Just a handful of ingredients and an ice cream scooper turn a ho-hum cup of coffee into the greatest creamy, sweet caffeine of your life. Perfect for a hot summer day, a memorable brunch spread or a wedding shower show-stopper.
The core recipe for this amazing iced coffee drink takes just 5 simple ingredients. Make a double batch if you're aiming to nourish a large crowd. The recipe as written yields 6 tall glasses of cold coffee, each topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
You have countless ways to customize your creamy coffee drink, from chocolate or caramel syrup to flavored coffee creamer, or chocolate chip, coffee ice cream or good old creamy chocolate ice cream. Top it off with a sprinkle of chocolate shavings or sprinkles, or any of your favorite sweet treats like Pirouline cookies.
Let's get this creamy caffeine party started!
What you'll need to make a batch of iced coffee drinks with ice cream:
Brewed coffee: Make your favorite coffee in your coffee maker at home or use instant coffee powder. I prefer to start with hot coffee to be sure the sugar can fully dissolve. If you grab a bottle of your favorite cold brew, you may want to make a simple syrup of water and sugar heated to ensure you don't have grainy coffee. I like to brew strong coffee for this recipe so I can still taste the roasty flavor alongside the sweet and creamy ice cream.
Sugar: The recipe calls for typical granulated sugar, but feel free to substitute brown sugar if you want a deeper molasses sweetness. I often use stevia in my coffee, so I know that works just as well.
Vanilla extract: Adds another layer of sweet flavor. If you prefer almond extract, start with ½ teaspoon, as it is much stronger.
Half and half: Using this dairy adds a richness that also thickens the coffee beverage. But feel free to use whole milk, almond milk, your favorite flavor of coffee creamer or even heavy cream. Adjust the amount of dairy to your taste.
Vanilla ice cream: Cold ice cream is the perfect topper for this iced coffee, and keeps us from having to use ice cubes that water down the coffee. I call for vanilla, but feel free to customize your flavors or add an extra scoop of ice cream to each glass.
Toppings: Serve the coffee with ice cream as is, or add whipped cream, sprinkles, cookies, nuts or chocolate or caramel syrup.
Full measurements and directions included in the printable recipe card below.
Step by step instructions for Iced Coffee with Ice Cream:
To begin, brew coffee to desired strength (I fill a 12-cup coffee pot with water and ¾ cup grounds). While still warm, add the sugar and vanilla extract, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
Chill the sweetened coffee mixture. When ready to serve, mix coffee and half and half. Taste and adjust sweetness.
Add 4 scoops of vanilla ice cream to the pitcher of coffee.
If serving a crowd, iced coffee can be served from a punch bowl, with ice cream scoops floating in the sweet coffee mixture. Or served from a pitcher, with a scoop of ice cream in each glass. For a fun twist, dip the rims of of each glass in chocolate syrup, and then sprinkles. Add one scoop of ice cream to the glass, then fill with creamy iced coffee. Top each glass with whipped cream.
FAQs, Serving Suggestions & Variations:
Dessert syrups: chocolate and caramel would be delicious
Cookies: fancy pirouline cookies or some crushed up Oreos or Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Whipped cream: this is practically required.
Liqueurs: if you're serving exclusively grown-ups, adding ½ cup Bailey's, Frangelico, Amaretto or Kahlua will add a little kick to the coffee without being overwhelming. Or just allow each guest to customize their own glass.
The coffee can be brewed, sweetened and refrigerated (tightly covered) up to two days in advance of serving. When ready to serve, add cream and ice cream and you're ready to go!
To store, cover tightly and keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Looking for more delicious coffee treats for entertaining? Try these next!
- Perfect Coffee Jello (with sweetened condensed milk)
- Iced Coffee with Sweetened Condensed Milk
- Homemade Coffee Whipped Cream