Food. Life. Travel

Cafe Au Lait Coffee Ice Cream: Recipe

It is -28 degrees Celsius and what better way to celebrate than by making some cafe au lait coffee ice cream? I know, it sounds ludicrous. But as Canadians, we are known to be quite brave in the face of freezing temperatures. Plus, making ice cream during the winter is actually super easy and convenient. You can easily make your ice cream from start to finish in 4 hours (and that includes churning). Basically, because my backyard is a massive deep freezer that allows for my ice cream mixture to cool down fast.

See the thing is, I absolutely love ice cream. And after all these years I have become quite excellent at making it. However, I tend to make ice cream the most, during the winter. That is because overall, the longest part of making ice cream is the cooldown part. When it 20 plus degrees outside, it takes forever for my ice cream to cool down. Even if I place it in the freezer. But during the magnificent winters of the Great Canadian North, the cool down period is a breeze – or should I say a freeze 😉

In addition to making coffee ice cream, I also made some Cookie Monster Ice CreamI hope to have that recipe up within in the next two weeks. If you can’t wait that long, feel free to check out my cookies and cream ice cream which is just as tasty! Finally, I have made ice cream a lot on this blog, so check out these other posts for the more technical details (like what ice cream maker I use) and such.


I must warn you, in addition to being an ice cream addict, I am also a coffee addict. Although I prefer milk-based drinks (i.e. espresso) versus regular drip coffee. With that being said, my coffee ice cream is very strong. For those of you who love coffee, this will be no problem (you can thank me later). For those who like coffee but do not want an overpowering taste, feel free to leave this post and never visit my blog again. Just kidding LOL. 

If you prefer a more delicate coffee flavour you can opt for one of two things. You can either opt out of using the espresso powder and use only the beans OR you can opt out of using the beans and only use the powder.

What is the difference? Well, the powder will allow you to bypass the steeping stage entirely and impart a slightly stronger coffee flavour. In this case, you can also control the depth of the coffee flavour by adding more or less espresso powder.

Conversely, the beans impart a delicate and less intense flavour of coffee that comes from the steeping process. You still get a coffee flavour but it is less direct compared to the espresso powder.

Which option is better? Using both of course 🙂 but really it is up to you. If you are looking for my opinion (of course you are), I would recommend using the whole beans instead! I like the flavour more.


Cafe Au Lait Coffee Ice Cream

Bold and rich dark roast coffee combined with sweet cream and a dash of cinnamon yields a vibrant and decadent coffee ice cream. 

Servings 2 pints


  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp coffee extract (optional)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp espresso powder
  • 1 cup whole coffee beans (I use a dark roast)*
  • 4 egg yolks


  1. In a heavy bottom saucepan, combine 1 cup full cream, whole milk, both the sugars and salt, on low heat. Stir until the sugars have dissolved and the mixture comes to a boil. Add the vanilla, coffee extract and espresso powder. Stir. Remove from heat, add the coffee beans and cover with a lid. Let the mixture steep for 30-45 minutes. 

  2. Bring the mixture back to a low boil on low heat. Add the egg yolks and stir constantly until the mixture thickens (coating the back of your spatula). Be careful to stir constantly so that the yolk does not cook. Remove off heat. 

  3. Place the remaining 1 cup of full cream in a bowl with a fine-meshed sieve on top. Strain the custard mixture through. Discard of the beans. Place your ice cream mixture in an ice bath to cool completely before placing it in the fridge to set overnight (or at least 6-8 hours). 

  4. Churn the ice cream the next day according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to a freezer safe container and let set for 4 hours before serving. 

Recipe Notes

* If you have a caffeine intolerance or cannot handle too much caffeine, opt for decaf beans instead! 


This recipe is incredibly simple to execute and to make, however, its flavour is deep, complex and utterly compelling. If you are more adventurous in your taste palatte, you can easily turn a scoop of ice cream into an affogato, making this truly a dessert for the greatest of coffee lovers. 


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