Coffee Chipotle Ice Cream

june 9, 2017

coffee chipotle ice cream

All my ice cream recipes are easy. No egg, usually. Just heating dairy with sugar and chilling the mixture overnight before adding to the electric ice cream machine. Oh, and the flavors. That’s my favorite part of creating chilled dessert recipes. There’s red wine cherry, avocado lime cilantro and…

now coffee chipotle. My favorite craft cocktails at Richmond’s thriving restaurant scene are those with smokiness and a hint of sweet. Mezcal, tequila, hot peppers and perhaps citrus or other fruit— my gaze gravitates to that archetype every time. This ice cream is a nod to that flavor panel. No citrus, but the earthiness of ground coffee steeped with the milk, and plenty of smoky hotness from chipotle peppers.

coffee chipotle ice cream

Nope, that’s not a typo—chilpotle is the proper Mexican spelling for smoked jalapeño peppers.

You could go an easier route and use ground chipotle powder, which I adore and use in abundance. Canned chipotles in adobo sauce keep well in the fridge (or freezer, without ruination) as long as you use a perfectly clean spoon to remove them, and when chopped they add not only the punch of smoked jalapeños but also the textural fun of seeds and skin. You’ll appreciate that bonus in this recipe, so for now if you can find them (many grocers now carry these in the Latin foods aisles), set aside the powder for the real deal.

As with my other ice cream recipes, I heat the sugar and milk together briefly just to rid the liquid of any sugar graininess. The ground coffee gets steeped for about 10 minutes and strained with a fine mesh. I don’t mind the little coffee bits that escape the strainer, but if you’re a purist you have my permission to strain twice.

coffee chipotle ice cream

Feel free to strain the coffee mixture twice before chilling, but I like the extra coffee bits for flavor and texture. Using whole chipotle peppers in adobo sauce adds more assertive flavors and the chewy bits of skin and seeds.

I came across a few lists of edible flowers and was pleasantly surprised to see that many are right in my garden. The photos you see here pair the ice cream with tiny campanula flowers, which thrive in shade and form a mat of blue flowers each spring. Here are a couple of lists that are particularly comprehensive :  and

The amount of heat in this ice cream is not too intense, but for those who prefer flavor and heat on the tame side, you may use only one whole chipotle pepper. Avoid draining the peppers because the adobo sauce (which tastes like it does not belong in a dessert) gives a nice counterpoint to the sweet. When there’s homemade ice cream in the house, I don’t complain too much about the heat and humidity of our summers here in Richmond. You can bet there’s a lot of housemade ice cream in my freezer to keep me steady and contented.

Coffee Chipotle Ice Cream

recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company                     coffee chipotle ice cream

makes about one quart


1 ½ cups whole milk
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 level (or heaping if you like coffee flavor) tablespoons ground coffee
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups heavy cream
2 whole chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, undrained and chopped finely


  1. In heavy one quart saucepan, combine milk and sugar over medium low heat, stirring gently until sugar is just melted and mixture is just hot.
  2. Add ground coffee and steep for 10 minutes.
  3. Strain mixture into glass or stainless steel container (not plastic), add vanilla and heavy cream and chill mixture at least 6 hours or overnight.
  4. With electric ice cream machine running, add chilled mixture and process.
  5. After about 20 minutes, when ice cream begins to thicken, add the chipotle peppers in several editions to allow thorough dispersal and stop when motor slows and ice cream is at the thick soft serve state, about 5 more minutes.
  6. Freeze ice cream at least several hours or overnight.
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