This Brownie Coffee Ice Cream is a full-flavored ice cream packed with coffee flavor and fudgy brownie bits and may just be the best ice cream you've ever had.
(This recipe for Brownie Coffee Ice Cream was originally published in May 2015, but was updated with new photos and content in 2020).
There are two kinds of ice cream I prefer: coffee ice cream and ice cream with lots of "stuff" in it. You know, "add-ins" like cookie dough, chocolate chunks, and brownies. So really, my dream ice cream is coffee ice cream with "stuff" in it. And thus, this coffee brownie ice cream was born. And then made again and again whenever the craving hits. Which is often.
Though I share my favorite brownie recipe with you below, you can certainly use a boxed mix for the brownies (Ghirardelli are the best!) or even use a store-bought brownie. Trust me, I know ice cream takes long enough to make as is (mostly just due to waiting for it to chill!) and I'm totally on board with any way you can get this ice cream to your table as quickly as you possible can.
I use a finely ground espresso in the ice cream, so I guess technically it's "espresso ice cream." I just love the deep flavor of espresso, but you can substitute with any finely ground coffee of your choice, though I recommend adding a bit more for a fuller flavor.
Do I Need an Ice Cream Maker for This Recipe?
Like most of the ice cream recipes on my blog, this coffee ice cream recipe does require an ice cream maker. There are lots of "no churn" ice cream recipes floating around, but I find that ice cream makers make the very best ice cream, closest to what you'd get in the store or ice cream shop.
For that reason, I promise that owning an ice cream maker is worth it. I own the KitchenAid ice cream attachment (affiliate link) and recommend it so much. It's really just a bowl and beater that fits right into the base of the KitchenAid mixer. It's easy to store away when you're not using it, though I always keep mine in the freezer so I can immediately make ice cream whenever I want to.
How to Make Fudgy Brownies
I wanted a super fudgy brownie for this ice cream and one that would really stand out against the robust coffee ice cream flavor. These brownies are not only fudgy and delicious, but they're made with both espresso and brewed coffee, making them the perfect add-in to coffee ice cream.
To make them, simply mix together the dry ingredients (all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, granulated sugar, confectioners' sugar, espresso powder, salt, and baking powder).
Add in lightly beaten eggs, vegetable oil, brewed coffee, and vanilla and mix until just combined.
Pour batter into a lightly greased 8x8" pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 31 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let cool completely before slicing and crumbling! You only need ⅓ of a full batch for the ice cream. I used 6 standard-size brownies (about 2 ½ cups crumbled). Which means, plenty of leftovers!
How to Make Brownie Coffee Ice Cream
Please don't be intimidated by making homemade ice cream. It truly is pretty easy and the toughest thing about it is all the time you spend waiting for it to chill.
For this coffee ice cream, heat the whole milk, heavy cream, sugar, ground espresso, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly, until the mixture just reaches the point of simmer and then remove from the heat.
While milk is heating, lightly whisk egg yolks in a separate medium-sized bowl. Pour about half of the warm milk/cream into the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking while you do so. This is to temper the eggs and prevent them from scrambling.
Then pour the egg/milk mixture back into the pan with the rest of the milk. Continue to cook over low heat, while whisking. When the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon, after about 5-7 minutes, remove the saucepan from heat. Strain the egg/milk mixture into a separate large bowl.
This is where the start of the waiting comes in. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, making sure plastic wrap is touching top of liquid so a skin doesn't form on the ice cream, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Once the mixture is chilled, process in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions, mixing in brownie pieces when ice cream is almost done processing. Remove the ice cream to airtight containers and put in freezer for at least 4 hours to continue to harden.
More waiting. But this part is so essential and yes, worth it.
Because then you get this!
And this makes all the waiting so worth it.
Believe it or not, this is, without a doubt, the best ice cream I’ve made yet. And I’ve made a lot of ice creams. It's the creamiest and the richest tasting, without being overly custardy (ice cream pet peeve of mine!).
Plus, the brownies!! You may think brownies would get icky and soggy after sitting in ice cream, but I swear, these just got more delicious.
And the coffee flavor? BAM! Sorry, I’m not trying to be like Emeril (does he even still say that?). But the coffee flavor totally had a BAM! effect. Because really, what’s the point of coffee if it’s not going to large and in charge? Weak coffee is just pointless.
I actually seriously contemplated whether or not it would be acceptable to have brownie coffee ice cream for breakfast. I realized that if I had left the brownies out, it really might be.
I mean, is it so different than enjoying your coffee with some cream and sugar? OK, so maybe this would be a lot of cream and sugar for breakfast, but it would totally wake me up and keep me happy. Priorities.
Even better? I want to whip up an iced coffee and put a scoop of this in there for what would essentially be an iced coffee milkshake. Best idea ever? I think it needs to happen.
Have you ever made homemade ice cream?
If you love this ice cream, you should also check out my recipe for Birthday Cake Oreo Coffee Ice Cream or my recipe for Mint Oreo Ice Cream. I also can't wait to try this Donut Ice Cream from Love Ya Brunches!
Brownie Coffee Ice Cream
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1½ cups whole milk
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ Tbsp finely ground espresso (if substituting with regular coffee grounds, use 3 Tbsp)
- ¼ tsp salt
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 ½ cups crumbled brownies (about 6 standard-size brownies), recipe below, boxed, or store-bought
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ⅔ cup cocoa powder
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 Tbsp espresso powder
- ¾ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- 3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 Tbsp brewed coffee
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Heat cream, milk, sugar, espresso, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.
- Stir constantly, until the mixture just reaches the point of simmer. Then remove from heat.
- While cream/milk mixture is heating, lightly whisk the egg yolks in a separate medium-sized heat-proof bowl.
- Slowly pour about half of the warm milk/cream into the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking while you do so.
- Then pour the egg/milk mixture back into the pan with the rest of the milk.
- Continue to cook over low heat, while whisking. When the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon, after about 5-7 minutes, remove the saucepan from heat.
- Strain the egg/milk mixture into a separate large bowl.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap, making sure plastic wrap is touching top of liquid so skin does not form, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
- Once mixture is chilled, freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions, mixing in brownie pieces when ice cream is almost done processing.
- Remove ice cream to airtight containers and put in freezer for at least 4 hours to continue to harden.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease an 8x8" pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, granulated sugar, confectioners’ sugar, espresso powder, salt, and baking powder.
- Add eggs, oil, brewed coffee, and vanilla stirring until just combined.
- Pour mixture into prepared pan, smoothing the top.
- Bake brownies for about 31 minutes. Brownies are done when tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let cool completely before slicing and crumbling to add to ice cream.