Coffee Cardamom Ice Cream Recipe

Photograph: Max Falkowitz

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, hopefully outright theft is more so. Because there's no mystery about where this ice cream came from: after tasting the blend of cardamom and coffee in ice cream at Big Gay Ice Cream last week, I knew I had to make it my own.

That's not to say coffee with cardamom is anything new: a big part of the coffee drinking world figured this out hundreds of years ago. It's not hard to see why—bitter roasted coffee takes well to the citrus and menthol flavors of cardamom pods. Even when used in modest proportions, as is the case here, cardamom brings a special lift to plain coffee ice cream.

I've taken to having a small scoop in lieu of a coffee break, but if you're the kind of person who thinks ice cream has a place at afternoon tea (and why not?), this is the recipe you're looking for.

Note: Use whole cardamom pods for the best flavor. The amount below will give a very subtle cardamom flavor to the ice cream. For a more cardamom-forward scoop, double the amount, but remove before adding the ground coffee.

Recipe Details

Coffee Cardamom Ice Cream Recipe

Active 60 mins
Total 6 hrs
Serves 8 servings
Makes 1 quart


  • 2 cups cream

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1 tablespoon cardamom pods

  • 2 tablespoons medium ground coffee

  • 6 large egg yolks

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. In a heavy saucepan bring cream and milk to a simmer. While dairy is heating, toast cardamom pods in a dry skillet until aromatic, about 30 seconds, and press down on them to open with the flat side of a knife. When dairy comes to a simmer, remove from heat, stir in cardamom pods, cover, and steep for 30 minutes.

  2. In a clean heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and coffee until well combined. Quickly strain dairy into egg yolks and whisk until fully combined.

  3. Place pot over medium-low heat and cook, whisking frequently, until a custard forms on a spoon and a finger swiped across the back leaves a clean line, or until custard temperature reaches 170°F. Stir in salt to taste.

  4. Strain custard through a fine mesh strainer and chill in either ice bath or refrigerator until it is very cold, about 40°F. Churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions, then transfer to an airtight container and to harden in freezer for at least 4 hours before serving.

Special equipment

ice cream maker

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
325 Calories
26g Fat
16g Carbs
8g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 325
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 33%
Saturated Fat 15g 76%
Cholesterol 231mg 77%
Sodium 163mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 16g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 102mg 8%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 160mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)