning, chop some store-bought chocolate-covered coffee beans or a bar of dark chocolate to create small chucks. When your ice cream is almost done, start adding these chunks through the feeder tube so they mix uniformly throughout.

Step Seven: Freeze Time

Finally, transfer your creamy creation into an airtight container, and let it freeze overnight or for at least five hours until it’s firm enough to scoop.

And voila! Your homemade espresso ice cream is done and ready to enjoy.

Substitutions and Variations

 Get ready for an explosion of rich and smooth flavors with every bite!
Get ready for an explosion of rich and smooth flavors with every bite!

Okay, so you’ve made the Espresso Ice Cream and absolutely loved it (who wouldn’t?), but maybe you want to switch it up a bit? No worries, I’ve got you covered!


– Instead of using pure vanilla extract, try using coffee liqueur for some added depth and richness.

– If you don’t have access to espresso powder, instant coffee can be used as a substitute.

– For those who are lactose intolerant or vegan, use a non-dairy milk such as almond milk or coconut milk as a substitute for half-and-half or heavy cream. You can also use a non-dairy whipped cream instead.


– Add in some chocolate chips or chopped chocolate-covered coffee beans for extra texture and flavor.

– Make ice cream sandwiches by placing a scoop of the Espresso Ice Cream between two chocolate chip cookies.

– Create a mocha chocolate icebox cake by layering the Espresso Ice Cream with chocolate sorbet and cocoa powder.

– Serve the Espresso Ice Cream with an iced coffee for the ultimate coffee experience.

Remember, recipes are just guidelines – feel free to get creative and make it your own. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try something new!

Serving and Pairing

Serving this luxurious Espresso Ice Cream is an experience in itself. Scoop it into a bowl, drizzle it with some delicious coffee liqueur and top it with chocolate-covered coffee beans for an indulgent treat that will satisfy all your cravings.

This ice cream is also perfect for making ice cream sandwiches, using your favorite cookies like chocolate chip or even a homemade oatmeal cookie. Simply spread a generous scoop of this creamy espresso ice cream in between two cookies, wrap them in plastic and freeze overnight to make the ultimate dessert treat.

Pair this decadent Espresso Ice Cream with your favorite dessert such as chocolate sorbet or mocha chocolate icebox cake recipe. It’s also the perfect complement to a hot cup of coffee or iced coffee for the ultimate caffeine rush.

In terms of presentation, serve this heavenly treat in a beautiful glass dish or on a classic sundae glass to elevate its elegance. The rich and smooth taste of this coffee-flavored dessert is sure to impress anyone who tries it.

Remember, the secret to serving this delicious espresso ice cream is to let it soften at room temperature for about five minutes before scooping! Enjoy!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

Espresso ice cream is a delightful treat that you can make well ahead of time. One of the benefits of this delicious dessert is that it stores really well in the freezer. I recommend making this ice cream up to 5 days before you intend to serve it so that it has plenty of time to set and develop its full flavor.

When it comes to storing your espresso ice cream, using an airtight container will ensure that your dessert stays fresh for longer. You can use either plastic or glass containers, but be sure to put a layer of plastic wrap directly on top of the ice cream to prevent it from forming ice crystals.

To reheat your espresso ice cream, remove it from the freezer and let it sit for about 10 minutes at room temperature until it starts to soften. Avoid microwaving it directly as this can cause the ice cream to melt unevenly and become grainy. Instead, try putting scoops of ice cream into a bowl and heating them gently over a pot of simmering water or placing them in the fridge for a couple of hours.

If you’ve made more ice cream than you can eat in one sitting, why not consider making some delicious ice cream sandwiches? Simply place a scoop of espresso ice cream between two chocolate chip cookies or sugar cookies and freeze for a couple of hours until set. Speaking of freezing, you can also make these sandwiches ahead of time and store them in the freezer until you’re ready to enjoy them.

Overall, with its ease and convenience, making Espresso Ice Cream is truly perfect for those who want an indulgent treat at all times without any fuss.

Tips for Perfect Results

One of the secrets to making the perfect espresso ice cream lies in the ingredients and the process. Here are some tips that can help you achieve a rich and velvety texture and flavor that will surely impress your guests.

Firstly, when it comes to choosing the right coffee for this recipe, I highly recommend using espresso powder made from roasted coffee beans. You can find it in most specialty stores, and it adds a rich flavor to the ice cream base that instantly elevates the dessert.

Additionally, make sure to use pure vanilla extract instead of an artificial one. Vanilla extract is the essential flavoring component that balances out the bitterness of the espresso and enhances the creaminess of the ice cream.

When combining the ingredients for the ice cream base, make sure to whisk until the mixture becomes smooth and all sugar granules have fully dissolved. If you’re using an electric mixer, I recommend beating it on high speed for two minutes to create a cohesive blend.

Another tip to keep in mind is not to overcook your custard once you’ve added in your eggs. Overcooking will lead to lumps forming in your ice cream mixture or worse still scrambling your eggs leading to an unpleasant taste in your Ice cream.

Moreover, be careful not to add too much air into your ice cream during churning as this could lead to a crumbly texture which can be unappetizing for many individuals.

Lastly, after freezing your ice cream for at least four hours or overnight, take note not to leave it sitting out for too long before serving, as it could result in melting quickly. This is especially important if you plan on serving it outside during summer when temperatures can soar quickly.

By following these tips, you’re sure to get perfect results every time with this delicious espresso ice cream recipe.


Now that you’ve read through all the sections of this recipe article, it’s time for some frequently asked questions. These questions have been compiled from various sources and answered by experienced baristas to ensure that you have all the information you need to make the perfect espresso ice cream. So let’s dive in and clear up any doubts you may have!

How is espresso ice cream made?

For a delectable dessert, begin by blending milk, sugar, and espresso powder in a bowl until the sugar has fully dissolved. Incorporate heavy cream, vanilla, and coffee liqueur and mix well. Start the ice cream machine and pour the mixture into the freezer bowl. Let the machine churn the blended ingredients for approximately 20 to 25 minutes until the ice cream becomes firm yet velvety.

What is espresso powder in a recipe?

When crafting a concoction with a chocolatey twist, adding just a teaspoon of espresso powder can go a long way. This potent ingredient is derived from coffee beans that have undergone a special process involving roasting, brewing, drying, and ultra-fine grinding. Given its high concentration, you won’t need much to achieve a rich, robust flavor.

How to make supreme ice cream?

When it comes to making a delicious cup of coffee, there are two methods you can use: cold or hot preparation. For the cold method, start by combining sugar, vanilla, stab, and stabiglace in a dry mixture, then dissolve it in milk. Next, add ice cream paste and let the mixture rest for at least four hours. As for the hot method, begin by dissolving the dry ingredients in cold milk and then pasteurizing it at 85°C. While the milk cools down, add the ice cream paste for a perfect cup of coffee.

How is instant espresso powder made?

Ready-to-use instant espresso powder is produced by grinding, drying and pulverizing dark-roasted coffee beans until they become a fine powder. This powder can dissolve in hot water without the need for brewing or filtration.

Bottom Line


In conclusion, this recipe for Espresso Ice Cream is a must-try for coffee lovers and ice cream enthusiasts alike. With its rich, bold flavor and smooth texture, it’s sure to become a new favorite in your collection of dessert recipes.

Thanks to Ina Garten’s expertise in the kitchen, this recipe is both easy to follow and yields exceptional results. The combination of roasted coffee beans, instant espresso powder, and pure vanilla extract create a complex depth of flavor that is simply irresistible.

Not only is this recipe delicious on its own, but it can also be used in a variety of desserts such as mocha chocolate icebox cake or served alongside a slice of chocolate cake. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try making coffee-chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches with this recipe!

Overall, I highly recommend giving this Espresso Ice Cream recipe a try. It’s perfect for any occasion or just as a treat after a long day. So grab your ingredients, get the job done and enjoy a week of five days worth of this wonderful ice cream- it’s sure to impress!

Espresso Ice Cream - Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten

Espresso Ice Cream - Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten Recipe
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Prep Time 3 hrs
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 1 quart
Calories 616.6 kcal


  • 3 cups half-and-half
  • 6 extra-large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ground espresso beans
  • 1 tablespoon coffee liqueur (recommended ( Kahlua)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces chocolate-covered coffee beans, chopped


  • Heat the half-and-half until it forms bubbles around the edge of the pan and steam starts to rise.
  • Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks, sugar, and salt until mixed.
  • Slowly add the hot half-and-half until combined.
  • Wipe out the pan and pour the mixture back into the clean pan.
  • Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 5 to 10 minutes, until it's thickened and the cream coats the back of the spoon.
  • Pour the cream through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl.
  • Add the ground espresso beans, coffee liqueur, and vanilla and refrigerate until completely chilled.
  • Pour the espresso cream into an ice-cream freezer and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions.
  • Mix in the chopped espresso beans, spoon into a container, and allow to freeze for a few hours.
  • Soften slightly before serving.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 273gCalories: 616.6kcalCarbohydrates: 60.6gProtein: 11.6gFat: 36.2gSaturated Fat: 19.7gCholesterol: 385.5mgSodium: 132.9mgFiber: 2.1gSugar: 47.3g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Dessert, Frozen
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