(WWTI) – Smooth and creamy, it’s just perfect for a day like today, it’s National Coffee Ice Cream Day.

It took quite some time for coffee-flavored ice cream to come about, although gelato and sorbet can be traced as far back as 3000 BC and people only started drinking coffee in the 15th century. Coffee was discovered in the Middle East in the 9th century; however, it wasn’t considered a household beverage until after the 17th century — when the drink started becoming popular in Britain.

The first flavored ice cream was invented at the request of the Roman emperor Nero; his servants went to the mountains and collected snow to make a frozen dessert flavored with honey, nuts and fruit toppings. The invention of gelato is, for the most part, credited to Bernardo Buontalenti, a 16th-century Florence native who served it in the court of Catherine de’ Medici the Queen of France. By 1770, Giovanni Basiolo hit success in New York by selling semi-frozen coffee and milk products popular in Genoa, Italy. Finally, in 1869, coffee ice cream was first used in a parfait before appearing again in a cookbook in 1919.

Just One Cookbook has the recipe for Coffee Ice Cream:


  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cups whole coffee beans
  • ⅛ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups heavy (whipping) cream
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • ¼ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp finely ground coffee


  1. Gather all the ingredients.
  2. Heat the milk, sugar, whole coffee bean, salt, and ½ cup (120 ml) of the heavy cream in a medium saucepan until it’s warm and steamy, but NOT boiling. Once the mixture is warm, turn off the heat and cover. Remove from the heat and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.
  3. Reheat the coffee-infused milk mixture on medium heat, until again hot and steamy but NOT boiling.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.
  5. Slowly pour the warm coffee mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly so that the yolks are tempered by the warm milk, but not cooked by it.
  6. Transfer the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a plastic spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. DO NOT OVERCOOK (Eggs will be scrambled if you do). This can take about 10 minutes.
  7. Pour the remaining 1 cup (240ml) of heavy cream into a medium-sized glass bowl and set on ice over a larger bowl.
  8. Set a mesh strainer on top of the ice-bathed heavy cream bowl and pour the warm egg yolk mixture into the heavy cream. Press on the coffee beans in the strainer to extract as much of the coffee flavor as possible, then discard the beans. Mixed in the vanilla and the finely grated ground coffee. Stir until cool over the ice bath and chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator.
  9. Pour the mixture into the ice cream maker and process the mixture in the ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions (usually about 25 minutes).
  10. Pour into an airtight container and freeze until firm, about 4-5 hours.

Happy National Coffee Ice Cream Day